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Does President Obama Apologize For America? The Facts Say No

When I was at CPAC two weeks ago, one of the most common themes from speakers seemed to be denouncing the President for “apologizing to the world for America.”  The only problem is, he’s never actually done that:

It is an article of faith among top Republicans that President Obama has repeatedly apologized for the United States and its behavior. Even more, the argument goes, he does not believe in American strength and greatness. The assertion feeds into a subterranean narrative that Obama, with his exotic, mixed-race background, is not really American in the first place.

The claim that Obama is an apologist for America actually began to take shape shortly after he became president. It had been bubbling in the conservative blogs before Karl Rove, the former political adviser to George W. Bush, published an article titled “The President’s Apology Tour” in the Wall Street Journal on April 23, 2009, just three months after Obama took the oath of office.

It’s no wonder that Republicans this this theme over and over, because polling shows that the public believes it:

A December Gallup poll found that only 58 percent of those surveyed agreed that Obama believed the United States has a unique character that makes it the greatest country in the world; 37 percent said he did not. By contrast, 74 percent thought George W. Bush did, 77 percent though Bill Clinton did, and 86 percent thought Ronald Reagan did. Among Republicans, 61 percent thought Obama did not believe in the greatness of America.

There’s just one problem, it isn’t true:

Most of the criticism stems from a series of speeches that Obama made shortly after taking office, when he was trying to introduce himself to the world and also signify a break with the Bush administration with new policies, such as pledging to close the detainee facility at Guantanamo Bay.

This is typical of many new presidents. George W. Bush, for instance, quickly broke with Clinton administration policy on dealings with North Korea, the Kyoto climate change treaty and the international criminal court, to name a few.

Rove built his case around four quotes made by Obama:

Mr. Obama told the French (the French!) that America “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe. In Prague, he said America has “a moral responsibility to act” on arms control because only the U.S. had “used a nuclear weapon.” In London, he said that decisions about the world financial system were no longer made by “just Roosevelt and Churchill sitting in a room with a brandy” — as if that were a bad thing. And in Latin America, he said the U.S. had not “pursued and sustained engagement with our neighbors” because we “failed to see that our own progress is tied directly to progress throughout the Americas.”

In none of these cases does Obama actually use a word at all similar to “apologize.” The Latin American comment might have resonance with Rove’s old boss, since that was Bush’s charge against the Clinton administration in the 2000 campaign. The Prague and London quotes are not apologies at all. The Paris quote, which is often cited as an apology, is taken out of context.

In Paris, Obama was trying to rebuild relations with Europe, where opposition to the Iraq war had run high. The quote in Paris often cited by conservatives is this: “In America, there’s a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

That doesn’t sound like much of an apology, more of a statement of fact that few international-relations experts would quarrel with

But that’s not the only example that doesn’t measure up:

Another Heritage example is a speech Obama gave in April 2009 to the Turkish parliament, in which he was trying to urge that country to come to terms with its tragic history with the Armenians: “The United States is still working through some of our own darker periods in our history. Facing the Washington Monument that I spoke of is a memorial of Abraham Lincoln, the man who freed those who were enslaved even after Washington led our Revolution.”

But compare what Obama said to what George W. Bush said at Senegal’s Goree Island in 2003. Bush called the U.S. constitution flawed and said that America is still troubled by the legacy of slavery. This does not seem like an apology, either — but it is even more sharply framed than Obama’s comments.

We can fairly judge the past by the standards of President John Adams, who called slavery “an evil of callosal magnitude.” We can discern eternal standards in the deeds of William Wilberforce and John Quincy Adams, and Harriet Beecher Stowe and Abraham Lincoln. These men and women, black and white, burned with a zeal for freedom, and they left behind a different and better nation. Their moral vision caused Americans to examine our hearts, to correct our Constitution, and to teach our children the dignity and equality of every person of every race. By a plan known only to Providence, the stolen sons and daughters of Africa helped to awaken the conscience of America. The very people traded into slavery helped to set America free. My nation’s journey toward justice has not been easy and it is not over. The racial bigotry fed by slavery did not end with slavery or with segregation. And many of the issues that still trouble America have roots in the bitter experience of other times. But however long the journey, our destination is set: liberty and justice for all.

Why would Obama’s comment on slavery be considered an apology and not Bush’s?

Umm, let’s see, because Bush was a Republican and Obama is a Democrat? That isn’t very hard to figure out, really.

The final Obama comment that Republicans often cite in their argument that the President doesn’t hold his country in high regard is a response to a question at an April 4, 2009 press conference:

Ed Luce, from the Financial Times. Where’s Ed — there he is.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. In the context of all the multilateral activity that’s been going on this week — the G20, here at NATO — and your evident enthusiasm for multilateral frameworks, to work through multilateral frameworks, could I ask you whether you subscribe, as many of your predecessors have, to the school of American exceptionalism that sees America as uniquely qualified to lead the world, or do you have a slightly different philosophy? And if so, would you be able to elaborate on it?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.

That’s where the people who have cited this remark stop and begin their commentary. The problem is they left out what he said next:

I’m enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world. If you think about the site of this summit and what it means, I don’t think America should be embarrassed to see evidence of the sacrifices of our troops, the enormous amount of resources that were put into Europe postwar, and our leadership in crafting an Alliance that ultimately led to the unification of Europe. We should take great pride in that.

And if you think of our current situation, the United States remains the largest economy in the world. We have unmatched military capability. And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.

Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we’ve got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we’re not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.

And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can’t solve these problems alone.

Sort of puts the first sentence in a completely different light, doesn’t it?  No wonder the Sean Hannity’s of the world don’t read the entire response to the question when they go off on their “Obama hates America” rants.

There are plenty of reasons to oppose the President on a policy basis, I certainly do. Heck., its fine with me if you just plain don’t like the guy (although he strikes me as a decent fellow to have a beer with sometime). There’s no need, though, to just make up crap like this.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    Really, the fact that Republicans lie about Obama every time they open their mouths is not exactly news.

    And if you insist on them telling the truth you deprive them of any platform at all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  2. I have accused the President of apologizing too much. Maybe I’m wrong. Or maybe I’m also thinking about defending the things I think are also “American” and important like the promotion of free markets, liberty and democracy, moral high ground and all that. Kind of silent about those when not actually opposed to them. Perhaps my take is a little too nuanced or maybe I’m too excitable sometimes, I don’t know. Then again, I guess I can’t help myself about lieing every time I express an opionion about him. Oh, woe is me.

    When asked before I’ve always said that I thought Obama is a likeable, personable fellow, but that his politics are too statist and post-national for me, as well as downright irresponsible and harmful when it comes to the spending side of the ledger. Take that however you will.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  3. Brummagem Joe says:

    charles austin says:
    Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 17:45
    “I have accused the President of apologizing too much. Maybe I’m wrong.”

    Surely not? Don’t bother me with any stinkin facts like the vast majority of debt has been created over the last thirty years by Republican presidents. Do you want me to run the numbers by you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 5

  4. Facts? Facts? Perhaps you go back and read the US Constitution slowly enough to comprehend it before making such accusations. The President can only spend what Congress appropriates. And I am not a fan of the spending habiots of Republican or Democratic controlled Congresses of the last 30 years. Can you wrap your head around the fact that it is deficit spending that bugs me more than whether it is Democrats or Republicans who are doing it?

    Try again.

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  5. Herb says:

    “There’s no need, though, to just make up crap like this.”

    Oh, there’s a need…but it’s psychological. We all yearn for comforting myths.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  6. Matt B says:

    @Charles

    Explain to me again what you mean by “Free Market” and what that has to do with the system that has built up in America… Cause, no offense, I don’t think they are the same things (and this is not a political thing btw).

    Likewise, which type of democracy are you supporting?

    On, and what exactly is our moral high ground built upon?

    This entire exceptionalism thing seems to bury the struggles of our past (and the bodies of a lot of people of color and of lower classes, not to mention the works of Adam Smith and other classical economic theorists of the “free market”, and of course the entire we don’t torture, except when we do) things.

    Or put a different way, is there a British Exceptionalism? And Indian Exceptionalism? A Chinese Exceptionalism?

    We have a great system. But, given all the things you complain about the US in your posts, it seems odd to believe that we should be lecturing anyone on anything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Matt B says:

    @ Charles, Remind me of the last time that the President went on a huge spending spree without getting congressional appropriations? Or better yet, tally the number of “special appropriation acts.”

    And yeah, that exception consitution — it is, but not for the reasons you seem to glom onto — do we need to revive the entire “prefect document” discussion?

    BTW, I do have you say you’re are an exceptional troll. :)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. Wayne says:

    Who to believe Doug or our lying eyes and ears?

    Next you will tell us Michelle has always been proud of the U.S.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  9. Brummagem Joe says:

    CA: mabye it escaped your notice that for much of the last 30 years congress has been under the control of Republicans. Or do you think TiP O’Neil was behing all those Reagan tax cuts that he never paid for? It’s fairly obvious that despite your Japanese Ma in law empirical evidence doesn’t make a lot of difference to your ability to understand the most basic data. I assume you don’ t have an income above $500,000 (doesn’t sound like it) but in an almost certainly vain attempt to demonstrate you’re being f***** over, here are is some data (I did not make this shit up).

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110223/ts_yblog_thelookout/separate-but-unequal-charts-show-growing-rich-poor-gap

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  10. Brummagem Joe says:

    charles austin says:
    Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 17:56

    WTF has the US constitution got do with the fact that teh vast majority of our public debt was created by Republlican presidents?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  11. I guess that’s an excellent backhanded compliment. I’m not seeking troll status, though I am admittedly curmudgeonly and somewhat Socratic these days. Perhaps you can say I’m just pissed at almost everything right now as we continue to whistle past the graveyard..

    By free markets, I mean markets that are free and people that are free to work within them. I know laissez-faire has a bad name these days, but that’s what I favor. And I’ll sadly agree that the US is not leading the pack when it comes to free markets anymore, except in the wild-eyed hypotheticals that come primarily from the libertarian-oriented camps. I sure don’t put a lot of faith in Republicans to support free markets, much less Democrats. As an aside, the biggest mistake my, ahem, antagonists here make is assuming I am a Republican because I bitch about Democrats.

    I support the kind of democracy that lets the people decide their own fate, and not just in a one man, one vote, one time manner — in the vary many ways that comes about. They will not always choose wisely, but it should still be their choice. A strong leaning towards liberty in any democracy is a good thing. I will not argue that we should support a dictator because the “democratic” alternative may be worse.

    American exceptionalism stems from the idea that the United States of America was built around an idea — that of limited government with enumerated powers where the people’s rights are not granted by said government but by a higher power, rather than accreting around a geography, nationality, race, religion or some other self-segregating basis. In that sense, there really isn’t the same sense of a British, Indian or Chinese exceptionalism, though they have much to be proud of — and ashamed of — as do we. I suppose British exceptionalism might come closest due to the common law, cultural, and related debts American exceptionalism owes to them, but having lived there I could go on for a long time about why I consider their exceptionalism a little less formalized than ours. It really has less to do with our accomplishments than our ideals, even if we have largely ceased to honor them, except in the breach. And, um, that is the basis of our moral high ground as well. IMHO, talking about slavery, torture, or other failings kind of misses the point entirely. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being better. Sorry if I lapse into process-speak, but I digress.

    I think we have the best system — still, but I really worry about whether I can call it great any longer when I look at our colective steadfast refusal to get our fiscal house in order. I believe a large amount of humility is in order before lecturing most anyone on anything, but I will still happily toil away in support of liberty above all else.

    I’m not sure what your last question meant.

    Hope that helps.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. BJ, sorry but I’m not motivated nor influenced by class warfare rhetoric or theory. Inequality is not the problem for me it is for you.

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  13. reid says:

    It’s too bad the wingnuts that believe this kind of idiocy are immune to the truth. The propagandists and useful dopes repeat the lie often enough that normal people start to believe that there must be some kernel of truth to it. Isn’t politics fun? Gotta tear down the enemy!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    ****It’s too bad the wingnuts that believe this kind of idiocy are immune to the truth. The propagandists and useful dopes repeat the lie often enough that normal people start to believe that there must be some kernel of truth to it. Isn’t politics fun? Gotta tear down the enemy!***sigh…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  15. You mean lies like a slower rate of growth constitutes a cut?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. wr says:

    Our exceptionalism is formalized?
    Obama is both statist AND post-national?
    Charles, have you been drinking whatever moonshine GA clearly brews in his tub?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  17. anjin-san says:

    > I have accused the President of apologizing too much.

    Why don’t you just show us one or two examples of where he has actually apologized and we can take it from there?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. michael reynolds says:

    Statist and post-national. Well, why the hell not? These are the people who believe you can be an Islamist-Communist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  19. Brummagem Joe says:

    “By free markets, I mean markets that are free and people that are free to work within them. ”

    Charles deafr boy where DO YOU get the idea that our markets are free and not in fact dominated by a series of oligopolies. In fact there have never been free markets in the classical sense, someone mainly those holding the power (Kings, nobilities, capitalists) have always put their fingers on the scale. And I say this as a minor capitalist. You keep parroting pieties about the constitution which have ABSOLUTELY ZERO to do with real life or how the modern economy works.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. wr, perhaps formalized is a poor choice of words, perhaps not, but it is concrete and definable, or at least I have tried to do so.

    IMHO, statist and post-national are not antonyms. It’s sort of a worst of both worlds where the state becomes ever larger and we become less free, but the state is no longer one we can change through elections as more power is ceded to non-elected bodies.

    I hope that helps.

    anjin-san, I tried to explain above, and even admitted that Imay be wrong. If that doesn’t help, then you are willfully choosing to misunderstand me, because I know you’re smart enough to understand what I’m getting at, even if you don’t agree with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    ***Charles, have you been drinking whatever moonshine GA clearly brews in his tub?***

    When you have a multi headed puppet, whats a good name for it then? howdy do I bow to you now?

    I wish I had a tub full of moonshine….any of you libs got a free sample of anything, I’m kinda short on ends?

    Hook a brother up…..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. BJ, we’ll just have to disagree that the US Constitution has nothing to do with real life. Or even how a modern economy works. But then you gave up on limited government with enumerated powers some time ago.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    ***Statist and post-national. Well, why the hell not? These are the people who believe you can be an Islamist-Communist.***Harry, I thought a liberal just like a Muslim could be anything it wanted to be to get the job done.

    I’m sure I read it in the rules somewhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. Michael Reynolds, come on, you’re a smart guy. You ought to be able to make mincemeat out of a dimwit always wrong racist loser right wingnut like me (according to recent epithets) without having to fabricate strawmen positions I don’t hold to shoot down.

    Or not, I suppose.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. LaurenceB says:

    For those keeping score at home:

    No one in the comments has been able to cite an instance of Obama apologizing for America either.

    (Though Charles and G.A. have done admirable work in changing the subject.)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  26. An Interested Party says:

    According to Charles Austin’s logic, we could formulate the following statement:

    I have accused the majority of Republicans/conservatives of being a bunch of greedy, selfish, money-sucking racists. Maybe I’m wrong. Or maybe I’m also thinking about defending the things I think are also “American” and important like the promotion of equality, fairness, and democracy, moral high ground and all that. Kind of silent about those when not actually opposed to them. Perhaps my take is a little too nuanced or maybe I’m too excitable sometimes, I don’t know. Then again, I guess I can’t help myself about lieing every time I express an opionion about them. Oh, woe is me.

    When asked before I’ve always said that I thought many Republicans/conservatives are likeable, personable people, but that their politics are too nihilistic and “confederate”, shall we say, for me, as well as downright irresponsible and harmful when it comes to the investing in this country and her people. Take that however you will.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. An Interested Party says:

    “No one in the comments has been able to cite an instance of Obama apologizing for America either.”

    You noticed that too? I kept looking through their comments, like searching for something important in a steaming pile of shit, and I failed to find anything that had something to do with Doug’s argument…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. anjin-san says:

    Ok Charles, why don’t you give us an example of where Obama has cost us moral high ground then?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. Perhaps you should start with the first words of my first comment in this thread:

    I have accused the President of apologizing too much. Maybe I’m wrong.

    Isn’t that along the lines of Doug’s point. Perhaps you some other indulgence I can buy for for forgiveness. As to my other comments here they are responses to questions or comments that others have made specifically referenceing me by name. Perhaps my dimwit always wrong racist loser right wingnuttiness demands that I accept all condemnation without exception or defense. Will that suffice?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. anjin-san — fiscal responsibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Gulliver says:

    “In none of these cases does Obama actually use a word at all similar to “apologize.”…”

    You truly are an attorney. Unable to see the obvious because you want so very desperately to find as much grey as possible in order to provide room for a speech. All in the guise of educating us about “the facts.” There’s a word for this – its called “obfuscation.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. Anyway, I’m done. Not my intent to hijack the thread even though that seems to be what happened.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. tom p says:

    “I have accused the President of apologizing too much. Maybe I’m wrong. ”

    Charles, I know you want to be done with this thread, but please….. Where did he apologize to much?????

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. It is not enough to obey him. I must love him.

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  35. [...] Does President Obama Apologize For America? The Facts Say No (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  36. Brummagem Joe says:

    CA thinks we have a higher standard of living than the Swiss..(I know it’s hard not to laugh).that’s how he justified the fact we’re payiing twice what they are for Healthcare. CA couild do with a year of visits to Bergasse 19 but his health insurance wouldn’t pay for it, assuming he has any of course. He’s probably piggy backing on his wife’s or he’s a vet.

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  37. An Interested Party says:

    “It is not enough to obey him. I must love him.”

    Which barn did you visit to stuff that strawman? You needn’t love him (but you already knew that)…you simply need not present your own misperceptions as “facts” which aren’t in evidence…considering how you chafe when you think that others are misrepresenting you, one would think you wouldn’t try to do the exact same thing to anyone else…

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  38. It’s never enough.

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  39. mantis says:

    It doesn’t need to be true. It only needs to be repeated.

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  40. anjin-san says:

    > I must love him.

    We will be quite happy if you just don’t lie about him.

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  41. floyd says:

    James;
    You have completely lost control over OTB.
    It has been hijacked, dragged into the gutter and ravished.
    Too bad, it was once a fit place of reasonable discourse.
    I guess all good things must circle the drain eventually.
    Good luck on your next venture.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. wr says:

    Oh, no. Floyd is leaving.
    Quick, let’s all beg him to stay.
    Okay, start begging.
    Anyone?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. Funny Man says:

    The then German Chancellor Willy Brandt went down on his knees in Warsaw. As a German, I still feel that was a very moving moment and just the right thing to do. This has nothing to do with the politics of lowering taxes or not. Willy Brandt (that is not his real name btw but his name during exile and resistance) just felt that is a small thing he as a patriot can do to ask for forgiveness considering the enormity of the crimes committed by Germany. I certainly didn’t agree with many of Brandt’s policies but that should not take away anything from what he did in Warsaw. Just my two cents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. george says:

    This is a bizarre thread, but curiously entertaining.

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  45. Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

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  46. CCredentials says:

    I don’t think it matters anymore. It is all politics now. One side vs the other. Both sides are throwing away justice, objectivity and decency in order to win. And I am not talking about the politicians.

    Think of it. If someone on the right criticizes Obama, those on the left automatically attack, either pointing out the flaws in the Bush policy or just ignoring it and resorting to name-calling. I mean if you disagree with an African-American you are a racist right?

    If you dare question the policy of George W Bush you must be a tree hugging, left-wing radical who hates America.

    As a Christian I believe in judging your own house first. That means if my family, church, neighborhood, company, political party, etc. is misbehaving I need to fix that first.

    Too many people (especially in media) are interested in advancing their agenda, so they first dump on the opposition. How many times do you hear MSNBC mention Fox News? It is appalling. They spend about half their show criticizing, correcting, or degrading Fox when they have their own issues. It is sad, just do the news and quit being biased. Ha, yeah right.

    Politicians can turn the focus off their problems and blame the other guy and the American people buy it.

    If the objective is to truly help America then the tone HAS to change. If I have a view that is different than yours then talk to me about it. Find out why I think that way. Maybe if you are nice and make valid points you will change my mind. If you just act intellectually superior and attack my character it might not matter how valid your point is.

    I honestly believe that if everyone thought more like me it would be a better place. So, do I want the world to be a better place? I do, so I am nice, gracious, polite and patient when discussing issues, because I think the world is worth it.

    So if it just continues to be you vs me, us vs them the world will have major problems. Because nobody is really interested in solving them. Just being right.

    If I am not patient, or concerned enough to really listen to your view then I really don’t have any interest in changing it.

    You cannot wake someone who is pretending to sleep.

    I apologize for any grammatical errors.

    Thanks for letting me comment.

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  47. reid says:

    GA: I don’t know what the sighing is about, but my post is true. I’ve visited enough righty blogs where the commenters all make wise cracks about Obama needing a teleprompter, apologizing for America, thinks there are 57 states, etc. It’s all dumb, but they’re all convinced it’s absolutely true, and the attacks get enough mainstream coverage that it starts to gain traction. I like that this blog is willing to call out such idiocy.

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  48. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    GA: I don’t know what the sighing is about, but my post is true. I’ve visited enough righty blogs where the commenters all make wise cracks about Obama needing a teleprompter, apologizing for America, thinks there are 57 states, etc. It’s all dumb, but they’re all convinced it’s absolutely true, and the attacks get enough mainstream coverage that it starts to gain traction. I like that this blog is willing to call out such idiocy.

    Your right, Obama is the best, he has no flaws at all, all of his blame and ridicule are totally spot on, when he says people acted stupid it is because he is smart, the smartest, and he should apologize for all of us backwards non pragmatic thinking rubes.

    He should win a noble peace prize just for having to try to communicate with the likes of us.

    Damn I hate myself for even daring to think about making fun of such a great leader.Such a perfect human being….

    The guy is perfect. dought me not. All he has to do is just nonchalantly wisely flip his head toward what used to be(me and every one that looks or thinks like me) and what we did to the not understanding world as if to say, look at what I’m dealing with forgive me, AND ALL IS RIGHT WITH THE WORLD!!!!

    Some should right a song about him and have the kids sing it in he schools!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  49. sam says:

    @Wayne

    “Who to believe Doug or our lying eyes and ears?”

    I don’t think that sentence means what you think it means. However, that does not detract from its essential truthfullness.

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  50. reid says:

    GA: You certainly beat that strawman to death. No one claimed anything you’re ranting about. The choices aren’t just that he’s either perfect or an America-hating dunce.

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  51. Wiley Stoner says:

    What facts, all you have to do is you tube his speeches. If what you hear in not an apology I guess you have never heard one. He apologized to the Europeans, the Arabs, Muslims in general and surely to the Chinese. Why else would he bow to a Saudi King? Oh, thats right, that was not a bow. For the most part Mataconis has no credibility and most who comment here are either brain dead or on life support from drinking the kool aid. Just look at Reynolds picture or read what Anjin and Mantis have commented on over time. You can throw Brummagem Joe (?) in that catagory. Dr. Joyner has let the left take over this once very good blog.

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  52. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    GA: You certainly beat that strawman to death. No one claimed anything you’re ranting about. The choices aren’t just that he’s either perfect or an America-hating dunce.

    lol you act like I did not live and do not in the era of Obama…..or should not…sigh

    I just gave you a couple of reason why I think, If not why others think that he apologized for America, and not all of them look or think like me. sigh..

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  53. mantis says:

    What facts, all you have to do is you tube his speeches. If what you hear in not an apology I guess you have never heard one. He apologized to the Europeans, the Arabs, Muslims in general and surely to the Chinese.

    What, no links? If his apologies are so obvious, link to them and let us judge for ourselves.

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  54. Wiley Stoner says:

    No need for any other statement, just visit Drudge. The picture there speaks volumns.

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  55. reid says:

    GA: I can’t understand what you’re trying to say. It seems like you have some serious personal issues with Obama, though. This ODS is common in wingnuts….

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  56. rodney dill says:

    What, no links? If his apologies are so obvious, link to them and let us judge for ourselves.

    I was wondering what I could find as apologies from Obama and with a much less than exhaustive search found this. He certainly doesn’t say, “I apologize for the U.S. for xxxxx” at any point, but there’s enough substance that those that are already opponents of Obama could see him as an apologist, and those that are proponents of him can claim he is not.

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  57. mantis says:

    but there’s enough substance that those that are already opponents of Obama could see him as an apologist, and those that are proponents of him can claim he is not.

    And then there are those of us who live in reality…

    Doug deals with many of those linked in this very post, and the rest are even more ridiculous.

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  58. mantis says:

    No need for any other statement, just visit Drudge. The picture there speaks volumns.

    So you admit you can’t link to any actual apologies?

    And sorry, a link to a year old story about Gaddafi praising Obama is not an example of Obama apologizing for anything. And the picture says nothing. It’s one head of state shaking the hand of another. Here’s Condi Rice meeting with Gaddafi. Is she apologizing for America?

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  59. Matt B says:

    @Charles — to return to the top of the thread, I want to tackle a few of your points that kicked off this discussion. By troll, I mean that you’re an “agent provocateur” — and I can’t quite grok how someone attempts to be so thinking/lack of critical at the same time

    By free markets, I mean markets that are free and people that are free to work within them.

    This is my first issue. Go back to Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations, and prior (no even going to touch Marx here) — “free” markets do not work due to how capital scaled and acted in ways counter to the local good (the so called “Invisible Hand” is largely a creation of 1930′s U of Chicago). Further most of the people invoked in discussions of “free markets” were writing *prior* to the industrial revolution. Free markets have never, nor cannot exist. The sooner we accept that, we can get to discussions about the best forms of productive regulation.

    the kind of democracy that lets the people decide their own fate

    But what does that mean? There are ton’s of variations on democracy out there — and some more centrally controlled than others. Additionally, as we’ve seen, Democracies imposed from without don’t necessarily work… and too the exceptionalism point, we have historically been involved with the overthrow of democracies.

    To the point of exceptionalism, note that you left out the additionally commonly held “Christian Roots” part of that equation, but that may because it was your definition of it — I think this is a good principle to hold to. But too often, it’s been folded into the idea that if someone acts like its a goal to strive towards (and note that this is a common theme in Obama’s rhetoric) rather than a state we already exist in, that becomes unAmerican. Likewise, that argument of exceptionalism, which we have not historically lived up to, is too often used as a basis to take a high ground which we don’t always occupy.

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  60. matt says:

    Maybe Obama should of kissed the Saudi king instead?

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