So Does This Mean An End To Obama Derangement Syndrome?
David Frum wonders if the events of May 1st will finally put an end to the crazier arguments made against President Obama:
But it is also a deservedly bad moment for some of the destructive forces in American public life: for those who have substituted for ordinary politics a sustained campaign to brand President Obama as an outsider, as un-American, as non-American.
Those of us who oppose this administration’s economic and foreign policies have had so many valid points to make.
Yet some have insisted on traveling beyond those valid points. They have called the president “post American.” A “Third world dictator.” An individual whose behavior could only be interpreted as “Kenyan post-colonial.” A “thug in chief.” They have tried to present US politics not as a choice between liberal and conservative, but as a choice between American and non-American, between real Americans and between a dangerous dark-skinned intruder. They have sought to portray the President as a man who could not be trusted to lead the country because he owed no loyalty to the country – because he did not belong in the country.
After the events of the past 72 hours, those kinds of attacks should be finished now. It’s a cleaner world without bin Laden soiling it. And American politics will be cleaner for the expunging of the malicious fantasy of the president’s non-Americanness.
President Obama has performed the first job of an American president: he has used the power of the nation well to defeat the nation’s enemies and defend the nation’s people. After an interval for celebration of yesterday’s accomplishment, it will be back to politics as usual. But let’s hope that this time, the usual will have this difference: that the administration can be criticized as “liberal” without being libeled as “alien.”
I’m largely in the same camp as Frum here. I oppose many of the policy positions that the President has taken, especially in the economic arena and, ironically, in the areas of foreign policy and civil liberties where the biggest problem I have is that he’s been too similar to his predecessor for my taste. At the same time, I long ago drew the line at what I would refer to as the crazy stuff whether it was the birtherism, the “secret Muslim” myth, the idea that the President is motivated by a “Kenyan anti-colonialist worldview,” and the idea that he hates America and wants to destroy it. These were myths that took hold on the right during the election and were clearly cultivated by men like Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh to the point where there are substantial pluralities in the Republican Party who seem to believe in one or more of these myths.
As much as I would like to think that Frum is right and that the picture of this President presiding over a daring military action that brought to final justice the man responsible for the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor, I simply don’t believe it’s going to happen. The minds of the people who hold these opinions, all of whom seem to be motivated by nothing less than sheer unadulterated hatred of the President are unlikely to be changed by this one event. Moreover, the nature of our political discourse, which itself is part of the reason that things have gotten so bad, makes it inevitable that the most vile commentary will rise to the top. So, sadly, no I don’t expect the people suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome to change their mind because of this, though it sure would be nice if they did.