The Right Wing has its panties in a bunch again. According to the usual suspects, President Obama issued a National Defense Resources Preparedness executive order that gives him “unprecedented new powers to appropriate national resources.”
And what does Snopes have to say about this latest evidence of Obama’s usurpation of power and disregard of the law of the land?
The Executive Order itself is nothing more than a restatement of policy that has been in place for decades and grants no authority to the President or the Cabinet that they don’t already have under existing law.
It has become fashionable to attribute the constant hysteria over anything and everything that Obama does to the same hyper-partisanship that prompted “Bush Derangement Syndrome.” And certainly, partisanship bears some blame.
But let’s get real.
I detested George W. Bush. I disagreed with his naive “faith based initiative.” I was appalled when he took the U.S. into the Iraq War. A list of Bush policies that pushed me out of the Republican party would fill pages of text.
But here’s the thing: these were actual policies. When the man was first elected, I found him likable enough–I certainly didn’t detest him before he even took office. And most of the people I knew who came to dislike him intensely (and were probably unfairly critical from time to time) were also reacting to things the man actually did.
Obama hadn’t even taken office when the ugly emails and the out-and-out lies began. The racism that fuels talk radio and “birthers” and insane accusations is too thick and too widespread and too obvious to ignore. The absolute unwillingness of the Republicans in Congress to work with this President–even to implement programs that they originally proposed–has brought this country to a virtual standstill.
One result of this behavior is ironic: those of us who are repelled by what we see as unhinged, vicous and consistently unfair attacks from people who simply cannot come to terms with the fact that we have a black President find ourselves defending Obama even when he is implementing or continuing policies we would otherwise criticize. As I wrote to a good friend, there’s plenty to legitimately criticize. I’m no fan of the NSA, drone strikes and several other policies this administration has pursued. But calling Obama lawless and a communist, making hysterical accusations about things that previous presidents–including the sainted Reagan– did routinely with absolutely no pushback is so manifestly unjust, people who are fair-minded get protective.
A Facebook post from a (very Republican) friend of mine is a good example of what I’m talking about:
Ok, let me get this straight: Ted Nugent–who during the 2012 campaign declared that if Obama was reelected he (Nugent) would either be dead or in jail within a year (a not-so-veiled threat against the President of the United States)–last month called President Obama a “communist-nurtured subhuman mongrel.” And now, the GOP front runner for the Texas governorship not only welcomes Nugent on his campaign but calls this unhinged racist hater “a fighter for freedom.” What’s wrong with this picture? The Lone Star GOP needs to find a candidate with the basic decency of Gov. George W. Bush. (I didn’t like him as a president but he was no racist hater. I wonder if the same could be said about Greg Abbott. A man is judged by the company he keeps.)
Allowing buffoons and bigots to become the face of the GOP just pushes moderate folks who might otherwise be inclined to vote Republican into the D column.
Defending racist rants as if they were legitimate criticisms, vowing to block this President at every turn (and damn the common good), repels people of good will who would consider — and perhaps be persuaded by–valid and thoughtful critiques.