The thing about conservative Republicans is they are great haters. They are great at standing up to the foe, declaring war, wagging it with savagery and then stomping all over their slain opponent.
Democrats parse it to death. Is he really such a bad guy? Doesn’t some of what he says make sense? Is it decent to go after him so hard? What kind of people are we?
The Republicans rain missiles. No apologies.
The Democrats blow kisses. But first, we make apologies to those we might offend.
So when the Supreme Court last week upheld Obamacare, I wanted to crow with delighted conquest. In my excitement, I surveyed newspapers, TV and the web in attempts to find an outpouring of liberal triumphalism. Yes, I wanted to shout, yes! Yes!
I found plenty of conservative outrage. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbuagh went nuts. Justice John Roberts, the swing vote, was pilloried. The Supreme Court was trashed. One typical blog: “The socialist anarchist Marxists won! The Fix was in! Will you join me in crying out to the Lord for our nation?”
For liberals, it was the same old tired response: subdued flag-waving measured against a restrained, even pessimistic assessment of how it will effect the November elections. Obama barely did a victory lap. He did his usual No-Drama-Obama disappearing act. And many millions of Democrats just sighed: why after raising so many hopes, is Obama such a passive figure? Why doesn’t he take it to them? Why no appetite for the jugular?
Except…except in all this visage of the quivering Obama, there is one bit of cognitive dissonance. He kills people.
I do not mean Obama personally kills people. He orders it done. He personally supervises the Kill List. We think Bin Laden was the first, but there were earlier ones—strike that, earlier people. They were killed because they were targeted. The president does not even apologize. He will kill more.
Sometimes Obama uses people to kill people. Generally, though, he uses airplane drones. They are “piloted” mostly by 19-year old boys at a military base outside Las Vegas. Their controls mimic video games. The boys have had 1000s of hours on GameBoys and then intensive military training for the real thing. They know what they are doing with their fingers.
That they sometimes make mistakes and kill innocents—children, women, and passers-by—is only collateral damage. There is a war and who knows where a terrorist or would-be terrorist might hide.
All this is hard for my liberal friends to swallow. Innocent civilians are “collateral damage?”
In the meantime and on the home front, Obama has not prevaricated. What he started on first was not the economy like I personally wanted. He started on universal healthcare, like he said he would, and just like good old Ted Kennedy, by then dead, had wanted. The economy was plummeting and other than accepting/extending the Wall Street rescue package started by Bush, the new President Obama did little.
Instead, Obama pushed universal healthcare. But he let Congress lead. He let his legislation get cut to pieces. He was told his proposals contained death squads and he did not respond, must less attack. He never publically denounced the many lies or did much of anything. He went underground at the White House.
Then he won. Twice. Once with the legislation. Once with the Supreme Court. On the biggest game changer in two generations.
So if he’s such a wimp, how did he do it? Twice. Have Americans, particularly the chattering class, been blind? Who worked whom?
Michael Ray grew up in CdM and now lives in Laguna Beach. He makes a living as a real estate entrepreneur and is involved in many non-profits.