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Saturday, October 10, 2009

Obama Wins Nobel Prize: Conservatives Incensed!

-From The New York Times, October 9, 2009 But it is also a potential political liability at home; already, Republicans are criticizing the president, contending he won more for his “star power” than his actual achievements.

I think that this event is the clearest evidence thus far which should convince Obama that he should cater only to the most liberal sectors of America and stop trying to appease conservatives. There have been a lot of moronic criticisms of the president these past nine months but this is mind-bogglingly idiot. Winning the Noble Peace Prize is a great honor and it bestows a lot of prestige upon our country after years of America being seen by a lot of the world as a rogue state. That some see that Obama winning the award is somehow bad for our country is completely unfathomable to me. Obama certainly deserves to be criticized for some of his actions as president, but winning an award isn’t one of them.

Conservatives openly cheered when Chicago lost its bid for the 2016 summer Olympic Games simply because Obama did a very small part to sell Chicago to the Olympic committee. Much of their criticism of the president is so utterly infantile in nature that it is hard to believe that the people voicing these tirades often represent the leadership of America’s conservative movement, if that is what you can call it. On the matter of health care Republicans are more intent on simply blocking any kind of reform instead of offering any reasonable alternative.

I think what conservatives really hate the most about Obama (and they don’t hate him because he is black because of course they are not racists so don’t even try to bring that up), what conservatives truly despise about Obama is his charm and popularity—as if these two things are a hindrance to running our country and being an effective statesman. They mock him for being popular in Europe, as if getting along with our closest allies is somehow contrary to the role of the president of the United States of America. They would have him be more like George W. Bush who was fairly despised by people everywhere.

I often think that perhaps America did the wrong thing by fighting the Civil War and holding on to the south. Perhaps that was the time to split the country in two. We seem more bitterly divided now than at any time since that great conflict. We are divided on every single important issue of the day with the two sides both garnering almost half of the populace. I see now way out of the morass of modern American political debate and I certainly don’t see anything on the horizon that would make me believe that things might soon get better, that we will become less splintered and factious.

I see no way and no reason why Obama should spend another second trying to accommodate conservatives. He needs to take the attitude of his predecessor and proceed with his plans knowing that he has a mandate from the voters (unlike Bush who had nothing even approaching a mandate). Why should he compromise when there is absolutely nothing he could possibly do that would be viewed as favorable by his opposition? Even Obama himself was shocked and humbled with winning the award. “Let me be clear: I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations,” he said after news of winning the award arrived at the White House. His own self-deprecatory attitude will do nothing to placate the completely contrarian right-wingers in America. It’s time for him to tell them all to fuck off and move quickly forward with liberalizing this country as he promised as a candidate for president.

Obama needs to just say, “OK, I get it, you hate me (but not because I’m black because of course none of this has anything to do with racism).” And then he needs to put into motion his true vision for America and not some watered-down compromise that the conservatives will hate in any case. Obama was voted into office on a platform of promising health care reform so reform our damn health care already.

Why were we so concerned in America when a handful of ill-informed hillbillies descended on Washington to protest…I’m not really sure what they were protesting? Who cares about a few hicks? We already had a plebiscite, it’s called an election and Obama won handily. That cannot be disputed so if a few thousand anti-abortion kooks, gun nuts, racists, and incredibly stupid people march in the streets why should we take notice? Most of the folks who lead the opposition in America aren’t even reasonable adults. Their mouthpieces—at least the loudest one—represent just about the lowest form of discourse this country this country has every offered. Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck are the moral of two children in the playground who counter every argument with, “Oh no it isn’t.”

For a long time now America (and much of the modern world) has given a loud voice to some of the basest elements of our society while almost completely ignoring the most talented and educated among us. If you doubt this just look at a newsstand and you will find a sea of magazines bearing the faces of half-wit movie stars and athletes. Reasoned discourse is constantly being trumped by the vulgar shouting of proto-fascists and thinly-veiled racists. This is mostly true because of the sad fact that too many Americans are ignorant slobs who can’t be bothered with understanding complex issues. Why bother trying to understand the intricacies of the health care issue when you can just shout “No socialized medicine!” at the top of your lungs? Why bother to take a look at the health care systems of other countries that are actually doing a good job in this area when you can listen to Rush and have him tell you exactly what to think, and all in short declarative slogans? Why listen to an articulate essay by Keith Olbermann when it is so much easier to have Glen Beck tell you how much he loves America and he won’t let a Muslim president take it away from you? I dare you to compare Keith’s show with those of Rush and Beck and tell me that Olbermann isn’t the brains of that trio.

The conservative voices in print are also a pretty vulgar lot. A lot of conservatives actually respect know-nothings like Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. They are treated as legitimate voices on the right even though they constantly spew out some of the most absurd and inflammatory rhetoric. I can’t even think of a liberal pundit who could match half-wits with those two. I certainly don’t agree with the politics of Michael Moore or Bill Maher on every issue but compared to Malkin and Coulter, Maher and Moore should also get a Nobel Prize. Malkin, Coulter, Rush, and Glen Beck now actually represent the “brains” of the conservative movement. Frightening.