Obama’s Speech and Related [Dan Collins; UPDATED]
Like Dan Spencer at Red State, I have a few problems with Obama’s speech, namely:
Let me also address the issue of Iraq. Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world. Although I believe that the Iraqi people are ultimately better off without the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, I also believe that events in Iraq have reminded America of the need to use diplomacy and build international consensus to resolve our problems whenever possible. Indeed, we can recall the words of Thomas Jefferson, who said: “I hope that our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”
Obama seems to have forgotten what the experience of international consensus on Saddam was, even in the face of North Korean and Iranian recalcitrance. The other part that bothers me is his statement that American over-reaction to 9/11 was responsible for abandonment of our values, i.e. EIT, which he terms torture. I would argue that it was an expression of American values to try to prevent in any way possible a recurrence of 3000 deaths and smouldering ruins in Manhattan.
This was otherwise a good speech per se. The problem is the way that it is liable to be received by America’s enemies, especially when you consider the Justice Department’s interference with the 9/11 lawsuit against the Saudis, its interference in the New Black Panther case out of Philly, and the possibility of its interference with the FBI’s investigation of the Recruiter Shooter.
Wouldn’t want to over-react, you know.
That said, this analysis of the administration’s bid to put American health care into the hands of a largely unaccountable bureaucratic entity ought to be getting more attention. And then there’s the issue of the jobs that Obama’s supposedly saving or creating.
I haven’t forgotten about Pelosi’s PrevariGate or the administration’s lying when it claims that it’s going to leave Chrysler and GM to decide how to run their companies. The TARP fiasco continues to unfold, with financial institutions unwilling to sell off their “toxic assets” to the government and outside investors acting much like Chinese investors with regards to Treasury Bonds. Nobody seems to be watching very closely regarding whom the administration will be appointing to the Boards of GM and Chrysler. The MSM never did pick up on the significance of the William Long shooting, just as, with a few exceptions, it hasn’t done any real reporting on the Chrysler dealership fiasco.
It’s important to continue to rehearse all of this, as bootless as this may seem, because what we are doing is continuing to build a dossier of media malfeasance in real time.
When it’s posted, please listen to what Dawood al-Shirian has to say about the speech on NPR’s “On Point,” specifically, that he wished that Obama had spoken out more against political prisoners and denounced what goes on daily in Muslim jails to this day, which is far worse than anything that happened at Abu Ghraib or GITMO.
At AoSHQ, DrewM adds:
Really? Part of the job of the President of the United States is to “to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear”? Since when exactly? What other religions does Obama feel responsible to defend?
Has he been defending mainstream Christian groups who have been lumped in with the guy who shot George Tiller? Maybe I missed that.
The danger to democracy from the media has never been because of patently partisan media. How many Republicans would be upset with the New York Times, if it changed its name to the New York Democrat? How upset would conservatives in Congress be with NPR if those abbreviations stood for National Progressive Radio? Or if CBS meant Center for Broadcasting Socialism? There is nothing ignoble or un-American about advocating what you believe or with buying a broadcast station to get your message out. The sin is lying about bias.
But worse than lying about their bias, the mainstream media decides what is news and what is not. Dan Rather refused to even mention Gary Condit and his missing paramour congressional aide, Chandra Levy and then the mainstream media pretended that Gary Condit was somehow a “conservative.” When the mainstream media covers a scandal, if the crook is a Democrat that fact is almost always omitted. Even more surreal, organizations like CNN have even taken their own stories, which inadvertently mentioned that a malfeasant politician was a Democrat, and edited out the “Democrat” in later versions of the news story. When the malodorous Rod Blagojevich was exposed, New York Times reporters, who wrote nine paragraph stories on the scandal, seemed to forget his party affiliation. Omitting or even re-editing stories to delete crucial facts is the second greatest sin of the mainstream media.
No speech so deeply dishonest in its omissions or so rhetorically misleading its its assumptions and arguments can do anything other than communicate extraordinary weakness on the part of the United States. It will indeed be a famous speech, for all the wrong reasons.
Ugh. E.J. Dionne:
A media environment that tilts to the right is obscuring what President Obama stands for and closing off political options that should be part of the public discussion.
Yes, you read that correctly: If you doubt that there is a conservative inclination in the media, consider which arguments you hear regularly and which you don’t. When Rush Limbaugh sneezes or Newt Gingrich tweets, their views ricochet from the Internet to cable television and into the traditional media. It is remarkable how successful they are in setting what passes for the news agenda.
The power of the Limbaugh-Gingrich axis means that Obama is regularly cast as somewhere on the far left end of a truncated political spectrum. He’s the guy who nominates a “racist” to the Supreme Court (though Gingrich retreated from the word yesterday), wants to weaken America’s defenses against terrorism and is proposing a massive government takeover of the private economy. Steve Forbes, writing for his magazine, recently went so far as to compare Obama’s economic policies to those of Juan Peron’s Argentina.
What a wacko. The reason that Rush and Newt’s statements get coverage in the media, E.J., is because the MSM want to hold them up as examples of terrible right-wing rhetoric. Meanwhile, Newsweek has become the official magazine of Obama sycophancy. You think that Obama’s being unfairly characterized and criticized? Really?