Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Letter to Obama: Let the Wingnuttery Begin!

There's a letter going around supposedly actually written and sent to President Obama, although I have my doubts. Nevertheless, it obviously strikes home with some people out there, and will likely be shoved in the faces of people who might like a bit more reality with their e-mail diet. I'll do what I can:

To my liberal friends who might believe that this is disrespectful to the President; I will respect this President as much as you respected the previous one. Letter to our President.

OK, right away we see we are dealing with a partisan versed in the faux "fair and balanced" shtick. Such folks tacitly ask us to assume all presidents equally worthy of respect, thus the tit-for-tat implication. If the previous president was disrespected, they'd have us believe, then being equally disrespectful to this one is justified. Don't confuse them with the facts. Reality has a liberal bias, you betcha.

What's even worse is that the people making such statements are the very same people who, up until January 2009, were telling us that we should always respect the president no matter what we think of him personally or his policies. Which is it, are we to respect a president no matter what, or only as much as the previous president was? Or might we (gasp) evaluate the politics and respect or disrespect each president as our political judgement warrants? Sure, the latter runs the risk of your guy losing the objective analysis, but that should prompt a search for better candidates, not these silly semantic games.

With my high hopes for rationality already dashed before we begin, I wade into the letter with sadly lowered expectations.

April 17, 2009

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Mr. Obama:

I have had it with you and your administration, sir.

Three months. The man has been in the office for three months, and you've already had it with him? My goodness, what could he have done so quickly? Has he failed in his appointment duties, or his civic duties? Has he failed to wield the veto pen rightly? Did he break the law or have others do so? Did he commit treason? These are the sorts of crimes and misdemeanors I'd expect for a reaction like that. So let's hear about all these horrible things Obama has done that warrant complete dismissal of him and his administration.

Your conduct on your recent trip overseas has convinced me that you are not an adequate representative of the United States of America collectively or of me personally. You are so obsessed with appeasing the Europeans and the Muslim world that you have abdicated the responsibilities of the President of the United States of America. You are responsible to the citizens of the United States. You are not responsible to the peoples of any other country on earth.

Really? Wow. Strong words there. This should be good. How, exactly, has Obama abdicated the responsibilities of the POTUS?

I personally resent that you go around the world apologizing for the United States telling Europeans that we are arrogant and do not care about their status in the world. Sir, what do you think the First World War and the Second World War were all about if not the consideration of the peoples of Europe? Are you brain dead? What do you think the Marshall Plan was all about? Do you not understand or know the history of the 20th century?

Wow. Where to begin? Most basically, the writer is under the grossly mistaken impression that it is among the duties of the POTUS to not behave in a way the writer resents. When one loses an election, one has to put up with a president that does things you hate. That's how the system works: you lose, you don't get your way. You can and should exercise your rights in expressing your disagreement with any politician, but do so under no illusion that the president owes you political decisions that meet your approval. That game was played in November, and you don't get another chance at the title until November 2012.

As for what WWI and WWI were about, they were about 70 and 90 years ago, and Obama's comments were about America recently. We cannot rely on ancient historical merits to justify current misbehavior. More importantly, Obama's comment were, as usual, taken out of context, because right after he commented on America's arrogance towards Europe, he then took Europe to task for its arrogance towards us. It was a two-way discussion and criticism, as a way of forming a new dialogue. But of course, if you only get your news from faux news sources, who conveniently cut the tape of his speech right before the comments on Europe, you only get half the story, and consequently, no understanding of what was actually going on.

Where do you get off telling a Muslim country that the United States does not consider itself a Christian country? Have you not read the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States? This country was founded on Judeo-Christian ethics and the principles governing this country, at least until you came along, come directly from this heritage. Do you not understand this?

Apparently the writer has not read those documents, because if he had he'd understand that this is historical revisionist claptrap, since there is nothing whatever supporting the assertions above. In the DoI Jefferson use the term "endowed by our creator", by which he meant nature, not the Christian God. Jefferson was not a believer in Jesus or the trinity. And the Constitution? It makes no mention of Jesus, Christianity, God, or anything overtly religious. It names no commandments, quotes no scripture, and contains not a single "amen". For a document describing a Christian nation, it is strangely bereft of Christianity.

The nation as a whole, and the government, has never presented itself as a Christian nation and indeed has at times clearly denounced that notion. From The Treaty of Tripoli:

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion;"

To put the final nail in this coffin of a Christian nation, simply examine our laws for evidence of being based on Christianity. If one peruses the Ten Commandments one quickly realizes that not only are most of them NOT enshrined in our laws, and indeed it would be illegally unconstitutional to do so, the ones that are (murder, theft, perjury) are common to practically every culture on earth and as such cannot be attributed to Christianity.

The United States has only been a Christian nation in the sense that the majority of its citizens have been Christians. That is rapidly changing however, as unbelievers and believers of other religions are growing rapidly. This is not coincidental to these shrill cries from the author of this letter. Christians have enjoyed a socially dominant, advantageous position in our society for a long time, controlling nearly every arena of power (until recently, our national congress was, at least publicly, 100% Judeo-Christian.) They are, like every group in power, loathe to lose it, and will fight it to their dying breath.

Your bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia is an affront to all Americans. Our President does not bow down to anyone, let alone the king of Saudi Arabia. You don't show Great Britain, our best and one of our oldest allies, the respect they deserve yet you bow down to the king of Saudi Arabia. How dare you, sir! How dare you!

Yes, how dare he! He should have held his hand, kiss him on the cheek, and reorient our entire foreign policy to protect the Saudi's oil interests like Bush did. US presidents have been sucking up to Saudi Arabia for a long long time sir. Amazing you're only noticing now.

You can’t find the time to visit the graves of our greatest generation because you don’t want to offend the Germans but make time to visit a mosque in Turkey. You offended our dead and every veteran when you give the Germans more respect than the people who saved the German people from themselves. What’s the matter with you?

Since all of this seems to be passing over our letter writer's head, let's spell it out nice and simple for him. Obama went to Europe to patch up relations with the region, to make amends for the actions of a former holder of that office who called them "old Europe", and basically presided with the attitude of "if you don't like what we are doing, tough shit." He also found we aren't so powerful that we can accomplish much that way. And when one is on such a mission, talking to and visiting one's enemies, or friends who've cooled towards us, is far more important than talking to allies like Britain with whom we have no such problems. Jesus ate with the lepers, not the saints. You'd think those on the Christian right would understand this better.

I am convinced that you and the members of your administration have the historical and intellectual depth of a mud puddle and should be ashamed of yourselves, all of you.

Historical and intellectual depth? Is he serial? He's accused the President of the United States of abdicating the responsibilities of the office because he:

Apologized for past American arrogance
Noting that the United States is not a Christian nation
Bowed in greeting to a foreign leader
Didn't visit a cemetery
Visited a Turkish Mosque

This is his idea of historical and intellectual depth? Is he trying to win the award for Symbolism-Over-Substance rant of the year? Sadly, this is the kind of minutia favored by the paranoid and partisan, unable to see anything except "we good, you bad", "you" being a president from the other party.

You are so self-righteously offended by the big bankers and the American automobile manufacturers yet do nothing about the real thieves in this situation, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Frank, Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelic, the Fannie Mae bonuses, and the Freddie Mac bonuses. What do you intend to do about them? Anything? I seriously doubt it. Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be receiving $210 million in bonuses over an eighteen-month period, that's $45 million more than the AIG bonuses. In fact, Fannie and Freddie executives have already been awarded $51 million – not a bad take. Who authorized that and why haven’t you expressed your outrage at this group who are largely responsible for the economic mess we have right now.

This is just ignorant, special-pleading blithering, since Bush is guilty of all of the above as well. Funny how the letter writer can remember everything back to WWI when he thinks it suits his cause, but forgets something that happened mere months ago when it doesn't. Further, the causes of the financial collapse long predate Fannie and Freddie and Frank, beginning in earnest with legislation sponsored by Republicans and signed by Bill Clinton (it was bipartisan idiocy) allowed the mortgage swaps that built the house of cards that recently came crashing down on our heads. The notion that this is all the doing of Fannie, Freddie, and Frank is pure partisan historical revisionism.

What about the U.S. House members passing out $9.1 million in bonuses to their staff members – on top of the $2.5 million in automatic pay raises that lawmakers gave themselves? I understand the average House aide got a 17% bonus. I took a 5% cut in my pay to save jobs with my employer. You haven’t said anything about that. Who authorized that? I surely didn’t!

Again we have our letter-writer thinking the POTUS has the duty to investigate every issue he personally finds of interest, even one involving tiny (by government standards) amounts of money, and on an issue (politicians policing themselves) that has hardly been on the radar of presidents past. In other words, this is just another case of grasping at any straw with which to criticize Obama, never mind the relevancy or lack of consistency in doing so.

I resent that you take me and my fellow citizens as brain-dead and not caring about what you idiots do. We are watching what you are doing and we are getting increasingly fed up with all of you. I also want you to know that I personally find just about everything you do and say to be offensive to every one of my sensibilities. I promise you that I will work tirelessly to see that you do not get a chance to spend two terms destroying my beautiful country.

When one essentially calls for the president's head by making loud, ignorant, irrelevant criticisms of him, one can hardly be surprised at being taken for brain-dead. If you clearly demonstrate that you haven't the foggiest understanding of what the president is attempting to accomplish, and think you are discovering secrets about his behavior that are all out there in the public arena already, you will not only be taken for being brain-dead, but a loon as well. In case it needs reminding, there is no article in the constitution that says "The president shall not do or say anything that is offensive to the sensibilities of members of the opposition party", and for what should be, to the non-braindead, obvious reasons. We settle our political differences at the ballot box, and when you lose, you can be guaranteed that the winners will offend your sensibilities, just like you will offend theirs when you win. Ah, I believe what you tell them is that they should deal with facts and not obsess so much over their feelings.


Every real American

P.S. I rarely ask that emails be 'passed around'.............PLEASE SEND THIS TO YOUR EMAIL LIST......it's past time for all Americans to wake up!

Oh we will, but not for the reasons you think. To those of us not living in your little faux news, paranoid, historically illiterate bubble, letters like this are hilarious. They promise political victories for us in the reality-based world, for you see, you are not the majority any more. That is what the Faith-based wrld cannot possibly accept, but it is revealed in every poll. The letter-writer is in the minority, and no matter how many emails he writes and sends around, he is still going to be there because we all already know about the things he is ranting about. We just don't agree at all with his interpretation of them, and shouting the same ignorant claptrap louder and more often isn't going to change anything. Have all the TEA parties you want. Won't change a thing.

YOU, Mr. "Real American" must change, or face the consequences in continuous political marginalization until your opinion matters no more than those of the Natural Law Party and the Communist Party, not engaged seriously, but laughed at as loons. We who disagree with you are also real Americans you know, we have more votes, and we have more facts.

Do you hear us laughing? Get used to it.


ronaldo said...

A short list of agreements on these topics:
o Bowing to the Saudi king
o Thomas Jefferson and the “not-Christian country”
o Obama’s trip overseas
o The letter was laughable

A short list of disagreements on these topics:
o I don’t think Jefferson used the term “endowed by our creator” to mean nature. Since Jefferson wrote of “Nature’s God,” “Nature” was not the creator he was talking about. That is not to say that the Christian God was either; I agree with you on that.
o For his letter to have an ounce of credibility, I think the letter writer should’ve mentioned President Obama’s promise of transparency and his violation of that promise.

Doppelganger said...

I don't know where you get the patience...

ScienceAvenger said...

I find the crazy right morbidly fascinating. 2010 and 2012 can't get here fast enough for me. I am overwhelmed with curiosity to see how long they will really stick to their guns (and religion), keep losing, and keep blaming anything and everything for that except the fact that their views are increasingly out of touch, and in a shrinking minority.

I'm also holding my breath to see if the Democrats can find a way to bungle this up with their usual spineless, disorganization.