February 1, 2012

Obama X

I don't know if any of you have seen the Bill Maher "New Rules" bit from last week, but it actually relates to our conversation about moral authority, and the late Internet Monk's comments about conservatives listening more to Limbaugh and Fox than thinking about their faith.  You can watch Maher below (f bomb warning), as long as it plays in my template and that HBO has not yanked it.  (If that happens, you can read some of the transcript here).

In this case, Maher is talking about Newt Gingrich's common tactic of invoking Saul Alinsky to somehow disparage Obama and liberals.  Alinsky, as it turns out, was a community organizer who tried to get African Americans and poor people to actually push for political change.  But in Gingrich's world, there is something nefarious about "community organizing" (and I wish I had some money for each time a conservative has thrown that at me online).

But Maher's bigger point was that conservatives have created a bogey man in Obama that is constructed out of nearly whole cloth.  As Steve noted in one of the recent comments, there are things to be concerned about with Obama on rendition and detention, but conservatives don't complain about those.  They like them, in fact, but they don't give Obama credit for that.  Instead, he is soft on defense, anti-business, wants to take your guns away, and doesn't actually like America.  Or, as Maher notes, he is supposedly anti-work, while Republicans love it.

That hit home after several of my recent talks with conservatives.  Almost word for word, they said that Obama was soft on defense, anti-gun rights, and anti-American.  He has raised our taxes (not true) and wants a huge government (government employment is down, which is part of our economic crisis), and wants to read terrorists their rights.  Yeah, whatever.

The bubble is pretty striking.  And disheartening that people who claim to read the Bible, pray, and attend church regularly have such little regard for the truth.  I shouldn't be surprised, I understand.  But I still am.

(NPR also did a story on Alinsky, and even noted that Gingrich used an Alinsky tactic in his debate the other day.  Irony.)


Monk-in-Training said...

Two verses immediately spring to mind.

Check things out to see if what the person is telling you is true.

Acts 17:11 These Jews were more receptive than those in Thessalonica, for they welcomed the message very eagerly and examined the scriptures every day to see whether these things were so.

And lying, just because "they" do it.

Exodus 20:16You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Well, I am a Friar so maybe three verses.

Who is your neighbor? The Gospel of St. Luke 10:24-34. There you see a despised foreigner being a loving neighbor to a man beaten and robbed.

Reminds me of the time last Christmas when I was giving hand knitted hats from the ladies of my Parish to poor people downtown for Christmas, and a Hispanic family approached me and asked if I was hungry and offered me food.

I rarely felt so loved!

steves said...

I would say that Obama has done things that people on both sides could reasonably complain about. The aforementioned rendition, illegal detentions, and AG Holder's recent handling of the BATFE and their arming Mexican cartels.

Unfortunately, much of the left (not all) is silent on the detentions and rendition, and the right focuses on things that aren't happening. I will admit that Obama has a shitty record on gun rights. He did make it fairly clear that gun control wasn't a priority for him and so far, he has kept his word.

Bob said...

"I will admit that Obama has a shitty record on gun rights. "

As President or as a legisaltor?

The Brady Campaign Against Gun Violence gives him an "F" grade on their scorecard and the NRA calls him the great Satan. Guy can't win.

steves said...

As a legislator.

As a president, he has been fine. The NRA hasn't been all that bad to him. I haven't seen too much from them (at least in the mail). The Brady Bunch are idiots and tend to give anyone an F that does even the littlest for gun rights.

Streak said...

I am not an NRA member, but I received a robo-call asking for donations from the NRA talking about Obama and the UN taking away our guns. So, I am not sure I buy that the NRA doesn't have a problem with him.

steves said...

I am an NRA member and I expect to start getting a bunch of stuff when the election season kicks into full gear. I am basing my opinion on the e-mails from them and the articles in their magazines. I don't expect them to endorse Obama, but they haven't been as hard on him as they were on Clinton.

Bob said...

"The NRA hasn't been all that bad to him."

You are going to have to take this one back Steve.

Here is an article entitled: “Obama’s Secret Plan To Destroy The Second Amendment By 2016”. by Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President


It seems Obama has a secret plan to be pro-gun rights, so in the end he can be anti-gun. LaPierre has always been a nut and a liar.

Monk-in-Training said...

NRA has been spewing stuff against the President in my parts (eastern Oklahoma), some of my Baptist friends have Facebook status' about how the President is going to take our guns away.

Probably because, well you know, he is black and scary and liberal and well something or other....

steves said...

Bob, I will concede that point. Relatively speaking, they haven't been as anti-Obama as they were anti-Clinton. Given that they are a one issue group, I doubt they will ever endorse Obama.

Monk, can you show me where they have advocated racist policies? I know Michael Moore, liar and windbag extrodinaire, tried to paint them as such in his "documentary", Bowling for Columbine, but his contentions have been debunked through many sources. FWIW, the NRA trained and chartered groups of civil rights activists in the 50's and 60's to defend themselves against the KKK and other violent and racist groups.

steves said...

Bob, I read that article and while I found it to be very alarmist, most of the points were factually correct when he was talking about some of the things that had been proposed. What were false?