Obama Says GOP Candidates Are 'Talking Down' America
On Wednesday, President Obama commented on the campaign rhetoric of the GOP presidential candidates participating in this week's CNN debate. He had a pretty interesting take...
"In the echo chamber that is presidential politics, everything is dark and everything is terrible," said the president. "They don't seem to offer many solutions to the disasters they perceive, but they're quick to tell you who to blame. There's nothing particularly patriotic or American about talking down America, especially when we stand as one of the few sources of economic strength in the world."
Conservatives across the Internet reacted almost instantly...in the form of a collective spit-take.
The National Review's Charles Cooke tweeted: "Disgusting. Was he 'talking down America' in 2008? You can’t have a democracy if you can’t criticize the status quo."
Moments later, Cooke added: "Imagine telling Obama’s fans in 2007 that he’d accuse his ideological opponents of being unpatriotic for criticizing him and the country."
Washington Times columnist and radio talk show host, Tammy Bruce, tweeted: "They'll be talking about you, Barack Obama, & last time I checked *you* aren't 'America'."
"I'm old enough to remember when 'dissent was the highest form of patriotism'," wrote Will Anton, citing a phrase used often by liberals and Democratic candidates during the 2008 campaign.
Even some guy named John Daly tweeted: "...Says the man who's been apologizing for America for nearly a decade." I admit it wasn't my best quip.
My how times have changed. It seems like just yesterday that Barack Obama, as a candidate, recognized a United States so incredibly flawed that he promised to "fundamentally transform" it. And why wouldn't he have wanted to transform it, with all of those "bitter" small-town Americans who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations"?
That sure seems liking talking down America to me, but maybe I'm just one of those unpatriotic people the president described, who is quick to cast blame.
Thankfully President Obama doesn't assign blame to others...with the exceptions, of course, of Republicans, police officers, rich people, Fox News, talk radio, Israel, technology, insurance providers, doctors, small business owners, the winter season, and pretty much any other person or institution that doesn't promote his vision of the world.
We're talking about a man, after all, who was so fond of blaming his predecessor for America's failings that he used it as his campaign platform in not one, but two successful elections. The rhetoric even made him popular overseas, earning him a Nobel Peace Prize for apologizing for American aggression and dismissing our nation's exceptionalism.
Are such things unpatriotic? Under the president's current definition, you'd sure think so.
And what about our president's inclination to re-open the wounds of our country's dark past, when suggesting that institutional racism was responsible in tragic cases like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin? What about the president's call for Christian Americans to get off their "high horse" when they criticize Radical Islam? Is this "talking down America"?
Granted, Obama didn't go as far as spewing anti-American rhetoric to a congregation in a Chicago church for 20 years, but he sure didn't mind listening to the person who did.
Of course, Obama's remarks on Wednesday were just the latest example of the agonizingly ironic and hypocritical rhetoric that has become a hallmark of his presidency. Never in my lifetime have I seen such a discrepancy between a leader's words and their actions. Whether it's narcissism or a lack of self-awareness that causes it, it's never resulted in him paying any political price, so there's no reason for him to stop.
I suppose it's a true testament to the power of an accommodating media and, at the risk of sounding unpatriotic, the short attention span of Americans.