Media conservatives are condemning President Obama for using the word "hostage" as a metaphor while discussing negotiations. Yet Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush also used the same rhetoric in describing their political opponents.
From the December 7 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From Jeffrey Kuhner's November 26 Washington Times column:
Like many on the progressive left, Mr. Obama is an anti-American political thug. He despises the Constitution and capitalism. He bristles under the restraints of democratic governance and the system of checks and balances. From Vladimir Lenin to Fidel Castro to Hugo Chavez, socialist leaders have masked their will to power by portraying themselves as visionary thinkers - sophisticated intellectuals seeking social justice. In reality, they have one goal: revolution.
Mr. Obama has embarked America upon that perilous path. He has de facto nationalized health care, the financial sector, the insurance industry, student loans and major automakers. He has appointed numerous policy czars with vast Cabinet-level powers who have not been confirmed - or even vetted - by the Senate. His administration violated parliamentary procedures and repeatedly bribed and arm-twisted members of Congress to ram through Obamacare -- against the expressed will of the people. His surrogates sought to directly manipulate and interfere in primary elections on behalf of pro-Obama candidates -- likely committing several felonies. His Interior Department falsified scientific reports to justify the temporary ban on oil drilling in the Gulf Coast. His Justice Department has refused to prosecute blatant voter fraud and intimidation. Mr. Obama has referred to his critics as "enemies" who must be "punished."
Mr. Obama's regime has abused its power and fostered anti-democratic behavior. He is slowly erecting a soft police state. It is not one with a fascist jackboot on your face but with a unionized TSA bureaucrat in your crotch -- all in the name of public safety. Say hello to Big Brother Barack.
It seems inevitable that every conservative news outlet will, sooner or later, dirty its hands by latching onto the birther issue. The Washington Examiner plunges in by publishing a Nov. 22 op-ed by Diana West promoting one birther's case.
West wrote that Terrence Lakin, an Army lieutenant colonel, "faces an upcoming court-martial at Fort Meade, Md., on Dec. 14 for refusing to follow orders to redeploy to Afghanistan because of his conviction that the president hasn't proven his eligibility to hold office." Lakin is the birthers' latest hope for promoting their case, and West admits she's writing about him in part because "Lakin supporters have dubbed this week Terry Lakin Action Week, urging American citizens to take the occasion to call their congressional representatives about the case."
West lionized Lakin as "a senior military officer with an unblemished career" who is committing "what amounts to a historic act of civil disobedience for which he may well serve time in prison." The reality, meanwhile, is that a military judge has already ruled that, according to military law, the personal beliefs or convictions of a soldier are not enough for the soldier to deem an order illegal, that Lakin cannot introduce any evidence related to Obama's citizenship at his court-martial, and that the military court was not the proper venue for determining the eligibility of a president.
West peppered her op-ed with standard birther arguments:
Of course, Obama's failure to release his original 1961 birth certificate (which, contrary to mantralike misperception, has never been released) is just the beginning. There remains a startling dearth of documentation pertaining to Obama's progress through his 49 years of life that only begins with his birth certificate.
A gaping hole -- dare I say "memory hole"? -- seems to have consumed all possible Obama records from his education, health, family records, even his pre-presidential political career. But this subject is never taken seriously by the media or the political establishment, including, most glaringly, erstwhile GOP opponent John McCain, who, on being challenged on the eligibility question himself, should have called on candidate Obama to join him in releasing their bona fides together.
But even to suggest such a thing is to indulge in "conspiracy theories." Not surprisingly, Wikipedia defines this term for us as well, noting that it's "often used dismissively in an attempt to characterize a belief as outlandishly false and held by a person judged to be a crank or a group confined to the lunatic fringe."
Is the birther path really the one that Philip Anschutz's aggressively conservative publication wants to take? It appears so.
From the October 2 CNN special, Right on the Edge:
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As Media Matters noted yesterday, right-wing media figures responded to President Obama's reported comments that the United States can "absorb a terrorist attack" and that the country "absorbed [9-11] and we are stronger" with predictably unhinged and absurd criticism.
Here's Cheney's statement (emphasis added):
"Americans expect our President to do everything possible to defend the nation from attack. We expect him to use every tool at his disposal to find, defeat, capture and kill terrorists. We expect him to deter attacks by making clear to our adversaries that an attack on the United States will carry devastating consequences. Instead, President Obama is reported to have said, 'We can absorb a terrorist attack.' This comment suggests an alarming fatalism on the part of President Obama and his administration. Once again the President seems either unwilling or unable to do what it takes to keep this nation safe. The President owes the American people an explanation."
And here's Giuliani's response, according to The Hill (emphasis added):
"Well, I don't know that I would have said that. The country has to be prepared for any terrorist attack," Giuliani said on a conference call with reporters. "I would prefer that the president put his effort in preventing another Sept 11."
"You're never prepared for an attack that kills 2,000 or 2,300 people ... We just do the best that we can, we don't get overly assertive about it," Giuliani later added. "I would say you're never prepared for it, you just to the best that you can."
Both Cheney and Giuliani seem to be upset that Obama is not working to "prevent another Sept. 11" and "keep this nation safe."
But here's what Obama reportedly said (emphasis added):
"We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever ... we absorbed it and we are stronger."
Obama specifically said that he's doing "everything we can to prevent" an attack - directly contradicting Cheney and Giuliani's criticism. And as Media Matters noted, numerous conservatives have previously made similar comments -- including former President Bush.
So either Cheney and Giuliani didn't read Obama's comments carefully, or they're displaying willful ignorance to take dishonest, cheap shots at Obama.
From the September 22 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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In a September 21 Gateway Pundit post, Warner Todd Huston responded to President Obama's reported comment that "[w]e can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever ... we absorbed it and we are stronger" by suggesting that Obama is "green with envy that Bush got that big moment" and that Obama wants "a big attack of his own" to "show the world what a great president he could be!"
From Huston's post:
Eh, don't worry, America. If there is another 9/11-like terror attack, The One says that we can "absorb it" and just become "stronger" because of it. It's as if he wants it to happen, or something!
In his latest book, Bob Woodward encountered a President Obama that seemed to casually blow off worry of another terror attack.
But somehow I can't escape the feeling that this flippancy comes from Obama's envy that George W.Bush got a "big event" to make his presidency while all Obama has gotten is a bad economy, massive job loss, and dissatisfaction at every level of society. No big disaster that he could make his nut on. Heck he even wasted the BP Oil spill with weeks of inactivity.
I can just see him, green with envy that Bush got that big moment. If ONLY Hussein could get a big attack of his own, why THEN he'd show the world what a great president he could be! If only we could "absorb" a big one like 9/11, eh Barrack? And we'd take it.... and take it....
Now, remember the old days when we had a president that was willing to take the fight to the terrorists? Now we have a president that is waiting to "absorb" attacks on us, HERE. And we take it...
From the September 22 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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From the September 10 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show:
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The birther obsessives at WorldNetDaily have issued a new downloadable "Obama eligibility primer" (you have to give up your email address to WND to receive a copy) that it hyperbolically claims "could sink Obama's presidency." In fact, the report is yet another rehashing of many of the factually dubious claims WND has been making since it latched onto the birther issue two years ago.
WND repeats the discredited claim that "On Oct. 16, 2008, Obama's step-grandmother, Sarah Obama, famously claimed in a telephone interview with an American religious leader she had been present at Obama's birth at a hospital in Mombasa. Sarah Obama speaks Luo, not English." WND goes on to claim that "Other Luo speakers who have listened to the tape, however, including a member of the Kenyan government, say she insisted twice that she had been present at his birth in Kenya." This is an apparent reference to a WND article by Jerome Corsi citing anonymous "members of Sarah Hussein Obama's Luo tribe" making that claim. Corsi is not exactly a reliable source, having pushed his own birther conspiracies, so anything he has to say on the issue is suspect.
Noting that in 1981 "Obama traveled to Pakistan during a period when it was difficult for U.S. citizens to enter that country," WND claims that "Obama would have needed a passport to travel to Pakistan, and apparently the passport he used was not American." But since The New York Times and the State Department were offering advice at the time on how Americans could obtain the proper papers for entry into Pakistan, it likely was not as "difficult" as WND suggests.
WND goes on to suggest that Obama, while a student at Occidental College, "received scholarship funds set aside for foreign students." As Snopes.com details, this idea is based on a hoax.
Following polls showing that an increasing number of Americans wrongly believe President Obama is a Muslim, right-wing media figures have used the opportunity to continue to sow doubts about Obama's religious convictions.
In an August 20 Washington Times op-ed, Jeffrey Kuhner wrote that President Obama is "a cultural Muslim who is promoting an anti-American, pro-Islamic agenda." Kuhner also stated that Obama is "openly anti-Israel" and that Obama's recent comments about the proposed Islamic center "unmasked him as a president who favors Muslim interests over those of the American people."
The Washington Times also included this illustration:
Behind Obama Muslim myth stands the right wing
Kuhner's latest anti-Obama tirade: Obama is a "cultural Muslim" who is "betraying the Jews"
Wash. Times' Kuhner baselessly smears NYC imam as an "unrepentant militant Muslim"
On August 4, WorldNetDaily published an article by executive news editor Joe Kovacs (reproduced here) asserting that newly minted Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, while serving as solicitor general, "has actually been playing a role for some time in the dispute over whether Obama is legally qualified to be in the White House," adding that "A simple search of the high court's own website reveals Kagan's name coming up at least nine times on dockets involving Obama eligibility issues."
One little problem: Not a shred of that is true.
As the urban legend-busters at Snopes detailed, none of the nine lawsuits Kovacs references have anything to do with "Obama eligibility issues." Even the one involving a group called "The Real Truth About Obama, Inc." is centered on an allegation that the Federal Election Commission "chilled its right to disseminate information about presidential candidate Senator Obama's position on abortion."
After the Snopes debunking, WND quickly backpedaled. Snopes added in an update: "Immediately after we published this article, WND scrubbed all reference to the original article without explanation. Three days later, WND replaced the original with an article on a completely different topic."
Indeed, the WND article is completely rewritten, focusing on the insignificant "Real Truth About Obama, Inc." case. It now begins with a correction (though it's not called that):
The "summer of rage" heats up in The Washington Times' editorial pages today, with two op-ed contributors -- who both suffer acutely from Obama Derangement Syndrome -- calling for President Obama's impeachment.
First up is former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo, who has previously said that Obama was elected due to the lack of a "civics literacy test" requirement for voting. In his Washington Times op-ed -- titled, "The case for impeachment" -- Tancredo calls Obama "a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda" who "consciously and brazenly disregards his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution."
The crux of Tancredo's "case for impeachment" would be laughable if it wasn't so dishonest. Tancredo argues that Obama's "most egregious and brazen betrayal of our Constitution was his statement to Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, that the administration will not enforce security on our southern border because that would remove Republicans' desire to negotiate a 'comprehensive' immigration bill."
Why is this so dishonest? Because not only has the White House flatly denied Kyl's accusation, but Kyl himself reportedly walked back that accusation, saying that his comments were "taken a bit out of context" and referred to "the president's base" and not the administration.
Tancredo's "case for impeachment" is further undermined by the fact that the Obama administration -- as Media Matters has documented -- has taken numerous steps to boost border security and immigration enforcement. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times reported in June that the Obama administration "has outdone its predecessor on border enforcement spending and on deportations."
That brings us to chronic ODS sufferer Jeffrey Kuhner, whose unhinged attacks on Obama have found a welcome home in The Washington Times. In his latest anti-Obama screed, Kuhner declares: "Obama has betrayed the American people. Impeachment is the only answer. This usurper must fall."
Kuhner's case for impeachment is predictably based on a litany of falsehoods. He falsely claims that the health care reform bill included the infamous "Cornhusker Kickback" -- which, in reality, was removed from the bill. He falsely suggests that the health care bill contains federal funding for abortion, which he insists will result in "a cultural civil war." Kuhner falsely claims that the compensation fund agreed to by BP and the Obama administration for those affected by the oil spill was an example a private company's assets being "raided to serve a political agenda." He then completely baselessly asserts that "much of" the money will be distributed "to Democratic constituents."
And Kuhner's just getting started.