Friday, February 24, 2012 / 8:55 am
“Death to Obama!”
Why I don’t do much political commentary these days.
by Jim Washburn
“Man, I can’t wait to read you ripping into Rick Santorum,” one of my friends/readers told me this week. They may have to keep waiting.
Back when I was the rock critic at the OC Register, they suddenly found themselves without a film critic, so I doubled-down and did that gig for several months as well (for no extra pay, of course, and, come to think of it, not even a thank you: that’s how the Register rolled).
I didn’t have to review too many Hollywood films before it became obvious just how formulaic, calculated and pandering they were, so that each film was pretty much like having a monkey sit in your lap that would jerk you off. There was little point in complaining, “No, I’d really rather this little fellow stay out of my pants, thanks,” because the next film and the one after that would be the same damn thing, so really all there left to say was whether Bonzo did a good job or not.
Political discourse in this country has been on the decline for decades. The great musical satirist Tom Lehrer was asked in the 1970s why he’d hung it up, and he responded that in a time when Henry Kissinger could be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, political satire had become redundant.
That’s entirely how I feel with the current field of Republican yahoos: There is hardly anything you can say about them that is any more outlandish and ridiculous than what they’re saying themselves. They live in such a world of overblown fiction that listening to their rants on Obama is like listening to WWF wrestlers tout their next match against the Iron Sheik.
With the exception of Ron Paul, they all talk about Obama in barely disguised code that says he’s not a legitimate president: He has a Kenyan mindset; he has a different theology than real Americans; he’s a socialist bent on destroying America. In the most recent debate, Newt Gingrich claimed that Obama is “the most dangerous president on national security grounds in American History.”
Funny, I would think the most dangerous president on national security would be the one who ignored the most unambiguous memo in history—the one titled “Bin Laden determined to attack on US soil”—and on whose watch 9/11 subsequently happened. And I would think that anyone belonging to the same party as that president would have the sense and grace to shut the fuck up about national security for the next century or two. But no, according to Gingrich, the worst president is the one who boldly ordered the strike that killed bin Laden; the one who mercilessly drone-bombs our enemies on foreign soil, taking out al Qaeda’s other top leadership; whose administration has foiled one terrorist attempt after another on home ground; the one who has tightened up our borders more than any president in memory—yeah that guy.
It used to be an unwritten rule in politics that it was downright unpatriotic to criticize a sitting president on foreign policy, particularly when we’re at war and we have troops fighting on foreign soil.
This week thanks to the Koran burnings in Afghanistan (Yes, a total bullshit issue; otherwise the Taliban would be concerned at the Korans burned in all the Muslim-on-Muslim bombings they do, or they’d realize that thanks to the magic of the printing press they can always make more Korans, unlike the ancient Buddhist statues they pulverized.) there are massive protests roiling Afghanistan. The presidential contenders in this country are actively disparaging the commander in chief, and are content to keep speaking in barely disguised code that Obama is a secret, anti-American Muslim. Meanwhile, unsecret, anti-American Muslims are crowding the streets of Ghazni, Afghanistan, the BBC reports, chanting “Death to Obama.”
There is hardly a thing the Republican candidates say that isn’t overheated lies. Now, daily, it’s like having three monkeys take a crap in your lap. What’s the point in reviewing it? Was it a big crap, a particularly smelly one? It’s all crap—some of it bordering on treason; some of it almost certain to embolden some nut with a gun—and there’s really not much more to say about it.