The level of disrespect being shown towards President Obama is unprecedented and has to stop. It comes in both blatant and subtle ways and there are many reasons for it. Anyone who is honest with themselves knows that a lot of it stems from the color of his skin. Not all of it, for sure, but a whole hell of a lot of it. We all remember the signs from the Tea Party asking for their country back…back from what, you motherfuckers, the man won a clear victory in a democratic election with a wide electoral margin. President Obama IS the leader or OUR country, all of us, even you racist assholes…whether you like it or not.
One of the latest examples of this disrespect was covered very well by Joy Reid at The Reid Report. I’ll let her explain it…
Republicans derive a benefit from their base by disrespecting the president.
The GOP base wants its leadership to not just oppose Barack Obama, but to go out of its way to obstruct, block, and if at all possible, show open contempt and disrespect for him. Republicans understand that their base will punish them for any hint of respectful, or worse, accommodating behavior toward Obama, and that they will be rewarded by their base for elevating the level of negative attention they give the president.
Today’s Republicans, who have been overrun by a hardcore tea party faction in addition to the resurgent religious right, have made the calculation that there is literally no bottom — and no level of disrespect so great that they will pay a price with white independents.
Case in point: before House Speaker Boehner took the unprecedented step of publicly brushing back the president’s request to address a joint session of Congress next Wednesday, he was being egged on to do just that by none other than Rush Limbaugh. That Boehner decided to puff out his chest on this one is telling.
Of course, that is just one example of the clear disrespect shown towards our President. And the Republicans are playing it out to the full extent, with some legislators openly saying they won’t attend the jobs speech and don’t even want to hear what the President has to say. The adult equivalent of holding your hands over your ears and saying, na na na na, I cant’ hear you! I hope all those people without jobs are paying attention to the “Party of No New Jobs”.
But if that isn’t enough, apparently the hater of everyone, Matt Taibbi, doesn’t want to hear it either. The more I read about Taibbi, the more I realize that he just says whatever the hell comes to his hateful mind. I found this piece where Taibbi predicted a McCain presidency…showing his willingness to just say stupid shit with no basis in reality. But I digress.
The Grio has a piece that helps to spell out just some of the disrespect from the Republicans over the last few years.
The “You lie!” shout during the president’s speech on health care reform before the joint session of Congress in Sept. 2009
Newt Gingrich referring to the president as “the food stamp president” and saying that Pres. Obama “knows how to get the whole country to resemble Detroit.”
Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn — who supposedly enjoys a warm relationship with the president, saying he doesn’t think President Obama wants to destroy the country, but “his intent is to create dependency because it worked so well for him as an African-American male” who “received tremendous advantage from” welfare programs.
Congressman Mitch McConnell’s bold proclamation that he wants to be Senate Majority Leader to make sure that Obama is a one-term president.
Rush Limbaugh saying that he wants to see this president fail. (Note: Limbaugh has modified that statement to say he meant his “policies.” But when it was said, it was less than a year into Obama’s presidency and he was still cleaning up the mess from the previous president’s policies, which Limbaugh had very little to say about during the Bush era).
Former Fox News host Glenn Beck declaring on the air that the president “hates white people” and “the white culture.”
Television personality Donald Trump’s over-the-top taunting of the president, hyping unprecedented demands to see the president’s birth certificate.
The shouts of “We want our country back!” by the Tea Party.
And the frequent habit of not calling the president by his proper honorific: “President Obama”, rather than just “Obama” — by quite a few elected officials, pundits and others.
That last one, not calling President Obama by the title he earned by winning the presidency, is one that permeates both the left and the right and in newsrooms across the country. I’ll admit that liberals did the same thing to President Bush, and it was wrong then too. Once a president leaves office, I can understand dropping that title but while a president is sitting in that oval office, she/he is deserving of our respect. I remember hearing a discussion on NPR about standard journalistic practices of calling any president by their honorific title when first referring to her/him and then dropping the title after that in a story or article. Journalism sure has changed in recent years hasn’t it?
It goes even further than just not calling him by his earned title, many of them show their disrespect by simply saying his name with disdain. And a lot of that comes from the left. I’ve never seen Jane Hamsher or Glenn Greenwald say President Obama’s name without them oozing contempt for the man and showing outright hatred in their white superior, elitist tone. I always have to wonder what makes them think they are superior to a man who was the President of Harvard Law Review and elected to the most powerful position on the fucking planet…and they feel like they can be condescending to that man. Hmmmm, I smell racism, how about you?
Rmuse does an excellent job of characterizing the “emoprogs” in this post about the speech nontroversy.
The extreme left are laboring under the mistaken belief that all Americans are hard-left extremists and that the president is shunning the will of the people. The egocentric left either cannot or will not acknowledge that America is a right-leaning Centrist population that rejects the EmoProg’s agenda on principle alone. This is not an indictment of the far-left’s core beliefs, because their philosophy is shared by nearly all Liberals; but not all Liberals are self-important and lack understanding of American voters. Most Liberals also do not share the belief that primarying the president will “pull Obama to the left” or encourage him to award Bradley Manning the Congressional Medal of Honor, but then most Liberals are not self-important egocentrics either.
The Grio also reminds us that it isn’t just Republicans that have a lack of respect for our President that stems from his race and it began before he was even elected.
This negative “attention” that this president seems to attract cuts across partisan lines. Even before he took office, Joe Biden referred to him as the first “clean, articulate” African-American candidate. (Which we assume was meant as a compliment).
And let’s not forget Bill Clinton, who chalked up Obama’s win in South Carolina to being similar to Jesse Jackson’s wins there in the 80s and then had the audacity to cry foul, saying the race card was played on him when Obama supporters called him out.
There are many more examples of disrespect for President Obama and the office that he holds from the left, Cenk Uygur oozes that nasty hatred damn near every time he mentions our president. And by the way, what Uygur said in that clip was proven wrong very soon after that.
What drives me absolutely nuts about this phenomenon in politics is that President Obama is deserving of more respect than any president in my lifetime. He has avoided attacking Republicans, much to the chagrin of the far left, since he began running for president. He has kept his rhetoric respectful, even for people that probably don’t deserve that respect. Remember his dressing down of the clown Donald Trump, he was even tactful about that. So when people try to say that he doesn’t deserve their respect or that he has brought it on himself, I have to pound my head on the desk and wonder what in the fuck is wrong with these people. This president has gone out of his way to represent everyone in this country and treat all people with respect, even those not deserving of it…yet, he is enduring the worst lack of respect of any president in our history.
Go read this most excellent piece at The People’s View that lays out what President Obama has done for of all our people…in the face of the most obstructionist congress in our history. The man deserves more respect than any president in history, now give it to him, damn it!