From Pine View Farm

The Disloyal Opposition 2

Michael Smerconish is a conservative talker and columnist who dares to think for himself and deviate from the Fox Party line. I seldom agree with him, but I do applaud his attempts to be reasonable and fair-minded.

In today’s column, he looks over President Obama’s term and the disloyal opposition. A nugget (emphasis added).

This election has always been a referendum on Barack Obama. For some, not on matters of substance. They can’t have it both ways. It’s hypocritical to distribute a vicious, false narrative about him while fancying yourself a patriot and a great American. Vilify a sitting president of the United States with fiction and innuendo, and you are neither.

I objected when George W. Bush was the subject of undeserved hyperbolic criticism, but the baseless scorn heaped upon President Obama makes Bush’s detractors look diplomatic. The president, the office, and our nation deserve better.

It’s been unrelenting. The day after Obama took office, Rush Limbaugh told Sean Hannity he wanted him to “fail.” Later, Glenn Beck called the president a “racist” with a “deep-seated hatred of white people.” Donald Trump’s birtherism took hold while words like socialist were uttered with increased frequency. And a prairie fire of falsehoods spread through the Internet suggesting, among other things, that Obama is a Muslim or refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, paving the way for Dinesh D’Souza’s fictionalized “documentary” 2016, which characterized Obama as fulfilling the anticolonial agenda of his father – a man he literally knew for just one weekend!

Leonard Pitts, Jr., offers a parallel retrospective:

There are, after all, many words you could use to describe the period from 2008 to now. “Reconciliation” is not one of them. To the contrary, the nation has endured a four-year temper tantrum of shrillness and ferocity nearly unparalleled in history. You have to go back to the 1960s, or maybe even the 1850s, to find a time when America was this angry with itself.

Far from putting the ’60s to rest, we have seen a fresh assault on what had previously been considered the settled gains of that era. I mean, who could have predicted this election season would see debates on women’s reproductive health? Or, that we’d have to defend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965? Or that the state of Arizona would ban ethnic studies classes? Or that there would be a new attack on the right of public workers to unionize? And that’s not to mention the new onslaught of coded racial slurs. They still say Obama wasn’t born in the U.S.A. Just the other day, Mitt Romney surrogate John Sununu, honest to God, called him “lazy.”

And we know what’s behind most, if not all, of the right-wing venom. Chauncey Devega explains:

Although many of us are unwilling to admit as much in public, the hate campaign by Mitt Romney and the Tea Party GOP against the country’s first black President is predicated on the Right’s deep disdain for African-Americans and our citizenship. More generally, for the White Right, people of color are not, have never been, and are incapable of being “real Americans.”

I’m a Southern boy. I can decode the damned coded.

Devega is correct. Racism in America’s Original Sin and its stain persists deep into the polity.

Follow the link to listen to a portion of Devega’s appearance in the third hour of yesterday’s Ring of Fire show. It’s worth it.



  1. George Smith

    November 4, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    And then you read the comments, the first line: “Every word in this column is an insult to intelligence.” Never gonna be reconciliation or return to civility or finding common ground in my lifetime. The hate is dug in. The Republican Party could easily force the country into a constitutional crisis in Obama’s second term. We all want divorces.  

  2. Frank

    November 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    The Inky routinely attracts some of the worst commenters around.  For extra special vitriol, check out the regulars who pollute the comments section for Dick Polman’s columns.