Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 29, 2010

WITHOUT PRECEDENT -- EXCEPT FOR ALL THE OTHER TIMES.... Monday is, of course, Memorial Day, and President Obama will honor the day at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery outside Chicago, while Vice President Biden appears at Arlington National Cemetery. This, apparently, has caused a stir in some circles.

Glenn Beck told his minions this week that that the president "has decided not to honor our troops on Memorial Day," which isn't even close to true. The deranged media personality, apparently referring to Obama's decision not to be at Arlington, added, "Maybe this has happened before. I don't recall it. "

In reality, this isn't especially unusual.

Obama is not the first president to miss the Arlington ceremony. Ronald Reagan spoke at West Point one year, and went to his California ranch another year. George H.W. Bush, a war veteran, did not go at all. Bill Clinton, who did not serve in Vietnam and had a rocky time with the military, went to Arlington all eight years, and George W. Bush, who also avoided combat service in Vietnam, attended from 2003 onward.

Obama's plans, in other words, are generating some criticism, but there's really not much new here. The president's Memorial Day schedule is a "story," despite being fairly routine.

Which, as it turns out, one of the defining trends of the political discourse over the last 16 months. Several months ago, Atrios noted, "When Dems are president, perfectly normally ways of doing things are rebranded as somehow odd."

Ain't that the truth.

* Teleprompters: This trend of characterizing routine developments as controversial started very early in the Obama presidency. Every modern president has used teleprompters, but Republicans and the media thought it was hilarious and wildly important when Obama did the same thing.

* Bowing: Several presidents have been photographed bowing to foreign heads of state, but Republicans and the media thought it was absolutely scandalous when Obama did the same thing when meeting leaders where bowing is customary.

* Talking to school kids: Presidents Reagan and H.W. Bush spoke to school children in national addresses, even taking a little time to push their political agendas. When Obama delivered a speech encouraging kids to do well in school, Republicans freaked out; Fox News compared the president to Saddam Hussein; and the New York Times literally ran a front-page story about it.

* Czars: For a half-century, presidents have relied on so-called "czars" for various policy areas. By one count, George W. Bush had 36 czar positions filled by 46 people during his two terms. No one cared. Obama's use of czars became the subject of months of media scrutiny, and even congressional hearings in response to Republican apoplexy.

* Oval Office attire: Several modern presidents have been seen in the Oval Office without wearing a suit jacket. When Obama did it, Republicans ran to the press to complain, and the media actually published pieces on the subject.

* Criticizing partisan media: White House complaints about unfair media coverage are as old as the republic. When the Obama White House noted what is plainly true about Fox News -- it's a Republican outlet -- the media went a little berserk, with the Washington Post and NPR characterizing the administration's criticism as "Nixonian."

* Reconciliation: Republican policymakers have relied on reconciliation to get around filibusters for decades. When Obama recommended the same tactic for health care, the GOP pretended it was an outrageous assault on the political process, and the media pretended Republicans' cries were legitimate.

* Industry bailouts: Government bailouts of struggling American industries and major companies have been common for decades. When Obama rescued GM, it was used as an example of his purported desire to a communist dictator.

* Campaign intervention: Every president has had a hand in campaign activities, with several presidents offering jobs to candidates to get them out of various races. When the Obama White House intervened in Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate primary -- offering a House member an unpaid advisory gig -- the media found it fascinating and Republicans called for the FBI and a special prosecutor to intervene.

* Memorial Day: Many presidents have not appeared at Arlington on Memorial Day. When Obama does it, there's a "controversy."

I'm all in favor of holding presidents to high standards. They have enormous power and leadership responsibilities, and it stands to reason that much will be expected of them. I enthusiastically endorse demanding the most of our leaders.

But for a year and a half, the political world seems to have created whole new rules for Obama, which aren't applied to others -- and haven't even been applied to other presidents.

This week's flaps over Sestak and Memorial Day plans only reinforce how truly ridiculous the phenomenon has become.

Steve Benen 11:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (57)

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Comments

The media find Obama boring, since he spends so much time on policy and has no easily caricatureable traits with which they can indulge their inner sixth-grader. So we get this stuff.
The Republicans just yell, because that's what their base of old white people who are mad they're going to die soon want.

Posted by: JMG on May 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Lies become truth.

Their aim is to disrupt and dog Obama... they won't stop until their aim is complete.

Posted by: Buford on May 29, 2010 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Nice summary, Steve. I'm sure you're busy writing up this blog and staying informed but I thought maybe you could start taking email questions, even if only once a week. I try to be relatively impartial, so when I hear a ridiculous argument that I know is bogus, I still try to counter it. But sometimes I have questions and I don't have the background or history that you might.

Like when I read Rove's pieces in the WSJ or anything by their editorial board. I wish there was a website devoted to the WSJ and keeping track of its hypocrisy. I don't really want to save their articles and go through their archives. I think the WSJ regularly publishes more outlandish attack pieces against Obama because they dress them up with sound but twisted logic and good writing.

Posted by: Justin on May 29, 2010 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

This is Obama's own fault. Were he less careful about giving his critics something to complain about, they'd have REAL attacks to make on him, rather than this invented stuff.

It's their job to warn America about what a dangerous scoundral Obama is. If Obama finally did something to prove them right, Republicans wouldn't have to make things up. I'm sure this is all part of his evil plot to destroy America, by making Republicans look like blustering fools.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on May 29, 2010 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

But Obama is the first Black Muslim president to spit on our troops and force everyone to have abortions!

Posted by: Conservatroll on May 29, 2010 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Lies become truth.

Seeing as how almost every item on this list has been forgotten about and was ignored by anyone who didn't already hate Obama, I'd say that lies generally DON'T become truth.

The reality is that, the more Republicans throw mud at Obama in a desperate attempt to make something stick, the more non-Republicans ignore them. We saw the same thing with Clinton: He was at his most popular when he was getting attacked the most. The only difference now is that Clinton spent too much of his time trying to dodge the mud, while Obama deftly avoids it while staying on target.

But in both cases, Republican lies were ignored by everyone who wasn't already willing to believe them.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on May 29, 2010 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

Thank you for this. I had been hoping someone would compile the extensive list showing the breathtaking hypocrisy of the right wing. I hope you will keep list list and just continue to add the poutrage incidents as they occur. The Obama Derangement Syndrome on steroids.

Posted by: Ladyhawke on May 29, 2010 at 11:16 AM | PERMALINK

"We make our own reality" wasn't just a 2000-2008 fad then.

Posted by: Oh well on May 29, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

If Obama did go to Arlington, they'd accuse him of grandstanding, photo-ops, exploiting the troops for political purposes, etc. He can't win no matter what he does.

Posted by: Speed on May 29, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Nice try to paint his as a nutzo RepuG position. Please, explain to me how far right is Paul Rieckhoff of IAVA (Iraq and Afganistan Veterans Association) for taking the same position in criticizing the President for not being at Arlington and the over 350 Gold Star parents.

Perhaps, you have failed to witness the great work of Paul Rieckhoff in trying to aid veterans, the passage of the new VA bill and to end the war in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Posted by: berttheclock on May 29, 2010 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, Paul Rieckhoff is, also, critical of the past Presidents who failed to attend Arlington.

I do believe Mr Rieckhoff has far more credibility than the knee jerk Kool-Aid drinkers at this site.

Posted by: berttheclock on May 29, 2010 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Obama's plans, in other words, are generating some criticism, but there's really not much new here.

Oh yes there is! Obama is black.

I'm surprised you didn't notice that...

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on May 29, 2010 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

A little cranky today, bertheclock?

Posted by: Oh well on May 29, 2010 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

But Obama is the first Black Muslim president to spit on our troops and force everyone to have abortions!
Posted by: Conservatroll

and force everyone to have [gay] abortions!

Knee jerk cool aide drinkers are protected from knee jerk projectionists .

The magic is in the reflection . Not every passion can be served by reflecting on it . Any consideration should be improved by virtue of it .

Posted by: FRP on May 29, 2010 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

There's a hole in the bottom of the ocean. Unemployment is still near 10 percent. There are two wars underway. And what are conservative pundits fretting about? That this year President Obama won't be laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day...

Glenn Beck says, "Obama is skipping out on a Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington Cemetery because he'll be in Chicago on vacation. I'm sorry, I don't ever, ever question the president's vacation. I didn't under Bush, I didn't under Clinton, I don't under Obama. . . . I have no problem with the man taking a vacation. But I am sick and tired -- sick and tired -- of people believing the lie that this administration has respect for the police or has respect for the soldiers of our country. I'm tired of it."

- Erick Erickson, a conservative blogger and CNN contributor, tweeted, "Obama skipping the Tomb of the Unknowns this weekend for Chicago is offensive. Chicago can wait. The Commander-in-Chief has a job to do."

- Doug Powers, a guest blogger for conservative Michelle Malkin, grouses, "President Obama went to Arlington Cemetery to lay the wreath last year, but this year Obama's handing the wreath to [Biden] and heading off to the more welcoming political climes of Chicago. . . . Obama will however make it back to Washington in time to honor Paul McCartney next week. Boy, I'm starting to think that West Point speech [Obama gave this past weekend] wasn't from the heart."

You'd think these folks would have better things to gripe about. And Obama is not retreating on Memorial Day...

Obama and the first lady will participate in a Memorial Day ceremony at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill..."*

(Obama's decision to visit a cemetery named for Lincoln is appropriate, since the 16th president established the country's first 14 national cemeteries.

Steve Muro, the Department of Veterans Affairs acting undersecretary responsible for 131 national cemeteries, said, "I think the president is trying to show that there is more than one national cemetery," Muro said. And, Obama is not the first president to miss the Arlington ceremony.

Ronald Reagan spoke at West Point one year, and went to his California ranch another year and in 1983 went to a summit and because GH Bush wouldn't do it, had to send a DEPUTY SEC. of Defense!


George H.W. Bush, a war veteran, did not go at all.

Bill Clinton, who did not serve in Vietnam and had a rocky time with the military, went to Arlington all eight years.

George W. Bush, who also avoided combat service in Vietnam, attended spordically, missing 2001, 2002 and in 2007, sent Vice President Dick Cheney - who had 5 diferments took on the wreath mission, while President George W. Bush was in Texas, perhaps clearing brush.


"This wreath scuffle is yet another silly episode in the right's never-ending campaign to persuade Americans that Obama doesn't care about U.S. troops and is weak on national security. It shows how unserious these bloviators can be. Obama is in the middle of sending an additional 40,000 troops to Afghanistan and has boosted the number of drone attacks aimed at al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Still, conservative wingnuts insist on questioning his commitment to the defense of this nation.

Obama appears to approach his commander-in-chief responsibilities in an appropriately profound manner. Last fall, he made a midnight visit to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to witness the return of dead GIs -- which his predecessor never did.

Two weeks later, he was in Arlington cemetery on Veterans Day, placing a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and greeting mourners who had come to this garden of stones and death on that cold and wet day."*

Again, just another "no there, there" ruckus stirred up by the wingnuts and their mouthpieces.
Wingnuts and mounthpieces.

*http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/05/26/rightwing-memorial-day-attack-on-obama/

Posted by: MrsD on May 29, 2010 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Nice try, bertheclock, but this doesn't ring true. The guy is going to another national cemetary, AND doing what he should do, and the VP is doing the same at Arlington. It ain't like he is going to hang with his buds and flip off the military on Monday...

Folks. We have an enormous ecological disaster in the Gulf; The Korean tensions are going up and up and up; the economy is still teetering; we have unemployment that is far too high; we have completely F***ed spending proirities [IMHO]; we have immmigration issues up the wazzoo; OH BY THE WAY - WE ARE STILL FIGHTING TWO WARS IN WHICH AMERICANS ARE GETTING KILLED!

And - people are unhappy about WHICH military cemetary the president is going to on Monday !!!????

Look. Assume, for the sake of a now completely hypothetical argument, that you are a sane, thoughtful republican / conservative. [I said hypothetical]. I can grant you the idea taht you could energentically disagree with the current admin on many things. Fine. Then offer alternatives.

But, you flog the cemetary BS, and the Sestak BS ???

get a grip.

Posted by: bigtuna on May 29, 2010 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Their aim is to disrupt and dog Obama... they won't stop until their aim is complete.

That's absolutely true. I wonder if there's any precedent in American history for such a sustained and coordinated propaganda campaign.

Posted by: DelCapslock on May 29, 2010 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

It is impossible for today's conservatives to be mature thinking adults about anything.

Posted by: Silver Owl on May 29, 2010 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

There will always be criticism of the President, no matter what he does. It's because people have different agendas than his. Paul Rieckhoff is a vet and has vet causes, so he criticizes the president for not attending Arlington on Memorial Day. That's his opinion, and he's consistent about it which lends it legitimacy. But that doesn't legitimize all criticism of the President on this issue. Though others have expressed the same criticism, they've applied it unfairly, painting Obama as un-American without painting other presidents with the same brush. The Republican agenda in making this an issue is much different than Rieckhoff's agenda. That's where you have to look to see if outrage is real or just a means to an end.

Posted by: micalk on May 29, 2010 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

bettheclock, assuming you are being serious and as someone said in a previous thread, wtf is so special about Arlington?

There are a lot of other national military cemetaries around the country, and a lot of ordinary local cemetaries that have veterans buried in them and maybe some of them deserve a little Presidential attention from time to time, eh?

According to news reports, President Obama is scheduled to participate in a Memorial Day ceremony at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill. Are veterans buried there, and the families and friends who go there to honor them, less deserving of the respect and national attention of a Presidential presence?

Posted by: tanstaafl on May 29, 2010 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

I especially enjoy the rich irony of all the caterwauling and hand wringing coming from a party joined at the hip to businesses and chambers of commerce that make Memorial Day little more than a day off for shopping for most Americans.

Posted by: And that on May 29, 2010 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

But the lying bullshit from the wingnuts wouldn't matter if we had a real MSM instead of a bunch of lying corporate hacks who for some reason seem determined to demote the USA into a third world country dictatorship ruled by a corporate party

Posted by: grandpajohn on May 29, 2010 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

micalk, intent and consistency matter but Rieckhoff is simply wrong in this matter. The important thing about Memorial Day is showing respect not following some specific ritual.

If it become unacceptable for the President of the U.S. to send his VP to Arlington while he attends services somewhere else, then the ritual has been elevated to a level of importance that robs it of its true meaning.

Posted by: tanstaafl on May 29, 2010 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Personally I think it's great that both the prez and VP are going to different military cemeteries. Spreading the wealth, so to speak. As tanstaafl noted above, there are other military cemeteries besides Arlington. Are those buried elsewhere not entitled to the honor of having the president attend on Memorial Day?

I hope the WH is making sure that there are plenty of photos of Obama at Abraham Lincoln. Then the righties can complain that he is exploiting the troops in a photo-op. The script is so predictable it can be written in advance. How tiresome and ridiculous.

Posted by: Hannah on May 29, 2010 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't matter what other Presidents did or didn't do in the past. There was a time when Presidents weren't expected to wear flag lapel pins, either, or append "God bless America" to the end of each and every speech and address.

The Right sets the rules for this stuff, Steve, don't you know it?

Posted by: Chet on May 29, 2010 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Look, people have the right to be upset. Obama didn't don his cape, call a meeting of the Justice League, have Aquaman clean up the Gulf while he tunneled through the earth to stop the leak, a have the Wonder Twins power unit, Wonder Woman fly her invisible jet to pick up Osama, have Daddy Warbucks save the economy...and then put on his secret identity suit and tie to be in the Oval Office.

The best way to honor the current troops is to supply them with what the need to do their job so they can come home. Support the troops, not the military-industrial complex.

Honoring the fallen at the other national cemeteries across the country is a good tradition. As is spending time with friends and family over this holiday.

Posted by: golack on May 29, 2010 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

With the exception of Sarah Palin and the people who actually believe she has qualifications and something to contribute to national debate and policy, this is what frightens me the most. Right-wingers say that Obama's skipping Arlington on Memorial Day is unprecedented. A few months ago, someone posted a picture of Obama with his feet up on the Oval Office desk, and right-wingers were apoplectic that Obama had no respect for the office of the presidency and that this action, too, was unprecedented. Normally I wouldn't worry too much because, as stated in Steve's post and elsewhere, it is provable that other presidents, Reagan and Old Bush among them, also skipped Arlington on Memorial Day. Photographs have been shown depicting other presidents, Republicans among them (Gerald Ford, for one), with their feet on their Oval Office desks. So there's nothing to worry about and these charges won't stick because their very premises are empirically debunkable, right? No. The truly horrifying thing is that facts mean nothing to the people who fall for this nonsense. They believe what they want to believe, and apparently no amount of factual evidence can persuade them otherwise.

"Facts are stupid things." --Ronald Reagan*

*Yes, he meant to quote John Adams and say, "Facts are stubborn things." Right, and Condoleezza Rice didn't mean to refer to George W. Bush as her husband.

Posted by: navamske on May 29, 2010 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Campaign intervention: Every president has had a hand in campaign activities, with several presidents offering jobs to candidates to get them out of various races. When the Obama White House intervened in Pennsylvania's Democratic Senate primary -- offering a House member an unpaid advisory gig -- the media found it fascinating and Republicans called for the FBI and a special prosecutor to intervene.

This is the one that really gets me. No less an example of political piety than Saint Ronald offered S.I. Hayakawa a job in 1981 if he would drop out of a much contested primary race for his senatorial seat (he was the incumbent). It largely went unremarked upon even though one of Hayakawa's opponents in the primary race was Maureen Reagan -- the President's daughter. Quid Pro Quo that!!!

Posted by: majun on May 29, 2010 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

[dons tin foil hat]

the Republicans are pretty ignorant about a lot of things when it comes to governing and policy, but when it comes to evil, conniving power plays, they seem well informed.

much better informed than Democrats.

and so it may be they have studied the work of Elizabeth Loftus on manipulating memories, as discussed at length in this multi-part article from Slate (a good, if scary, read with a few segments left to go) and have no ethical qualms about putting it to work.

[removes tin foil hat]

Posted by: zeitgeist on May 29, 2010 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Only Jon Stewart can save us. If he has Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, etc. on frequently enough, and relentlessly mocks them for their coverage of non-stories, the jr. high highjinks may finally come to an end. Our press corps is made up of and run by j-school conflict/adrenaline junkies who were in school during Reagan's Hollywood movie presidency, and came of age during the last 16 years of Clinton/Bush hysterics. They are jonesing for their drug of choice, and looking increasingly ridiculous as they pursue these idiotic non-stories while the really big ones lie there because they don't know how to effing do REAL reporting, only how to do he said/she said People magazine transcriptions.

Posted by: bluewave on May 29, 2010 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

DelCapslock: Yes, there's a precedent, two of them, actually. They went after Bill Clinton (you do remember they impeached him, right?), and then went after Al Gore when he was campaigning against George W. Bush. I was kind of astounded that they didn't give Obama the same treatment during the campaign, but they're now making up for that oversight.

Posted by: Scamp Dog on May 29, 2010 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

["Democrat party" will get your comment removed.]

Posted by: J on May 29, 2010 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

tanstaafl has it exactly right. The idea that a president can go to the "wrong" national cemetery on Memorial Day is absurd on its face. If any of the veterans from my family were buried at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, I would be very pissed and insulted by the controversy. These people are desperate.

Posted by: DKF on May 29, 2010 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

tanstaafl,
I never said Rieckhoff was right, just that his opinion has legitimacy because he's applied it consistently. Whether Obama visits Arlington, Abraham Lincoln Nat'l Cemetary, or the Stinking Desert National Historical Monument and Cobalt Testing Range on Memorial Day, in the end that's his decision and to say it's right or wrong misses the point. We all have opinions and criticisms about it, but the standard should be the same for everyone. Honoring our fallen dead is rightfully proper but shouldn't be limited to one or two days a year. Bringing back those still living would do more to honor our dead than laying a wreath on their graves.

Posted by: micalk on May 29, 2010 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Vice President Joe Biden is quite capable and an excellent representative of our country to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington..especially since his son Beau is a Capt in the Military..

I found this at another site from someone replying to a "Obama needs to be at Arlington!!"

"Are the veterans of the wars who are laid to rest at The Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Chicago somehow less heroic or had they served less than those buried at Arlington? Was their blood less brave, less red or less precious? Should President Obama be held in contempt because he chooses to honor fallen vets and stage the ceremony for doings so in an American city other than D.C.? What difference does it make if he chooses to honor the fallen in service in any other American city? Isnt this the United States of America? Are the families who lost their loved ones in Chicago somehow less deserving of Presidential honor than those in D.C.." by Will

Posted by: Cha on May 29, 2010 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, Paul Rieckhoff is, also, critical of the past Presidents who failed to attend Arlington.

I do believe Mr Rieckhoff has far more credibility than the knee jerk Kool-Aid drinkers at this site.
Posted by: berttheclock

there is the tomb of the unknown soldier at arlington, obviously, but can you please explain how otherwise arlington is more sacred than say gettysburg, antietam, ball's bluff, manila, normandy and a host of other places famous and obscure where our war dead are buried, including the national cemetery in springfield? perhaps in your mind and in the mind of Mr Rieckhoff some american dead are more worthy than others.

btw i'm wondering what you'll be doing this monday.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on May 29, 2010 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

you have to step back and look at the big picture. There is only so much air in the room and, theoretically, half of it should be used to discuss and promote issues of interest and importance to Democrats. But by constantly making a stink (or the media consciously or unconsciously reporting it), you take away any air that might have been used to give Democratic positions any airing. Sure, there's all kinds of stuff going on out there - but LET'S TALK ABOUT THE OUTRAGE THAT OBAMA'S NOT GOING TO ARLINGTON CEMETARY!!! - that way the other stuff never really gets covered.
It's kind of a fun game in a gamesmanship sort of way - if that's what really counts. But the point is, it isn't what really counts. The GOP and the media played this game under Clinton - and 9/11 resulted because with all the attention paid to these manufactured outrages, the real stuff just never got paid attention to.
And in the years since then, they really haven't learned, have they? And in the meantime, substantive issues of interest and importance to Demeocrats and to Americans just get ignored.

Posted by: andy on May 29, 2010 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Cable news is a beast that must be fed 24/7. Fox News has become all politics all the time, so it has to be fed political stuff 24/7. Fox News is exclusively conservative Republican. It can't spend time reporting on anything that isn't of interest ot conservative Republicans. Conservatives and Republicans are not very introspective. The only want to hear how the other side is bad and their side is good. Real white hat black hat stuff. There really isn't all that much going on right now that is white hat black hat. The Republicans have had some serious political setbacks the last few weeks. Fox News is required by its need to feed the beast 24/7 to manufacture white hat/black hat crap. Otherwise how would they fill their air and sell Snapple?

Posted by: Ron Byers on May 29, 2010 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

["Democrat party" will get your comment removed.]

If DP will get my comment removed, then I guess you really ARE schills for them.

You really are a troll, since the topic is things Obama has done that republican Presidents have done and not a specific "party". Now explain why all this outrage over petty bs done by Obama, while republican Presidents have done the same without outrage from the "Democrat party", and why we should even give a crap what you have to say about the "Democrat party". Loser!!!

Posted by: flyonthewall on May 29, 2010 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

I've been insulted by far better than YOU.

ANd if you EVER read my posts, you would know I'm not conservative.

Posted by: J on May 29, 2010 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

ANd if you EVER read my posts, you would know I'm not conservative.

Then why are you using a childish slur invented by conservative Republicans purely to belittle Democrats and degrade our political discourse into a playground spitting match? Surely you can come up with better, more adult insults on your own?

Posted by: Midland on May 29, 2010 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

FYI, off topic but I just heard, BP (Beyond Profitable) just announced that the 'Top kill' procedure has failed.

If these ass-hats were 1/10th as good at handling their own F-ups as they are at exploitation of people and the environment, we would have some progress by now. Over 6 Billion $$$ in profit in the last 90 days, and all we get from them is BS, poison, failure, and double-talk. Regulation is for wimps, pencil pushers, and big go'mint traitors. Let the corporations police themselves. They have got it all under control. Oh, sorry, your oceans, your ecology, your economy, your livelihoods, and your natural beauty is destroyed. My bad. Hey, is now a good time to announce a price increase in a barrel of oil?

Posted by: In what respect, Charlie? on May 29, 2010 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Ron Byers nails it. When there is nothing negative to pin on Obama, and much to commend him, the Republicans and their minions in the press invent negative stuff to fill the airwaves.

Beck's invention of non-issues has become a leading indicator that Republicans feel threatened by a) good news about Obama and the Dems or b) more negative news about other Republicans. News like the George Bush-approved platform well gushing uncontrollably in the Gulf, perhaps?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on May 30, 2010 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

Man, the second black president is going to have it SO much easier than the first black president.

Posted by: Xofis on May 30, 2010 at 5:13 AM | PERMALINK

While not directly about Obama, you could add the rap on Kagan for not having judicial experience, when a good portion of SCOTUS members have had no judicial experience.

Clearly the wingnuts tried that on only because she was nominated by Obama.

Posted by: Nancy Irving on May 30, 2010 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

"Then why are you using a childish slur invented by conservative Republicans purely to belittle Democrats and degrade our political discourse into a playground spitting match? Surely you can come up with better, more adult insults on your own?"

If you wish, Midland, to be beholden to a p-rty that has their own interests at heart - this applies equally to the GOP - rather than yours, who are bought and paid for before they're sworn in, who take great sums of money to push big interests rather than the true interests of the people, you go right ahead. If you want to mindlessly support every single thing your p-arty of choice does and knee-jerk criticize every single thing the other p-rty does, go right ahead as well. It's only our country, after all.

I'll stay independent, thank you.

Posted by: J on May 30, 2010 at 7:42 AM | PERMALINK

And if "that" phrase gets my comment removed, that says a whole lot about your so-called respect for others' opinions, truly wishing for intelligent dialogue about issues, and respect for the 1st Amendment.

Posted by: J on May 30, 2010 at 7:45 AM | PERMALINK

Good run-down, Steve (your research is typ. rather comprehensive and you also do a good "framing" - many of us do wish you'd not be so perplexed-acting about the motives of some of the actors ....) Which reminds me, we need more analysis and pushback on how this "Republican Noise Machine" can be so facilitated by the Media.

Posted by: neil b on May 30, 2010 at 7:45 AM | PERMALINK

berttheclock, does the visit *have* to be to Arlington every time? And even if it should be, the pretense of Obama being *comparatively* "worse" would be demolished anyway.

Posted by: neil b. on May 30, 2010 at 7:48 AM | PERMALINK

Steve,

The wingnuts have it more wrong than you or WaPo thought: "Obama's Memorial Day Commemoration" (with footnotes):

"Of all the presidents since World War II, only President Clinton paid a Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery every single year of his presidency."

Posted by: John B. on May 30, 2010 at 9:45 AM | PERMALINK

J: what bugs me about "that" phrase is that it's grammatically incorrect and makes the speaker sound uneducated. Since the Rs are apparently educated, instead they sound unserious and petty. How are we going to have civil public discourse in this country when one side is unserious and petty almost all of the time. The Dems are not perfect for sure, but on the whole are at least trying to govern.

Posted by: Hannah on May 30, 2010 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

"But Obama is the first Black Muslim president to spit on our troops and force everyone to have abortions!"
Posted by: Conservatroll

"and force everyone to have [gay] abortions!"
Posted by: FRP

and to have abortions himself?

Sheesh. The rw nuts' rants get crazier every day. Excellent article, showing clearly how unbalanced the right actually has become.

BTW, the president was at Arlington last year on Memorial Day. I like it that he is going to the national cemetery in Chicago this year to honor the men & women who fought & died for our country and are buried there. As Neil B. pointed out, it doesn't have to be Arlington every year. Those whose graves are in other national cemeteries are just as worthy of honor as those who lie in Arlington.

Posted by: Mary K. from L.A. on May 30, 2010 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, I hope next year he chooses to visit a military cemetary in Kansas or somewhere. It would be nice if he visited Arlington on Memorial Day at least once during his tenure, but not all military personnel choose to be buried in Arlington.

Posted by: Rebekah on May 31, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

OH BY THE WAY - WE ARE STILL FIGHTING TWO WARS IN WHICH AMERICANS ARE GETTING KILLED!

No, we are not fighting two wars. We are occupying two countries.

Posted by: Anonny on June 1, 2010 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

Reply to JMG:

Alas, not soon enough.

Posted by: Big River Bandido on June 2, 2010 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

Amen, brother Benen.

But if you really want a good time you need to go to Columbia, the gem of the Upland. http://www.danablankenhorn.com/2010/06/whats-wrong-with-south-carolina.html

Just imagine what politics might be like if the rules you detail were in fact the rule.

Posted by: Dana Blankenhorn on June 5, 2010 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget the Boy Scout Jamboree.

Posted by: NormDPloom on August 2, 2010 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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