Two days after he was re-elected, “Why do people hate you?” a fourth-grade boy asked Obama at a town hall meeting in New Orleans. “They’re supposed to love you. And God is love.”
Startled, “That’s what I’m talking about,” responded the President. He glanced at the crowd, then smiled.
“First of all," he told the boy, "I did get elected president, so not everybody hates me. What is true is if you were watching TV lately, it seems like everybody’s just getting mad all the time. And. you know, I think that you’ve got to take it with a grain of salt. Some of it is just what’s called politics where, you know, once one party wins, then the other party kind of gets – feels like it needs to poke you a little bit to keep you on your toes.”
The boy nodded attentively, reports Matthew Jaffe of ABC News.
“And so you shouldn’t take it too seriously,” Obama told the boy. “And then, sometimes, as I said before, people just – I think they’re worried about their own lives. A lot of people are losing their jobs right now. A lot of people are losing their health care or they’ve lost their homes to foreclosure, and they’re feeling frustrated. And when you’re president of the United States, you know, you’ve got to deal with all of that.”
But is this something new? Did the Democrats hate Eisenhower back in the 1950s? Did the Republicans detest JFK and LBJ in the 1960s? When did all this start? With Nixon – when his enemies forced him out of office? With Clinton when his detractors humiliated him with revelations about a blue dress and cigars? Geroge W. Bush certainly reaped his share of derision – David Letterman made no pretense of his intense dislike of the conservative Republican.
So, is this something new, or has it been building over the last half century – hatred for those who disagree?
“Let me finish tonight with something that’s been bothering me,” mused Chris Matthews on the liberal MSNBC recently. “Why do people hate this president so much?
Matthews then cited a number of criticism that have aired, concluding, “Whatever comes along, like the CBO report yesterday, becomes another way to find a way to explain hating the guy.”
Of course, that CBO report was the one that said 2.5 million Americans would lose their jobs because of Obamacare. What were the phony GOP “reasons” for hating Obama, according to Matthews?
“Republicans had their chance to modify the health care plan,” said Matthews. “It was they who decided to sit back and let the Democrats do it all alone.
“And all this other stuff, the obscure IRS story that’s not gotten tied to any of the Obama political people.
“The Benghazi brouhaha that was discredited by the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee that basically squared the Obama claims with the evidence showing it really was a spontaneous attack probably triggered by a Cairo attack and that dumb anti-Islamic movie out of Los Angeles.”
“Well,” muses Matt Hadro “in regards to the IRS, e-mails just surfaced tying the former IRS chief to crafting new rules for investigating Tea Party groups.” And reports keep surfacing that Obama is using IRS as a hit-squad, selectively pursuing conservative groups
while ignoring abuses by liberal organizations.
“And,” continues Hadro, “the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that the Benghazi attacks were indeed ‘deliberate and organized.’ This is not the first time Matthews has tried to stick up for the White House in an untenable situation.”
Give Obama a break, laments Matthew Lynch at the liberal Huffington Post: “It seems we have forgotten that when Barack Obama assumed the presidency, he was charged with resolving the nastiest set of problems and issues of any incoming commander-in-chief since Franklin D. Roosevelt took office on March 4, 1933. What did he do in response? He immediately jumped into action and orchestrated an unprecedented stimulus package, the auto bailouts, and a major health care bill. Under President Obama’s watch, America is experiencing something that it hasn’t experienced in ages — genuine progress. Although we have many more miles to go, we have to remember that Rome was not built in a day. The issues that continually plague our country took decades to develop and will probably take several more decades to fix.” Obama in New Hampshire ( Marc Nozell/Wikimedia)
“Since he first assumed the role of the presidency in 2009, Barack Obama has had his fair share of dissenters. Some of the criticism is a matter of opinion. (He’s too young. He’s too inexperienced). Some is so far off base that it is outlandish. (He is a Muslim masquerading as a Baptist. He is really a Kenyan). The worst criticisms of all though are the ones that are readily accepted by Americans who are misinformed. If you want to hate the President, that is your right, but make sure you have the facts straight first.
“When people get really hot under the collar about Obama’s latest social issue push, they throw out accusations of socialist behavior. If that were really true, he would have nationalized the auto and financial industries instead of offering billions of dollars in bailout money his first year in office. Health care reform is most often referenced in the same sentence as socialism, and used as glaring proof that this President has those tendencies.
“Obama did not nationalize health care though. He simply made insurance subsidies available and required for all Americans. The effect will actually mean more business for the health care industry and more customers for insurance companies. No government agency is taking over health care services. Obama left that part of the deal in the capable hands of the private businesses that are already established. True socialists are at odds with the latest health care reform, and other Obama initiatives. In fact, the 2008 Socialist Party nominee Brian Patrick Moore calls the President an “insult” to socialism.
“Since Obama is a socialist (see above) he therefore wants to nationalize all services and squash out capitalism,” continues Lynch. “Based on numbers alone, such accusations are false. While Obama has been famous for fighting for the 99 percent, he has been good for one-percenters too. In nearly 85 years of existence, Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index has only doubled for five presidents. In May, Obama joined names like Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan when that index officially doubled from where it stood when he took office 58
months prior. In fact, the U.S. has outperformed the next nine largest economies of the world on these indexes since 2009.
“The president has also worked hard for small businesses, which make up over 90 percent of American companies, by enacting 18 tax cuts and addressed access to capital to the tune of $93 billion in lending through the Small Business Administration. Critics may say that Obama had really nowhere to go but up, given the economy he inherited, and there is some truth in that statement. Still – the road to economic recovery has not been easy and President Obama has shown his business savvy over the past four and a half years.
“Despite outcries from the National Rifle Association against President Obama, he has actually been pretty lax on actual gun control legislation. In 2009, he signed a law allowing firearms in national parks. In 2011, the U.S. House passed a law that says a permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state is valid in every other. Obama has not taken any guns away — if anything, the legislation passed under his administration has been Second Amendment-friendly. His public comments about gun control following tragedies like mass killings in a Colorado movie theater or the death of Trayvon Martin are what get organizations like the NRA riled up but his actual actions (so far) do not back up that passionate rhetoric. Gun lobbyists only real claim to fear when it comes to the president and tight gun control is his Supreme Court nominees — Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor. Both are considered pro-gun control but neither replaced a justice that was anti-gun control. There is still time in the second term for Obama to crack down on access to guns but based on his performance so far, lax gun control is still alive and well in America.
So, is it time to lay off of the president?
“As a conservative, picking out things you don’t like about Barack Obama is kind of like pointing to the wettest part of the ocean,” snickers John Hawkins at Townhall . “It also goes beyond politics. Not only is Barack Obama wrong politically, he’s not a good guy, ‘cool,’ or even moderately likable. To the contrary, he’s one of the nastiest, least admirable people in politics and he gets by based on a phony persona he created when he ran for President in 2008 — along with the help of press corps liberals that work to protect him like they’re on his payroll. Based on his performance and his personality, Barack Obama deserves to be the least popular man ever to sit in the White House.”
Well, gee, don’t hold back! Anything else? As a matter of fact, says Hawkins, yes. And he rattles off 30 reasons he dislikes Obama.
“1) Nobody but an [expletive deleted] would say, ‘It’s very rare that I come to an event where I’m like the fifth- or sixth-most interesting person.’
“ 2) He’s a former (maybe, who really knows?) coke-snorting pothead who governs with all the care and due diligence you’d expect from a coke-snorting pothead.”
Hmmmm. It would appear that Hawkins may not like Obama. Does he have any concrete complaints? Anything specific? Hawkins responds:
“4) He is a bigger liar than Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter put together. There’s nothing the man says you can count on his meaning unless he’s saying something nice about himself.
“5) He’s made racist comments about white people. Just to name one example, ‘That’s just how white folks will do you. It wasn’t merely the cruelty involved; I was learning that black people could be mean
and then some. It was a particular brand of arrogance, an obtuseness in otherwise sane people that brought forth our bitter laughter. It was as if whites didn’t know that they were being cruel in the first place. Or at least thought you deserving of their scorn.’
“7) He once picked his nose on camera.
“9) He ate a dog once which is just gross.”
And the list goes on. One wonders if Hawkins was having a really bad day.
“15) He’s the single least competent man ever to sit in the White House; yet he’s arrogant to the point of narcissism. He’s like a third string high school basketball player who thinks he should be playing in the NBA all-star game.
“19) America lost its AAA credit rating for the first time since 1917 on Obama’s watch and he blamed it on the Tea Party. Yes, seriously.
“20) One out of every five Americans is on food stamps thanks to Barack Obama and in his mind, that’s a good thing because it makes those people more dependent on the government and therefore likely to vote for the Democrats.
“23) Time and time again he has said and done things that indicate that he doesn’t like America, is ashamed of the country and finds the whole nation to be slightly embarrassing.
“24) Obama passed the DREAM ACT by fiat and illegally, unconstitutionally started the process of giving work permits to illegals.
“26) He spends more time golfing and going on vacations than he does in meetings on economic policy.”
So, are Obama’s detractors being unfair?
“It’s a shame there weren’t any mirrors in the ballroom of the Washington Hilton when President Obama spoke at yesterday’s National Prayer Breakfast,” writes Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. “He might have been forced to look into one when he spoke about the value of religious liberty, life, and human dignity. For the 3,500 in the audience, the President’s remarks seemed almost surreal in the context of his five-year war on the same values he implored the crowd to defend.
“We believe each of us is wonderfully made in the image of God,” he said. “We believe in the inherent dignity of every person. No society can truly succeed unless it guarantees the rights of all its people…”
At times, the speech was so emphatically pro-life that it could have easily been mistaken for Obama’s predecessor, writes Perkins: “Killing the innocent is never fulfilling God’s will,” Obama insisted, “seemingly oblivious to the millions of dollars this administration has spent advocating for exactly that in abortion policy. ‘In fact,’ the President went on, ‘it is the ultimate betrayal of God’s will.’ For a man as politically savvy as the President, it seems impossible that the White House could be this tone-deaf. Whether he meant it as a jab at pro-lifers or not, the irony hasn’t been lost on conservatives.
“Like most Americans, we think it’s a tragedy that the President doesn’t apply this same standard of human dignity on the million innocent Americans who die every year under the violence made possible by his abortion policies.
“The same man who said he didn’t want his daughters ‘punished with a baby,’ who asked God to bless Planned Parenthood, and who celebrated last month’s anniversary of Roe v. Wade is only condemning himself,” writes Perkins.
“And while most of the press from yesterday’s breakfast was focused on the President’s contradictions on life, his hypocrisy wasn’t limited to the unborn. ‘Freedom of religion is under threat around the world,’ President Obama warned, neglecting to mention that one of its greatest threats is coming directly from the Oval Office.
“When President Obama highlights religious freedom, as he did yesterday, he is doing so as the leader of the most oppressive administration in American history. While he praises religious freedom as a ‘universal right,’ more than 90 plaintiffs are in court, fighting the White House over the loss of it under ObamaCare.
“While he insists that human dignity cannot survive without ‘the right
of every person to practice their faith how they choose,’ millions of suffering Christians around the world beg the U.S. to intervene on their behalf.
“While he condemns the people who would use religion to hurt others because of ‘who they love,’ the government is forcing Christian businesses to close if they won’t participate in same-sex ‘weddings.’
"While he sends our troops into harm’s way to defend this rich legacy, thousands of service members are too worried about the backlash to exercise it themselves.
“From the comfort of a hotel ballroom, the President insists he has called out world leaders to do more to respect human rights. Yet when Congress pleads with the White House to intervene on behalf of the persecuted church in Iraq, Nigeria, China, Egypt, or Kenya after suicide bombers destroy churches and families, the response from the White House is always the same: silence.
“For the first time in months, the President did acknowledge the plight of Christian Pastor Saeed Abedini, an Iranian-turned-U.S.-citizen, who’s been brutalized in prison for 18 months while his wife begs for his release on Capitol Hill. ‘And as we continue to work for his freedom, again we call on the Iranian government to release Pastor Abedini so he can return to the loving arms of his wife and children in Idaho.’
“While the President’s words still hung in the air yesterday, Pew Research Center announced for the sixth consecutive year that Christians are the most oppressed religious group in the world.
“Believers in 110 countries were harassed for their faith — a number that’s steadily climbed since Pew started its analysis in 2008. The United States wasn’t one of the countries, but if the President’s policies are any indication, the odds are increasing every day.”
So, are Obama’s critics being fair? Or is this an American tradition – to demonize the man in the Oval Office. In the 1860s, Lincoln was so hated that half of the country announced they wanted out of the Union – and fought a deadly civil war that ended with the nation intact, but Lincoln martyred.
America loves criticizing its Presidents.
“One of the things I admire most about America,” writes Lynch at the Huffington Post, “is the freedom to criticize political leaders and debate issues freely.
“No person feels the weight of those liberties more than the Commander in Chief.
“If we are going to exercise those rights though, let’s at least address the true actions of the president when we do it.”