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Obama Bashing

  1. Nov 26, 2008 #1

    Pythagorean

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    Maybe this is the first election I've paid so much attention to, but is this not the first president to get bashed so much before he even made it in to office?

    Even with Bush it seems the bashing didn't come until after he proved his incompetence well into his presidency.
     
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  3. Nov 26, 2008 #2

    turbo

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    Part of it is due to racism, part is due to the right's revulsion to moderate/liberal ideals, and part of it is due to the dog-in-the-manger attitude of the GOP who desperately want to de-legitimize Obama's victory in the eyes of the public. They lost the race for President, and they want to set Obama up as a fall-guy should he fail to correct the problems left by the Bush administration. There are a lot more facets, of course, but I see these as main themes.
     
  4. Nov 26, 2008 #3

    Pythagorean

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    When you say GOP are you thinking of the campaigners and administration or the Joe Sixpack writing blogs? I tend to see a lot more of it from Joe Sixpack. The admin/campaigners seem to have shut up for now.
     
  5. Nov 26, 2008 #4

    turbo

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    It's a lot more than Joe Sixpack, though. There's a nod, nod, wink, wink relationship with the right-wing their propaganda arm (headed up by Faux news and the Murdoch empire), and they are spinning stuff furiously.
     
  6. Nov 26, 2008 #5

    Evo

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    The hard core religious right fear that a lot of the control they've gained over the past 8 years is lost now that Obama has been elected. They're not going to let that control go quietly.
     
  7. Nov 26, 2008 #6

    Pythagorean

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    Yeah, Fox has always been a good parallel universe fiction. O' Reily cracks me up. What's "Murdoch empire"?

    edit: found him:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupert_Murdoch
     
  8. Nov 26, 2008 #7

    Moonbear

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    I don't see any more Obama bashing than anyone else elected. Actually, I see less. I see a lot more "Obama can do no wrong" type worshipping, far more so than I've EVER seen. Of course, when his worshippers cry foul and claim that anyone who is simply pointing out flaws in his plans or policies is "bashing" him, it may give the impression he's being bashed more. I'm not sure why there are so many more this time around who can't see that like every president that preceded him, he is still human and subject to human flaws and that for each good idea he has, there's still likely to be bad ones or bad implementation.

    Actually, what you may be noticing more is that Obama is simply getting more attention overall in this interim between election and taking office. I'm having a hard time remembering so far back to when Clinton and earlier presidents were elected to recall if this used to be common. You have to keep in mind that for both of GW Bush's terms, we didn't know this soon that he was definitely president. There were so many disputed election results and close calls that the media focus was on the recounts and court battles, not the newly elected president.

    He has also set himself up with some lofty campaign promises, and the ones made early in the campaign are not likely to be achievable now that the economy has come crashing down around him, so I'm sure we'll hear a lot about broken campaign promises too. Every president experiences that as well; people like to ignore that changing circumstances might change the relative importance of certain campaign promises in favor of whining that promises were broken.

    Let's face it, it's a favorite past-time of US citizens to complain about their politicians.
     
  9. Nov 26, 2008 #8

    Pythagorean

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    Well, first, my exposure is the internet. I don't watch much tv. I found that both left and the right are pretty bias lately on the networks.

    I really haven't seen much Obama praising. I see a lot of banner ads on most sites I use, all against Obama (complete with unflattering shots).

    Another explanation could be that there's a higher volume of political internet users this time around.
     
  10. Nov 26, 2008 #9

    turbo

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    Our local newspaper has pretended to be "fair and balanced" by alternating columns from creampuffs with no political chops (like Garrison Kieler) with strident right-wingers like Mona Charen and Kathleen Parker (who once wrote that Obama shouldn't be running for president because he didn't have "the bloodline").
     
  11. Nov 26, 2008 #10

    Moonbear

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    Wow, I'm really not seeing anything like that. I visit a few political/news forums (so I don't have to worry about behaving myself as I do here :wink:), and they're mostly still busy attacking Palin as if the election wasn't already over (those seem to be the sore winners who don't know what to do with themselves now that they've won and have nobody to pick on anymore :rolleyes:). There's a little bit of Obama bashing from the extreme right wing, but no more so than is typical, and it's still not as bad as people were at attacking Bush. There's a lot more praise of Obama and proudly announcing everything he's already doing.

    I haven't seen it in the news at all. A lot of the news coverage has been incredibly non-critical of Obama. But, that could be that it's still the "honeymoon" period. Nobody even seems to be blinking at his cabinet choices as they are being announced, which is pretty much the big topic in the news. Since the vote in this state went to McCain, I would have expected to see more critical coverage of Obama than if I lived in a state more favorable to Obama's election. But we also don't have much of the rabid, religious right in this state. The population is more Democrat than Republican, but is overall pretty centrist. So, maybe I don't see as much as in the states that lean heavily to the extremes.
     
  12. Nov 26, 2008 #11

    turbo

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    The most reasoned criticism I'm seeing of Obama is actually coming from progressives, who are concerned that he is recycling too many Clinton appointees and Washington insiders as he builds his administration.

    Criticism from the right-wing columnists in the local papers often takes the form of:
    Attribute a view to Obama (valid or not), extrapolate it to an extreme, claim that he is pursuing a radical agenda, and attack him for that. It's typical Rush Limbaugh "journalism" - construct a straw-man argument and use ad-hominem attacks to denigrate Obama's performance. I'm surprised that you're not getting "opinion" columns like this in your papers, Moonie. Maine is not a super-polarized state, but you wouldn't know it from reading the local papers.

    By all signs so far, Obama is ahead of the curve in building his administration and should be able to hit the ground running. He has not waited for months to name people to top positions, nor has he named inexperienced friends to sensitive posts. He has also made himself available to the press and kept his process as open as possible, given the secrecy that must surround feeling-out, vetting, and defining roles for appointees. It is very important for the stability of US and world markets that Obama is making so many critical appointments (especially at commerce, etc) early and openly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  13. Nov 26, 2008 #12

    Redbelly98

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    I thought Bush was getting bashed plenty before taking office, but I mainly hang out with other Democrats and listen to NPR. Haven't seen much criticism of Obama, but I know for sure it is coming. You can count on extremists to bash away nonstop whenever the other side is in power, no matter what the president actually says or does.
     
  14. Nov 26, 2008 #13

    Moonbear

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    That would be a reasoned criticism, but I don't get any of that locally. They're just all happy he's trying to appoint Hillary. :rolleyes:

    Oh, do people actually read the opinion columns and letters to editor in the local papers? I don't. I gave that up probably a decade ago. I came to the conclusion that people who wrote letters to the editor were long on opinion and short on brains, so just skip that page. I rarely read the actual printed papers anyway. Not much of interest in local news, and I can get the national stories without wasting paper.
     
  15. Nov 26, 2008 #14

    turbo

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    According to Elizabeth Drew at the New York Review of Books, Obama is NOT trying to appoint Hillary. She and her staff claimed (falsely) that Obama offered her Sec of State, to box him in. His transition team was pretty upset. I'd been getting hints of this for some time, and the story appears to have legs.

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=1977001&postcount=50

    I read nationally-syndicated opinion columns in the newspaper because I want to keep in touch with what the rest of the country might be exposed to in the press. Unfortunately, the local rag chooses to run columns from the most moderate Democrats and the most extreme right-wing Republicans. Columns from thoughtful conservatives like Chris Buckley (and yes, I loved to read his dad's columns even when I didn't agree with him) never get printed. As a result the political opinion page of the paper alternates in character between
    Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and Carl Rove on meth.

    I do have some interest in local news, including economic conditions, and the papers are a wonderful way to kindle fires in the wood stove. I sometimes wish that I didn't have to get a sports section to save that paper, but sports burns just as well as local and national news and classifieds.
     
  16. Nov 26, 2008 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    The right-wing nuts have been bashing Obama, but lately, even the likes of Bay Buchanan and John McLaughlin [not to mention people like George Will, David Brooks, and even Chris Buckley], have been praising Obama for his cabinet appointments. So the Obama bashers are even right of the far right.

    What's more, politicians in the past have been around long enough to have made plenty of enemies. What I think is unique about Obama's case is the completely unjustified outrage. He hasn't been around long enough to earn such contempt. It is clearly irrational. That's probably why the attacks have been a moving target. It's something different every day, but nothing sticks because its all nonsense.
     
  17. Nov 26, 2008 #16

    Ivan Seeking

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    Something else, from my pov, is that the Obama-mania is not so much about Obama in that he walks on water and the like. The fervor results more from the importance of electing the best man for the job. The fervor is a latent manifestation of desperation in desperate times. Bush has taught us all just how bad a bad choice can be. But I do also think that Obama is the best candidate that I have ever seen. The legendary campaign that he ran serves as evidence that I am right about this, so I have high hopes.

    He has also come out of the gate on a dead run. His choices so far have pleased many Republicans, as well as Democrats. The only people I hear crying are the extremists and ideologs - both, liberals, and neo-conservatives.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
  18. Nov 26, 2008 #17

    Moonbear

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    The fervor is just that, fervor. It's not rational. There's nothing to base the fervor on. It's all just riding on Bush hatred rather than anything meritorious that Obama has actually done. He has no record to base any decision about him on.

    It's unjustified outrage at this point, but also unjustified praise. Not knowing much about him works both ways. There's no reason to support or bash him yet, and thus it boggles my mind that he actually got elected based on a non-existent record. I guess people just are naive enough to believe that no record is better than one with flaws...even if it really just means the flaws haven't been found yet.

    But the media doesn't even seem interested in asking questions about this. When I say they aren't being critical, I mean it in terms of critical thinking...asking questions, checking facts, ensuring that claims are backed up with evidence...I don't mean picking for bad things. They don't seem to be doing any of that. Whatever his campaign states, they parrot without question. I've never seen such unquestioning support for any political candidate before, and it's not a good thing, in my opinion.

    But, on the upside, all the things I really had a problem with about his positions will be thwarted by the current economy. They just aren't feasible with the economic downturn and will need to be put off while he fixes that first. And, it sounds like he's at least realizing this, so maybe there's some hope.
     
  19. Nov 26, 2008 #18

    turbo

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    The media has stopped doing its job, and hasn't performed credibly in years. Instead of developing stories, they find it cheaper and easier to quote "sources" and parrot the things that they are told in press conferences. Investigative journalism is practically dead. Network "journalism" has degraded to the point at which the hosts of a "news" program invite mouthpieces of the opposing parties onto the show, and let them spout off without providing background nor context for their claims. I don't find it entertaining, and it sure is less-than-informative unless you are willing to spend a lot of time digging and fact-checking - something that the networks have apparently decided to stop doing.
     
  20. Nov 26, 2008 #19

    Pythagorean

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    You really believe it's naivety? I think it's naive to think McCain would have been better just because he has a record. I guess I'm just saying that knife cuts both ways.

    In the end though, we have to admit that naive people voted for both as did people that aren't naive. A lot of McCain supporters (to me) seemed like they just had a blind loyalty to the republican party (which has succumbed to the neo-con movement lately).

    I'd actually be a republican if true republican values were in place. Instead, I have to be an independent because the republican party identity is confused and what most people think of as republican today I don't want to be associated with. I've never been much for democrats (but I voted democrat when George W ran and when McCain)

    It's four years, though, a wink of the eye. I gave that four years to Obama because I'm interested in what he'll do. Intuitively, I trust he's the best choice for someone like me (a student of science) but I'll know for sure in four years.
     
  21. Nov 26, 2008 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    People see a very smart and uniquely talented person. I didn't need to know anything about Bush's record to know he was an idiot who would make a mess of things. Likewise, no record can speak to Obama's unique talents, his keen intellect, and his first-class temperment. Rarely do we see natural leaders with this mix of skills emerge in such a timely fashion. What's more, McCain was clearly not up to the task, hence the third-class campaign that he ran. For all of his experience, a Freshman from Illinois kicked his butt. Proof enough in its own right. Hussein Obama, the black man, the terrorists, the radical Muslim, the radical Black-Christian, had the odds heavily weighted against him. McCain had the advantage. He was the Maverick.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2008
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