Thursday, July 17, 2008

Enough Phony Outrage For One Day

When you read things like this, you wonder if Hanson isn't about to burst into tears after he writes something as overwrought as this:

(Barack Obama said this to Glamour magazine)
"It's infuriating, but it's not surprising, because let's face it: What happened was that the conservative press—Fox News and the National Review and columnists of every ilk—went fairly deliberately at her in a pretty systematic way...and treated her as the candidate in a way that you just rarely see the Democrats try to do against Republicans."

And that's where Hanson cuts Obama off. Fair enough. Here's the rest of Obama's thought:
And I've said this before: I would never have my campaign engage in a concerted effort to make Cindy McCain an issue, and I would not expect the Democratic National Committee or people who were allied with me to do it. Because essentially, spouses are civilians. They didn't sign up for this. They're supporting their spouse. So it took a toll. If you start being subjected to rants by Sean Hannity and the like, day in day out, that'll drive up your negatives.

Everybody who knows Michelle knows how extraordinary she is. She's ironically the most quintessentially American woman I know. She grew up in a "Leave it to Beaver" family. She is the best mother I know. And our kids are a testimony to that, because she's really had to raise them, oftentimes without me being there. She's the most honest person I know, she's smart, she's funny, so yeah, it infuriates me. And I think that it is an example of the erosion of civility in our political culture that she's been subjected to these attacks, and my attitude is that the people who have attacked her in the ways that they have...if they've got a difference with me on policy, they should debate me. Not her.

Now that you know the context of the answer--whereby, Obama all but demands that the attacks on Cindy McCain either stop or not be undertaken by anyone affiliated with his campaign--you can see why Hanson dishonestly cut off Obama's answer. So now we get the phony outrage of a man so desperate to find something to hold on to, you'd think he was coming unglued:
But this is disingenuous. First, Ms. Obama is the recipient of almost continuously positive attention and press coverage in the network news. In CNN's comparative profiles of the candidates, it dwelt on her accomplishments, while focusing on Ms. McCain's problems with prescription drugs, her privileged status, the circumstances of her meeting John McCain, etc.

Second, Ms. Obama, not on the prompt of the National Review, chose to play a highly partisan role, and, furthermore, publicly to indict American culture and life on the basis of her newfound prominence and exposure as a wife of a candidate, all in a way none of the other spouses of candidates in either party did with the exception of Bill Clinton — who not surprisingly was equally cross-examined.

These are things that I have simply never heard nor have I ever seen--have you? I mean, she went on The View and people loved her. She meets with people, and she talks about family issues--she leaves the AK-47 at home, obviously.

We're to expect the wife of a Presidential candidate to say nothing and hide in the background? I don't think Michelle Obama has said or done anything differently from that of Cindy McCain--and NEITHER of them approach the levels of partisanship we saw from Bill Clinton in the primary process. Not that that's bad--but Bill was far more political, for obvious reasons--he was the President of the United States, for God's sake.

Most observers, after all, will take offense when told by a potential First Lady that their country heretofore is not the sort of place to inspire pride, or is downright mean, or its people usually "uninvolved and uninformed". Most of us either did not know of Michelle Obama, or, to the extent we did, had a favorable opinion of her as a successful wife, mother, and highly educated and experienced career professional—until in a series of "raise the bar" sermons, she let loose a barrage of indictments against American culture.

Really, Mr. Hanson? Then why did the father of President Bush stand before the American people with the intention of distancing himself from Ronald Reagan and ask for a "kindler, gentler nation?" Amnesia sets in when we start trying to gin up phony outrage.
Once again the pattern proves the same: the Obamas spontaneously offer biting fundamental critiques on the unsoundness of American life and culture, from the important to the silly—whether our national temperament, or our supposed inability to speak a foreign language, or our diet, etc—and then the Senator recoils in anguish and hurt when any of the targets suggests that they are both wrong in their indictments and not especially the sort who can make the case America has been mean or unfair to its citizens.

Here's President Bush calling for more physical fitness and a healthier lifestyle--it's what Presidents do. And here he makes a fool of himself addressing the Italian prime minister in Spanish--now, do you think it would be wise to emphasize a little learning and accomplishment in this regard?
It is the duty of all journalists to call Obama on his double-standard on every occasion he draws upon it, since we are seeing a dangerous messianic quality in which anything short of the accustomed adoration becomes "infuriating" and a sort of exemption from cross-examination on an always expanding array of topics is demanded.

I don't see adoration--I see smears and lies, mostly. The only "adoration" one sees comes when the press attends a barbecue at one of John McCain's seven homes.

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