Monday, February 23, 2015


It is perhaps indicative of the sad state to which our news media has sunk that they took to their fainting couches when the comments by former New York mayor Rudy Guiliani to the effect that he doesn't think President Obama loves this country assaulted their delicate sensibilities. Guiliani's remark set off a media code red summoning all good liberals to the defense of their president, tut-tutting endlessly, and often mindlessly, about this latest ATSBAR (Awful Thing Said By A Republican).

I honestly don't know what all the furor is about and am quite frankly a little surprised that anyone would find Guiliani's claim to be controversial. I assumed that it was common knowledge on both left and right that Mr. Obama is not particularly enamored of the country he was elected to lead. To understand why one might assume this, imagine a man who grows up surrounded by, and mentored by, misogynists, and who chooses as friends people who have contempt for women. Ironically, this man eventually meets a woman and tells her he'd like to marry her. She's inexplicably smitten by him, but she notices that he refuses to wear the pin she gave him as a token of their mutual love, and when they're among company she hears him criticizing her and apologizing for her shortcomings. She even overhears him say that it's his goal, once they're married, to fundamentally transform her. Wouldn't any woman in that circumstance have reason to think that this man doesn't really love her?

Mr. Obama is a progressive leftist. The progressive left derides patriotism and smirks at talk of love of country. If you think this is an exaggeration imagine yourself, if you can, at a convention of progressive liberals at which Lee Greenwood is invited to sing God Bless the U.S.A. The hall would fill with winces and groans. Affirmations of love of country are simply not part of the progressive vocabulary, and they tend to scorn expressions of patriotism among the average American as déclassé.

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post affords us sample of the media hysterics over Guiliani's remarks, but with a predictable twist. He chose not only to condemn Guiliani's statement of the obvious as "stupid," though he deigns not to explain to us exactly why it's stupid, but also to use it as a catapult with which to launch another salvo at Wisconsin governor Scott Walker:
What Rudy Giuliani did this week was stupid. What Scott Walker did ought to disqualify him as a serious presidential contender.

As the world now knows, Giuliani, the former New York mayor, said at a dinner featuring Walker, the Wisconsin governor, that “I do not believe that the president loves America.” According to Politico, Giuliani said President Obama “wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country.”

And Walker, just a few seats away, said . . . nothing. Asked the next morning on CNBC about Giuliani’s words, the Republican presidential aspirant was spineless: “The mayor can speak for himself. I’m not going to comment on what the president thinks or not. He can speak for himself as well. I’ll tell you, I love America, and I think there are plenty of people — Democrat, Republican, independent, everyone in between — who love this country.”

But did he agree with Giuliani? “I’m in New York,” Walker demurred. “I’m used to people saying things that are aggressive out there.” This is what’s alarming about the Giuliani affair. There will always be people on the fringe who say outrageous things (and Giuliani, once a respected public servant, has sadly joined the nutters as he questioned the president’s patriotism even while claiming he was doing no such thing). But to have a civilized debate, it’s necessary for public officials to disown such beyond-the-pale rhetoric. And Walker failed that fundamental test of leadership.
Hmm. Mr. Milbank accuses Scott Walker of spinelessness because Walker failed to disown "beyond-the-pale rhetoric." I wonder why calling someone "spineless" for refusing to be drawn into a controversy that doesn't involve him isn't itself "beyond-the-pale." I wonder if Milbank's asseveration that Walker's demurral disqualifies him from being president isn't itself a bit "beyond-the-pale." Indeed, I wonder how Milbank can call a man who stood without flinching against all the smears, threats, and pressure the Wisconsin public employees unions could bring to bear on him over the last four years "spineless," but perhaps logic isn't Mr. Milbank's strong suit.

But his silliness goes beyond just this. As Gateway Pundit reminds us, candidate Obama himself accused President Bush of being unpatriotic for allowing the national debt to increase by four trillion dollars during his tenure as president (This accusation is especially humorous when it's noted that Mr. Obama increased the debt by that much in his first three years as president.)
I wonder if Mr. Milbank went around demanding that Democrats come to the defense of Mr. Bush's patriotism and repudiate Mr. Obama's "beyond-the-pale" comment. I doubt it. The former Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, once publicly called Mr. Bush "a loser." Did Dana Milbank demand other Democrats dissociate themselves from Senator Reid's remark? Has he interrogated Hillary Clinton (if she could be enticed to come out of reclusion) as to what she thinks of all the absolutely fatuous and offensive things Vice-President Biden has said and done over the years, including most recently his nuzzling of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's wife on national television.

If a Republican had done this the media would be calling down fire from heaven on the perpetrator, but since Biden is a Democrat Mr. Milbank and his colleagues turn their indignation upon the hapless Mr. Walker for his reluctance to throw a fellow Republican under the bus for saying pretty much what many objective observers believe.

Liberals are desperate to find some way to discredit Governor Walker because they know they can't attack him on his record or his personal life. They'll still try, though, and in the months to come they'll be asking him all sorts of questions they wouldn't dream of asking a Democrat, questions about evolution, his faith, Mr. Obama's faith, Mr. Obama's patriotism, Mr. Obama's place of birth, the name of the current leader of Burkina Faso, anything at all to diminish the man, no matter how absurd. That's how politics is played by these folks, and it's why many decent people are turned off by both politics and the media.