Sunday, November 08, 2009

Shame on President Obama

There are some criticisms of Barack Obama that go too far. For example, I did not share the outrage about his belated reference to the Fort Hood shootings. Yes, it was tone deaf, but that's about it. But his decision not to travel to Berlin for the twentieth anniversay of the fall of the Berlin Wall is more than tone deaf. This was one of the most significant and improbable events of the past fifty years; brought about, in large part, by constancy in American policy. To stay away is to send a message and it is the wrong message. Whether he seeks to placate the Russians, repudiate American exceptionalism or refuse to acknowledge a Republican accomplishment, rejecting what brought about one of the most remarkable and peaceful victories over tyranny is shameful. For the winner of a faux peace prize to ignore one of history's singular triumphs for peace is an embarassment.

38 comments:

AnotherTosaVoter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Shame on Rick Esenberg! Is there nothing the President does which isn't flawed?

Matt said...

ATV, we do deserve the credit though. Reagan's defense initiatives are what finally broke the USSR. Lady Thatcher and Reagan, with Pope JPII were relentless.

Also ask yourself: Why was it OK for Candidate Obama to appear at the Brandenburg Gate, but to actually attend the anniversary of the fall? This guy continues to be an embarrassment to his troops, his office, himself and his country.

Rick Esenberg said...

ATV

If you want to repost without that snarky little shot, I'll respond to your question.

Anonymous said...

Well said Matt.

Anon 6:32
Have you forgotten how some liberals acted towards Bush while he was president? He couldn't speak a word without someone attacking him, comparing him to Hitler, even wishing for his death. In fact, some libs continue to blame everything on him...just can't let it go. Tell me - do you think there was anything that W did that wasn't flawed?

Anonymous said...

Give me a freakin' break. Obama goes to Berlin and gives a great speech that, among other things, commemorates the fall of the Berlin Wall. You parody him: "The First Letter of Barack to the Germans." Obama doesn't go to Berlin, and it's "Shame on President Obama."

I am reminded of the double-bind theory, now rather discredited as a good explanation of the cause of schizophrenia. Example: A mother gives her son two ties. He puts one of them on and wears it. The mother says to the son, "What's the matter? Don't you like the other tie I gave you?".

As Anony 6:32 said, there is nothing Obama could do that you wouldn't find fault with.

Anonymous said...

How far left is he when he did not go to Germany or call Ft. Hood shooting a terrorist attack both in one week?

Rick Esenberg said...

It's not that he went to Berlin, its what he said and how he said it. He didn't just commemorate the fall of the Wall.

Anonymous said...

Obama is in D.C., working (over the weekend, I might add) to ensure the passage of this Administration's highest priority -- universal health care. Now, you can disagree with him about the merits of the legislation. And you do, as we know. But you can't complain he's not doing the job he was elected to do.

This is the guy who's been excoriated, by you and by others, for doing nothing other than delivering speeches. And he is at fault for . . . not flying five thousand miles to give a speech. Not just at fault, but he has shamed himself! Shande! Shame on President Obama!

Had Obama actually flown to Berlin to deliver a speech on the fall of the Berlin Wall, right when the House was voting on health care reform, I wonder what Bill Kristol and you would have had to say. All he can do is deliver speeches. At the very moment his signature effort is up for a vote, he's five thousand miles away, giving a speech. He recognizes the futility of trying. Blah blah blah. Shame on Obama, he can do nothing but give speeches!

Truly you have a case of Obama Derangement Syndrome.

Anonymous said...

Matt said "ATV, we do deserve the credit. . ." WE!?!?! So YOU were working with Reagan. Were you even alive then?

For all of you conservatives, Obama can't do anything right. If he travels too much, you complain; if he doesn't travel, you complain. If he says something you don't like, you complain; if he doesn't say something, you complain.

And Rick, you can't handle snarky comments?

Anonymous said...

If the Shark can't handle snarky comments, he should get the Reddess to respond on his behalf.

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly certain that if Oprah would have gone that Obama would have gone.

After all, isn't that what happened when we paid for two planes to go to Denmark?

Apparently, Oprah didn't see the value in this trip.

Anonymous said...

Remind me again how long it took GWB to acknowledge Katrina? If I had to guess, I'd bet you avoided commenting on the president's belated response to that national tragedy. It's sad to see the Republican peanut gallery, void of any new ideas, throwing stones at the new president for political points.

If someone from this country was best suited to speak at the anniversary in Berlin, it would be the first George Bush. He was #2 in the administration and should go in Reagan's stead. Why is it the GOP wants Obama to be everything to everyone?

Brew City Brawler said...

Rick:
Could you please expand on how the fall of the Berlin Wall was a "Republican accomplishment"? Be fascinating to see how you document that.

Brew City Brawler

Rick Esenberg said...

And Rick, you can't handle snarky comments?

I don't have to leave up comments that use derogatory terms to imply that I hold views or attitudes that I don't.

It's a Republican accomplishment because Reagan decided to win the Cold War. Had Carter been reelected, it would not have happened because he wouldn't have applied pressure when he had to.

The fact that the House is voting now is not something that excuses Obama. It indicts him. There should have been extensive hearings and debate on that bill.

Anonymous said...

I personally think Ron Reagan gets too much credit for winning the cold war. IT was the rotten Soviet system and their unwillingness (thank god) to kill mass #'s of their population more than star wars, touch talk and more military build up. Certainly the latter helped, but i dont think it was THE tipping point.

Brew City Brawler said...

It's a Republican accomplishment because Reagan decided to win the Cold War. Had Carter been reelected, it would not have happened because he wouldn't have applied pressure when he had to.

OK, what pressure was that? Is it the (false) argument that the "Reagan defense build up bankrupted the Soviet Union"? Or, per Patrick McIlheran, was it the power of Reagan's speechwriters that toppled the Soviet Union? (And of course the "tear down this wall" bit was a sop to the nut right that was outraged that Reagan was diligently pursuing arms reduction talks with the Soviets.)

I won't argue that Reagan played a role in bringing the Cold War to a close. But he did it not by "applying pressure" but by engaging with Gorbachev and giving him room to maneuver -- a move decried by Gingrich and others.

Or,as James Mann puts it in "The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan": "Reagan didn't win the COld War; Gorbachev abandoned it."

Or, quoting Reagan SecDef Frank Carlucci: "I don't think he ever thought of it in terms of bankrupting the Soviet Union or forcing it to collapse ... He just saw it as a lousy system,and if we could negotiate them into some common sense, they'd change their position."

I think even Carter could have managed that.

John Foust said...

The GOP has two teams. One works on the message if event A happens. One works on the spin if event A doesn't happen. Either way, there's always a message to show that Obama's wrong and the GOP is right.

If we wanted to learn more about the final event itself, we could read the BBC.

Yeah, bring on the redheads! This place is getting silly.

Anonymous said...

"The fact that the House is voting now is not something that excuses Obama. It indicts him. There should have been extensive hearings and debate on that bill."

What a load of shit. When you have the majority, you do what you need to do to pass your bill. If you don't have the votes, you talk and stall until you do. If you do have the votes, you shut up and vote. Tell me when the Republicans have been in charge when they didn't follow that playbook.

Rickie, is there anything that the President has done which you can't find fault with?

In the movie Ruthless People, Danny DeVito is asked why he dislikes his wife. His response: "I don't like the way she licks stamps."

You're the same way with the President, Ricky -- Mere breathing on his part offends you. Grow up. For a moment, rise about your incessant urge to be nothing more than a cheap party hack. Do you have it in you? To continue the metaphor, I shall not be holding my breath.

reddess said...

Anon 1:31
By stating that I should "respond on his behalf", are you assuming that I don't disagree with Rick on anything? Wrong. I can actually think for myself even though I am a conservative woman. Wow.

I can assure you that some of you would have been upset by ATV's snarky comment. It wasn't about Rick personally. It wrongly attempted to define how he thinks about a certain "minority group" using an ugly word. If Rick couldn't handle snarky comments, he would have shut down this blog a long time ago.

John Foust said...

By placing "minority group" in scare quotes, do you mean that it's not really a minority group?

Reddess, I don't think Anonymous 1:31 was impugning your gender, politics, or thinking abilities. I'd guess they were trying to launch a barb at the way they thought you seem to appear only intermittently as the Prof's defender.

As to whether you ever disagree with Richard is another matter. I don't think you're obligated to post here if you do. There's nothing wrong with your support. I think husbands and wives should be free to engage in whatever they like within their relationship, as long as it is consensual.

reddess said...

JF
I was mainly concerned about my thinking abilities...after all, I am not a blond.
JUST KIDDING. REALLY. I was just being snarky.

Anonymous said...

Be careful, Reddess. Don't be too snarky or the thin skinned Shark will delete your post.

Rick Esenberg said...

I delete her post and I'm in the guest room for a month.

AnotherTosaVoter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AnotherTosaVoter said...

Matt, you do deserve some credit, but not all nor even most. No matter what Reagan had done, had the communist system worked and been a positive force that people liked it would have endured.

Please don't expect me to believe that had a Democrat been in power towards the end who pursued softer policies, you'd allow the left to take any credit for the fall of the wall. You'd be making the same nuanced argument I am making now and would be making either way - it was a long process that involved many actors.

It's like the roaring economy and positive federal fiscal picture of the late 1990s. A lot of hack idiots would like to give the (sane!) GOP congress or Clinton all the credit. They're all full of it. Lower interest rates, sane fiscal policies under Bush 1, restrained spending by the GOP Congress and a rejection of excessive tax cuts by Clinton all played a part, as did the organic growth of the technology-based economy for which neither party deserves much credit.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

Anon 9:09, spare me on the Bush Derangement Syndrome. It was no different - no less or more pathetic, childish, hypocritical or less constructive than Clinton Derangement Syndrome or Obama Syndrome.

You political hacks play this game constantly. My guy is in office, so treat the office with respect. He's doing his best. My side is in the majority, so the minority is obstructing the will of the majority. My side won, so it's a mandate - the Country is changing and wants us to do whatever we want.

What? My guy lost? Your guy is a criminal. He molests children, when he's not torching nursing homes and kicking puppies. He's a communist, a fascist, the second coming of Hitler. Your side won? Well then since we're in the minority it's up to us to protect the country and live up to our principles by stopping everything. Your side won? Well we had bad candidates, it wasn't a mandate. Some special election for dog catcher in rural Wyoming was a referendum on your guy and boy howdy the tide is a turning.

Hackery might work for a lot of simpletons, idiots, and plain brainless partisans. I am less impressed by it.

AnotherTosaVoter said...

Rick, I'm not even sure what word or phrase offended your politically correct sensibilities, so I'll just ask simply:

Why is the conservative vision of American Exceptionalism so arrogant to believe we can do whatever we want and we are never wrong?

Why in the world would someone of your political stripe criticize me for acknowledging such factual information as our overthrow of democratically-elected regimes in Iran or Central America, our support of Autocrats in Chile, Egypt, central Asia, etc?

Is the myth of our infallibility that important? What is wrong with intellectual honesty and credibility?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"It's a Republican accomplishment because Reagan decided to win the Cold War. Had Carter been reelected, it would not have happened because he wouldn't have applied pressure when he had to."

Rick, I really think the Brawler deserves a better esponse than this. He has proposed his argument and provided support, you have provided opinion without supporting evidence. As a law professor do you think this is a way to win an argument?

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