No matter how trivial or innocent the conduct, conservatives find a way to criticize President Obama. Bill Maher ends his programs Real Time with "New Rules" suggesting how certain matters should be handled differently. I thought I might adopt that format to submit a compilation, but just a smattering, of the "new rules" the conservatives/Republican apparently think that the President should follow:
- New Rule: Don't engage in the outrageous, unethical practice of inviting your friends and donors to use the bowling alley at the White House. Instead give them no-bid contracts like we did for Halliburton.
- New Rule: Have your children stand in line out in the open like everyone else to get their swine flu shots. Children of the president should not receive preferential treatment. Follow the stellar example set by George Bush in the Air National Guard.
- New Rule: Stop dilly-dallying and waffling over sending more troops to Afghanistan. Stop worrying about more dead and wounded American troops and Afghan civilians for what might be an unattainable goal. Follow the Nike slogan: "Just do it" like we did in Iraq. See how well that turned out.
- New Rule: Quit being a rock star attracting adoring and cheering crowds wherever you go in the world. We preferred it as it was before, when the President was burned in effigy whenever he visited a foreign country.
- New Rule: Don't try bringing the Olympics to the United States because of pride or the money or prestige it brings to the host. Look how China lost the respect of the world for its pathetic performance.
- New Rule: Don't let anyone photograph you paying respect for our fallen heroes. Seeing the President honoring the dead in this fashion hurts the morale of the troops. Bush and Cheney never went to Dover Air Force Base and hurt morale in this way. And if you insist on having it photographed, at least display a "Mission Accomplished" banner.
- New Rule: If you must have a date night with Michelle take a taxi and leave the Secret Service at home and save the taxpayers money. Do what George Bush did: stayed at the White House 24/7 with a few minor exceptions to Camp David and Crawford.
- New Rule: Stop indoctrinating our schoolchildren (like Chairman Mao) about studying, doing their homework and staying in school. We would rather have them drop out than be brainwashed and even worse, singing a song about the President.
- New Rule: Stop with this socialist idea of having everyone get good and affordable health care. Let the insurance companies continue to deny coverage to those who need it and frequently even to those who have it. Do what we did for eight years about health care: Nothing
- New Rule: Don't embarrass us by getting the Nobel Peace Prize. Now everybody will expect the United States to bring peace in the world. We will have to stop invading countries and torturing people and that will make us look weak in the eyes of our enemies.
By submitting the above, I do not mean to suggest that there should not be robust discussion and criticism of the President's policies. But this chipping away at everything he does, no matter how trivial, the labels of Hitler, Nazi, racist, socialist, the presence of guns where he appears, the shouting down of advocates of his policies, the publicly announced wishes for his failure and the challenges to his citizenship, may combine in a way that we will all regret, particularly those who are responsible for this incendiary and hate-filled atmosphere that they have created..