There's something almost adorable seeing Republicans flail in the wind, trying to come up with reasons why people should dislike Barack Obama. It's akin to watching a dog run around trying to catch a light beam.
How can your heart not break when you see people struggling so hard to undermine the President of the United States, and the best they can come up with is that he's not born in America, he's want to kill old people, he tells school children to study, he won the Nobel Prize for Peace, he's trying to help the U.S. host the Olympics, he's a socialist, he's a Nazi, he's a communist, he's like Hitler, he's a terrorist, he's a traitor. Their panicked faces during Saturday's House health care vote night was woeful. At a certain point, you just want to wrap your arms around them and say, "There, there, it's all right. Everything is going to be okay. Come to poppa."
But still, they go on. Trying so hard. Bringing out the signs with swastikas, holding up their tea bags, seeing behind every little shadow the horrors of all possible hells. "We're being attacked by the Mole People!!!" No, no, honey, it's just the wind.
When I hear their unrelenting, frantic ramblings of Worst Possible Consequences, I always flash back to when I was a counselor at Camp Nebagamon. One of my campers was an 11-year-old we'll call Jimmy Baxter. Jimmy was a nice little kid, who tended to roam in his own universe. "Bob," he'd come over and excitedly ask, "Bob, what would happen, Bob, what would happen if all of a sudden the sky opened up and all of a sudden dogs and cats started to fall and they all had guns and and and it started to snow, what would happen??"
Republicans have become the modern-day political equivalent of Jimmy Baxter.
And I feel bad for them. Not just for being afraid of dogs falling from the sky, but because I know they can complain better. I mean, c'mon, if you want to be considered one of the Two Major Political Parties, then you have to come up with oh-so-much better criticisms of the president. "He's working on too many things" and "He's honoring the war dead" just doesn't cut it. Honestly. You have to trust me on this.
And if you want to be considered respectable and not laughed at when you enter a room, you really do have to stop calling Barack Obama a socialist and a Nazi. For starters, they're polar opposites, so a person can't be both. You don't want to come across ignorant when you're trying to sound convincing. Second, if you want people to be frightened of Barack Obama because you say he's like Hitler, you have to understand that people don't hate Hitler because he provided governmental health care.
People hate Hitler because a) he tried to rule the entire world by military domination, and b) he built actual concentration camps, rounded up Jews and killed six million of them.
(Side note: that was a death panel.)
See, here's the thing. If you're going to try to convince the world why the American President is bad for America, you really need to have some specific, actual facts. Not something out of an old Stan Freberg sketch. ("They wear funny shoes.")
So, as a public service, I'm going to show you how to properly criticize a president with actual facts. You're welcome. After all, I not only disliked George Bush, but can give you real reasons why, so I have practice. You should be able to try the exact same with Barack Obama. Take notes, and then maybe you can do it, too. It's not hard. Pencils ready? Great! Here's how it's done.
I didn't like George W. Bush when he was president because:
1. He lied about Iraq having WMD, which got America in a war.
2. He lied about Iraq buying yellowcake, which got America in a war.
3. He wiretapped Americans without warrants, which violated the Bill of Rights.
4. He ignored a briefing that Osama bin Laden would attack the U.S. with airplanes, that got 3,000 people killed.
5. He inherited a budget surplus of $128 billion and left with a record deficit of $1.3 trillion.
6. He ignored warnings of Hurricane Katrina which wiped New Orleans off the map.
7. He used the non-political Justice Department for political purposes, firing U.S. attorneys and attacking political opponents.
8. He vetoed stem cell research, which could cost lives.
9. He dismissed global warming, which could destroy the planet.
10. He allowed civilians to rewrite scientific reports written by scientists.
11. He promised No Child Left Behind, but underfunded the program.
12. He eliminated environmental protections.
13. He allowed his Administration to out a CIA agent.
14. He became the first leader in the history of the world to cut taxes during a war.
15. He weakened regulations of banking, housing and Wall Street, which allowed for the collapse of the U.S. economy.
Okay, there! See?!! It's easy! All right, I know the list isn't full, but this is just to get you started.
You can do it, Republicans. You can come up with actual, specific, meaningful reasons one day to try to convince others why they shouldn't like Barack Obama. And you won't ever again have to run around in a perpetual panic attack over nothing.
Here, let me give you a hug.
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