Does Barack Obama Love America?

Howard McCrum
Friday, 21 Feb 2014, Bill O'Reilly said he would never criticize or question the patriotism of a president, not Obama, not Bush, not any of them, not without proof.  Thus, Bill can claim fairness and balance in his views on other issues.  Besides, presidential patriotism is also a very safe bet in most cases.  For example, one can see the honorable intentions in Jimmy Carter's decisions, even if they lacked competence. 

However, unquestioned presidential patriotism might be one of those concepts in need of reconsideration.  Maybe we conservatives should loosen up and, like Justice Kagan's family dinner table, hold nothing sacrosanct.  So let's take a crack at this.

O'Reilly demands proof of Barack Obama's anti-American leanings, but what could serve as proof?  It's not likely that Obama would ever allow himself to be caught on a live microphone complaining about typical Americans as bitter clingers to the 2nd Amendment and their religious beliefs.  And he would certainly never be caught on a live microphone conspiring with a Russian dictator's envoy to exercise flexibility as soon as his election was over and he had a better opportunity to take unpopular steps.  Besides, such hypothetical unguarded moments could be misspoken notions, just thinking-out-loud moments that were never intended to be the firm basis for action. 

Proof must come in the form of official acts, policies, and statements.  Remember his first year in the Oval Office, for example.  First, he talked about fundamentally transforming the country.  Whereas, as a senator he called Bush's deficit spending "unpatriotic," as president he started us down a path of failed stimulus spending sending us into debt unheard of before on the planet, and used the money to subsidize his supporters and cronies.  He traveled the world, telling our worst critics that bad things they believed about us were true.  When asked about American exceptionalism, he said he believed in American exceptionalism just as Brits believe in British exceptionalism and Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.  Or how about in 2012 when Obama apologized to Afghans who murdered Americans in response to reports that the US military had destroyed Korans which had been defiled by Gitmo prisoners? 

Do these form an unpatriotic pattern?  On the one hand, his policies have been destructive and his statements are "derisive, even dismissive" of America.  On the other hand, President Obama can be a smothering paternalistic figure.  (He appears willing to use Obamacare to protect us to death.) 

That word, 'paternalistic' reminds me of a story about another father figure.  Pretend you're a domestic abuse hotline operator.  How would you answer this call?  "Hello, I need some help.  My kids and I hooked up with a guy who said he loved me.  But right after the ceremony he turned to me and said I would have to change.  Fundamentally.  I didn't think you could love someone and want to change them fundamentally.  Then he grabbed my credit card and ran up massive bills even my grandchildren won't live to pay off.  He said he did that to fix my finances.  Yeah, my ex left me with some big debts, and my current partner says the only way to fix my financial problems is to drive me into debt even farther and faster.  Then I found out most of the money he's spending is going to his pals.  I've been a good and responsible neighbor long before he came along, but he's told everyone in the neighborhood that they've been right to hate and resent me for my bad behavior.  So I'm undecided and I have a question:  do you think he loves me?  Or should I scrape him and his pals off the first chance I get?  No, no, I'm just sure he loves me.  What do you think?" 

I guess some women stick with guys that are just no good for them.  Whew!  We can certainly be glad we're not in her shoes! 

But I digress. 

I'm undecided and I still have a question: Is Bill O'Reilly correct?  Does Barack Obama love America?  Or should we scrape Obama and his pals off the first chance we get?  No, no, I'm just sure he loves us.  What do you think?

Friday, 21 Feb 2014, Bill O'Reilly said he would never criticize or question the patriotism of a president, not Obama, not Bush, not any of them, not without proof.  Thus, Bill can claim fairness and balance in his views on other issues.  Besides, presidential patriotism is also a very safe bet in most cases.  For example, one can see the honorable intentions in Jimmy Carter's decisions, even if they lacked competence. 

However, unquestioned presidential patriotism might be one of those concepts in need of reconsideration.  Maybe we conservatives should loosen up and, like Justice Kagan's family dinner table, hold nothing sacrosanct.  So let's take a crack at this.

O'Reilly demands proof of Barack Obama's anti-American leanings, but what could serve as proof?  It's not likely that Obama would ever allow himself to be caught on a live microphone complaining about typical Americans as bitter clingers to the 2nd Amendment and their religious beliefs.  And he would certainly never be caught on a live microphone conspiring with a Russian dictator's envoy to exercise flexibility as soon as his election was over and he had a better opportunity to take unpopular steps.  Besides, such hypothetical unguarded moments could be misspoken notions, just thinking-out-loud moments that were never intended to be the firm basis for action. 

Proof must come in the form of official acts, policies, and statements.  Remember his first year in the Oval Office, for example.  First, he talked about fundamentally transforming the country.  Whereas, as a senator he called Bush's deficit spending "unpatriotic," as president he started us down a path of failed stimulus spending sending us into debt unheard of before on the planet, and used the money to subsidize his supporters and cronies.  He traveled the world, telling our worst critics that bad things they believed about us were true.  When asked about American exceptionalism, he said he believed in American exceptionalism just as Brits believe in British exceptionalism and Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.  Or how about in 2012 when Obama apologized to Afghans who murdered Americans in response to reports that the US military had destroyed Korans which had been defiled by Gitmo prisoners? 

Do these form an unpatriotic pattern?  On the one hand, his policies have been destructive and his statements are "derisive, even dismissive" of America.  On the other hand, President Obama can be a smothering paternalistic figure.  (He appears willing to use Obamacare to protect us to death.) 

That word, 'paternalistic' reminds me of a story about another father figure.  Pretend you're a domestic abuse hotline operator.  How would you answer this call?  "Hello, I need some help.  My kids and I hooked up with a guy who said he loved me.  But right after the ceremony he turned to me and said I would have to change.  Fundamentally.  I didn't think you could love someone and want to change them fundamentally.  Then he grabbed my credit card and ran up massive bills even my grandchildren won't live to pay off.  He said he did that to fix my finances.  Yeah, my ex left me with some big debts, and my current partner says the only way to fix my financial problems is to drive me into debt even farther and faster.  Then I found out most of the money he's spending is going to his pals.  I've been a good and responsible neighbor long before he came along, but he's told everyone in the neighborhood that they've been right to hate and resent me for my bad behavior.  So I'm undecided and I have a question:  do you think he loves me?  Or should I scrape him and his pals off the first chance I get?  No, no, I'm just sure he loves me.  What do you think?" 

I guess some women stick with guys that are just no good for them.  Whew!  We can certainly be glad we're not in her shoes! 

But I digress. 

I'm undecided and I still have a question: Is Bill O'Reilly correct?  Does Barack Obama love America?  Or should we scrape Obama and his pals off the first chance we get?  No, no, I'm just sure he loves us.  What do you think?