Tuesday, September 08, 2009

They Shouldn't Call Them Parties, Because Nobody's Having Any Fun

Rather than principles, we Americans have mostly put all our thought, faith and loyalties into political parties, or often worse, cults of personalities.

That's why it's so damned easy to be accused of hypocrisy or to accuse others of hypocrisy. When we abdicate our principles, leave them on the sidelines, we have nothing to actually stand upon. We cast out random accusations at our supposed opponents that have little or no merit or worse, actually betray our stated goals.

We hit an all time low this weekend on two fronts: 1.) President Obama's address to school children today and 2.) Van Jones belated resignation as President Obama's Green Jobs CZAR, a position he should have never held.

President Obama is a superb role model. Here is a man our children should emulate. He is a model of intelligence, hard work, honor and success. You don't need to agree with his politics to admire and respect the man. None-the-less people who have long held that we should always respect and support the President of the United States, decided he shouldn't ever be allowed to actually talk to school children.

The position of certain right wing zealots is simple incomprehensible. Fortunately most credible Republican leaders from Laura Bush to Newt Gingrich have lambasted these folks and supported the President's address to our children.

Does the speech have political overtones? Yes, of course. It is unavoidable. And yet President Obama's speech hits the perfect notes and sets the ideal tone.

But wait, the nut jobs don't just sit on the right side of the table. When George H.W. Bush made virtually the same speech in 1991, the attackers were all Democrats. And they went way overboard, even going so far as to hold hearings "investigating" the President's gross misuse of funds to make a speech indoctrinating our students.

This was one scary attack led by none other than Speaker of the House Dick Gephardt: "The Department of Education should not be producing paid political advertising for the president, it should be helping us to produce smarter students. And the president should be doing more about education than saying, 'Lights, camera, action.'"

Here is, of course, the obvious problem for Democrats. If was actually wrong for the first President Bush to make such a speech, then today's Speaker of the House ought to be investigating and condemning President Obama. Nope! Bush was investigated only because he was a Republican and Obama is defended only because he is a Democrat.

Now on to problem #2. Over on the left some real zealots are trying to defend the indefensible Van Jones, just because a much hated right wing television commentator, Glenn Beck, made the discoveries into Van Jones' past that Obama's own people should have found.

It is absurd to "blame" Glenn Beck for Van Jone's own mistakes and misjudgements. Beck got lucky on this one. Don't worry, it will probably never happen again.

As a liberal or progressive would you tolerate for one second having David Duke in the White House, advising the President? Of course not. Well Van Jones is nothing less that a left wing David Duke. If you stand on principles, Van Jones cannot be defended.

Principled liberals are asking the important question: How did President Obama's team let this happen?


Chris said...

How did President Obama's team hire a bunch of tax cheats, grifters, and assorted nutjobs? I keep telling you, these are the people he has surrounded himself with for years. His people were selected by the President, and they in turn select candidates they think will do for various positions.

I will say that the hoopla over the school speech was much more focused on the instructions for children to tell everyone how they would help the President. This is in keeping with the tone deafness of this administration, and the general narcissism that runs rampant throughout it.

Vigilante said...

This comment is directed only to Wizard:

A good post. I do not know of the roasting of Bush SR in 1991. And I'll take your word for it that the context makes it relevant today. I also believe that the troofers are as crazy as the birthers and the deathers. And, I'll concede that Van Jones wasn't adequately vetted for the position from which he just resigned. However, it is my hope that this brilliant young man salvages an illustrious career from this setback. But I liked your column, Wizard; also your title!

Bob Keller said...

Vigilante - Thank you for the compliments. I always appreciate your opinion.

Chris - I find very little to disagree with in your analysis. His administration has been tone deaf. And that deafness will continue with his speech tonight.