Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Save The Drama For Ya Mama!

Back when he was running for president in the spring of 2008 and winning a lot of surprising primaries, they used to joking call the president-to-be "No Drama Obama". He made winning the presidential race and everything else he's done so far look so cool, so calm, and so collect... but, the Republicans and some people in his own party are not going to stand for his being so cool but for so long. See, they all want to see the president sweat.

My grandmother used to say that misery loves company. I can't quote here what she actually said... something about the more miserable a so-and-so, the more that so-and-so wants to make everybody around them miserable so that he or she won't be alone. Such was my grandmother's wisdom and it holds true.

One way to break someone's cool is to make them waffle on something. You know, appear to not be as sure of themselves as they appear. (Like the time I fell at a school dance and ripped the girl's entire dress off who I was dancing with... definitely, not cool!)

The NAACP flap of a few weeks ago was the first waffle and now this Mosque at Ground Zero thing appears to be the latest. It appears that President Obama and the White House got roped into a story that was being driven primarily by cable and the conservative political elite (like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin): The building of this Mosque near Ground Zero.

Previously, the Obama White House had declared this issue to be a local matter (and, by the way, the Mosque was approved locally in New York). But then, President Obama weighed in personally by saying, "As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country."

For those of us who have followed Barack Obama since the Democratic Primary in 2004, it was an unsurprising stance, and I guess that George W. Bush would have said something similar, if he were still president. But, what was surprising to many, including Democrats, was:(1) President Obama decided to get involved in a matter that was already resolved; (2) He did so without the White House having any surrogates and validators ready to back him up as he departed for a weekend getaway; (3) He appeared to back off of his comments on the Mosque situation just a day later.

He said, "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a Mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the rights people have that dates back to our founding."

Well, this appears to the (Rush Limbaugh-Glenn Beck-Sarah Palin) right-wing pundit crowd that the president is waffling and that he and his team who, once upon a time, took the high road and felt themselves above the cable and internet chatter of the beltway area, now actually care more about it than they are willing to let on. It appears that there now is indeed a chink in his armour of coolness... especially with these mid-term elections coming in a few months and the fear of Democrats losing control of the House.

President Obama is only human... nobody can stay cool forever. I've never been cool. By now, I would've told a whole bunch of people where they could go and what they could do when they got there... and, this is the reason why I'm not in politics or holding any office. I can't smile on cue when I'm pissed off. You can't lie on me and I shrug it off and calmly speak to the cameras. My size 12 won't walk in B.S. without aiming for somebody's sitting place. I'm just not cool like that... but, our president is and if the Republicans want to run wild with this, he should let 'em. The populace at large is not as outraged about this as you would expect. Americans have short memories... it's been nine years.

Republicans want to make political hay out of President Obama’s Mosque comments... but, such a move for the GOP (especially after its embrace of Arizona’s controversial immigration law) carries some real risks. There is now more anti-Muslim rhetoric in legitimate political circles than there was immediately after 9/11. Ben Smith and Maggie Habberman have written that, “Republican leaders have largely abandoned former President George W. Bush's post-Sept. 11th rhetorical embrace of American Muslims and his insistence (always controversial inside the party) that Islam is a religion of peace.” This was George W. saying this, mind you. It wouldn't be wise for Republicans to look like hate mongerers. I'm talking about responsible politicians, not the tea bagger crowd, which already has that tag!

When you consider that the issue has already been settled by the New York Authorities, both sides, Democratic and Republican, would do better to just let it go, move on, and allow our president to be cool... or in other words, save the drama fo ya mama!


Mizrepresent said...

I am totally in agreement with you. Great post Keith!

Arlene said...

Drama is right!! Fear mongers is another name to call this group. Conservatives hold the constitution in such high esteem that every thing has to pass the muster of a constitutional test. "Did the 'founding' fathers intend this for ALL the people?" was the question. Whenever the answer is different from what this group wants, then there's a problem. Your post of the 14th Amendment and this post directly state that the constitution has one perspective of "rights' and the conservatives another.

I think the president is right. We live in a country that permits freedom of religon. We can't restrict Islam any more than we could restrict those people who worship using rattle snakes. What's crazier than Scientology? And Mormonism?? Are folks really going to be transported to their own planet to rule? Strength is measured in the ability to stand firm in difficult situations, to make hard choices. I follow Christ and believe that every knee shall bend before Him and every tongue will proclaim that He is Lord. Yes, I think some folks are "confused," but I would never insult a person by refusing the same right I want for myself, to tell other what I know is the good news.


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