Somewhere in the South a Republican convention placed a photo of President Barack Obama against a latrine (outhouse) and thought it was a great thing. And just last week a white reporter shouted at the 44th US president during a press conference to discuss an Executive Order granting temporary relief to over one million undocumented students. He was the latest in a long string of white male (and a few females) Republicans who believe that disrespect and rudeness when dealing with America's first Black President is the way to go.
Of course, this unmitigated hypocrisy is allowed to go unchallenged by a party that prides itself on the values of courtesy and respect. That only applies to white people. When it comes to Barack Obama the most dirty and shameful attacks are met with grins, nods and winks from a group of people who still believe that their skin coloration, or lack thereof, bestows on them superiority over all other peoples, especially Blacks whom they once owned as chattel.
From South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson "you lie" outburst on the House floor as President Obama delivered a major address to the nation, to serial adulterer Newt Gingrich's "food stamp president" remarks, to Governor Jan Brewster's jabbing her finger in the face of the president, to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Rielly's nightly insulting screeds and Sarah Paulin's vapid insults, this president has been subjected to the most sustained insults and disrespect imaginable.
And the fact is that as the Republican Party remains silent in the face of this really childish and infantile behavior, allowing its surrogates to do the job, it empowers others on the lunatic fringe to do the same. Donald Trump, a New York City buffoon, has close ties to Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Trump has consistently and loudly claimed that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States even though he has been presented with irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Yet Romney refuses to criticize or condemn his statements.
I agree that United States Presidents have all been subjected to attacks and have been treated sometimes very badly by the press. But nobody would have ever dared to question Bill Clinton or George Bush's place of birth. Or the fact that John McCain was born in Panama on a US military base.
It is an undisputed fact that since his inauguration, President Barack Obama has had to endure indignities that no other United States President has had to tolerate. Granted, during the election cycle, certain things are always said that are not very endearing to candidates. But once the election is decided the political bickering is expected to subside somewhat while the personal attacks should stop. In both cases, the Republican Party has increased their political attacks on the President Obama while the personal attacks have continued.
The president has had to endure:
- Zero Republican support for his social and economic plans.
- Deliberate blocking of agency appointments and a loud "No" to any and all proposals to get the country up and running.
- The publication of a garish cartoon in the New York Post newspaper alluding to the president as a simian who has been shot by the police while making reference to his stimulus plan.
- A sitting United States Senator (Richard Shelby R-SC) rehashing the already discredited lie of the president not being a citizen.
- A sitting member of the US Senate pointing out that his work is to make President Obama a one-term president
And up to this point, more than two years into his presidency, the political hijacking, character assassination and plain disrespect of the President of the United States is apparently just starting to reach high gear. These antics are obstructionist at best, racist at worst. At times the Republicans hide behind the Tea Party that likes to portray itself and its supporters as American patriots but their language is anything but. Their newest talking point is about that socialist, Kenyan, racist, tax and spend, Muslim occupier in the White House.
Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado) made the comment that the president was a "tar baby". Congressman Paul Broun (R-Georgia) allowed a constituent to make an assassination comment. Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-Georgia) called the president "uppity".
Ted Nugent, an aging rocker and gun activist warned people attending the NRA Annual Conference that if President Barack Obama was to win a second term, he'll either be in jail or killed by that evil government. That comment about either being in jail resembles the echoes of "assassination". Nugent was visited by the U.S. Secret Service and it was determined that it didn't pose a threat. But he did lose his civilian credentials when performing on the military bases since the rant.
You see, it starts with what I call the Superiority Syndrome: People acting as if they're more important than a U.S. President -- when they clearly are not. Then there is the presumption that a U.S. President can be ordered around - just because those doing the ordering are white and privileged - is a new phenomenon that appears to have gotten underway around January 2009. From big mouth Congressmen to millionaires with nothing to do, you name it -- they all inherently believe they can order President Obama around simply because he's Black.