Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Falling off the Right

These two guys are so extreme right, it is a wonder they tolerate living with this President. And they make it crystal clear: they dislike and distrust Barack Obama, and think he is wrong in everything he does. This is almost four months after the inauguration; then again, they've been savaging Barack Obama since before he became president.

William McGurn has the unmitigated gall to call his column Main Street. If it is Main, it is certainly on the right side of the street.

Brett Stephens seems a little more, what's the term I'm looking for? Smug? Pretentious? But, let his own words speak.

First, Mr. Main Street. Then, Mr. Global.

Seldom does dawn rise on an America where the morning's New York Times displays a more intuitive grasp of a story than the New York Post. The coverage of Barack Obama's commencement address at Notre Dame, however, was such a day. Where the Post headlined an inside spread with "Obama In the Lions' Den," the Times front page was dominated by a color photograph of a beaming president, resplendent in his blue-and-gold Notre Dame academic gown, reaching out to graduates eager to shake his hand or just touch his robe.

Blasted students. Don't ehy realize they're siding with a Liberal?

It was precisely the message President Obama wanted to send: How bad can he be on abortion if Notre Dame is willing to honor him?

Precisely? Too bad Mr. Main Street isn't available to spin the Democratic message. And, how about Notre Dame?

In a letter to Notre Dame's Class of 2009, the university's president, the Rev. John Jenkins, stated that the honors for Mr. Obama do not indicate any "ambiguity" about Notre Dame's commitment to Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life. The reality is that it was this ambiguity that the White House was counting on; this ambiguity that was furthered by the adoring reaction to Mr. Obama's visit; and this ambiguity that disheartens those working for an America that respects the dignity of life inside the womb.

There is no consideration given to the preposition that, although Catholic, Notre Dame is also a university, and thus the principle of freedom of speech rears its ugly head into the debate of which Mr. Main Street is intolerant. Of course not, for Mr. Main Street is pursuing an agenda, and there is no room for any opinion other than his.

Pro-lifers are used to this [being ignored, shunned]. They know their stand makes them unglamorous. They find themselves a stumbling block to Democratic progressives – and unwelcome at the Republican country club. And they are especially desperate for the support of institutions willing to engage in the clear, thoughtful and unembarrassed way that even Mr. Obama says we should.

So there are the Democratic progressives and country club Republicans on the one side, and the anti-abortionists (o, but do let us call an interest group by its rightful name) on the other. And Democrats that aren't progressives, as well as Republican snot of the country club set? Well, why clutter the argument with unwanted factors?

Mr. Global doesn't allow for such unwanted clutter. He addresses his comments directly to Bibi. He calls it A Strategy for Netanyahu.

Imagine yourself as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, returning to Jerusalem from your first White House parley with Barack Obama.

Both in public and in private, the young president (he's a dozen years your junior, and worryingly free of normal human anxieties) assures you that, when it comes to Iran and the existential threat it poses Israel, he gets it. It's an expression he uses too often, and too easily, to satisfy you that he actually does.

Worryingly free of normal human anxieties? Oy vay, Mr. Global. Stephens simply does not understand Barack Obama, perhaps, in part, because he doesn't want to bother.

What's more, unlike Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter, an Arab-Israeli peace deal isn't the Holy Grail of the Obama presidency. (Thank God, you think, for socialized medicine.) What the president mainly wants is better mood music. At least half your job is to show you can carry a tune.

Thank God, you think, for socialized medicine? Isn't that some kind of metaphor mixing? What does God have to do with it? Aren't socialists God-less?

Of course, there's always the possibility that this president will wind up not only doing nothing to stop Iran, but actively seeking to prevent you from doing something. In that case, you will stand truly alone.

One wonders why Mr. Global even bothers to use the word possibility, and not simply go with what is in his heart: probability.


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