A blogger over at DailyKos (blackwaterdog) has raised a question I have been thinking about for nearly a year now. How is President Obama being treated differently than other presidents and leading white politicians?
He first notes the differential treatment by the mass media in regard to President Obama’s intense and innovative meeting this week with Republicans:
With anyone else, CNN wouldn’t dare go to commercials every time the president speaks, like they did during that summit on Thursday. They wouldn’t dare counting how many minutes George Bush or Bill Clinton were talking. Chris Mathews wouldn’t dare making an issue out of Ronald Regan calling members of congress by their first name. . . .They fully cooperate with the Right-Wing smear machine when it comes to president Obama’s national security performance – even if almost every independent and military expert actually thinks that he’s a terrific Commander in Chief.
photo credit: Embajada de Estados Unidos en Bolivia
Not just the white supremacists and extreme rightists have constantly quibbled about or directly disrespected our President:
On Thursday, almost every Republican had no trouble interrupting him in the middle of a sentence. They looked like they’re going to vomit every time they had to say “Mr. president”
Much has been made in various media about Obama being “professorish” and/or “arrogant,” but clearly this is a stereotyped way of putting down his distinctive intelligence and grasp of the facts on many issues, including health care. Many folks accuse him too of being
elitist (because he uses big words that they don’t understand). He is weak on national security (because he actually thinks about the consequences). He divides the country (well, he did that the day he had the audacity to win the election). Worst of all, he actually thinks that he’s the president.
The racist imaging has obviously come from the far right wing and white supremacists, but some criticism is also coming from the white left, which can be seen in the left political blogs:
. . . there’s also some hidden and maybe subconscious and disturbing underline tone behind some of the things . . . throughout the Left blogosphere…. “He’s weak, he’s spineless, he’s got no balls, primary him in 2012.”
Adia and I predicted some of this attack in our Yes We Can? Book, but it is already clear that we need to add a chapter to that book on how quickly and severe these attacks have become, and not much more than a year into his pathbreaking Presidency. What do you make of the many attacks on President Obama so far?