A year or so ago, I signed up for a bunch of “progressive” emails – from the Huffington Post, Salon, Care2, Alternet, Truthout and so on. And I used to read most of the stuff they send out. But now, I find myself hitting the “delete” key more and more often after a quick scan of the emails’ contents.
I haven’t changed my views. I still favor protecting the environment and wildlife. I still think we have a responsibility to each other, and shouldn’t let children starve, sick people die or old people languish in poverty and neglect. I believe in civil liberties, racial equality and justice for all. And I am convinced that Big Business and Republican politicians are adamantly opposed to all of the above.
But I also respect reasonable discussion. And I don’t think it’s reasonable to blame President Obama for everything that goes wrong. I don’t always agree with the U.S. president. I am disappointed in the way the health care reform initiative is turning out. The Copenhagen climate change conference left a sour taste in my mouth. And I cannot understand why thousands of American and NATO troops are still risking their lives in Afghanistan or why the Iraq occupation hasn’t ended already.
For whatever reasons, the “progressive” agenda has not fared as well as I had expected in the first year of the Obama presidency. And some of it may well be the president’s fault.
But this I know for sure. The president is not to blame for that 23-year-0ld Nigerian smuggling an explosive aboard an American airliner on Christmas Day.
Yet, before I deleted the Huffington Post offering today, I noticed three or four headlines blaming Obama for the breakdown in security. It looks like Arianna Huffington is on a tear. I guess she doesn’t like the health care bill(s), and she’s letting the president know about it by attacking him on all fronts.
I agree that somebody dropped the ball in the airliner incident. American “authorities” knew the would-be bomber was a threat. The guy’s father had told them about him. It’s inconceivable that the kid was allowed on an airplane after that.
But the president has ordered an investigation, and heads will surely roll because of this indefensible lapse.
So how is it Obama’s fault? I don’t care who the president of the United States was, he (or she) could not check everybody’s underpants to make sure would-be bombers don’t get on airplanes. Only God is all-seeing. And no one has jurisdiction over all the different countries and all the different airlines. Keeping bombers off airplanes is a job that requires global cooperation and constant vigilance.
Ironically, while Republicans are criticizing the Obama administration for being lax on airline security, they are responsible for the lack of leadership at the Transportation Security Administration. Republican Senator Jim DeMint placed a hold on the appointment of a new TSA chief because he suspects the president’s nominee is pro-union.
And the Republicans in Congress have blocked additional funding to purchase TSA explosive-detection machines.
Then there’s the enlightening information that two of the attack plotters had been released from Guantánamo in November 2007 – by the Bush-Cheney administration.
As for the Huffington Post criticism that Obama’s response to the Christmas Day incident was “lackadaisical,” what do these critics want? Would they be happier if Obama ran around shrieking, “the sky is falling, the sky is falling”? Sorry, that’s not Obama’s style. They’ll just have to live with it.
The “progressive” blogosphere was wildly pro-Obama a few months ago. Now it’s rife with anti-Obama rhetoric. How childish.
Come the November 2010 elections, who will these spoiled brats support? Sarah Palin? Mike Huckabee? Mitt Romney? Newt Gingrich? I don’t betcha!
Yet by attacking Obama, “progressives” are helping to create a favorable climate for a return to Republican control of Congress. To me, that’s wildly irresponsible.
When I read that kind of thing from now on, I’ll just hit the “delete” key. And I hope you’ll do the same.