I REALLY try to avoid watching Fox News if at all possible. But occasionally, I have to scour the Internet (since I don’t have cable. Pray for me, y’all) finding segments of the network’s shows to get a general sense of the conversation happening on the red side side of the country. I was especially interested to see how certain personalities on the right would respond to Obama’s recent speech announcing a troop increase in Afghanistan. In a move that infuriated many folks on the left, I was anticipating reading about how the right was in elation. So when I read that at least some folks on the right (Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin in particular) openly applauded President Bush the Third’s Obama’s decision to escalate the so-called “War on Terror”, I figured that would be the common theme with conservatives. Any sponsorship of the Bush “Shoot first, ask questions later, and then say it was all done to protect our freedom” philosophy was sure to win their admiration and support. Right?
Not so fast.
Conservatives from all walks of life; from politicians like Former VEEP Cheney (albeit on the pre-speech side) and Karl Rove, to pundits like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, to your ordinary bloggers were quick to blast Obama for the speech. Never mind the fact that Obama’s speech essentially mirrored EVERYTHING Bush has said, this was Obama talking now. So by their estimation, he MUST be wrong. No matter how closely aligned Obama’s policies seem to be with Bush’s, our conservative friends were full of criticism:
‘The speech wasn’t inspiring.’
‘He never said the word victory.’
‘He didn’t seem motivated.’
‘This wasn’t Reagan-esque.’
Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
If I’ve been following things correctly thus far, we have a President who built a campaign on ending an expensive, sloppy, and deadly war. But less than one year after officially taking office, he has to break the news that not only is he NOT stopping the war, but he’s escalating it. In doing so, he’s made a mockery of the Nobel tradition which awarded him a Peace prize, infuriated his base, contributed to even MORE out-of-control spending, and has put 30,000 more lives in danger fighting an unwinnable war. That news – according to some conservatives – was supposed to be delivered with a happy face or with one of Sarah Palin’s golly-gee whiz winks. More war! Yay!
If I wasn’t convinced before that Republicans are obstructionists who will find ANYTHING to complain about, I’m convinced now.