It is Obama, not Romney, who dislikes America
posted at 10:47 am on September 20, 2012 by Howard Portnoy
In the opening of a column in Thursday’s Washington Post, liberal commentator E. J. Dionne shares an anecdote. “The most incisive reaction to Mitt Romney’s disparaging comments about 47 percent of us,” he writes, “came from a conservative friend who emailed: ‘If I were you, I’d wonder why Romney hates America so much.’”
As debating strategies go, this tactic is pretty weak. Dionne is citing as support for his argument one anonymous voice out of a vast chorus of opponents that he claims agrees with him.
Actually, Dionne doesn’t fully agree with his source. He goes on to suggest that the comment is “a bit strong,” which makes you wonder why he mentioned it in the first place.
Nevertheless, Dionne’s key argument, which is encapsulated in the article’s title—“Does Romney Dislike America?”—is never borne out. He draws on innuendo (Romney “speaks as if hardworking parents who seek government help to provide health care for their kids are irresponsible”), non sequiturs (“if President Obama wanted a ‘government-centered nation,’ the stock market wouldn’t have doubled”), and straw men (“Romney said not a word about all the redistribution upward in a tax code that favors investment over labor income”). But ultimately, the house of cards Dionne builds collapses of its own weight.
Interestingly, he never takes Romney to task for promising to “fundamentally transform the United States of America.” That would be because Romney never identified that as his overarching intention if elected. The candidate who did say it in 2008 went on to become president and has held that office for the past three-plus years.
A fundamental makeover of a nation is not the goal of a man devoted to his country and all that it stands for. But evidence that Barack Obama has never much liked America abounds. Would a man who loves his country have maintained a close twenty-year relationship with a black nationalist minister who delivered hate-filled anti-American screeds from his pulpit?
Since being elected in 2008, Obama has made his dislike of the nation repeatedly. In 2009, his first year in office, he broke with a tradition honored among all 43 of his predecessors and verbally assaulting his own country on foreign soil. In Paris, he prostrated himself and the nation, telling a French president hostile to American interests that America “has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive” toward Europe. When asked by a British reporter that same year whether he thought the United States was uniquely qualified to lead the world, Obama replied, “I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” Short answer: no.
On CBS’s The Late Show with David Letterman two nights ago, Obama said, “One thing I’ve learned as president is that you represent the entire country.” (He’s learned that only since becoming president?) But his scornful open-mic comment in 2008 about people in “small towns in Pennsylvania” who “get bitter” and “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” suggests he represents some Americans more than others. He has been equally critical of the wealthy (whose interests he also represents as president), calling them selfish and greedy and demanding that they “do their fair share” by “paying a little more” when they are already carrying the vast majority of America’s tax burden.
Finally, would a man who loves his country fly in the face of its system of checks and balances as often as has Obama, who has passed a record number of executive orders? Would a man who represents all Americans have been party to the passage of a game-changing health care law that was forged by one party only and behind closed doors? Should he cling to the law desperately when a majority of Americans want to see it repealed and the law’s own chief architect insists the law will raise, not reduce, health insurance premiums.
These are not the actions or thoughts of a man who loves his country. They are, however, the thoughts and actions of a man who loves himself.
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