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"The Smearing of a President" by Michael Smerconish in the Inquirer

  1. Ralph Deeds profile image71
    Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/polit … nfair.html

    "It's been unrelenting. The day after Obama took office, Rush Limbaugh told Sean Hannity he wanted him to "fail." Later, Glenn Beck called the president a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred of white people." Donald Trump's birtherism took hold while words like socialist were uttered with increased frequency. And a prairie fire of falsehoods spread through the Internet suggesting, among other things, that Obama is a Muslim or refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, paving the way for Dinesh D'Souza's fictionalized "documentary" 2016, which characterized Obama as fulfilling the anticolonial agenda of his father - a man he literally knew for just one weekend!

    "Among the usual memes used to undermine the president is the threat of some apocalyptic cataclysm, usually in the form of an assertion of federal power, like the seizing of guns. These predictions demand unthinking acceptance of the notion that the president, like a bizarre Manchurian candidate, is saving his nefarious agenda for a second term that might never arrive. By my count, the website Snopes.com has evaluated and debunked 103 of 124 Internet assertions about Obama.

    "Just before Hurricane Sandy hit, Ann Coulter called our sitting president a "retard," Sarah Palin mocked his "shuck and jive shtick," and John Sununu openly questioned Gen. Colin Powell's weighty endorsement as being motivated by race. At least earlier in the campaign there was some effort at camouflage. Such as when Mitt Romney aired an anti-Obama welfare commercial that falsely suggested Obama supported handouts ("They just send you your welfare check") when, in fact, Obama was accommodating requests of several governors, two of them conservative Republicans, to try new ways to put people back to work. A similar sentiment was expressed by Romney when he maligned the 47 percent who don't pay federal income taxes, overlooking that 83 percent of that group are either working and paying payroll taxes or they're elderly....[More http://www.philly.com/philly/news/polit … fair.html]

    1. KFlippin profile image61
      KFlippinposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Whine, whine, whine, unbelievable.   George Bush endured more open and blatant and malicious crap from the media than anyone in modern day.  Whine whine whine............

    2. HowardBThiname profile image90
      HowardBThinameposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Ralph old buddy, the same thing happened to George W. Bush. It's called politics and it's nasty.

      But, if you dish it out - you better be ready to take it. And Obama dished it out in big helpings against Bush so karma's just coming back to bite him in the rear end.  wink

      1. Ralph Deeds profile image71
        Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        You apparently didn't see my comment deploring the insults against both Bush and Obama. The personal attacks on Bush were bad enough, but the racial insults against Obama are even farther over the line.

        1. HowardBThiname profile image90
          HowardBThinameposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Racism is always bad, but I've not noticed much against Obama. For the most part, they attack his policies.

  2. WillStarr profile image88
    WillStarrposted 4 years ago

    I thought this would be about George W. Bush.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image71
      Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Click on the link. Smerconish starts out saying he deplored the personal attacks on President Bush.

  3. WillStarr profile image88
    WillStarrposted 4 years ago

    "Smerconish starts out saying he deplored the personal attacks on President Bush."

    Did he write a column defending Bush while it was happening?

    It's easy to inoculate against criticism by claiming he also "deplored the personal attacks on President Bush", but if he did not defend him at the time, it's disingenuous to say the least.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image71
      Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I think he did. Will try to look it up. Smerconish was a political appointee in the George H.W. Bush administration. I assume he's a Republican, of the old non-Tea Party style.

      http://www.ohio.com/editorial/michael-s … r-1.315155

  4. Connie Smith profile image90
    Connie Smithposted 4 years ago

    I am also dismayed by the lack of "civil discourse" in the public area, especially the lack of respect for a sitting president -- from both sides, first with Clinton, then Bush, then Obama.  There is a real correlation and escalation as more and more people find the internet.  Unfortunately, many people have not discovered the vast real reference material that is available at our fingertips, but the partisan rhetoric that is meant to divide and conquer.  I find that most people who make these statements count on the masses to read the headline and believe without ever delving into whether the statements are true or false.  The masses have not failed them. 

    We can take, for instance, the claim that gas prices have risen 104% since 2009 and that it is Obama's fault.  Yes, that is a true statement, but it doesn't take into consideration that gas prices had plummeted and, that in 2008, before Obama took office, gas prices were at, or higher, than prices today.  I laughed when I read that Obama destroyed our Space Shuttle mission by shutting it down, when, in fact, that was decided by the Bush administration with an end date. 

    These types of miscommunications -- and I've only named a few -- do destroy us because the masses just believe and never research.  I like to think that most of us on Hubpages are smarter than that.  After all, we are writers, and I believe that we have the obligation to make sure that what we are writing about is true.  A writer who doesn't research his material is like a comedian who can't tell a joke.  That in inself is a joke. 

    All of this hate and uncivil discourse happened with the advent of the internet.  Many of us use it to make money and try to do good for ourselves and educate others.  Others have a real agenda and use the internet for pure evil.  These people are destroying us as they hide behind their anonymity.  How do we know who is real and who is Ann Coulter in disguise having a laugh at our expense?  A war enemy?  A subversive?  We have no idea who it is who are creating many of the divisive statements that have caused us our uncivil discourse, but it is highly dangerous to believe most of what you read without researching the topic.  Even then, we have to sift through the crap as we cannot trust our media now not to have its own agenda.  Who do we trust?  I have to say that, no matter who wins, I worry for the future of our country in this arena.

  5. WillStarr profile image88
    WillStarrposted 4 years ago

    " George Bush endured more open and blatant and malicious crap from the media than anyone in modern day.  "

    And that is a fact.

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image71
      Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      And he deserved most of it. However, I agree with you and Smerconish that the slander and disrespect have gotten out of hand wrt both Bush and Obama.

      1. habee profile image91
        habeeposted 4 years ago in reply to this

        I agree. What happened to basic respect in this country?? Why can't you disagree with someone's politics without getting personal and mean? Ralph, you and I often disagree politically, but if you're ever traveling through GA, like on your way to FL, you're always welcome at my house. I'd even cook for you!

      2. Repairguy47 profile image60
        Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        He didn't deserve it! Obama runs around the country telling business owners they didn't start their business it was done by someone else. He wants people to vote for revenge, revenge for what? Obama has deserved what has been said about him and much more!

        1. Hollie Thomas profile image60
          Hollie Thomasposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          Funny, you sound so much more bitter than he does.

          1. Repairguy47 profile image60
            Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            Funny, you follow me everywhere.

        2. Ralph Deeds profile image71
          Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

          "Obama runs around the country telling business owners they didn't start their business it was done by someone else." 

          You are twisting what he said/meant. His point was that investments in schools, roads, bridges, railroads are essential requisites without which most businesses would never get off the ground.

          1. Repairguy47 profile image60
            Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

            No I'm not, he said it, we heard him.

            1. Ralph Deeds profile image71
              Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

              The GOP took the quote out of context and twisted his meaning.

              Wikipedia:

              "You didn't build that" is a meme[1][2][3] based on a phrase from an election campaign speech delivered by President Barack Obama on 13 July 2012 in Roanoke, Virginia. Although the speech became known by that phrase,[4][5][6] Obama was speaking about the ways in which successful businesses rely on both individual initiative and public infrastructure,[7][8][9][10] stating in part:

                  If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.[7]

              The line "If you've got a business—you didn't build that" generated controversy when Mitt Romney's campaign and conservatives quickly disseminated it across the conservative political blogosphere. Conservative commentators were critical of what they viewed as Obama's support for big government.[11] Fact-checking organizations[12][13][14] and commentators were critical of what they viewed as misrepresentations of Obama's speech by the Romney campaign.[15][16][17]

              The Romney campaign used the phrase "you didn't build that", taken from Obama's speech, to create an election advertisement;[18] The Obama campaign said that the statement was taken out of context, having "that" appear to refer to the person's business instead of "roads and bridges", and called the ads "flat out wrong".[8][9][10][19][20]

              1. Repairguy47 profile image60
                Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

                The GOP? I heard his words, the GOP didn't have a thing to do with it!!

                1. tammybarnette profile image60
                  tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                  You mean you heard a sound byte on a commercial...

                  1. Hollie Thomas profile image60
                    Hollie Thomasposted 4 years ago in reply to this

                    Or perhaps he read it somewhere, which means it must be true. lol

  6. WillStarr profile image88
    WillStarrposted 4 years ago

    The left draws racism like a pistol when they run out of arguments. If you oppose Obama in any way, well, you're a racist.

    Sheesh!

    1. Ralph Deeds profile image71
      Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Not everybody. But the race factor is undeniable.

      1. Repairguy47 profile image60
        Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        Were they racist when they voted for him or just now that they wont?

    2. Mighty Mom profile image91
      Mighty Momposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      Actually, racism is alive and thriving even more than before Obama became POTUS.
      Not just my opinion. A poll.

      http://rt.com/usa/news/majority-america … -poll-378/

      The election of Barack Obama failed to usher in a post-racial US, with a new poll showing that 51 percent of Americans hold explicitly anti-black views. That figure is up from 48 percent in 2008, the year America elected its first black president.

      ­Those expressing implicit anti-black attitudes also spiked from 49 percent to 56 percent over the same four-year period, the Associated Press found in a poll released Saturday.

      Racial prejudice against blacks cut clearly across America’s left-right political divide, despite perceptions to the contrary. While 79 percent of Republicans willingly expressed racial prejudice when answering questions measuring explicit racism (as opposed to 32 percent among Democrats), the implicit racism test showed that a majority of Republicans (64 percent) and Democrats (55 percent) held implicit anti-black feelings.

      According to the survey, political independents were the least racist, with 49 percent exhibiting implicit anti-black feelings. The poll also found that a majority of respondents (57 percent) held implicitly negative views about Hispanics, up 51 percent from an AP poll taken last year.

      All of the surveys were conducted online, with research showing that the likelihood of respondents expressing taboo opinions increased when the poll was taken on a computer, as opposed to speaking with an interviewer.

      The explicit racism component of the test asked respondents if they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements concerning blacks and Hispanics. The survey also asked how they associated blacks, whites and Hispanics with a range of adjectives including 'friendly,' 'hardworking,' 'violent' and 'lazy.'

      The implicit test entailed showing the same respondents a neutral image of a Chinese character on the screen. The image of a black, white or Hispanic male would flash immediately before the character appeared. Respondents were then asked to rate their feeling towards the Chinese character, with previous research suggesting that people transfer their feelings about the photograph onto the character. The technique is described by psychologists as 'affect misattribution.'

      In this way, researchers believe they can measure racist sentiments the respondent might be harboring, even if they are consciously or unconsciously suppressed.

      Further questions regarding the respondents’ age, political views, opinions towards Obama or Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney and other facts were used to determine who the poll-taker was likely to vote for in the upcoming election.

      If the poll accurately reflects the state of race in modern-day America, Obama could be facing a five-percentage-point loss of the popular vote come Election Day on November 6. However, pro-black attitudes could give him another three-point boost, resulting in a net two-point loss.

      A Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll released on Wednesday found that November’s election will likely be the most racially divisive since 1988, with Obama lagging behind Romney 38 to 59 percent among white voters. At this stage in 2008, John McCain led Obama by 8 points among whites, with Obama ultimately losing the white vote by 12 percentage points.

      Obama’s greatest losses are amongst white men. In 2008, exit polls showed that Obama lost the white male vote by 16 points. This year, Obama trails Romney by 33 percent, over double that margin.

      Democratic candidate John Kerry lost white voters to Republican George W. Bush by a comparable margin in the 2004 presidential election – 58 to 41 per cent – which was enough to cost him the election.

      The poll results will likely do much to deflate previous hopes that Obama’s election represented the advent of a post-racial stage in American history.

      1. Repairguy47 profile image60
        Repairguy47posted 4 years ago in reply to this

        What is an anti black attitude?

  7. Ralph Deeds profile image71
    Ralph Deedsposted 4 years ago

    I give Romney credit for giving a quite generous and eloquent concession speech.



    MITT ROMNEY: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, my friends. Thank you so very much. Thank you. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you.

    I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters. (Applause.) This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.

    I want to thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign -- (cheers, applause) -- and for our country. Besides my wife Ann, Paul is the best choice I’ve ever made. (Cheers, applause.) And I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation. (Cheers, applause.)

    I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life. (Cheers, applause.) She would have been a wonderful first lady. (Cheers, applause.) She’s -- she has been that and more to me and to our family and to the many people that she has touched with her compassion and her care. I thank my sons for their tireless work on behalf of the campaign, and thank their wives and children -- (cheers, applause) -- for taking up their slack as their husbands and dads have spent so many weeks away from home. (Cheers, applause.)

    I want to thank Matt Rhoades and the dedicated campaign team he led. (Cheers, applause.) They have made an extraordinary effort, not just for me but also for the country that we love. And to you here tonight and to the team across the country -- the volunteers, the fundraisers, the donors, the surrogates -- I don’t believe that there’s ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years. Thank you so very much. (Cheers, applause.)

    Thanks for all the hours of work, for the calls, for the speeches and appearances, for the resources and for the prayers. You gave deeply from yourselves and performed magnificently, and you inspired us and you humbled us. You’ve been the very best we could have imagined.

    The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. We look to our teachers and professors. We count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.

    We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built -- honesty, charity, integrity and family. We look to our parents, for in the final analysis, everything depends on the success of our homes. We look to job creators of all kinds. We’re counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward. And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.

    I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. (Cheers, applause.)

    And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to a new greatness.

    Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign. (Cheers, applause.) I so wish -- I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction. But the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.

    Thank you, and God bless America. (Cheers, applause.) You guys are the best. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks, guys. (Cheers, applause.)

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    1. tammybarnette profile image60
      tammybarnetteposted 4 years ago in reply to this

      I thought he did a good job as well.

 
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