Sunday, November 27, 2011

Obama Bashing--Is This Healthy?

For some time I have been distressed at the rage some people have directed toward President Obama. At a luncheon recently my wife reported that it was one of the ugliest encounters she had witnessed in a long time. A woman, well-heeled and angry would not quit talking about how President Obama was terrible. She even called him a bastard. She had her litany of complaints: not a real American, a Socialist at best, sorry leader, the wrong color and ruining a perfectly good country. I don't hear this level of anger a lot but I do hear many folk talk of how they despise President and can't wait until 2012 to get back to normal--well maybe I should say: abnormal. Liberals and Conservatives are jumping on the President for a multitude of reasons. Some right and many wrong.

Frank Rich's article in a recent issue of New York Magazine draws a parallel between the climate when JFK was assassinated and today's temperature. He writes that the mood of hatred just before Kennedy was killed as at an all-time high. (Just to set the record sorta straight--didn't President Lincoln and other Presidents, also face enormous hatred and disrespect?) Liberals and conservatives had a litany of complaints against President Kennedy. Rich writes: "...the vitriol that was aimed at Kennedy in life seems as immediate as today. It's as startling as that 'You lie!' piercing the solemnity of a presidential address like a gunshot--or the actual gunshots fired at the White House last week by another wretched waif. In the end, that political backdrop is what our 44th and 35th presidents may have most in common. The tragedy of the Kennedy cult is that even as it fades, the hothouse brand of American malice that stalked its hero stalks our country still." Rich does not concentrate on the assassination of President Kennedy--he talks mostly about the climate surrounding the President then and now.

Under another "Wish I Had Said that..." Nicholas Kristof  in Sunday's New York Times has a great article on "The President as Pinata." He points out many of Obama's mistakes and missteps but he underlines the point that our President has accomplished incredible things in a very chaotic and difficult time. I keep remembering how we came together for a while after September 11th. Does it take a horrendous crisis for people in this country to come to their senses? Lord knows we have crises in abundance. It's Advent for Christians--maybe our prayer ought to lift up this broken nation and the man who is trying to lead us.


  1. On November 22, I posted on my blog a remembrance of where I was as a third grader on the day that the president was shot. I recalled the animosity felt toward JFK, how it was similar to what we hear about President Obama, and the confusing emotions for those of us who were children at the time. You can read it at

  2. Bigotry is alive and well in America. How ironic that we who are descendants of immigrants from Europe, coming here to worship and live freely, want to deny that freedom to any who are not like us - especially those we kidnapped/bought and dragged here against their will? If only Obama's white genes had been dominant, all might be different.
    Mike Mitchell