Limbaugh’s unhinged characterization of Obama’s speech, approvingly quoted by Powerline

Last night I challenged Scott Johnson of Powerline to back up his statement that Barack Obama in his Berlin speech had “deprecated” America in such a way as to make normal Americans “recoil” from him. Johnson, of course, doesn’t answer me (neocons never reply to or even acknowledge intelligent criticism from their right), but he does provide an indirect answer this morning, by quoting Rush Limbaugh’s commentary on the following passage in Obama’s speech:

People of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment. This is our time. I know my country has not perfected itself. (cheers) At times we struggle to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people, we’ve made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.

Limbaugh’s characterization of the above is insanely overwrought, imputing all kinds of vicious thoughts to Obama that Obama never stated or implied:

America sucks, America’s deficient, America’s guilty, but America is now willing to pay the price because we have a Messiah who understands the faults, the egregious errors made by the United States and her people. We are racists, sexists, bigots, homophobes. We discriminate against people who worship differently than we do, have skin color different from ours, and we have not always behaved properly in the world. And we torture. And we, of course, are biased against people who want to get into our country illegally. We have a lot to pay for.

The truth is that Bush and his secretary of state have innumerable times held America to fault for not living up to its liberal and egalitarian ideals, and have done so in terms far more cutting than anything said by Obama. Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s principal spokeswoman and “Brain” as he has called her, has repeatedly said that America has no right to judge Iraq for its inadequacies, given our historic and still-existing inadequacies. Rice has even said that Iraq is more advanced toward democracy than America is, because it assures women seats in its legislature. Bush went to a black African country and declared that Americans today are driven by same “racial bigotry” as in the days of the slave trade. When Bush and his Brain excoriated America for falling short of liberal perfection, Johnson and Limbaugh never noticed or objected. But when Obama issues a milder version of the same sort of liberal criticism of America, Johnson and Limbaugh start ranting about how Obama has horribly “insulted” and “demeaned” this country.

These Republican conservative commentators are incapable of seeing truth. They are in a frenzied state in which they accept any negative statement about the other side, no matter how absurd, and see only goodness on their own. A “conservative” party that loses its grip on reality to this extent, thus becoming like the left, is going down to defeat.

Do not misunderstand me. I oppose everything about Obama and his Berlin speech. His statement that “we must tear down … the walls between the countries with the most and those with the least, … the walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew,” amounts to a call for the elimination of Western nations and their merger with the Third World. But that’s not the issue here. The issue is that Obama did not engage in the America bashing of which Johnson and Limbaugh accuse him.

However, now that I’ve brought the subject up, why didn’t Scott Johnson attack Obama for his wall-tearing-down One-Worldism? Maybe because Johnson’s guys Bush and McCain are also wall-tearing-down One-Worlders—they support the admission of Muslim Turkey into the borderless EU, they support the proposed expansion of the EU into a borderless “Mediterranean Union” that will include North Africa and the Muslim Mideast, and they support the creation of a North and South American Union that will eliminate U.S. sovereignty, just as the EU has eliminated the sovereignty of the nations of Europe.

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Larry G. writes:

The talk radio and blog criticisms of Obama are as without substance as the speeches they criticize. Four years ago Obama said “that” but now he says “this”. So what? They criticize him when he changes his position, and they criticize him when he doesn’t change his position. And compiling a montage of Obama saying “um” and “uh” is just mean spirited and low.

There are valid ways of criticizing Obama’s statements. He wants to bring Jews and Muslims together? OK, one of the core tenets of Islam is that the Jews should all be destroyed. How does one reconcile that with the Jews’ wish NOT to be destroyed? You can’t. The task is impossible, so his statement is a meaningless platitude. They should examine the consequences of his proposals, instead of building a fantasy based on an awkward turn of phrase.

The Obama monster the Right conjures up is at odds with what people see and hear of the man. Obama gives the impression of being an upper level manager in a large corporation, comfortable with technology and the modern world, as opposed to McCain who admits he can’t turn on a computer and would probably be as amazed at a supermarket scanner as Bush 41 was. Both candidates have some rational positions and some awful positions, and these should be examined and challenged. Obama has kept his positions largely hidden, and when he does expose them, as in his recent comments about stopping U.S. nuclear weapons development, the MSM ignores or buries the comment. These are the things that need to be exposed and examined in detail, but it won’t happen as long as everybody is playing “gotcha” journalism.

David B. writes:

You will remember that El Rushbo would criticize “liberals” who favored amnesty for illegals without mentioning that Bush was not only pushing this policy, but more fanatically than the other liberals. Simply put, Limbaugh would never admit that his President was just about as liberal as the Democrats he was always mocking. Rush defended Rice in the same way.

Chris B. writes:

“His statement that “we must tear down … the walls between the countries with the most and those with the least, … the walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew,” amounts to a call for the elimination of Western nations and their merger with the Third World.”

Read even closer, Obama is proposing the abolition of everything. Including the distinction between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. As well as all nations. When Christians say “we worship the trinity, Jews and Muslims do not” that’s a barrier yes? If we tear down this barrier it means.. no longer worshipping the Trinity, and no longer being Christians.

Obama’s Chiliastic vision is Jonestown on a global scale. If you kill yourself you will become God, to merge with the infinite magnitude where all distinct entities resolve into nothing..

LA replies:

Yes. Liberalism, consistently followed, means the destruction of literally every distinct thing, because liberalism demands the end of all inequality and exclusion, and every distinct thing that exists, by the fact of existing, is unequal to and exclusive of everything that is not itself.

Donna E. writes:

We seem to want to apologize to everyone and the list is too long to go into. If we would go back to teaching our children the truth about our history instead of made up rewritten history and excluded history we might think differently as a nation. In a Leno interview people didn’t even know who the President of the USA was or where or what ‘Gitmo’ is or who is running for the Republican ticket.

Sad and shame on us

E. writes:

Obama was certainly in the right country for his rousing speech—the only thing missing was the shouts of “Sieg heil.”

A liberal reader writes:

I enjoy reading your pieces that castigate Bush to a conservative audience. I guess not too many people are aggressively touting and supporting Our Feckless Leader anymore, but it’s amazing to me that conservatives won’t publicly admit that he is not what they claimed he was before he was elected, and not what they have wanted in a president (except perhaps those who were intent, before or after 9/11, to kick the butt of people who don’t look or think like us). I think you and I have thrashed this around before, but Where’s the Outrage?

I suspect that after the full pardon of Scooter Libby on 1/19/09, we will never hear from W again. After Rumsfeld left, we haven’t heard a word from *or about* him. With W, there’ll be plenty *about* him, but I doubt anyone will want to hear a word he says, and he won’t have many to offer. Small blessings.

Though I would like to hear some sworn testimony from him, his handlers and the other people his handlers handled about the violations of law and the constitution eagerly pursued by his Admin. The ones we know about, and the ones we don’t yet know about. But that’ll never happen.

LA replies:

You wrote:

“… but it’s amazing to me that conservatives won’t publicly admit that he is not what they claimed he was before he was elected, and not what they have wanted in a president (except perhaps those who were intent, before or after 9/11, to kick the butt of people who don’t look or think like us).”

That’s a despicable statement.

Thucydides writes:

Your points about the similarity of Obama’s one world rhetoric to things uttered by Bush administration figures are well taken. The laughable quality of the rhetoric is illustrated by Jim Geraghty at NRO’s Campaign Spot who offers a pop quiz to see if readers can distinguish between excerpts from Obama’s speech and the treacly lyrics of “We Are the World.” Try it: it isn’t easy.

I think that criticism of Obama’s apologetic mode is in order, however. Now I have nothing against frank acknowledgment of fact, nor regretting failings, where appropriate. But this is the typically liberal morally preening “apology” for things his fellow countrymen, past and present, may have done. In other words, Obama is saying “see what a good person I am, because I feel very badly about the shortcomings of other people, shortcomings I recognize and would never be responsible for myself.”

To put this in context, his remarks were uttered in Germany to Germans and Europeans, who have been responsible for launching several murderous ideologies upon the world, and for starting two horrific world wars, as well as committing a holocaust that killed some 6 million Jews, and which, had it not been stopped by the end of the war, would have continued to the planned extermination of the Slavic population of Eastern Europe. It is the Europeans that are responsible, more than any others, for making the 20th century the bloodiest in history, and it is Americans who enabled the carnage to be cut short, at great sacrifice, even though they were safely separated by an ocean from the conflict. Whatever shortcomings may be laid at our door, they pale in significance to these crimes. In these circumstances for Obama adopt an apologetic mode as a rhetorical device is disgusting.

Bill in Maryland writes:

Here’s a lighter, satirical treatment of Obama, in the London Times.

LA writes:

Ruth King, a stalwart conservative and supporter of Israel who sends out many articles each day to her e-mail subscription list, is also catching on to the overkill against Obama. She writes:

From: Ruth King
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2008 10:27 AM

Lots of rumors swirling around….Hillary did call Petraeus a liar….but I am uneasy about this….Obama deserves ridicule….but not lies….they backfire

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 25, 2008 09:06 AM | Send

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