Following the president’s speech from the Oval Office on Sunday night (something I have said he should do more of) the Republicants predictably lined up to take pot shots at the man who was clearly trying to quell fears and bring civility to the discussion of terrorism. It seems clear to me that the president might have rallied the citizens behind such things as tougher gun laws if he had used his prestige and considerable rhetorical skills in front of cameras addressing the American people before this. But he has been reluctant tho do so — perhaps because he knows he will simply provide an occasion for his political opponents to take aim. And what a group it is! A brief portion of a news story tells us of the response from some of the clowns vying with one another for the Republicant presidential nomination:
“President Obama has finally been forced to abandon the political fantasy he has perpetuated for years that the threat of terrorism was receding,” former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said in a statement. “We need to remove the self-imposed constraints President Obama has placed on our intelligence community and military, and we need to put in place an aggressive strategy to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism as I have proposed.”
After the speech, Republican hopeful Donald Trump tweeted, “Is that all there is? We need a new President – FAST!”
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida criticized Obama for saying that Americans should not fall into a trap of discriminating against Muslims.
“Where is there widespread evidence that we have a problem in America with discrimination against Muslims?” Rubio said on Fox News after the speech. “I think not only did the president not make things better tonight, I fear he may have made things worse in the minds of many Americans.”
Aside from the Trumpet’s comment which, as always, is not worthy of note, one must reflect on these comments. Jeb Bush wants to assume the Nazi pose and take a Fascist approach to international affairs. Storm troopers and armed drones against anyone and everyone who thinks or believes differently than us. But Rubio’s claim that this nation is not becoming rabid in its fear of Muslims and reeks of discrimination shows how out of touch he is with reality. Long before 9/11 this nation has shown its ugly side when it comes to those who are different from the norm. As I have said in previous posts, the root of this fear and hate of others is our ignorance of those who differ from us. But to see issuing forth from the mouth of one who would be the leader of this nation words that show him to be blind to the obvious does give me pause. Has the political fabric of this country torn beyond repair? Are we that far gone that we would pay serious attention to people who reside at the bottom of the intellectual pool groveling in the mud and sludge of utter nonsense and hate-mongering?
In any event, I applaud the president for seeking to restore calm after the praise ISIS heaped on the couple who engaged in mass killing in San Bernardino last week. The murders themselves were sufficient to drive reason from the playing field, but the discovery that the pair were Muslims added fuel to the fire and someone needed to say something. The president was wise to make this move and one would hope that it will have a soothing effect and bring civil discourse back into play. But with ambitious, small-minded political candidates elbowing each other out of the way to claim center stage, this may not happen. My goodness how stupid those people are.