One of my friends on FB, a gentleman who went to high school with my older brother, is not a fan of Pres. Obama. To say the least. No big deal, because I'm not exactly going out of my way to make sure he spends four more years in Washington. What's frustrating, as with so many denizens of the fever swamp that is the American right-wing, is that he doesn't like him for all the wrong reasons. He carries on about how Obama has raised our taxes. Obama has cut taxes on Americans pretty consistently, with the latest fight being over the expiration of a payroll tax holiday that Obama wanted and the Republicans want to see end. He carries on about Obama's ego, which, while substantial (you don't seek then win the highest office in the land without some sense of oneself, unless you're a paranoid lunatic like Nixon), is dwarfed by, say Newt Gingrich's outsized sense of himself. He repeats the nonsense that Obama is some kind of socialist bent on destroying America.
Like the constant barrage of stupidity that carries on about Obama's socialism which is non-existent, his deep, long-time relationship with former Weather Underground member Bill Ayres, which doesn't exist, his penchant for apologizing to other countries for American conduct, which has never happened, I honestly and sincerely wish folks would dislike Obama for real reasons. Substantive reasons. There are plenty, which is why I am not planning on supporting his re-election campaign or voting for him next year.
In the same vein of wishing people would just, you know, deal with things as they are, rather than as they are told they are or think they are or something, I honestly wish liberals (as opposed to those on the Left, who tend to display a bit more clarity of vision on these matters in my experience) would stop getting huffy over stuff Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich say. The only bottom-tier Republican candidate for President whose recent statements need disparaging are Jon Huntsman's recent remarks that indicate he is flipping on climate change in a last-minute, desperate attempt to drag in some cash. I have to agree with Pierce, by and large, that Huntsman was never "liberal". He was, however, at least sane enough to call out climate deniers for the flat-earthers they are.
Until someone told him the campaign cash cupboard was bare.
The other three, however . . . The reason I would rather poke a bit of fun at Santorum, Perry, and Gingrich is easy: None of them are going to get the nomination from the Republican Party. Certainly not Santorum, who is currently giving Huntsman a run for the bottom of the field. Over, the past few days, Santorum's mind keeps wandering back to what folks do in the privacy of their own homes a little more frequently than is normal; most of us would call his obsession with gay sex more than a little creepy.
It isn't that the things he has said aren't offensive, with a thin coating with ick. They are. It is far better, however, not to allow one's indignation to overcome common sense. Santorum was so loathed by folks in his home state he wasn't re-elected to the US Senate, so I never understood why he thought people in the rest of the country would find him an attractive candidate. When Think Progress or Fire Dog Lake or even Charlie Pierce at Esquire take a moment to highlight yet another instance of Santorum's outrage that people are having sex of which he doesn't approve and about which he, apparently, thinks constantly, take a deep breath, calm down, and have some fun at his expense. Seriously. That's about all he deserves.
Ditto Rick Perry. His new ad, in which he makes the silly, and false, statement that "there's something wrong" in American because gay folks can serve in the military but kids can't pray in school (lie lie lie lie lie lie lie lie), is an obvious attempt to strong-arm the douchebag vote away from Santorum who is on the way out. Seriously. Even if Rick Perry believes his own ad, he is as slick and phony as Mitt Romney, and I just don't have enough benefit of the doubt to grant him. It's pandering, pure and simple.
Yet, the comment threads on these posts are chock-a-block with serious parsing of these statements, tinged with the kind of outrage that one would think should accompany any serious policy proposal from a viable candidate. To which I can only say - calm down. Have some fun, be honest and just say, "Wow, these folks are just nuts." Then, go back to having a cup of coffee and helping Junior or Janie with homework.
As for Newt, I realize he is the latest anti-Romney "front-runner" (no, I neither care what polls say, nor believe them when they are shoved in my face; it's votes that count, not what random people tell a stranger before actually casting a ballot), but his underlying megalomania has been surfacing recently - he's the one responsible for Romney's wealth, apparently; he will be the nominee; he will appoint Dr. Whovee lookalike John Bolton Secretary of State - along with his life-long penchant for making stuff up, then defending the lie with further lies that usually play to his own view of his overwhelming intellect are all combining to remind most of America why he has spent the past 13 years unemployed by any public institution whatsoever. His flaws are florid at the current moment, and it is far better to sit back and watch him destroy his own candidacy than to allow oneself to be outraged that he thinks child-labor laws are stupid, or that poor kids just don't have any role models to follow when it comes to hard work.
Start an office pool on the date when he ends up destroying himself, grandly, in public. That would be a far better use of one's time and energy.
If you're wondering what my point is in all this, it's simple. Calm down. Obama isn't going to destroy America. Considering the job the financial sector did, and continues to do, I think that award should rest firmly on the shelves of those who've earned it. Santorum, Perry, Gingrich may be bigoted idiots, but they aren't going to be their party's nominee for President. I'm not saying politics isn't important. Obviously, I believe it is. It isn't something one should allow to overwhelm both common sense and reality. You don't like Obama? Good for you. All I ask is you dislike him for real reasons. You think Santorum's statements regarding gay marriage are insulting? Why, insult him right back! Shoot, all you have to do is Google "Santorum" and the very first choice is a marvelous example!
Part of our problem is we as politically active citizens just don't keep perspective. It takes just a few moments of time to check out whether or not real Socialists loathe Barack Obama or whether Mitt Romney's health care plan in Massachusetts is pretty much the same one Congress passed in 2009 and that he campaigns against. Just deal with things as they are. That's all I'm asking.