Blogger Patterico, who has made a reputation exposing the awful bias of the LA Times, and who did not support Barack Obama for President, wrote that, despite his less than good relationships, ungood campaign methods and thuggery, and double plus ungood plans for the country, Obama is "a good man."
Patterico wrote further: "But I make no apologies for saying he is a good man. He is my President. He is our President. And while he hasn’t always done good, [sic] I do believe he is fundamentally a good man and a patriot who wants to make this country a better place."
Well, Sydney Brillo Duodenum could not agree less but he lacks the skills and the sleep to put together a response the way Jeff Goldstein does, thus:
This “good man” was involved in ACORN blackmail schemes. With an attempt to fraudulently undermine the Second Amendment by gaming court rulings. He got rich off of schemes that led to the mortgage crisis — then stood by and let others fix it in order to keep his hands clean during the final stages of an election. He has thrown in with race hustlers,” reformers” who believe that domestic terrorism was a valid form of expression, odious foreign potentates –
There is nothing at all noble about praising a man and a party who reviles you simply because in doing so you appear noble. Jews have tried that. And it’s often ended with skeletons and ash, or the twisted wreckage of a bus in Tel Aviv.
In this case, it will end with more McCains — and so more Obamas and Reids and Pelosis and Olbermans.
If that’s nobility, I’m not interested. Yes, Obama is my President. But that doesn’t mean I’m forced to forget all he’s done to get there — and all that’s been done on his behalf,either by the savage supporters who went after Joe the Plumber and Sarah Palin, or by the “objective media” that sold its soul for a shot at establishing the government it desired.
A good man?
A good politician, sure. A dedicated husband and father, yes. But a good man?
Sorry. But good men don’t lie, cheat, steal, and throw longtime supporters by the wayside just so they can rise to power — even if they’ve convinced themselves they’re doing so for some Greater Good.
Because the fact is, in this country, they’re not supposed to get to decide what that is. We are.
The rest is hubris.
In a follow-up in response to some other blogger’s attempt to smooth things out by stating that, whether or not oppositionists call Obama a good man or not, is near the bottom of the list of priorities, Goldstein responds “that ‘whether or not we should say that Obama is a nice guy’ is vitally important — and that, far from being ‘damned near the bottom of the list of priorities,’ it speaks to something classical liberals need to put at the top of their priority list: namely, a refusal to allow that tactics of progressives to pass unchallenged or even to be celebrated.”
In an political environment wherein the left has managed to turn the introduction of inconvenient facts into “smears” or “racism,” this willingness, on the part of some conservatives, to believe themselves capable of seizing the moral high ground by essentially giving cover to the demonstrably bad by allowing that it is merely “misguided,” is yet another step toward the very kind of partisan pragmatism that has cost Republicans so dearly, and that, even more troubling, has served to devalue language and further institutionalize a dangerous idea of how interpretation works.
When Bill Bennett was attacked as a racist, many conservatives were quick to get out in front of the issue and suggest that, while they didn’t believe Bennett to be a racist, he was reckless nevertheless in allowing himself to be depicted that way by opportunistic progressives. And it was at that point that they ceded greater control of language to those who seek to use it dishonestly and cynically as a bludgeon, and in doing so, sent the signal that such was an effective way to control conservative speech. Bennett, you’ll
recall, went out of his way to make clear his intent. But we were told that others might misinterpret that intent, and so Bennett was to blame for putting himself in that position.
The proper answer, of course, was to point out the entirety of Bennett’s comments, note that there was nothing racist about them, and to insist that those who might be offended by those comments learn to read for comprehension and in context. Period. No excuses, no concessions. Bennett meant what he meant, and what he meant was clear to anyone who bothered to work through his argument.
Don’t want to be offended? Learn to interpret properly.
Here, similarly, progressives — who ran a thuggish campaign that consisted of truth squads, attempts to have advertising removed, the personal and very public destruction of private citizens (from Joe the Plumber to Trig Palin) — can take from “high minded” posts like Patterico’s the message that they can always count on conservative self-righteousness to protect them from recrimination, that their pragmatism and cynicism will always prove successful strategically so long as conservatives maintain a desire to appear above the fray.
Patterico accused me of “demonizing” all Democrats, which is patently absurd. In fact, I dealt specifically with denying the appellation “good man” to someone who, through his actions, has proven to be anything but. It matters who gets called a “good man.” It matters who we say has this country’s best interests at heart. And yes,it’s possible Obama does, to a certain extent — though what is important to recognize is that, at least so far as his governing principles to this point suggest, he doesn’t hold that view from the perspective of the country as it was founded, and as it was intended to be governed.
Which means that Obama’s best interests for the country are really the best interests for a country he’d like to see this one become — a new text that he’d like us to believe will be but an re-interpretation of the original text.
As someone who believes in the principles upon which this country was founded, I refuse to allow that someone whose ideological predispositions compel him to radically redefine that “imperfect document” that is the Constitution, has this country’s best interests at heart.
And I likewise refuse to allow that a man whose thuggish deeds and unsavory associations have defined him be granted the honor of “good man.” Because to do so is to make a mockery of good men, and to cede yet another bit of our ability to evaluate and describe and conclude in good faith into a bit of “hate speech” that won’t help the GOP regain power.
To which I say, outlaws ain’t team players. And it’s time to be outlaws.