In a recent editorial, Colbert King takes an inappropriate incident from an small Atlanta publisher and uses it as a springboard for straw man. Andrew Adler speculated in print as to what options the Israeli government are discussing to push back against threats to its security and asked whether or not Israeli leaders were considering assassination. It was a bonkers speculation and Adler showed a lack of grace, courtesy, and common sense in writing it. Not to be outdone in the realm of ridiculousness, King changed a speculative statement into a mandate.
But it can’t be unsaid. To read in a mainstream publication that Barack Obama should be killed takes the breath away.
Adler is beyond defense on his remark but not beyond defense on what was actually said.
King then baselessly appeals to electoral sympathies:
What sets anti-Obama foes apart from the persecutors of Bush, Reagan et al., however, is that the purveyors of this brand of inflammatory rhetoric include the GOP presidential candidates themselves.
Really? Let's consider what this candidate himself, the democrat incumbent, has said:
Mobster wisdom tells us never to bring a knife to a gun fight. But what does political wisdom say about bringing a gun to a knife fight?
That’s exactly what Barack Obama said he would do to counter Republican attacks “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.” [via]
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A Republican majority in Congress would mean "hand-to-hand combat" on Capitol Hill for the next two years, threatening policies Democrats have enacted to stabilize the economy, President Obama warned Wednesday. [via]
This doesn't include a host of utterances from various democrat members of congress. If King's objection is to vitriolic language, it comes nearly four years too late and the blame is unbalanced. King links to an uninformed piece by John Avalon who notes that Reagan didn't call people socialists -- per se -- but spent a lot of time talking about Marxism and socialist health care in his speeches, as often as the current crop of GOP presidential contenders.
Newt Gingrich: Obama has a “Kenyan anti-colonial mindset” and is the “most radical president in American history.”
This was addressed on Big Journalism months ago, and it's interesting how King omits (or doesn't know due to a Google-pundit-ignorance fueling much of the political discourse today) that Gingrich's quote was a reference to a piece by Dinesh D'Souza.
Rick Santorum: Obama has “some phony theology . Not a theology based on the Bible,” and he is “systematically trying to crush the traditional Judeo-Christian values of America.”
You're telling me that a President who supports abortion and led the battle against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act is practicing his faith? Words and actions, the Gospels warn us, are far apart. It's interesting how progressives use this argument to try to criticize republican candidates when they fall short of self-instituted Scriptural mandates, but progressives refuse to apply that measure to its own candidates that they simultaneously claim are Christian.
Mitt Romney: Obama associates with people who have “fought against religion.” “Sometimes,” Romney said recently, “I think we have a president who doesn’t understand America.”
The President is trying to force Catholic entities to offer birth control against their free will, a clear infringement upon their civil liberties and religious freedoms, yet that's not "fighting against religion?"
King interprets any criticism against President Obama to be hateful, no matter how factual and deserving. He suggests that because it's Black History Month the President should be exempt from reproach for bad decisions? Is King suggesting that the President is somehow inferior and unable to weather criticism due to his skin color? Because that to me smacks more of an inadvertent institutional racism than anything else.
Progressives need to develop better arguments than demanding excuses from criticism due to race. We won't truly live in an equal society when expectations are lowered for others based on identity politics.