Giuliani vs. Obama: Love, Respect and Patriotism

AP Photo/Mandel Ngan, Pool
AP Photo/Mandel Ngan, Pool

Based on Politico’s account of Rudy Giuliani’s “Obama doesn’t love America” comments, the most objectionable thing said that evening came from aides to Governor Scott Walker, who was also at the dinner where Giuliani spoke. “In an interview after the dinner – Walker aides insisted all of the governor’s comments were off the record – Giuliani said he would ‘eventually’ back a Republican presidential candidate,” writes Politico.

Come on, Walker aides! You, and every other Republican presidential aspirant’s aides, had better bloody well realize there are no “off the record” comments for your candidate. Assume your candidate, and everyone else speaking at every event he or she attends, is being surreptitiously recorded at every moment, and those recordings will be injected into the mainstream media if anything controversial is said, spreading across TV screens and computer monitors with Andromeda Strain viral speed.

Notice how that aside about Walker’s aides is injected by Politico into a sentence that has absolutely nothing to do with the governor of Wisconsin. The entire piece labors mightily to give Giuliani the Todd Akin treatment and fuse him to Walker:

Rudy Giuliani went straight for the jugular Wednesday night during a private group dinner here featuring Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by openly questioning whether President Barack Obama “loves America.”

The former New York mayor, speaking in front of the 2016 Republican presidential contender and about 60 right-leaning business executives and conservative media types, directly challenged Obama’s patriotism, discussing what he called weak foreign policy decisions and questionable public remarks when confronting terrorists.

“I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America,” Giuliani said during the dinner at the 21 Club, a former Prohibition-era speakeasy in midtown Manhattan. “He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

With Walker sitting just a few seats away, Giuliani continued by saying that “with all our flaws we’re the most exceptional country in the world. I’m looking for a presidential candidate who can express that, do that and carry it out.”

“And if it’s you Scott, I’ll endorse you,” he added. “And if it’s somebody else, I’ll support somebody else.”

If the media can persuade a sizable portion of the electorate to view Giuliani’s comments as outrageous – by no means a certainty – they’ll begin asking every other Republican presidential hopeful to denounce the former mayor of New York and sing hosannas to Barack Obama’s enduring love for the country he just can’t stop commanding, penalizing, punishing and criticizing. Republican candidates will probably be confronted with Giuliani’s remarks by one of the loyal Democrat stephanopouli who serve as “debate moderators” during the GOP primary. On the other hand, if the media gets the sense that a critical mass of the electorate agrees with Giuliani, they’ll drop the whole thing.

They might also let the teapot tempest of their shrieking outrage over the supposed insult to Obama subside if they’re forced to spend a lot of time dealing with far more aggressive comments made by Democrats against Republicans, including Obama himself. Obama is fond of questioning the very humanity of his Republican opponents. I know the defining attribute of an Obama supporter is the ability to instant forget everything this President says, the moment it becomes inconvenient. But allow me to remind you that among many other statements far harsher than what Rudy Giuliani said, Obama once criticized a GOP budget proposal by calling it “thinly-veiled social Darwinism” – in other words, Obama alleged that Republicans wanted to kill off the weak and poor by slashing the budget and cutting off the welfare programs they require for survival.

What kind of love is that? Not just for the huge number of Americans who strongly disagree with Barack Obama, but even for the constituents he claims to be protecting? If he loves those people, it’s a severely condescending and paternal love. Obama’s entire philosophy is predicated on the assumption that the foolish, greedy, hateful people of the United States will not do the “right” thing unless they are forced to. The poor can’t survive without trillions of dollars in handouts; the people he thinks are making “too much money” must be relieved of their ill-gotten loot by government, without ever facing a specific legal charge of wrongdoing; “investment” must be directed by the State in order to become socially useful and morally acceptable; “jobs” are something the government hands out as a boon to deserving citizens; industry must be beaten into the dirt by regulators, before its greedy masters can destroy the very Earth in their blind pursuit of coin.

There is apparently nothing Barack Obama thinks free people, acting voluntarily, can do better than the State. There is no part of government he sees as over-funded or excessively powerful. On the contrary, after six years of relentlessly expanding the power of the State, he still thinks the private sector is too large, too unfettered, too prone to exploitation. He constantly advertises benevolent government as the Little Guy’s only protection against the robber barons who sign their paychecks. He just got finished haranguing private-sector employers as a pack of penny-pinching taskmasters who won’t give their lovely employees a “raise” unless the government forces them to do it.

He’s tried to explain the embarrassingly high unemployment rates dogging his dreary years in office as the fault of selfish capitalists who won’t offer enough jobs, or fallout from the corporate-jet-flying One Percenters sucking all the oxygen out of the economy to increase their personal fortunes. He tried to wave off the job destruction inflicted by his health-care scheme as a good thing, because at last the newly-unemployed were free from “job lock,” as if they had been indentured servants on a plantation before Obama rescued them. He sneered with unbridled contempt at the entrepreneurs who think they’re so smart for building their own successful enterprises.

There are significant parts of the American system, and large portions of the population, Obama clearly isn’t fond of. Most recently, he challenged the legitimacy of the midterm elections by claiming to represent the interests of people who don’t vote. He’s certainly very aggressive about representing the interests of people who aren’t citizens, against the loud and clear opposition of those who are.

He doesn’t think his political opponents have a legitimate role to play in American governance, which means he doesn’t think their voters do, either. He makes this attitude very clear through his executive orders and regulatory power grabs. There are many chambers within Obama’s vast temple of government where he doesn’t think lowly voters should be allowed to tread. How much of the American population has to go on someone’s enemies list before it can be fairly said he doesn’t “love” the country as a whole?

Can any of you Obama supporters say, with a straight face, that he’s been a loud and proud champion of American values in the foreign policy arena? He kicked off his presidency with a Middle Eastern apology tour, in which he bent over backwards to acknowledge the grievances of anti-American populations. He’s still talking about addressing the “grievances that terrorists exploit.”

To Obama’s way of thinking, America is more of a concept than a nation with a unique identity and enforceable citizenship requirements. He might feel warmly toward some aspects of this concept, but he clearly doesn’t think much of the nation. He explicitly denies that American national interest should be placed ahead of obligations to various international organisms – he rejects such thinking as chauvinistic. In a West Point speech last May, Obama defined “American exceptionalism” as our exceptional ability to obey international “norms.”

“Love” is difficult to define. In a follow-up interview with Megyn Kelly of Fox News – who did a far better job of challenging him than any of the shrieking Obama fanboys and fangirls who see this moment as an opportunity to demonstrate their enduring affection and loyalty to their very dear leader – Giuliani noted that criticizing Obama’s level of affection for America isn’t the same thing as calling him “unpatriotic,” as Obama has done to his political adversaries:

To build on a point Giuliani makes in this exchange, the people who had no problem with Obama sitting through 30 years of “God Damn America!” speeches in Jeremiah Wright’ Church of Hate without raising a single objection are currently trying to lambaste Scott Walker for not jumping up and interrupting Rudy Giuliani’s speech to insist that Obama does too love America. Funny how that standard of silent acquiescence is so selectively applied.

Let’s be blunt: under most other circumstances, the Obama supporters currently calling for Giuliani’s hide would look down their noses at anyone who professed unconditional love for America, dismissing it as blind jingoism. Obama is not an unusual specimen of the Left in this regard – there are always severe qualifications to whatever praise they might give the United States. They get angry if they hear anyone say they love America, or proclaim her to be the greatest nation in the world, without mentioning a variety of past and present social injustices. Before this little flap broke out, it would have been fun to take a hidden camera through an Obama rally and ask the attendees if they loved America. Most of them would answer in the affirmative, I’m sure… but virtually none of them would have been willing to leave it at that. Some of them would have echoed Michelle Obama’s infamous sentiment that Barack Obama’s election was the first time they felt truly proud of her country.

Somewhere in all the hemming, hawing, and grumbling about American selfishness and racism, not to mention the corrupt and exploitative history of the Judeo-Christian civilization that gave birth to her (CRUSADES! SPANISH INQUISITION!), Obama and his followers would choke out a declaration of love for America, or at least for what it could be, with a strong and righteous hand whipping it into shape. People who aren’t liberals find their tortured definition of “loving America” unsatisfying.

Giuliani might have been on less subjective ground by saying that Barack Obama doesn’t respect America – good luck trying to argue that point, Obama fans. If he respected the country, he wouldn’t be working so hard to forcibly transform it. If he respected the American people, he wouldn’t treat liberty as a sharp object they cannot be trusted to play with. If he respected us, he wouldn’t have found it acceptable to lie about ObamaCare in order to force it on us, or sit in churches and lie to their pastors about his position on gay marriage in order to get elected. Obama and his followers think such tactics are justified by their noble goals; this President is a very big believer in lying to his people “for their own good.” He might say he’s doing all this out of sincere love for the country he seeks to improve, but respect and its absence are matters of action, not intent, and his actions have spoken clearly.


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