Monday, May 22, 2017

What If It Were Obama?

I couldn't help but react to those who have been distinguishing the treatment of "scandals" (quote marks very intentional) in the Trump Administration with the scandals (quotes intentionally omitted) in the Obama years that are as traceable back to the president as any.

Let us face where we are now.  Set aside the fact that President Trump got an amazingly positive welcome in Riyadh by the Saudis when he traveled there on Saturday, and that it was quite evident that it was motivated by the fact that he was perceived as a positive change, and that he was not Barack Obama -- a good thing in their Iran-skeptical Saudi eyes. Noteworthily, the Saudis treated President Trump with much more respect than the American press.

What is happening is that the press has gone quite all-in for the opposition to President Trump, specifically the part of the opposition that is doing anything it can, and saying anything it feels like at the moment, true or not, to run him out of office.  The press, supposedly the people's representatives in delivering the truth to the American people, has abandoned its pose of objectivity.

So let us imagine something that is, of course, not true -- a conservative-dominated press that rejected the principles of the presidency of Barack Obama, right from his inauguration.  Heck, let's go back to before the election.  Remember when Tom Brokaw and Charlie Rose, of the leftist part of the press, talked right before the election about how little we knew about Obama?

OK, let's start there.  Let's imagine that Brokaw and Rose had taken the next logical step (for the leftist press then and now, that's impossible) and condemned themselves and their peers, in no uncertain terms, for having allowed Obama to have gotten so far into the campaign without their having dug into his background.

What were his actual loyalties, one might have asked then (a reasonable question given his drug abuse, his formative years in Indonesia, the radicalism of his father, etc.)?  By the election, all we knew was that he could read a good speech.  I mean, so can I, but then I used to be an actor.

So all the right questions weren't asked, and Rose and Brokaw admitted as such -- but they voted for him anyway.

Suppose that the press had dogged him about it throughout the campaign?  Is it possible that a conservative-leaning press would have dug into his background and asked him serious questions?  Could they have backed him against a wall on his proposals and made him justify where they had worked before, or why they could be expected to now when they never had before?

More importantly, after the inauguration, what would a conservative-leaning press have done with a Democrat as president (Obama), and majorities in both houses of Congress under the contemptible Harry Reid (Senate) and the addled Nancy Pelosi (House)?  Should not the press have acted in more traditional press-speak, going straight after power, and going even harder after absolute power?

Obama was and still is an absolute ideologue, and worse, is convinced that he knows more than you or I.  A press such as what we have today, but with a flipped ideology (or even none at all) would have taken Nancy ("You'll have to pass it to see what's in it") Pelosi and ripped her to shreds -- you can't defend that kind of arrogance.

Harry Reid was an utter dictator in the Senate, and showed himself to be devoid of integrity (land deals for family) at the same time.  Would he even have once put himself before a reasonably challenging press to defend his actions?  Nancy Pelosi, same thing -- has anyone ever asked her a challenging question?

Let's get to the point.  Robert Gibbs was the press secretary under Obama before Jay Carney.  Gibbs was asked slavering questions of the "What did the president have for breakfast" variety compared to what Sean Spicer gets asked, correct?  Suppose that, say, the New York Times repeatedly pressed Gibbs to explain how the stimulus packages were going to get paid for.  What might he have actually said?

For that matter, what might Obama have said?  Obama averaged about one (solo) press conference every six weeks or so.  Stimulus packages are expensive and not particularly effective.  Might the Times have considered asking why Obama thought they would be other than an expensive boondoggle?  Businesses at the time were hoarding cash rather than creating jobs, because they didn't trust Obama to create a sufficiently employer-friendly environment.  Why might Obama have thought otherwise in this case?

Obama's Justice Department never took up an investigation into IRS corruption by Lois ("On the advice of counsel, I take the Fifth") Lerner withholding 501(c)3 approval for conservative non-profits.  "Why, sir, is the Attorney General not considering charges?".

"Mr. President, you were quick to take credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.  What did you do, besides approving a mission that any other president wouldn't have approved with the same knowledge.  Doesn't the Navy Seal Team get 100% of the credit?"

"Mr. President, your Attorney General appeared to have blatantly taken the side of Michael Brown in the Ferguson situation.  We know now that Brown was a convenience store robber, under the influence of pot, who attacked and rushed the police officer and forced him to shoot him.  We know now that the hands-up-don't-shoot narrative was a complete lie, and has caused rioting by allowing it to get out there.  Shouldn't Mr. Holder be fired for contributing to the lie being picked up as fact?"

"Mr. President, you signed an agreement with Iran that no one else seemed to want, that delivered $150 billion in paper money in the middle of the night on pallets, and that will let the Iranians have a nuclear weapon in ten years.  What did the American people get out of that, particularly our children who will be cleaning up after all that in ten years?  What was in it for the USA?"

"Mr. President, you hold a security clearance, and you know the rules about handling classified information.  Secretary Clinton communicated from the start of her term, with you, solely on an email account from a server called "" and never once on a secure "" account.  At what point did it even occur to you that something was really, really wrong from a security standpoint?  Or were you so beholden to her after the 2008 primary campaign for some reason that you just let it go?  Doesn't that show poor judgment on your part?"

Ahhhhh, we could go on and on.  But right now we have a press that is so committed to the immediate destruction of the Trump presidency at any cost -- including the cost of truth -- that it appears to escape them that they forfeited the right to do that, by their failures to hold the Obama Administration accountable for things that a reasonably curious press would have.

Because those questions didn't need a conservative press to have thought to have asked them.

Just a "real" press would have been needed.

Copyright 2017 by Robert Sutton
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