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Obama Knows America is Different

Obama Knows America is Different

By Richard Reeves - April 11, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- George W. Bush's last press secretary, Dana Perino, whom I know to be a perfectly sensible person, was on CNN last Thursday playing her part as a loyal Republican by saying that President Obama had embarrassed all real Americans by bowing a bit as he shook the hand of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah. That is the same guy Bush once held hands with when he was nothing but a crown prince -- Abdullah, not Bush.

Then Perino said, quite seriously it seemed, that it sure was taking the Obamas a long time to keep their promise to get a dog for Sasha and Malia. Donna Brazile, who was on camera to loyally defend all Democrats and their dogs, said she was sure the dog was being trained as they spoke, so as not to ruin White House carpets.

Is this a great country or what?

More on that later. But first I checked "The Gene Pool," which is a Washington Post online blog by Gene Weingarten, who posts provocative questions to allow his "members," mostly liberal, to make fools of themselves. Anonymously.

The question of the day on Thursday was preceded by this:

"If you've been following the extraordinary story of the U.S. sailors who re-took their ship from Somali pirates, you've been treated to an amazing tale of excitement and adventure. But if you've been reading the Reader Comments to the story, you learned what this is REALLY about: Barack Obama! And it's not good! Because he's an anti-American wimp, or something! Or maybe pro-pirate! Either he made this happen, or he's sorry it happened, or he's about to apologize to the pirates, or something."

Then the question: "What other bad stuff is Obama secretly responsible for, and why?"

The answers, hundreds of them, not always strong on grammar, begin with this one: "I blame Obama for my lunch order being late and the wrong item."

Then "Karen 2009," no liberal she, begins to get down to it: "So,will you Socialist Democrat Cowards and Obamafreaks tell me, where the Hell was your Hero and Messiah, President Nancy Pelosi Trainee Commander in Chief of the U.S. Miltary, Barack Hussein Obama our very own Coward in Chief Little Neville Chamberlin and Jimmy Carter Love Child ..."

Finally, someone who calls himself Carstonio, you will excuse this expression, nails it: "By failing to take a mindlessly macho tough-guy stance with other nations, Obama is to blame for all erectile dysfunction."

That's it! More serious commentators in the paper version of the Post agree with Perino that Obama is a wuss, embarrassing all red-blooded Americans. Charles Krauthammer, for instance, wrote of Obama's first world tour:

"Our president came bearing a basketful of mea culpas. With varying degrees of directness or obliqueness, Obama indicted his own people for arrogance, for dismissiveness and derisiveness, for genocide, for torture, for Hiroshima, for Guantanamo and for insufficient respect for the Muslim world. ... It is passing strange for a world leader to celebrate his own country's decline. A few more such overseas tours, and Obama will have a lot more decline to celebrate."

Across town, The Washington Times editorialized that the president made a "servile gesture" that "belittled the power and independence of the United States."

So it goes and always has. The thing that grates conservatives most about Obama -- other than the fact that he won the election -- is that he is our first post-triumphal president. He talks as if he believes that Americans, because of our history, are different from other nations, but not necessarily better than everyone else in all things.

A lot of Americans hate the idea that all men are created equal. A great conservative, a monarchist, in fact, Alexis de Tocqueville, wrote almost 200 years ago in "Democracy in America" something that is as true today as it was then:

"Nothing is more annoying in the ordinary intercourse of life than this irritable patriotism of Americans. A foreigner will gladly agree to praise much in their country, but he would like to be allowed to criticize something, and that he is absolutely refused."

Richard Reeves

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