Friday, June 12, 2009

A Guy, A Bartender & Charles Krauthammer

Just because I’m in a mood…

You’ll see, this all ties together:

So a guy walks into a bar & asks the bartender, “What’s the difference between God & Obama?”
Bartender: “I don’t know, what?”
Guy: “God doesn’t think he’s Obama.”


Charles Krauthammer is one of my journalistic heroes. This piece says everything that’s been on the tip of our tongues, but we couldn’t quite wrap words around it. Krauthammer: brilliant.

Hovering on High: Obama Surveys the World
Charles Krauthammer
Friday, June 12, 2009

WASHINGTON -- When President Obama returned from his first European trip, I observed that while over there he had been "acting the philosopher-king who hovers above the fray mediating" between America and the world. Now that Obama has returned from his "Muslim world" pilgrimage, even the left agrees. "Obama's standing above the country, above -- above the world. He's sort of God," Newsweek's Evan Thomas said to a concurring Chris Matthews, reflecting on Obama's lofty perception of himself as the great transcender.

Not that Obama considers himself divine. (He sees himself as merely messianic, or, at worst, apostolic.) But he does position himself as hovering above mere mortals, mere country, to gaze benignly upon the darkling plain beneath him where ignorant armies clash by night, blind to the common humanity that only he can see. Traveling the world, he brings the gospel of understanding and godly forbearance. We have all sinned against each other. We must now look beyond that and walk together to the sunny uplands of comity and understanding. He shall guide you. Thus:

(A) He told Iran that, on the one hand, America once helped overthrow an Iranian government, while on the other hand "Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians." (Played a role?!) We have both sinned; let us bury the past and begin anew.

(B) On religious tolerance, he gently referenced the Christians of Lebanon and Egypt, then lamented that the "divisions between Sunni and Shia have led to tragic violence" (note the use of the passive voice). He then criticized (in the active voice) Western religious intolerance for regulating the wearing of the hijab -- after citing America for making it difficult for Muslims to give to charity.

(C) Obama offered Muslims a careful admonition about women's rights , noting how denying women education impoverishes a country -- balanced, of course, with "meanwhile, the struggle for women's equality continues in many aspects of American life."

Well, yes. On the one hand, there certainly is some American university where the women's softball team has received insufficient Title IX funds -- while, on the other hand, Saudi women showing ankle are beaten in the street, Afghan school girls have acid thrown in their faces, and Iranian women are publicly stoned to death for adultery. (Gays, as well -- but then again we have Prop 8.) We all have our shortcomings, our national foibles. Who's to judge?

That's the problem with Obama's transcultural evenhandedness. It gives the veneer of professorial sophistication to the most simple-minded observation: Of course there are rights and wrongs in all human affairs. Our species is a fallen one. But that doesn't mean that these rights and wrongs are of equal weight.

A CIA rent-a-mob in a coup 56 years ago does not balance the hostage-takings, throat-slittings, terror bombings and wanton slaughters perpetrated for 30 years by a thug regime in Teheran (and its surrogates) that our own State Department calls the world's "most active state sponsor of terrorism."

True, France prohibits the wearing of the hijab in certain public places, in part to allow the force of law to protect Muslim women who might be coerced into wearing it by neighborhood fundamentalist gangs. But it borders on the obscene to compare this mild preference for secularization (seen in Muslim Turkey as well) to the violence that has been visited upon Copts, Maronites, Baha'i, Druze and other minorities in Muslim lands, and to the unspeakable cruelties perpetrated by Shiites and Sunnis upon each other.

Even on freedom of religion, Obama could not resist the compulsion to find fault with his own country: "For instance, in the United States, rules on charitable giving have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation" -- disgracefully giving the impression to a foreign audience not versed in our laws that there is active discrimination against Muslims, when the only restriction, applied to all donors regardless of religion, is on funding charities that serve as fronts for terror.

Hallelujah! THIS is what I was talking about, in part, when I made my case (comments) that Obama was incredibly manipulative, injecting racism into his speech, using it against his own country. I can hear angels singing!

Obama undoubtedly thinks he is demonstrating historical magnanimity with all these moral equivalencies and self-flagellating apologetics. On the contrary. He's showing cheap condescension, an unseemly hunger for applause and a willingness to distort history for political effect.

Distorting history is not truth-telling, but the telling of soft lies. Creating false equivalencies is not moral leadership, but moral abdication. And hovering above it all, above country and history, is a sign not of transcendence but of a disturbing ambivalence toward one's own country.


Meanwhile, back @ the bar:
Bartender: "Nah, Obama's not God. He just plays one on TV..."



bluepitbull said...

Great post, as usual.

Go into my archives when you get a chance and read my post on Operation Ajax (the CIA hostile takeover in 1953).

I find it laughable that he tries to compare and contrast women's rights in the U.S. with the pan-Islamic countries. Their women, for the most part, are strictly for procreation. That leads to another point: Homosexuality is rampant in these Islamic nations. They just don't have a name for it.

Did you hear 'the one' today alluding to the idea that his speech is or will somehow affect the voting in Iran, no matter who wins (!). Prepare to hear the singing saga from loudmouth shaw about 'whatever part he had in it'.

BetteJo said...

I agree, what a fantastic post! I admire Charles Krauthammer as well and he has an incredible ability to give voice to what many feel but cannot articulate. I LOVE his last paragraph - and thanks Susannah, for posting the entire thing. I had not seen this at all.

Melonie said...

I have a confession - I stopped reading after the joke. I promise I'll come back and read the rest, I really will.

I just wanted to stop while I was still smiling and enjoying something with the word "Obama" in it. ;-)

Hey - when you have a second, click into my Followers and check out the new guy. I'm wondering why on earth he's following me. Did he somehow miss the whole "I'm a staunch conservative and military wife" thing? *Chuckle* I was tempted to ask, but I figure I'll wait. Maybe he really does have a good reason. We'll see. But it'll give you a laugh when you see he's following my blog - and then you click over and read his.....


Z said...

Krauthammer nails it..again.

I love the jokes, thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

Q:.........What is the difference between God and Obama?

A............ Liberals Love Obama!

Credit to "Right is Right"

J. M said...

Q. what is the difference between a 'false god' and 'true God'

A, (a) the 'false god' after death,his body is buried in a coffin 10feet below.

(b) the 'true God' His Body rises after three days straight to the heavens in full view of His disciples and His Blessed Mother

Anonymous said...

Charles is correct.

Susannah said...

Bluepit~ Thanks for your encouragement, as always. You're having a heck of a go w/ that PErupt. post, huh? I've been away from the computer for most of the weekend, but I absolutely will see the archive post you're talking about. Thanks!

BetteJo~ Isn't Charles just brilliant? Truly. Maybe you could try getting on's email list. I don't read it every day, but when people like C.H. or Dick Morris are featured, I read it every time. That's how I found this.

Melonie~ Ha! Confession: I'm glad I'm not the only one who does what you did! :) When you have a minute or two, do come back & read it. C.H. articulates the issues so beautifully!

Hey Z! Hope you had a great weekend! You're welcome for the laugh -though it's not original. I've seen it in email & versions of it on blogs (as Jersey Girl says). As long as the joke is short enough to remember the punchline, I'm good to go. Any more complex & my comedic gifts disappear! :)

JGirl! Wow. I saw that on RisR post too. Though, I know some Liberals who -misguided in their love for Obama- do love God much more. Though I don't understand it - how someone who's a commited Christian can be a liberal Dem. (I have a few family mbrs. who fit this description.) Maybe someone can help me w/ that...?

J.M.~ false god vs. True God...indeed. Hey - who are you? Please leave us a clue. (Blogs have had trouble w/ 'anon' commenters lately.) Thanks.

Fuzz~ Isn't he GREAT? :) Good to see ya!

Anonymous said...

Very well said. His above all stance is simply put, disgraceful. No US president should look on himself as the moderator of the world, he should see himself as the President of the USA first and foremost.

Difference between God and Obama? God humbled himself on our level.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susannah said...

Kris~ C. Krauthammer is brilliant, no? And so understated in his command of the issues. Right, Mr. O sees himself as a "citizen of the World" first (& maybe only). Funny, he told us that last summer in his infamous 'Berlin' speech. Apparently, most of us didn't believe him. Ugh...

GrayHeadedBrother~ Sorry, no can do w/ a comment like that. Do come back & disagree all you like, but please have something constructive to say.