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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Obama and Tribalism


In today's article, conservative columnist Joseph Farah writes the following...

"When Barack Obama tells Hispanics to "punish our enemies," whom is he talking about?

Have you thought about that?

In a radio interview on the Spanish-language Univision network Monday, Obama made this remarkable statement: "If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, 'We're going to punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,' if they don't see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it's going to be harder, and that's why I think it's so important that people focus on voting on November 2."

I'd like you to think about whether you have ever before heard a president of the United States describe Americans as enemies.

Notice he didn't use the term "political adversaries" or even "political enemies." He just used the unqualified term "enemies."

So whom was he talking about?

I suspect you know.

He was talking about you and me."


"Punish our enemies"? Is there any doubt whatsoever that if GWB would have made such a statement characterizing Americans opposed to his policies as "enemies", there wouldn't be massive backlash against him by the mainstream media? Why, he would have been hung, dare I say BURNED in effigy. Such an appeal to tribalism, while it can be effective, should be abandoned in that it causes too much division among groups in a society. While it might have worked in South Africa to the detriment of the majority, such division should not be tolerated in a Western Democracy.


And yet there is another recent example we could cite by our Kenyan American president...

"He (Obama) said Republicans had driven the economy into a ditch and then stood by and criticized while Democrats pulled it out. Now that progress has been made, he said, "we can't have special interests sitting shotgun. We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back."

Sit in the back? If someone other than a liberal elitist would have made such a remark (obviously invoking memories of Rosa Parks) there would have been outrage over such insensativity. A huge double standard exists here. It's becoming quite obvious by now.







9 comments:

Whateverman said...

"Punish our enemies"? Is there any doubt whatsoever that if GWB would have made such a statement characterizing Americans opposed to his policies as "enemies"

Bzzzt. That's not what was said.

Coco Rico said...

The only thing I can say about this is that he's desperate and should be taken lightly. I wouldn't react. By now it's become dreadfully obvious to everyone who's watching that the Democrats don't care about Latinos.

GentleSkeptic said...

If I were Latino, I would probably think of Republicans as the enemy, in a broad sense. And I would want to "punish" them at the ballot box.

This one's a non-starter.

JD Curtis said...

That's not what was said

Numerous news outlets are reporting that Obama used the phrase 'punish our enemies".

in a broad sense. And I would want to "punish" them at the ballot box

Yet if GWb made such a statement, in a broAd sense or not, he would be villified from coast to coast.

photogr said...

I think Obama was talking about any one who doesn't agree with him. More than likely up to 60% of the populace.

ATVLC said...

"When Barack Obama tells Hispanics to "punish our enemies," whom is he talking about?
...
So whom was he talking about?

I suspect you know.

He was talking about you and me.
"

Wait, did conservative columnist Joseph Farah, in a round about way, just say he and his readers are the enemy of Hispanic people?

Golly!

Whateverman said...

Whateverman wrote: That's not what was said

JD responded: Numerous news outlets are reporting that Obama used the phrase 'punish our enemies".

This is a blog, and given the imprecise nature of the written word, I'll assume you didn't intentionally misunderstand what I wrote.

Barack Obama used those exact words. He DID NOT give an opinion which portrayed people who disagreed with his policies as "enemies". he was speaking in the voice of Latinos who HAVE used that phrase.

Sorry, but for fuck's sake, he was CRITICIZING people who DO advocate "punishing the enemies OF LATINOS". It is sheer dishonesty to misrepresent this quote.

Crap Usher said...

It's a "quote mine".

Whateverman said...

JD, do you know how dangerous it is to let your "wanting to believe something is true" change how you view the world? Let's pretend that I exclude religion from the above, and that I'm only referring to socio-political issues.

Do you know why it's BAD to do this?