Seldom have I read a more bizarre collection of comments than those from Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer concerning the State of the Union speech. There is nothing “surreal” about taking credit for improving the standing of the United States in the eyes of the world, while at the same time galvanizing the world to take action against the threat of ISIL and bringing down the world’s most notorious terrorist, all without costing thousands of American lives. We have seen the stark contrast between President Obama’s approach and President Bush’s approach. The previous administration cost us thousands of lives and left us financially spent, facing greater and far more vicious enemies, and generally hated by the rest of the world. Regarding the comment concerning Osama bin Laden’s demise, “Really? … that’s all you’ve got?”, I just shake my head in disbelief. Can you imagine how Krauthammer would have shouted it from the mountaintops had Bush been able to accomplish that feat in his eight years in office?
Krauthammer goes on to disparage surveys as a way of gauging public opinion and influence, and likens that to a Miss Universe contest. Huh? First of all, no surveys are involved in the Miss Universe contest. Second of all, I think most people would agree that the most direct way to find out what people think is to ask them. Duh. I guess if the surveys don’t say what you want to hear, you respond by bad-mouthing surveys. The world may see our “enemies on the march” (what else would you expect from ISIL?), but they certainly don’t see our allies “adrift” (whatever that even means). The pictures of our sailors kneeling with their hands behind their heads was most certainly not the first time we have seen such images of Americans taken hostage by hostile forces, but it is the first time in my memory that Americans so taken were released, unharmed, within a few hours. I guess our improved standing in the world and greater emphasis on diplomacy instead of war has its benefits.
As a cancer survivor, I was particularly offended by Krauthammer’s bizarre characterization of the effort to cure cancer as “hackneyed,” “cliche” and “facsimile of vision.” The truth is that we have made great strides in the fight against cancer, more promising treatment is in the works, and continuing this effort requires an investment of resources. I am convinced that if we had been willing to sufficiently commit ourselves financially to this effort instead of wasting billions of dollars on failed Bush war efforts, we would have already been able to say we had cured cancer, and could turn new efforts to other deadly diseases.
Krauthammer’s most stunningly bizarre comment was when he characterized Obama as “a man … who gave us the most divisive, partisan, tendentious presidency since Nixon.” What a total crock. Anyone who hasn’t been living in a tree for the last seven years is well aware of who has caused the divisiveness and extreme partisanship, and we certainly know it wasn’t the president. The most extreme Republicans aren’t willing to admit it, but they all know it. When we hear members of Congress blatantly admitting that they deliberately opposed anything Obama suggested or favored, even if it was a Republican idea in the first place, with the express purpose of making his presidency fail, it is quite obvious who is to blame for the fact that we still aren’t working together, despite the president’s gargantuan efforts in that direction. We are also quite well aware that the president’s executive actions taken to address issues that Congress repeatedly and embarrassingly refused to address were taken as a last resort, after Congress made it abundantly clear that they intended to do nothing. Furthermore, his executive actions were not outside his authority, despite the petty efforts to block them, and are similar in nature and scope to actions taken by previous administrations.
I would like to believe the majority of Americans are not fooled by such outlandish, bizarre statements.
writes from Mount Airy.