Sticks and Stones

The Libertarian Lass, Gayle Falkenthal The Libertarian Lass, Gayle Falkenthal 1 Comment


Recently I had a conversation with one of my clients. He commented on all the mean spirited invective being spewed by conservatives about President Obama, saying that the Democrats “never” said such horrible things about President Bush. He’s not the first person I’ve heard assert this.

Talk about selective memory.

During an exclusive interview with CBS Radio reporter Peter Maer on October 16, former President George H.W. Bush denounced the latest round of political attacks on President Obama, but he also called out MSNBC hosts Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow for their remarks about his son. “The way they treat my son and anyone who’s opposed to their point of view is just horrible,” said the senior Bush. “When our son was President, they just hammered him mercilessly — and I think obscenely a lot of the time — and now it’s moved to a new President.”

First off, let me say I find these sorts of insults in either political direction lazy and intellectually lacking. Name calling takes little imagination and little true understanding of the issues. And it’s gone on for years.

Every President takes his shots. Eisenhower was dismissed as a golf crazy lightweight. Reagan was reviled during his tenure in office. Then we get around to George W. Bush, the baby-killer, torturer, and intellectual idiot; the embodiment of MAD Magazine’s Alfred P. “What, Me Worry” Neuman, controlled by Halliburton and beholden to the oil industry.

What seems different today is the hand wringing and blubbering over the criticism of President Obama. Why are liberals seemingly unable to take their shots? In my experience, people who let these sort of insults get to them don’t have much faith in their own position, and they are easily rattled and challenged.

What Reagan mastered (and like him or not, Dick Cheney as well) is the “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” approach. This is born of confidence in one’s position. No mere words can rattle someone like this. In fact, it’s often the opposite. People who believe strongly in their position have a “bring it on!” attitude. They actually enjoy getting into the mix! This is the fun of politics as contact sport.

So for crybabyin’ out loud people, man up! Whining is so unbecoming, especially when you’re in the majority.


Comments 1

  1. The fact is that the majority of the public has pure contempt for politicians, and from those I met that feeling is mutual. Like it or not, this is Bush’s recession. Many of us have become numb to Republican whining about Democrats because they have little to show for it. Fixing the economy, showing real interest and empathy in our voters lives will impress us. As a voter I do not believe it is unreasonable to expect my elected officials to act on their campaign promises. Which they seldom do. When I break my promises over and over again. People don’t trust me and think of me as a weasel. Why do politicians especially those who preach morality and call themselves “men of the people”, expect to be above this standard? I don’t know. Maybe the entire political system is screwed up.

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