American Elephants

Are the Rules Just Different For This President? by The Elephant's Child


Strange times. Polls show the president with positive job approval ratings, yet the very same polls show a majority don’t approve of the way Obama is handling the deficit or the budget. Pew and Bloomberg polls seem to show that the administration’s “balanced approach” to the deficit which calls for both cuts and increased revenue may be seen as the better argument. Obama’s perennial claim that whatever it is, it isn’t his fault. does still get some traction. It’s simply that the rules are different for Obama. Jonathan Tobin explains:

Obama’s status as the nation’s first African-American president and the consequent kid-glove treatment he gets from the press make it difficult, if not impossible, to hold him accountable for his hypocrisy or his failures. As I wrote earlier in the week, the White House’s innovative strategies for manipulating the media do not fully explain his ability to evade the normal tough scrutiny that any president gets. Nor does the liberal bias of the mainstream media, though that, too, is a contributing factor.

Obama’s identity as the man who makes Americans feel good about their country renders all other factors irrelevant.

But why is the media so completely, adoringly, enamored with this president? They refused to vet him as a candidate, and his ability to evade any kind of tough scrutiny is legendary.  Conservatives struggle to understand because they are immune to the personal charm and speaking ability.

Democrats, historically, have a dreadful record with race. The father of their party, Andrew Jackson, the hero of the Battle of New Orleans, seventh President of the United States, was one of the largest slaveholders in the United States. He battled the Creeks, the Choctaws, the Cherokee and forced the resettlement of 45,000 of them in lands to the west in Arkansas and Oklahoma when around 4,000 died along the infamous “Trail of Tears.”

Wrong side in the Civil War, fighting to preserve slavery, keep the black man down. Responsible for the Ku Klux Klan, voting against the civil rights and voting rights acts, for Jim Crow, so now Democrats hurl charges of “the party of white people” and “racism” at the Republican Party. Um, the Republican party was from the beginning the party of abolition, emancipation, the party of the underground railroad, and the party of voting rights, and civil rights.

In 1957, President Eisenhower sent the troops to Little Rock. 99 members of Congress signed the “Southern Manifesto” denouncing the court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. Two were Republicans, 97 were Democrats. Eisenhower pushed through the 1957 Civil Rights Act and the 1960 Civil Rights Act, and desegregated the military. The 1957 bill was opposed exclusively by Democrats, not Southern Democrats but Wayne Morse of Oregon, Warren Magnuson of Washington, James Murray of Montana, Mike Mansfield of Montana and Joseph O’Mahoney of Wyoming.

Without going further into the history of Democrat segregationists — contemporary Democrats are burdened with guilt. Slavery and segregation are, to modern eyes, the very worst thing, the shameful legacy of a country that is “not exceptional,” nothing to be proud of, committed genocide on the Indians, prejudiced, cruel, tortures, warmongers, cruel to poor union men trying to organize, rapacious big business.  At least that’s what Howard Zinn has taught several generations of future lefties, with his pathetic People’s History of the United States.

Always a little light on their knowledge of history, Democrats are incredulous when told that the first slaves in this country were treated much the same as any other indentured servant and freed at the end of a usual term of indenture. Many went on to own slaves themselves. Many are unaware that most Indian tribes owned slaves. Few know that the importation of slaves was ended by law in 1807, and that many times more slaves were transported to the sugar islands and South America than ever came to the United States. The overwhelming feelings of deep guilt prevail, and Democrats cannot forgive their country for its historical misdeeds, or themselves for their parents and grandparents.

Barack Obama is not just the first black president of the United States — he is their absolution.

Joe Biden often blurts out the truth quite accidentally. In January 2007, he told the New York Observer: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” And so he was. Graduate of Columbia, Harvard Law, not just articulate, but an excellent speaker.

Because they voted for him, supported him, adored him, they have been absolved of their guilt. No wonder he’s so often pictured with a halo of one sort or another. That’s why he was never vetted for his extraordinary lack of experience, for his radical history, for his Chicago politics. That’s why the media gives him kid glove treatment.  Why his improbable claims get a free pass.

Obama feels free to manipulate the press, who are too favorably inclined towards him to question the president. The poll numbers have led the president to believe that a public campaign of demagoguery aimed at portraying Republicans as the party of the rich, seeking to cut aid to the poor, will convince most people.  The laws of political gravity may just not apply to Barack Obama at all.  We’ll see.

ADDENDUM: Error: The 1957 Voting Rights Act was opposed largely by the Senate’s Southern Democrats in AL (Hill, Sparkman); AK (Fullbright, McClellan); GA( Russell, Talmadge; MI( Eastland, Stennis); NC (Ervin, Scott); VA (Byrd, Robertson); SC (Johnston, Thurmond); and OR (Wayne Morse) There were 4 Senators not voting or voting present. It passed overwhelmingly. I got my original information from another article rather than a vote roll. My mistake. I could not find the House vote. Thanks to Craig Moore for correcting me.


7 Comments so far
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You wrote, ” The 1957 bill was opposed exclusively by Democrats, not Southern Democrats but Wayne Morse of Oregon, Warren Magnuson of Washington, James Murray of Montana, Mike Mansfield of Montana and Joseph O’Mahoney of Wyoming.”

Here was the vote Seems like Mansfield, Murray, and O’Mahoney voted YEA not NAY as you claim.


Comment by Craig Moore

I took the record of votes from someone else. I was not familiar with this website, and if this is correct I’m certainly wrong. I note the source is a Professor Keith Poole. I’ll try to doublecheck. I do like to get my facts right. Thanks for letting me know there’s a problem. No time now, Have to go out.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Have you checked the facts yet?


Comment by Craig Moore

No, I haven’t been able to yet. I will get to it.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

Thank you for the correction.


Comment by Craig Moore

Thanks for pointing out the problem. I do care about getting my facts correct.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

[…] remain enthralled. He is theirs, the first black President of the United States of America, and he is their absolution. They have been burdened with guilt. Slavery and segregation are the history of the Democratic […]


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