If you want to stop a conversation in its tracks, just question something President Barack Obama has said or done. It's not open to debate -- and I don't think that's healthy, for the country or the president.REPEAT: "We need to hear both sides." THIS HAS BEEN MY ARGUMENT WITH MY FRIENDS ON THE LEFT FOR YEARS.
It's especially unsettling for a free speech girl like me. The First Amendment is important -- but lately, it feels like my right of self-expression is being squashed.
One example: Obama's comment to Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show," comparing his bowling abilities to someone in the Special Olympics.
Can you imagine the uproar had Bush said that? He'd be banished from bowling alleys for eternity. His bowling average and IQ would have immediately been compared in Twitter messages demanding his resignation.
But instead, media and water cooler conversations the next day were about bowling scores and how tough the game can be. Anyone bringing up the insensitivity of the president's remark heard, "Come on, give the guy a chance. So he said one thing wrong. Anyone could have said something like that." End of discussion.
Anyone remember poor Dan Quayle, the vice president who misspelled "potato" at a school spelling bee in 1992? No second chance for a Republican. Five months after the resulting media field day, Quayle and the first President Bush were voted out of office.
And doesn't anyone want to debate the wisdom of Obama's people allowing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who derides the "imperialist United States," to hand the president a book in an embarrassing publicity stunt that rocketed the leftist tome, "The Open Veins of Latin America" to the top of the best-seller lists? A couple of months ago, we were refusing to buy Venezuelan gas; now we're rushing out to buy copies of an anti-American book. This is certainly fair game for party talk.
Don't get me wrong, there is a whole lot to like about Obama. I want his smart ideas and policies to work. I love his youth, his inclusiveness and the way he cuts through the minutiae of public policy. But when auto execs get the boot, foreign meanies mock us and Special Olympians are insulted, I'm sorry, he rates some disapproving chatter.
Of course, if you move in circles with disaffected conservatives who are feeling powerless these days, I suppose mentioning Obama in a favorable way risks drawing the wrath of those who can't wait to tell you that socialism is upon us.
Hey, this is OK. We need to hear both sides. We must hear both sides. But we ought to be listening to each other, not waiting to pounce and then closing down the conversation.
- MOST OF THEM ONLY READ THE NYTIMES AND ONLY WATCH CNN - OR MSNBC.
- YET, THEY THINK THEY'RE BETTER INFORMED THAN ME -WHO READS EVERYTHING.
- THEY HATE FOX - BUT NEVER WATCH IT.
- THEY HATE RUSH - BUT NEVER LISTEN TO HIM.
- THEY DESPISE THE WSJ AND NRO BUT HAVE NEVER READ THEM.
- I ASK THEM TO IMAGINE THEY'RE ON A JURY IN A CRIMINAL CASE.
- AND I ASK THEM IF THEY THINK THEY COULD RENDER A FAIR AND JUST VERDICT IF THEY ONLY LISTENED TO ONE SIDE OF THE CASE - EITHER ONLY THE PROSECUTION OR ONLY THE DEFENSE.
- THEY ADMIT THAT THEY'D NEED TO HEAR BOTH SIDES OF THE CASE.
- AND THEN I TELL THEM THEY OWE IT TO THEMSELVES TO HEAR BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUES ON THE POLITICAL DEBATE AND TO STOP ONLY GETTING THEIR NEWS AND OPINIONS FROM LEFT-LEANING MSM. (AND THIS MEANS GIVING UP THINKING THAT WATCHING DAVID BROOKS ON PBS OR PAT BUCHANAN ON CNN IS WATCHING A CONSERVATIVE!)
- ADMITTEDLY, THIS ONLY PUTS A CHINK IN THEIR ARMOR - BUT IT'S A START.
I HOPE THEY WAKE UP IN TIME - BEFORE 2010.
- BOTTOM-LINE: THE LEFT WANTS TO SHUT DOWN RUSH AND TALK RADIO AND FOX, AND WANTS THEIR FOLLOWERS NOT TO WATCH OR LISTEN TO THEM BECAUSE THE LEFT IS AFRAID THAT THEIR TIRED OL' IDEAS WON'T SURVIVE THE CLASH WITH THE RIGHT'S IDEAS AND THEY'LL LOSE FOLLOWERS.
- THIS IS WHY THE LEFT HAS ALWAYS BEEN AGAINST DEBATE. THIS IS WHY THEY SHUT DOWN BROWN.
- IF THEY THOUGHT THEY COULD WIN A FAIR DEBATE THEN THEY'D HAVE ONE.
OBAMA DID NOT WIN THE ELECTION WITH HIS POLICIES - HE DIDN'T OUT DEBATE MCCAIN ON THE ISSUES.
OBAMA ONLY WON THE ELECTION BECAUSE HE OUTSPENT MCCAIN 8-TO-1 DURING A RECESSION.
HAT-TIP MEMEORANDUM - WHO HAS A ROUND-UP.