Snap Fact #356
President Obama Says What He Means and He Does What He Says. The Opposition Says What is Mean and They Don’t Have the Means to Govern.

Declining Civil Discourse in American Politics Threatens the Re-election of Obama and Weakens our Democracy!


Civil discourse in the political arena has dramatically deteriorated since the 1988 Presidential election when the Bush campaign released the infamous and blatantly racist Willie Horton Furlough ad, which portrayed Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis as weak. His opponent, then Vice President George Bush, attacked Dukakis on all fronts. Dukakis was slow to respond to attacks that he was soft on crime and unpatriotic, perhaps costing him the election.

In the 1992 election incumbent President Bush's campaign attempted to decimate opponent Governor Bill Clinton, with personal attacks about alleged mistresses, along with attempts to link the Clinton's to the White Water real estate scandal.

During the 2000 presidential campaign Governor Bush attacked Vice President Gore's character, and called Gore's economic positions "fuzzy math. John Kerry faced GOP affiliated SUPER PAC "Swift Boat" attack ads which severely mischaracterized Kerry's military record. Kerry's slow response to correct the record also doomed his 2004 Presidential campaign.

President Obama has been mercilessly attacked and belittled by Mitt Romney, his surrogates, and by his incredibly well-funded GOP SUPER PAC allies since the start of his 2008 Presidential campaign, during his entire Presidency, and during the 2012 campaign.

Where in the past, these over-the-top arracks have been comparatively limited; this year they have been omnipresent. Starting with the candidates vying for the GOP Presidential nomination, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Texas Governor Rick Perry all contributed to the mountain of spurious personal attacks. At the same time the likes of Sara Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and the Fox News lineup were spitting their venom like a basket of cobras. Add in the speech and actions of the Republican Congress and you have an unprecedented attack force.

To make matters worse, there has been an emboldened racist undertone to many of the Republican attacks leveled against President Obama for the last several years, and running through the presidential campaign. Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, in a conversation overheard at Reagan National Airport in Washington, said of Michelle Obama: “She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself.” Obama has been repeatedly asked for his birth certificate to prove that he was a U.S. citizen, and even after producing it, there are still attention craving "birthers" out there like egomaniacal Donald Trump, loopy Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and wacky Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who are convinced Obama is either a citizen of Kenya or a secret Muslim.

Brewer got into a spat with Obama at the Phoenix Airport tarmac a few months ago, over Brewer’s inaccurate reportage of a previous White House meeting with Obama. She later even attempted to keep Obama's name off the 2012 Arizona Presidential ballot.

At a fall campaign stop Mitt Romney said “Nobody ever asked for my birth certificate, subtly still implying that Obama is not a U.S. citizen. Even Romney's son Matt got into the act in Iowa, saying his father might release his tax returns “as soon as President Obama releases his grades and birth certificate and sort of a long list of things." Jason Thompson --- the son of the former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson who is running for Senate --- was caught on camera during a Sunday brunch hosted by the Kenosha County Republican Party calling for Obama to be sent back to Chicago or to Kenya. All of this nonsense is to appeal to the uninformed racist voter who they wish to send to the polls full of “justifiable” hatred for the President.

People don't want to talk about it, but the relentless attacks on Obama are flat out wrong. They are downright disrespectful, unpatriotic, unreasonable, and their racial component is ugly and untoward. There are the daily anti-Obama rants and conspiracy theories aired daily by GOP megalomaniac mouthpiece and radio host Rush Limbaugh.

Former New Hampshire Governor John Sununu offensively attacked President Obama's patriotism, saying in an interview that Obama “has to learn to be an American”.  More brazenly, Sununu later called the President “lazy and disengaged”, playing directly into the ignorant stereotype in the minds of the haters.

Former GOP Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has said that Obama is not a real President, and has accused Obama of  being pathetically dishonest,  and of serving up "straight socialist baloney” and of wanting the “government to run everything.”
On the more official level, it was disrespectful for Rep. Joe Wilson to shout  “you lie” at one of Mr. Obama’s first appearances before Congress, and for House Speaker John Boehner to reject Mr. Obama’s request to speak to a joint session of Congress—the first such denial in the history of our republic!

Even after the Romney ad claiming Obama was gutting Welfare was proven devoid of facts, Romney continued to air the ad, hoping to attract the angry white voter who was racially motivated. The Romney campaign and its well-funded SUPER PAC allies have continued to air false and misleading negative ads attacking Obama, claiming they won't be bothered by "fact checkers!

At the GOP Convention, actor Clint Eastwood demonstrated a lack of respect towards President Obama, by pretending to speak to an empty chair in which an invisible Obama is seated, with Eastwood pretending that Obama is speaking to him. Following the 2nd Presidential debate last week, during which President Obama outed opponent Mitt Romney's lies, Romney's son Tagg told a radio interviewer that he wanted to punch Obama after he called Romney a liar. Tagg later said it was a joke, and still later apologized, but this demonstrated that Romney had not instilled in his son the value of truthfulness, as well as respect for the man holding the highest office in the land - the President of the United States.

It’s unethical to belittle the President of the United States. Show at least a modicum of respect. One may not like Obama’s policies, but one should at least give him the respect he and his office deserves. He won the 2008 election fair and square. President Obama has a verifiable, authoritative record of achievements which we've delineated at the rational majority.org, for the past year, and which ought to be praised and not trashed. President Obama has worked to fix the devastation wrought by the Bush Administration that almost pushed America over the fiscal cliff. He has created almost 5 million jobs, strengthened the Middle Class, improved Women's rights and access to healthcare. Obama has helped millions of uninsured Americans gain access to affordable healthcare. Obama reined in Seniors' prescription drug costs by closing the "doughnut hole" in Medicare, and strengthened the viability of Medicare. Obama gave gays and lesbians recognition that they should receive equal treatment and protection under the law, especially in the military. Obama has repaired alliances with our allies, ended the war in Iraq, bringing our troops home. As promised, President Obama has killed Osama Bin Laden, has decimated Al Queda's leadership through drone strikes which has made America safer from terrorists' threats. President Obama and our allies have put crushing economic sanctions on Iran to force the Iranian regime to stop their nuclear weapons program. Obama has given its ally Israel the largest foreign aid and military assistance package in its 68 year history, and has worked cooperatively with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to keep Israel safe.

Unless he “air brushes history, as the President politely calls it, Mitt Romney can't run on his record as Governor of Massachusetts. He can't run on his record at Bain Capital where he acquired companies in trouble, squeezed money out of them, laid off employees, wrecked pension systems, and even outsourced thousands of jobs. Interestingly, both Bain and the Utah Olympics were both bailed out by government loans, without which both would have failed.

Last spring, Romney was caught on video at a Florida fundraiser talking to supporters from his heart. Romney whined about the 47% of Americans who might support Obama, referring to them as victims, moochers and takers, who don't take personal responsibility for their lives. Many of those he referred to are low income seniors, the poor, and the military. The latter is excused from paying taxes, while low income seniors and the poor do pay taxes, but due to deductions in the tax code, many end up paying no income taxes, but contribute in many other ways such as by sales and real estate taxes.

Romney's remarks show he has real difficulty connecting with ordinary Americans, especially those that are the most downtrodden in our society. His VP candidate Paul Ryan also shows a lack of connection to the most vulnerable of Americans, thanks to his budget proposals in the House of Representatives. Paul Ryan has also been caught lying and distorting the Obama record as well.

The fact that Romney's and Ryan's campaign lacks credible substance, that  their SUPER PAC allies  are willing to lie or distort the Obama record, shows a desperation that they are willing to say or do anything to win the Presidency, further minimizes the dignity of the Presidency. It shows the lack the moral fiber and character that is essential to lead America as our President.