Monday, April 13, 2009

Smart enough to get in out of the rain... eventually

The story behind Captain Richard Phillips' rescue remains somewhat murky, but the story behind the Media's ability to spin anything and everything remains predictable and consistent. Take Chris Cillizza's analysis of the story for the Washington Post. He spins it as a great triumph of the Obama administration's grit, resolve, savvy, focus, determination... well you get the idea. It takes Cillizza six short paragraphs to also do the requisite "contrast" to Former President Bush's "inept" leadership and failure. Of course Cillizza has to compare four Somali pirates armed with AKs floating in a raft surrounded and cornered by the world's most powerful navy to a natural disaster like Katrina to make Obama's "competence" and "leadership" contrast with Bush's, but hey, we have come to expect this. Even Cillizza tacitly admits it took Obama 2 days to authorize "potential emergency actions" to deal with the pirates, which should of course exonerate Bush, but then Bush was dealing with a natural disaster the size of a small country in a state run by corrupt and incompetent politicians who happen to be in the same party as Obama.

What's incredible is how low the standards have become for President Obama. I am not as harsh in condemning the president for taking 4 days to deal with the issue, because it seems like there could be a lot of extenuating facts. You know, if I was a journalist I would be busy covering the Obama's first puppy, the choice of a church, the fact that they are kicking poor black children out of the same school they send their children to(wait, scratch that one). Heck, the teleprompter may have been in the shop for those first two days, right? But seriously, there is simply not enough info and this was such a small incident compared to natural disasters like Katrina that no conclusions, positive or negative, should be made about the president in this incident. Yes, it seems that he did take way too long to approve the use of deadly force, but we have no way of knowing how complicated such a thing could be. Moreover, if over the next few years this becomes a pattern of successful actions it could in fact become evidence of Obama's leadership and savvy. But right now there are just not enough facts and this is too minor of an incident to stand on its own as proof of anything regarding the president, in spite of the press and his fans desire to turn it into a victory for the president. What is sad is how the standards have been lowered for the first black president the same way they are lowered for minorities in college admissions.

Essentially Cillizza and the rest of Obama's fan club in the press are praising the president for being smart enough to get in out of the rain- after two days. Approving the use of deadly force is a no brainer. If Obama would have waited a few more days then we could be critical, but personally I think there are enough variables and enough distractions in a nation where the economy is circling the drain to give the president the benefit of the doubt. What disgusts me is the way the press, and Cillizza is a great example of this, dumb down the first minority president. Cillizza offers no evidence for his narrative of Obama, which is probably why he has to jump into a comparison with the former "incompentent" president so quickly. But even there he has to compare Obama dealing with something as simple as eating breakfast- Yes, approving the use of deadly force against four untrained, poorly armed, primitives from a nation with no international backing or clout is as simple as pouring a bowl of Cheerios- to something as complex and huge as a hurricane. Soft bigotry anyone? The first black president has authorized deadly force against four Somali pirates and the best military in the world did their thing. This is really a nonstory in terms of the president. And Obama has rightly treated it that way.

But Obama has had so few victories since his election his fans have to make this one for him. Pathetic. Maybe it's not soft bigotry, maybe it's just partisans desperately looking for something other than the string of incompetence and defeat Obama has thus far delivered. But as a minority who has lived with the soft bigotry of lower expectations my whole life I am starting to wonder if the Left wing establishment is beginning to act on their natural inclinations to lower the standards for minorities and treat things as simple as getting in out of the rain as a major victory for our first minority President.

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