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Is there anything Barack Obama doesn’t politicize?

As I was reviewing the transcript of President Obama’s interview with ABC News’s Robin Roberts, I caught this aspect of the Democrat’s attempt to justify his switch on state recognition of same-sex marriage:

Part of the reason that I thought it was important– to speak to this issue was the fact that– you know, I’ve got an opponent on– on the other side in the upcoming presidential election, who wants to– re-federalize the issue and– institute a constitutional amendment– that would prohibit gay marriage. And, you know, I think it is a mistake to– try to make what has traditionally been a state issue into a national issue.

Interesting how this supposedly post-partisan politician felt it incumbent upon himself to further politicize the issue.  He would have served himself — and the cause of gay marriage — better had he just limited his remarks to the merits of the expanded definition of this ancient institution.

It’s not just gay marriage.  The Democrat is trying to politicize American history:

The Heritage Foundation’s Rory Cooper tweeted that Obama had casually dropped his own name into Ronald Reagan’s official biography on www.whitehouse.gov, claiming credit for taking up the mantle of Reagan’s tax reform advocacy with his “Buffett Rule” gimmick . . . .  Obama has added bullet points bragging about his own accomplishments to the biographical sketches of every single U.S. president since Calvin Coolidge (except, for some reason, Gerald Ford).

Ed Morrissey provides “a comprehensive collection of the ‘Did you know?’ sections added to boost Obama, with links to the specific pages attached to the names of the former Presidents“.

You’d think that the incumbent President of the United States would let the biographies of his predecessors speak for themselves, but this incumbent (or his staffers) felt it incumbent upon himself (or themselves) to insert his name intp their life stories, using their record to promote himself.

Watcher of Weasels — Weekly Winners (mid-May edition)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:14 pm - May 18, 2012.
Filed under: Blogging,Conservative Ideas

Council Winners

Krauthammer on the Obama gay marriage straddle

Notwithstanding a comically fawning press” writes Charles Krauthammer this morning about the president’s sudden switch on gay marriage, “Obama knows he has boxed himself in.”

In his op-ed, the sage pundit talks about two arguments for gay marriage, Argument A, empathy, and Argument B, rights, and the president’s muddled position as he tries to straddle the two, first the former when he first announced his new position, then “five days later” moving on  “to adopt Argument B, calling gay marriage a great example of  ‘expand[ing] rights‘ and today’s successor to civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights and workers’ rights”:

Problem is: It’s a howling contradiction to leave up to the states an issue Obama now says is a right. And beyond being intellectually untenable, Obama’s embrace of the more hard-line “rights” argument compels him logically to see believers in traditional marriage as purveyors of bigotry. Not a good place for a president to be in an evenly divided national debate that requires both sides to offer each other a modicum of respect.

It’s Krauthammer.  Read the whole thing.

NB:  Am working on a post to address the argument that even if Obama is not sincere about his switch on gay marriage, it’s good to have the president speak out on the topic.  In this post, I will note the several arguments, gay marriage advocates make for expanding the definition of this ancient institution and address why Obama’s approach is so unsatisfying.

Although I often agree with Krauthammer and share his views about Obama trying to straddle the issue here, I believe there are more than just two types of arguments for gay marriage.

Tolerance to certain liberals

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:30 pm - May 18, 2012.
Filed under: Liberal Hypocrisy,Liberal Intolerance

They’ll tolerate you as long as you don’t deviate from their orthodoxy.

–James Taranto, Best of the Web, May 17, 2012

Romney right to repudiate campaigning on Obama’s relationship with Rev. Wright

On Facebook, a number of my conservative friends have expressed disappointment that Mitt Romney has repudiated the idea of campaigning on “Barack Obama’s 20-year association with Jeremiah Wright“.

I think the presumptive Republican nominee is right on this one; Ed Morrissey explains:

The best argument against Obama will be Obama’s record, and every moment spent by the Romney campaign or major outside PACs talking about anything other than the core issues of the 2012 campaign — jobs, economy, deficits, debt, and Iran — play into the distraction strategy that Team Obama is desperate to use.

Read the whole thing.  Morrissey also reports how the super-PAC that had considered running ads about that relationship dropped the idea.

In this video, Charles Krauthammer offers a similar view, but still managed, as reports Noah Glyn who embedded it on National Review’s The Corner, to eviscerate “President Obama, Jeremiah Wright, and the media“:

This is not to say that Romney shouldn’t attack Obama, but should focus his attacks on the Democrat’s record in office, particularly his failure to keep his promises about lower deficits and a booming economy.

The increasingly likable Mitt Romney

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:57 am - May 18, 2012.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

Lately, I’ve been wondering if friends on Obama/DNC mailing lists receive regular missives, telling them what a horrible, no good and very bad man this Mitt Romney is.  An acquaintance was incredulous that an intelligent gay man could indicate a willingness to vote for the presumptive Republican nominee.  He was convinced the former Bay State governor lacked any redeemable qualities. (Neo-Neocon offers some reflections on such incredulity.)

At the same time, a friend reports that his in-laws hold a similarly low opinion of Obama’s opponent, hating “Romney because he beat up gay person when 18.”

It seems, however, that public opinion is swinging away from those with doubts about the Republican.  Citing a poll showing a jump in the likely GOP standard bearer’s favorables since Romney locked up the nomination, John Hinderaker believes that

. . . there are still a lot of independents who have seen little of him. Many of them won’t really tune in until the fall. When they do form an impression of Romney, I think it is highly likely to be positive, as Romney comes across as reasonable, competent and likable. So I will be surprised if this comparison does not continue trending in his favor from now until the election.

I agree.  Most people don’t follow politics as closely as do those of us who blog about it — and those who read our posts.  Their impressions likely won’t be shaped until this fall.  The way he comes across on the campaign trail, particularly in contrast to the incumbent, will have a greater impact on voters than the media foraging into his adolescence, the Obama attack ads — and Democratic e-mails.

RELATED:  Michael Barone, Romney closing the likeability gap

UPDATE: Writing on the determination of some lefties to define Mr. Romney as crazy, James Taranto quips, “The reflexive labeling of one’s partisan opposition as ‘crazy’ and ‘lying’ does not seem to us a sign of strength.

Legacy media may be increasingly anti-Israeli, but American people strongly support Jewish State

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:43 am - May 18, 2012.
Filed under: Media Bias,We The People

After summarizing a nearly forty-year-old Life magazine account of Israel “on the occasion of its 25th birthday in May 1973”, Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, asked Monday in the Wall Street Journal, Would a mainstream magazine depict the Jewish state like this today, during the week of its 64th birthday?

Unlikely. Rather, readers would learn about Israel’s overwhelming military might, brutal conduct in warfare and eroding democratic values—plus the Palestinians’ plight and Israeli intransigence. The photographs would show not cool students and cutting-edge artists but soldiers at checkpoints and religious radicals.

Why has Israel’s image deteriorated? After all, Israel today is more democratic and—despite all the threats it faces—even more committed to peace.

The media’s darker portrayals of Israel notwithstanding, the American public continue to hold the Jewish State in high regard, with a March Gallup poll finding that the “large majority of Americans continue to view Israel favorably, while far fewer say they view the Palestinian Authority or Iran very or mostly favorably“:

In addition, more than 60% of Americans “say their sympathies are more with the Israelis than with the Palestinians”, with 19% saying their sympathies are with the Palestinians and the same percentage with both sides or neither.

Considering the media bias against Israel, these numbers are particularly impressive. It is instructive to note that even as Republicans only manage to capture about one-fourth to one-third of the Jewish vote, 78% sympathize more with the Jewish State than with the Palestinian Arbs. Barely half (53%) of Democrats hold similar sympathies. (more…)