The hyperbole around election time has reached a fever pitch as Republican candidates for the mid-term elections focus on the source of the Democratic Party revival. Centering on the low poll numbers of President Barack Obama, ideologues are now trying to frame the Obama presidency as change the country can no longer afford. President Obama’s popularity ratings are tied to the fortunes of a slow rebounding economy and the ethics investigations of a few members of the party. Anything the President (or his family) does has come under severe scrutiny.
The President’s stand (as waffling as it is) on the New York “ground zero” situation has him being framed as “un-American.” His vacation travels are viewed as elitist and out of touch with the “average” Americans’ reality and his “job performance” as unsatisfactory to a majority of the nation. It seems Americans have grown tired of hearing excuses about why their lives haven’t changed and predicaments that have nothing to do with him (namely the Gulf oil spill) are now all his fault.
The disrespect for the Obama presidency has been subtle (for the most part) until now. Now every little weenie running for office criticizes the President to get some attention for their campaign. In Arizona, 3rd District Republican candidate for Congress, Ben Quayle, who’s received little support from his own party decides he’s now a presidential historian with the most ridiculous critique of the job President Obama is doing.
It wouldn’t be worth the mention if it wasn’t such a perfect example of Republican radicalism that seeks to undermine the Obama presidency. Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle (yes, THAT Quayle…that of the “potatoe” fame), called Obama “the worst President ever.” Who’s to say where history will rank Obama’s presidency, but cleaning up a huge elephant dump that left the nation in cardiac arrest has to rank somewhere above the guy who left it for him.
Guess this latest version of a dumb Quayle has been under a rock the last eight years, and probably was too young to remember the one term presidential fiasco of an administration to which his father contributed from 1988 to 1992. Worse than Bush I or Bush II? You’ve got to be kidding me. When stupid becomes intergenerational, you really have to wonder what’s in a name and what happens should stupid ever resurrect itself. I think we’re about to see the return of anti-intellectualism gain traction in the public discourse.
As much as you want to be objective about the job Obama is doing, even if you don’t agree with everything he says or does, the circumstances under which he inherited the presidency would be cause to reject judging him too early. “Baby Quayle,” was 11 years old when Bush I went back on a campaign promise of “read my lips, no new taxes”. He does not remember the senior Bush couldn’t sustain what he called “voodoo economics” of the eight year Reagan administration and he thinks that his generation will inherit a “weakened country.” That’s an interesting analysis coming from someone whose lineage is steeped in the mind set that stripped the nation of any sensible resolution to economic collapse. His daddy was part and parcel of the “tax cartels” that put the country in an economic tailspin.
The problem with the Republicans, particularly this new generation of Republicans, is they don’t remember their own recent history, one they controlled for 22 of the past 32 years. Quayle is running a campaign ad that begs to ask the question, “What is happening to America.” It’s a question he should ask his daddy. Quayle’s candidacy is filled with antiqued “Reaganisms” like “family values” and is every bit fueled with the trickery of the projected false imageries Republicans are known for. Most notably, Quayle sends out a campaign mailer where he poses with children, giving the illusion that the children of the photo are his own. Ben Quayle has no children and had to later admit that was a misleading mailer.
Quayle is just the latest example of gadfly candidates and pundits seeking to capitalize on Obama’s low poll ratings to disrespect the President on false and unsubstantiated premises. It may resonate with the anti-Obama population, but it’s simply not a believable assertion, given that America has a documented history of bad presidents who tenures weren’t as complicated as Obama’s. Generally such criticism is reserved for the end of a presidency. But the anti-intellectuals can’t wait to see how Obama history plays out. They’re submitting the report card with a final grade before the class is over. It’s just consistent with the mind set to that wants to pile on at a time Obama’s legacy is in formation.
No one is saying Obama can’t be criticized. But offer legitimate criticism, not false criticism that adds to the noise box for the sake of trying to gain some political advantage. Stupid is as stupid does and Ben Quayle is showing early that he’s a chip off the ole block, offering irrational analysis to get attention.
The worst ever? Give me a break…no, I’ll give you one better. Don’t give me a Quayle trying to rate anybody’s presidency, unless it’s a honest assessment of the one for which he is tied. Anything else is just a joke. We can expect to see the opposition party continuing to blast Obama. Every time they do it, you can only ask, are these fools kidding me? Ben Quayle is just the latest sailor on a new ship of fools.
Anthony Asadullah Samad, Ph.D., is a national columnist, managing director of the Urban Issues Forum and author of the upcoming book, REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics in 21 Century Politics. He can be reached at www.AnthonySamad.com.
Reposted with permission from The BlackCommentator.