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Kevin Buck: Obama derangement syndrome

Posted: February 11, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 11, 2014 2:00 a.m.

Is anyone else tired of the barrage of ad hominem attacks, conspiracy theories, ginned-up scandals and false equivalencies coming from the right side of the political spectrum?

The destruction of President Obama’s presidency has taken on obsessive importance for a small but powerful political constituency, sometimes lumped under the brand name of “tea party.”

Email has made it especially easy for anybody to disseminate the latest Fox News outrage or forward conspiracy theories that somehow make it past the tinfoil hats and into the ether of cyberspace.

However, it is not reciprocal. George W. Bush was certainly a horrible president and he was rightly assailed from the left for lying us into a war with Iraq, paying for it with a Chinese credit card, approving torture as policy, turning a budget surplus into record deficits and destroying the economy, among other dubious achievements.

However, I do not recall a steady stream of false accusations, calls for impeachment, congressional investigations into trumped-up scandals or pure hatred churned out daily by liberal blogs or media opinion pieces and forwarded in endless email chains.

The truth was bad enough.

President Obama was attacked by the far right before he took his first oath of office. It all started with the idiocy of the Birther movement, a conspiracy theory that is still being pushed today, years after definitive proof was provided by the State of Hawaii, proof that was never even needed, as the president’s mother was an American citizen.

The irony that tea party heartthrob and Senator Ted Cruz was born in a foreign nation and still holds Canadian citizenship is lost on Birther dead-enders.

The smears are endless. Republicans, including powerful committee chairmen in the House of Representatives, keep throwing scandals against the wall, yet so far nothing has stuck.

Try as they might, they can’t find a high crime or misdemeanor to pin on the president and save their political party.

Not that they are giving up. We will be subjected to rants about the IRS, NSA, DOJ for a long time to come. Obama Derangement Syndrome means that if they cannot destroy his presidency, they will move on to destroy his legacy.

First and foremost in Republican scandal mongering is the terrorist attack on the United States consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Just the word “Benghazi” can send a conservative into a rage because they are sure the president must have done something wrong, but just what still cannot be articulated, which is a big problem for them.

The gist seems to be that Susan Rice, using CIA-provided talking points, initially blamed an anti-Muslim video for the attack instead of calling it a terrorist plot, which is not an impeachable offense.

There are also mythical Marines, gunships and Navy planes that could have saved the day, but those fantasy scenarios have long been debunked.

Benghazi was a tragedy, nobody disputes that, just as the 12 terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies that occurred on Dubya’s watch were tragedies or the 241 murdered Marines in Beirut, Lebanon, when Ronald Reagan was president was a tragedy.

Does anybody recall a single Republican calling for Reagan or George W. Bush’s impeachment?

This outrage is not about Benghazi and a murdered ambassador; it is pure politics, nothing more.
Benghazi is also a political twofer for Republicans because it may be their only hope of derailing the Hillary Clinton steamroller to the White House in 2016.

Republicans anxious to pin something on President Obama in the next three years need to step back and look at what real presidential scandals look like.

Richard Nixon and his band of crooks perpetrated the Watergate burglary and subsequent White House cover-up and destroyed his presidency.

Ronald Reagan’s administration secretly sold arms to a terrorist nation and sent the profits to terrorists in Nicaragua during the Iran-Contra scandal. He was saved from ignominy only by timely pardons from George Bush The Elder.

The current and former Republican governors of New Jersey and Virginia are embroiled in real, live scandals today that are destroying real lives.

Manufactured outrage may be a go to political weapon for Republicans, but it is ineffective in the long run if there is no there there.

Find something real and then we’ll talk.

Kevin Buck is a Santa Clarita resident. “Democratic Voices” runs Tuesdays and rotates among several SCV Democrats.



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