The Obama Derangement Syndrome is as strong today as it was when Obama first became the Democratic presidential nominee in 2008. Examples pop up in my email on a regular basis. I keep them in my “Chock full o’ Crazy” folder.
Today’s Republican Party doesn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story that will cast Democrats in a bad light, but these emails carry that practice a giant step further. They’re aimed at the most virulent and gullible Obama Haters, people who are hungry for every shred of anti-Obama “evidence,” no matter how ridiculous, if it confirms their worst suspicions and fears.
Let’s start with an almost silly example: two emails about the Obama family dog, Bo. According to the first email, Bo flew to a family vacation in Maine on his own private jet. “US citizens can’t afford food, but we can pay for this,” the outraged email points out. The second, titled “He hates you and your country!” adds another bit of “information.” Muslims, it says, don’t allow dogs to travel in a vehicle with them. And since we know Obama is . . . well, you get the picture.
Unfortunately for the haters, the truth isn’t nearly that exciting, or damning. The airfield near the First Family’s Maine vacation spot was too small to land Air Force One, so they had to take two smaller planes, and Bo flew with the presidential staffers. That’s it.
Why am I concerned about a silly shaggy dog story like this? Because if you Google the story, you’ll find it’s repeated verbatim on dozens of right wing websites, complete with the “Obama is a secret Muslim” allegation. The far right fabricates and disseminates “outrages” like these to keep the irrational hatred of Obama at fever pitch.
Did you know Obama admitted in public he was born in Kenya, not Hawaii? Neither did I until another email linked me to a YouTube video where Obama says, talking to a few hundred people, “It’s true I’m not an American. I was not born in Hawaii. . . . I come from Kenya.”
Wow! What a bombshell! The only problem is, the video originated on ObamaSnippets.com, a satirical website that edits Obama’s words for comedic effect. Other videos have titles like “Obama Legalizes Pot - Appoints Snoop Dogg . . .” and “Obama QUITTING! Going on JEOPARDY.”
Again, that email can be found verbatim on too many ultraconservative websites to count, places where Obama Haters congregate and take this trash for the Gospel Truth.
Another email has a series of political “Cartoons from Israel” which show “what the world sees in ‘America’s President.’” It’s true, the cartoons trash Obama’s Middle East policies mercilessly. What the email doesn’t say is, the cartoons were all penned by a few conservative cartoonists right here in the good ol’ U.S.A. The only way they could honestly be called “Cartoons from Israel” is if someone emailed them to an Israeli friend who turned around and emailed them back.
There’s lots more in my “Chock full o’ Crazy folder,” but I’ll end with this gem because of its Arizona connection. You probably remember the faux outrage when candidate Obama didn’t put his hand over his heart during the National Anthem. Well, according to this email, Obama gave his reasons on Meet the Press. The National Anthem, he said, is controversial because of violent lines like “bombs bursting in air.” He would prefer an anthem more like “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing.”
“If that were our anthem,” Obama is quoted as saying, “I might salute it.”
Of course, the Meet the Press interview never happened. The scene is from a satirical item on “The Arizona Conservative” website. Its author, John Semmens, refers to pieces like this as “semi-news,” part of his “satirical review of the events shaping our nation and our world.”
It’s hard not to laugh at this ridiculous stuff, but when so many people take lies like these as fact, they’re not funny anymore.