Mike Kueber's Blog

February 21, 2015

Does President Obama love America?

Filed under: Culture,People,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 2:21 pm
Tags: , , , ,

 

 

Rudy Giuliani is catching a lot of liberal flack for suggesting that President Obama doesn’t love America. According to a Politico story, Giuliani said the following at a private fundraiser in NYC for Wisc. Governor Scott Walker:

  • I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.”

(Incidentally, private fundraisers are proving to be a boon for political journalism. That is where Romney talked about the 47% and Obama talked about people clinging to their guns and religion.)

Of course, Giuliani is not especially relevant nowadays, so the liberal media are using his comments to attack the candidacy of Governor Walker, who, according to the Washington Post, sat spinelessly at the fundraiser where the calumny was spoken.

The NY Times in a follow-up interview had Giuliani respond to charges that he was prejudiced:

  • Some people thought it was racist — I thought that was a joke, since he was brought up by a white mother, a white grandfather, went to white schools, and most of this he learned from white people. This isn’t racism. This is socialism or possibly anti-colonialism.”

(The Times outrageously titled this article, “Giuliani: Obama Had a White Mother, So I’m Not a Racist.”  Talk about taking something out of context.)

Giuliani also challenged reporters to find examples of Mr. Obama expressing love for his country:

  • I’m happy for him to give a speech where he talks about what’s good about America and doesn’t include all the criticism…. I want an American president to raise our spirits again, like a Ronald Reagan…. What I don’t find with Obama — this will get me in more trouble again — is a really deep knowledge of history. I think it’s a dilettante’s knowledge of history.”

Not surprisingly, this challenge has gone unanswered.

It’s impossible to know what is in someone’s heart, and Christians are frequently enjoined from judging others (judge not, lest ye be judged), but I think politics are different. Voters must make judgments in choosing who to follow.

I blogged previously about President Obama, American exceptionalism, and patriotism, and I believe Giuliana’s charge is essentially the same thing as those earlier charges that President Obama didn’t believe in American exceptionalism, or that he wasn’t patriotic because he refused to wear a flag in his lapel, or that Michelle Obama in 2008 responded to her husband’s electoral success by saying, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I’m really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change.”

Patriotism or love of country are not “all or nothing” things. Rather, they are continuums. I believe that cosmopolitan progressives are generally not as far on the continuum of patriotic love as are provincial conservatives. And President Obama is by far the most cosmopolitan progressive ever elected president of the United States.

Rudy is probably thinking, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

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4 Comments »

  1. 1. I don’t think it was “calumny.”

    2. Judge isn’t a dirty word~unless you buy pc language and defensiveness run amok. When you use facts and logic, judging is a reasonable and proper way to act~how else do you make rational decisions? It is the primary basis for our system of juris prudence.

    Comment by bobbevard — February 21, 2015 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

    • But I agree with position that Franklin Graham shouldn’t be judging whether Obama is a good Christian who is destined for Heaven. There’s another saying about hating the sin, loving the sinner. I am extremely reluctant to judge the moral core of someone, but as a practical matter, we must often do this.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — February 21, 2015 @ 6:32 pm | Reply

  2. Questioning a man’s patriotism leaves the person making the assertion open to questions about their own patriotism, doesn’t it? Giuliani, and other right wingers, tend to define patriotism as existing only within their own personal view of patriotism. Is it really “America, Love It or Leave It” or can there be a broader definition of patriotism that includes a belief that the United States is a country that, despite it’s flaws, is still worth loving? I found myself feeling sorry for Giuliani because he is now largely irrelevant and seems to try to gain the spotlight and relevance by making ridiculous statements.

    Even if he questioned Obama’s patriotism, it would have been a sign of intelligence on his part to keep that to himself. But alas, he is paid by FOX to make an ass of himself and he is perfectly will to do so. Giuliani saying that Obama wasn’t raised like the rest of us? No, Rudy, don’t go there! You were raised by a violent felon who avoided service in World War II (remember, that is a war that everyone – well, except Ronald Reagan – fought in). Rudy, you say that he doesn’t love our country? Rudy, do you remember getting deferments to avoid military service? Do you remember having a federal judge writing a letter for a special deferment? Rudy! No, I suppose that Rudy Giuliani is relegated to making assertions about other men’s love of country from the sidelines. He just ought to remember that when he does so, others will look at his past and see a much more sordid past than anything in Obama’s.

    As Eisenhower said about George Patton, “he misses more chances to keep his mouth shut than anyone I know.”

    Comment by Robert — February 22, 2015 @ 2:20 pm | Reply

    • Robert, turnabout is absolutely fair play, just as Bible-thumpers are attacked for their moral shortcomings. I don’t understand why the media hasn’t raised this issue about Giuliani’s lack of patriotism. I question, however, whether it is fair play to charge Giuliani as an irrelevancy clinging to the spotlight. What possible substantive defense is there to such a charge?

      Just as politicians like to relate to their audience through common life’s experiences, Giuliani is making a valid counter-point in that Obama’s dad was not an American and his mother was not a big fan of America or Americans. That is why she married foreigners, lived most of her life overseas, and returned only when she needed to recharge her batteries. (Incidentally, Jeb Bush married a foreigner and lived overseas for a couple of years. Maybe he wasn’t in love with America at the time, either :))

      Comment by Mike Kueber — February 22, 2015 @ 4:29 pm | Reply


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