Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Some time ago, I commented on
political opponents of Barack Obama who carped about him golfing:
This complaint is a sleazy attempt to portray the Chief Executive as derelict, and reminds me of other, similar complaints about his competence in that it raises entirely the wrong issue at the expense of failing to take his agenda or policies to task. Indeed, the attacks themselves are incompetent, for they implicitly concede the premise that what Obama wants to accomplish would be just fine, if only it were more ruthlessly and efficiently executed... [link in original, bold added]Indeed, to the degree such an enemy of freedom is distracted from his unremitting attacks, his political opponents should express relief more than outrage. But conservative commentator Walter Hudson, in the course of defending Barack Obama's attending a birthday party soon after the Ferguson shooting (HT: HBL), brings up a deeper problem:
It's the spiritual manifestation of the same moral argument we tackle in the political discourse. Someone else needs something - healthcare, a job, housing - and we're expected to provide it. Just as such claims are made on an individual's property, so are they made on an individual's mood. You should care about what I care about. You should be sad, because I'm sad. You should refrain from laughing while I cry.This is a profound rebuttal, and shows this latest charge to come from an even more dire level of intellectual bankruptcy than the usual attacks against presidents for taking vacations or playing golf.
It's entirely legitimate to criticize someone for indulging at the expense of vital responsibilities. To the extent Obama has neglected his job, you can build a case against his vacations. But this idea that he or any person should not enjoy life while others languish in misery proves as immoral as any have-not claim upon the lives of haves. [bold added]
The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend. Such attacks against Barack Obama, being for entirely the wrong reasons, betray desperation at best. Barack Obama is a poor president because he advocates and carries out meddling and thievery by the government, which should be protecting us from such things. He explicitly (although wrongly) justifies such injustices on the grounds that we are our brothers' keepers. Agreeing with Barack Obama's rationale for gutting our freedom while whining that he is not working hard enough (at what -- that?) is no way to win a public debate now or elections down the road -- at least if one regards government protection of individual rights as a worthy cause.