Returning Fire; Responding To The Wall Street Journal

Dorothy Rabinowitz

Dorothy Rabinowitz is up with a powerful, resonant, deeply moving pile of shit in the Wall Street Journal. Her opening gives a writer’s perfect prelude to the contrived theme of her hatchet-job:

The deepening notes of disenchantment with Barack Obama now issuing from commentators across the political spectrum were predictable. So, too, were the charges from some of the president’s earliest enthusiasts about his failure to reflect a powerful sense of urgency about the oil spill.

It is one of our democracy’s great curiosities that the opinions of the “punditocracy” are always assumed to be that of their readers. In the ultimate self-fulfilling prophesy, commentators like Ms. Rabinowitz, tell their readers what the reader’s opinions ought to be. A few days later, Fox News will commision a poll and, et voila! the opinions match. Her piece goes on to rehash the same old tired arguments; that President Obama hasn’t been passionate about the spill, that he doesn’t reflect American outrage, that he isn’t really one of us. It’s title is The Alien in the White House.

Oh Ms. Rabinowitz hedges her bets, she is after all a coward. A breathless aside to “delusions about his birthplace cherished by the demented fringe”, conveniently insulates her from the birthers; but that demented fringe is her target audience. She follows Rubert Murdoch’s formula; create an image of the President out of thin air, tell the reader or viewer that everyone believes it, throw in some thinly constructed and barely relevant anecdotes that seem to augment the horseshit, then print.

Her first example of President Obama’s distance from Americans is priceless:

One of his first reforms was to rid the White House of the bust of Winston Churchill—a gift from Tony Blair…The new administration had apparently found no place in our national house of many rooms for the British leader who lives on so vividly in the American mind. Churchill, face of our shared wartime struggle, dauntless rallier of his nation who continues, so remarkably, to speak to ours. For a president to whom such associations are alien, ridding the White House of Churchill would, of course, have raised no second thoughts.

Wow. I like Winston Churchill. “We shall fight them on the beaches…we shall never surrender!” Great stuff! But the man who was the face of our wartime struggle was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. You know, the President that the right wing has been trying to bury under a pile of Glenn Beck’s feces. Of course Ms. Rabinowitz might point out she was talking of our shared wartime struggle. And I would remind her that she was slandering the President of the United States. We fought the British twice to get rid of their busts; it isn’t immediately apparent why it would be unpatriotic to send one back now.

If that still doesn’t convince her, I would remind her that it was Roosevelt who had to first battle the United States Republican Party to get the Lend Lease Act passed. That would be the pre-war support we gave the Brits that kept them around long enough for Winston to make his great speeches. Churchill does have some relevance to our current predicament though. He took over Great Britain with that country in a bad way; and he wasn’t privy to how bad it really was until he was in the seat.

Ms. Rabinowitz represents an intellectual class that is bereft of intellectual ability. Her collaborators spent years pushing the democracy out of banks, mines, and oil rigs. Now, when all three have blown up in their faces, Ms. Rabinowitz and her bankrupt intellectual class want swift action from the democracy. The democracy, that is, and its leader, President Barack Obama. That she and others like her must kneel and beg his assistance is a blow to their ego; a blow reminiscent of a teenager admitting his parent’s point. And so in anger at their misfortune, and humiliation at needing the public’s help, Ms. Rabinowitz and her barely cogent mob are reduced to ’round the corner sniping and barely concealed cheap shots.

This disaster will see its conclusion, not because of the capabilities of industry, but because of the power, will, and intellect of a nation pulling together. The harness of that power is something we citizens like to call the government. That government’s leader, elected (whether Ms. Rabinowitz likes it or not) with a mandate by the people of the United States, is President Obama. When industry can’t handle the problem, the government of we the people can. Mr. Obama is a very capable leader and this will get fixed; but like Churchill before him, when the Nazis have already taken the Low Countries, it will take some time to clean up the mess.

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