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Nov 2012 01

by Sandor Stern

Dear Republican Friends,

Regarding Your Hostility Towards President Obama…

I know you claim the hostility arises from his “failed four years in office” – but really? I grant you there wasn’t much publically aired hostility when he ran for the Democratic nomination. No one gave him much chance against Hilary Clinton; but once he won the nomination – boy did the knives come out.

He was accused of being foreign born and therefore ineligible to be president. His birth certificate from the state of Hawaii was deemed inadequate because it was a short form – the same form given out to every baby born in that state. His birth announcement published in the Honolulu newspaper on August 4, 1961 was decried as a hoax, a forgery, or (for some of your wing nuts) a conspiracy established at his birth. Despite the Christian religion he shared with his mother and grandparents, his marriage to a Christian woman and the church they both attended with their baptized daughters, he was branded a Muslim. Even his opponent, John McCain, could not stomach the lies and corrected an addled old woman at one of his rallies who called Obama a Muslim. And the internet was flooded with racist jokes. One that arrived on my computer I recall vividly: “Obama has chosen his vice president. He is Sylvester Stallone. From now on they will be addressed as Rambo and Sambo.”

This was the hostility accorded Barak Obama before he even won the presidency. Since then the questions about his birth and his religion have continued and grown louder as the election of 2012 loomed.

There were so-called learned men who postulated that his years living in Kenya and Indonesia from ages 4 to 10 left him with an anti-colonial outlook, which was not in keeping with a truly American view of the world. When President Obama addressed a joint session of congress on September 9, 2009, South Carolina Congressman, Joe Wilson, shouted, “You lie.” Congressional Republican Speaker, Jon Boehner, on August 31, 2011 became the first speaker in history to tell a sitting president that he would not be permitted to deliver an address to a joint session of Congress on the date specifically requested by the White House.

During the run up to the Republican presidential nomination, the hostility broke the sound barrier. On January 25th, 2012, Arizona Governor, Jan Brewer confronted the president on his arrival in her state with a well televised angry finger in his face. Can you imagine anyone doing that to any previous president? And can you imagine any previous president facing the following attacks?

Newt Gingrich referred to this president as “the most successful food stamp president in American history” and during a November 23rd Republican debate mentioned the President’s name seven times without ever referring to him as President Obama – and was joined in that omission by the other two candidates.

Kansas House Speaker, Mike O’Neil publically cited a Bible verse calling for President Obama to be killed, his wife to be widowed and his children to be orphaned. This is the same man who forwarded an e-mail to state house republicans referring to the First Lady as “Mrs. Yo Mamma.”

Marilyn Davenport, an elected member of the Orange County, California Republican Central Committee in April of 2011, forwarded her own e-mail that included a doctored photo of the President and his parents as monkeys.

Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn said during a radio interview that he didn’t “even want to have to be associated with.. (President Obama). It’s like touching a tar baby.”

Donald Trump renewed the birther fantasy with his high profile pronouncements about sending investigators to Hawaii to dig up the hidden evidence. When that didn’t pan out, he followed up with an offer to send a $5 million donation to a charity of the President’s choice if he would release his college records and his passport application; a heavy handed way of questioning his birth and his qualifications to attend college. Even Trump’s suggested list of charities promoted his racist bias – the president could choose “inner city children in Chicago” (read African-American) or AIDS research (let’s be reminded of his attitude towards gays).

Ann Coulter tweeted after the foreign policy debate that she approved of “Romney’s decision to be kind and gentle to the retard” and Sarah Palin weighed in with the racially demeaning phrase of “shuck and jive.”

And then there’s Romney’s campaign co-chair John Sununu, who told Piers Morgan in an interview on October 24th that Colin Powell’s endorsement of President Obama was motivated by racial kinship. This is the same Sununu who previously stated that the President needed to “learn how to be an American” and, following the President’s performance in the first debate, referred to him as “lazy.” If you think that his word is innocent, think of any Caucasian president being labeled with that word? The unspoken adjunct is “shiftless.”

If you believe all of this is simply loose cannons within your party, let me remind you that unlike McCain – who stood up against racism in 2008 – Romney has not disavowed either Trump or Sununu. So please, stop the charade of pretending that your hostility towards President Obama is policy based. This is not about policy; this is personal – and ugly. To quote Justice Welch – who presided over another ugly chapter in American history, the Army-McCarthy Hearings on June 9, 1954, which confronted Senator Joe McCarthy’s lies and deceit – Have you no sense of decency?

The question lingers…

Your inquisitive friend,

Sandy

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