Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Obama Draws 200,000 in Berlin, Wingnuts Pout

25 July 2008

Obama Draws 200,000 in Berlin, Wingnuts Pout

obama-berlin.jpg

Obama's speech in Berlin drew raves from the people of Europe. You can read the transcript here, or watch it for yourself:





Josh Marshall
gives some analysis, but I think the messages of change, unity, and multilateralism speak for themselves.

Of course, not everyone was impressed. While Obama was building bridges across the Atlantic, McCain visited a German restaurant, where he took the opportunity to make a nonsensical point about not traveling abroad during a political campaign:



Maybe the McCain campaign should re-think the strategy of trying to upstage Obama.

The usual cast of crybaby conservatives took the opportunity to claim that the media coverage of Obama's trip proves a liberal bias. Specifically, they point to the fact that when John McCain travels abroad, there weren't any network news anchors who went along for the ride. But as McCain himself pointed out, he didn't travel as part of an election campaign that is driving the news cycle. Also, McCain himself asked decided to travel separately from reporters,
making it difficult for them to cover his trips:

Newsweek’s Holly Bailey recently noted that McCain “chose not to take reporters” on his trip abroad because he “was on official Senate travel” and aides worried about stories “questioning whether he was improperly using his Senate office to benefit his presidential campaign.”

Bailey added, “In contrast, the Obama campaign is inviting reporters on its tour, handling all the logistics — including transportation.” Reporters would have faced “a logistical nightmare…keep[ing] up with McCain as they flew commercially from stop to stop. (McCain traveled by a military aircraft).”
Naturally, the stalwarts of the American conservative movement also took issue with the content of Obama's speech. Victor Davis Hanson, who fancies himself as the National Review's resident history expert, couldn't really find anything to complain about, so he just complained about the Europeans in an attempt to link Obama to them:

They want less, not more, military spending; their extra-constitutional anti-terror laws, spy-cameras, and preventive detentions make the Patriot Act look like Cub Scout bylaws; and their new anti-immigration protocols would earn calls of “fascism” if enacted here at home.
Yes, it would be called fascism here at home, and it would have the full support of Victor Davis Hanson (see his apologia for preventative detention here). Denis Boyles, Hanson's colleague at the National Review, took a similar approach:

The excellent reporting that uncovered a newspaper making a John Kennedy reference justifies the headline, since JFK, of course, is a media saint. This makes Obama, as the JFK of our time, a latter-day saint, which, for Europeans, is probably better than being a Muslim.
Ha ha! Get it? Europeans are so ass-backward that they even like Muslims! And that ass-backwardness is what makes them like Obama! Ha ha!

Except, of course, for Boyles's role models over in Serbia. They don't like Muslims so much. And I guess there's also a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment in the rest of Eastern Europe as well. And in France, where fascists have been winning a lot of votes by pointing out that they hate Muslims almost as much as they hate Jews. And there's been a lot of anti-Muslim sentiment expressed recently in Denmark. And Switzerland. And Holland. And pretty much everywhere in Europe except Bosnia and Turkey.

Actually, it's hard to read Boyles's swipe at Europe and Obama without concluding that Boyles is a dunce.

Not to be outdone, Sean Hannity attacked Obama for his conciliatory tone and for the enthusiastic reception that he got in Europe. Hannity's criticism seemed to center on the fact that Obama
did not make an untrue, completely idiotic comment:

He seems to agree with the European, anti-American sentiment and the belief in the United Nations. But I look at it this way. America’s 4% of the world’s population but we pay 96% of the cost of keeping the entire planet sane and free. And you know what? That’s what I would have said if I went to Europe.
The Axis of Crazy also went after Obama. Crazy Pam decided that anyone who could draw a big crowd in Germany must be just like Hitler. She even featured a bunch of photos of Hitler in front of big crowds to make her point. I think my favorite part of that photo essay is the picture of Obama shaking hands, juxtaposed with the one of Hitler not shaking hands. Crazy Michelle also accused Obama of being a crypto-Nazi.

You would think, from reading these two, that Hitler's crimes consisted of speaking in front of large crowds and building big monuments. They don't like to bring up things like the ethnic cleansing and the persecution of religious minorities, because those are the sorts of things that Pam and Michelle support.

***

Unfortunately, the last link in the Axis of Crazy (Crazy Debbie) had little to offer on Obama's speech, because she was too busy being crazy:

1) She
criticizes Oprah for touting an author whose latest book features a sexual predator as a character (he's the villain). Note that Oprah never praised the book in question. Crazy Debbie was so desperate to find fault that she vilifies Oprah for praising a different book that the author wrote in the past.

2) She
accused Tom Campbell, a popular California Republican, of being a "pan-Islamist" who is "well known for his support for Islamic terrorists." For good measure, she also took a swipe at California's Jewish Republicans and Republican officials in Ohio and Michigan (not sufficiently intolerant of Muslims), and railed against "pan-Islamist Grover Norquist's puppetmaster machinations at the Bush White House."

Wha?
Grover Norquist? I guess after expending all that craziness, Debbie just didn't have any left over for Obama.

***

Schlussel's criticism of Tom Campbell centers around his support for Sami al-Arian. In the process of demonizing Campbell, Schlussel smears al-Arian several times. So it wouldn't be fair to include a link to Schlussel's insanity without also including links to articles that tell the truth about the Bush administration's shameful persecution of him:

Sami Al-Arian: The Terror Verdict TV Networks Ignored

The Persecution of Sami Al-Arian

(cross posted at appletree and Liberal Avenger)

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