The Dumbest Thing I Heard This Week

This one came in just under the wire, but here we go. Quin Hillyer of the American Spectator has penned a breathless diatribe against President Obama which he entitles “His Abominations Accelerate.” If you watch coverage of this election and begin to think that the GOP sounds reasonable, you have an obligation to read articles like this and remind yourself that the conservative base is much more radical and much less informed than the public face of the candidates would lead you to believe. Most telling is that nearly every single allegation leveled by Hillyer is a one-sentence hit with no evidence or analysis (or if there is, it is a link to another blog post without analysis). We’ll just run through some bullets from this articles.

  • “Obama’s odiousness begins with his growing, unambiguous war against traditional Christianity” — Huh? This is premised upon the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision upholding the ministerial exception from employment discrimination suits. What is missing from this analysis is that the government’s argument in that case was not “overturn the ministerial exception” but (1) the Free Association right of the First Amendment would protect churches and a separate ministerial exception that reaches beyond religious hirings is unnecessary and that a church who hires a secular schoolteacher is not hiring a minister and therefore doesn’t get a pass from employment discrimination laws. This is a much more reasonable and murky legal question, but it doesn’t seem as hysterical so don’t expect to hear about anything beyond the “War on Christianity.”
  • “Obama has decided that even faith-based organizations must provide insurance that covers contraception — even including abortifacients” — this is a fair criticism actually and a symptom of the problem with having a halfway Heritage Foundation solution instead of a single-payer system. Don’t worry, this will be Hillyer’s high-water mark. He’s going to call individual mandates historically unconstitutional, too. Ugh.
  • “Obama’s illegal recess appointments.” — Sigh.
  • “Abroad, this man leading the Occupy the Oval Office movement”
  • “He threw away a clear victory in Iraq and may be doing the same in Afghanistan” — We handled this earlier, but this is also pure amnesia, since these withdrawals were first proposed by the Bush administration. He also criticizes the administration’s tough Iran policy, apparently because we did not preemptively bomb specific Iranian targets that no one has identified…I guess. Then he attacks Obama for his “handling” of Egypt, though Hillyer’s attack begs the question: as opposed to doing what? Bombing Tahrir Square? If Mubarak can’t hold his own country, what could we do? Hillyer would rather not address that question, because hurling invective is all he thinks his readers want — it’s actually kind of insulting to his audience.
  • Then there’s this — “Killing the private college-loan industry. Hobbling private for-profit colleges. Illegally seizing auto companies. Whoring for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Turning public policy over to thuggish union bosses and destroying jobs in South Carolina to do so. Turning the Justice Department into a thoroughly corrupt, lawless, racialist, hyper-politicized, gun-running, vote-fraud-enabling, bullying arm of the left wing of the Democratic Party.” — This is just so all over the place that you can imagine him panting as he types. I’m guessing the last attack is about “Fast and Furious” which appears to have been a long-standing program from the Bush era run by non-political DOJ employees that was supported by everyone until the tracking efforts failed.
  • “Lying with the Supreme Court sitting in front of him about what they decided in the Citizens United case.” — This one is contradicted by QUIN HILLYER HIMSELF, who likes to complain about how Obama is going to have a “billion dollar campaign” elsewhere, a number that contemplates combining Obama’s financing with that of SuperPACs, the precise interpretation of Citizens United that Obama decried. Moreover, is there ANYONE on either end of the political spectrum, outside the Supreme Court, who doesn’t think that Citizens United opened the door for corporations, both foreign and domestic, to spend unlimited cash on campaigns (provided the SuperPAC does not “coordinate” with the candidate). That’s all Obama said.
  • “Lying about so many things that one loses count.” — OOOH! I’ve been keeping count Mr. Hillyer! So far in this article the answer is zero.
  • “Roiling racial tensions every chance he gets.” — I think the best response here is WTF.

Actually, that’s my response to the whole article. There are so many things to criticize about this administration, such as “slow growth” and “bailouts” and yet Hillyer eschews these to target a string of areas where the facts show Obama to be relatively strong. But this is why this is the Dumbest Thing I’ve Heard All Week.

Leave a Reply