Monday, October 3, 2011

The Political Conveniece of Cynical Hypocrisy

From Ed Morrissey’s Obamateurism of the Day at Hot Air, Obama presumes to lecture Republican candiates:

“You want to be commander-in-chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient,” the president told the crowd in reference to a recent Republican debate.

Ed uses Obama’s time in Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s church as an example of Obama not standing up for what is right when it’s not convenient. He also notes that the booing was no more than a few of people out of a few thousand in attendance, not to mention that it is unlikely the candidates would have even heard the boos anyway.

Well. A little bit closer to the topic at hand – standing up for those who wear the uniform when it’s not politically convenient -- let us revisit the ”General Betray Us” episode:

When Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) cancelled a campaign trip to Rock Hill, S.C., his web site said it was “due to crucial votes in the Senate concerning the ongoing war in Iraq.”

So, why did Obama miss a key vote denouncing MoveOn.org’s recent advertisement about Gen. David Petraeus? The ad stirred outrage nationally for suggesting Petraeus was a lackey for the White House and disloyal to the country. “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?” it asked.

Aides to Obama had no immediate response to queries about why the senator took a pass on the Cornyn vote, but the senator made his objections clear.

"The focus of the United States Senate should be on ending this war, not on criticizing newspaper advertisements,'' Obama said. "This amendment was a stunt designed only to score cheap political points while what we should be doing is focusing on the deadly serious challenge we face in Iraq."

So Obama chose not to stand up for General Petraeus when it was politically inconvenient – Obama was in a hotly contested Democratic primary in which Moveon.org and the left/liberal faction of the party they represent was key to his prospects.

But hey, it’s not like Obama never stood up for Petraeus. Because he did. At a . . . wait for it . . . politically convenient time – during the general election:

Barack Obama yesterday landed a right hook on one of his biggest left-wing supporters yesterday - blasting MoveOn.org for labeling Gen. David Petraeus "General Betray Us."

Obama, in a patriotism speech in Independence, Mo., hit the Web site for taking out an ad in The New York Times last year that targeted Petraeus, then the top US commander in Iraq.

While not naming names, the Democratic presidential candidate - who had been heavily supported by the Web site in his primary race - said, "A general providing his best counsel on how to move forward in Iraq was accused of betrayal.

"We can no longer afford these sorts of divisions."

Many of Obama's Senate colleagues already felt the same way - and had expressed their anger at the ad back in September, when they voted to "strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of" Petraeus.

Obama skipped the vote.

The Betray Us ad was September of 2007, Obama’s speech denouncing moveon.org was July 1, 2008.

It is classic Obama – leading from behind.

And Obama self-righteously lecturing Republicans on standing up for men and women who wear the uniform when it's not politically convenient, even as his own history shows that it is something he himself is not willing to do is another bit of classic Obama – cynical hypocrisy.

It’s who he is, it’s what he does.

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