Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is Obama His Brother's Keeper?

From Instapundit:

THE POLITICS OF HATE: Dems Incite Death Threats Against Limbaugh. And Limbaugh’s already had to call the bomb squad to his house. That’s their approach. Marginalize, then brutalize.

When will President Obama speak out against this hatred and extremism? Probably never. But since it’s been established that this sort of thing happens via close coordination between the White House and Media Matters, etc., there’s no denying responsibility now. I call upon the President to denounce his supporters’ hateful violent rhetoric, to promise not to engage in or encourage it again, and to apologize to Limbaugh for stirring up this cesspit of hatred among his followers. A President is supposed to lead, not incite violence

Well. Obama held his first press conference in a number of months this week and was asked this question:

has there been a double standard on this issue? Liberal commentators have made similarly provocative or distasteful statements and there hasn’t been such an outrage.

In response to this question Obama dodged the “double standard” aspect, not letting such a politically inconvenient question derail what he has seized upon as a politically advantageous issue. Obama knows that it remains advantageous only as long as the villains can be limited to his political adversaries.

In his response Obama did however invoke his daughters Malia and Sasha. Perhaps it’s part of his effort to prop up his campaign. Or not. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt -- this was not so much a calculated campaign ploy as it is a standard line. If you'll remember, he brought his daughters up in his speech after the Virginia Tech shooting, in reference to Don Imus's remarks about the Rutgers women's basketball team as well.

But on the subject of little girls, is there another he has forgotten?

How can Obama sleep at night knowing that, according to him, all these lefties are really, really letting Christina Taylor Green down:

I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here - they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.

That's what I believe, in part because that's what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation's future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.

I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us - we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children's expectations.

I have a hard time believing that Obama truly believes that as he remains conspicuously silent in the face of vitriol directed toward conservatives by liberals, but ubiquitously outspoken against the same when directed at liberals by conservatives. It seems what Obama really believes is that he should live up to the expectations of Christina Taylor Green unless it would be politically inconvenient or hurt the narrative, at which point Obama can be expected to ignore whatever it is he has imagined her expectations to be.

And since Obama is bringing up family here, let’s remember Obama’s love of quoting the Bible that we should be our “brother’s keeper”.

Because the thing is, he never gets that one quite right. I mean, sure the Bible has a lot of themes in it that can be related to the idea that we ought to take care of each other, to love another. But the story in Genesis from which the words “brother’s keeper” is being quoted has absolutely nothing to do with any of that. In fact it is quite the opposite.

In Genesis, Cain had just killed his brother Abel. God asked Cain where his brother was (knowing, of course that Cain had killed him, being ominiscient and all). "Am I my brother's keeper?" was Cain's effort to dodge the Lord's question and avoid revealing what he had done. And Cain's question was purely rhetorical, assuming that the answer was "no".

For once the quote would be appropriate were Obama to invoke it. When asked about hate-filled rhetoric from his own side of the ideological spectrum, Obama, by dodging such a politically inconvenient and narrative-wrecking question is implicitly asking us, "Am I my brother's keeper?" attempting to convince enough people that the answer should be "no".

But from all the evidence, Obama only shows a desire to be Rush's keeper -- conservatives' keeper -- when it comes to using his bully pulpit to denounce hateful violent rhetoric. And from that one can only conclude that it is entirely political.

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