Yet More Mind-Bending Racism From the Right-Wing Media
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THE ENDURING KNOW-NOTHING STRAIN.... Washington Times editor Wesley Pruden trashed President Obama in his column today, which wouldn't ordinarily be especially interesting. The right-wing writer, however, touched on a specific kind of attack that illustrates a larger trend.
In this case, Pruden is all worked up because the president bowed before the Japanese Emperor. Pruden believes Obama doesn't understand "American history" because "the essence of America is that all men stand equal and are entitled to look even a king, maybe particularly a king, straight in the eye."
That's nice rhetoric, which would be more compelling were it not for the various photos of Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, and H.W. Bush bowing before foreign leaders during their respective tenures. I've looked for related columns of Pruden trashing these Republican presidents for forgetting "the essence of America," but can't seem to find any.
But the key to the column is the wrap-up:
...Mr. Obama, unlike his predecessors, likely knows no better, and many of those around him, true children of the grungy '60s, are contemptuous of custom. Cutting America down to size is what attracts them to "hope" for "change." It's no fault of the president that he has no natural instinct or blood impulse for what the America of "the 57 states" is about. He was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream.
This is obviously some pretty offensive nonsense from a shameless hack, but it also speaks to a Know-Nothing strain that lingers in American politics.
Steve Benen is "blogger in chief" of the popular Washington Monthly online blog, Political Animal . His background includes publishing The Carpetbagger Report, and writing for a variety of publications, including Talking Points Memo, The American Prospect, the Huffington Post, and The Guardian. He has also appeared on NPR's "Talk of the Nation," MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show," Air America Radio's "Sam Seder Show," and XM Radio's "POTUS '08."