Rachel Maddow Interview with Former Evangelist Frank Schaeffer: Christian Right Is 'Trolling for Assassins'
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The following is an excerpt of a transcript from a recent episode of the Rachel Maddow Show:
Rachel Maddow: With our president overseas, Republicans and conservatives here at home have been taking the opportunity to crank up their criticism of him. Former Vice President Dick Cheney telling Politico.com that President Obama advertised weakness when he bowed ceremonially to the emperor of Japan. Cheney said, quote, “Our friends and allies don‘t expect it and our enemies see it as a sign of weakness. There is no reason for an American president to bow to anyone.”
He does have a point. I mean, imagine an American president bowing to anyone. [Maddow displays photos of various U.S. presidents bowing to foreign leaders] Imagine. Imagine, say, oh, President Nixon bowing to Chairman Mao in China. Imagine, say, President Nixon -- oh, there he is, again, bowing to Japanese Emperor Hirohito, that was here in America. Imagine President Eisenhower bowing to Charles de Gaulle of France -- France!
And four our pals in the press, when a former vice president, like, Dick Cheney says something like there‘s no reason for an American president to bow to anyone, the appropriate response is to say, “What else do you have against President Eisenhower, sir, or President Nixon?” Or you could just copy down what Cheney says and write a whole story as if Cheney really has a point, which, of course, he doesn‘t—at all. But I digress.
Beyond the former vice president, Mr. Obama‘s trip abroad has generally brought out the unhinged among the president‘s critics. The troubled conservative “Washington Times” newspaper, for example, allowed their editor emeritus, Wesley Pruden, to assess President Obama‘s trip abroad this way, quote, “”Mr. Obama, unlike his predecessors, likely knows no better. 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.”
That was published in an actual newspaper.
On an actual cable TV channel, host Glenn Beck assessed Democratic efforts at health reform with equal intellectual rigor:
Genn Beck, Fox Host: America has spoken clearly, consistently, we are—excuse this analogy but I feel like it‘s true—we‘re the young girls saying, “No, no, help me” and the government is Roland Polanski.
Maddow: From the same network, another host, Bill O‘Reilly, couldn‘t help himself either, calling into Mr. Beck‘s radio program with this warning to the Democratic speaker of the House:
Bill O' Reilly, Fox Host: I think people, when they figure out how badly they‘re going to get hurt in the next few years, there‘s going to be a tea party on taxes and it‘s going to get nasty. Nancy Pelosi is going to be bobbing up and down in the Boston Harbor.
Maddow: And then, there‘s this biblical quote making the rounds in anti-Obama circles. As reported this week in the “Christian Science Monitor,” “Pray for President Obama, Psalm 109, verse eight.” What‘s psalm 109 version eight? Well, it reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.” Let his days be few. It‘s followed immediately by another verse, “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”
And don‘t forget, that sentiment is now being merchandised on bumper stickers, on mouse pads, on Teddy Bears on aprons, framed tiles—those are nice. Keepsake boxes, t-shirts? “Let his days be few”—cute on a Teddy Bear.