Fed up with presidential disrespect
by Kelvin Wade
About four years ago, I went to downtown Sacramento in hopes of getting a glimpse of then Vice President Dick Cheney. Now of course, I saw Cheney as being the Emperor to President George W. Bush’s Vader and, like many others have said, considered him to be one of the worst Vice Presidents in U.S. history. So why did I want to go see him? I was going there to see the Vice President of the United States.
I was holding an iced Venti Americano on 13th Street across from the Sheraton Grand. Suddenly Sacramento police appeared and made everyone get off the street. I went into the Community Center and minutes later a motorcade of black SUVs turned the corner and drove by, stopping at the Hyatt Regency down the street behind a strategically parked Ryder truck. No one could see the Veep as he made his entrance into the hotel for a speech. It was disappointing because even thought I couldn’t stand the man, it still would’ve been a thrill to see the sitting Vice President.
It seems that kind of respect for the office has completely evaporated with the election of the country’s first black President.
• Joe Wilson shouted “You lie!” during a Presidential address and then fundraised off of it.
• There were the signs hoisted by Tea Partiers of a President Obama as Hitler or as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose. There were deplorable signs with racist messages that Republican leaders refused to repudiate.
• The whole birther movement has been an insult. Even after it was thoroughly debunked, media whore Donald Trump continues to band that drum. Major Republican officeholders refuse to repudiate him and the other Birthers.
• Whenever asked if Obama is a Christian or a citizen, too many GOP officeholders have said the weasely, “I take him at his word” instead of just saying “yes.”
• Fox pontificator and general asshole Bill O’Reilly interrupted the President 48 times in a 15-minute interview.
• Newt Gingrich said Obama had a “Kenyan, anti-colonial worldview” In yet another desperate attempt to paint him as the “other.”
• Gingrich also repeatedly called President Obama the “food stamp President” which is clearly a racial dog whistle to the haters in his audience.
• September 2011, in an unprecedented move, Speaker John Boehner refused the President’s request to address a joint session of Congress.
• In January 2012, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wagged her finger in the President’s face. She later said she felt “threatened” by him. Another dog whistle.
• Then there’s all the racist emails and remarks that have been made by Republican officials from coast to coast from Obama being called “uppity,” the First Lady being compared to a gorilla, to a Colorado congressman saying the President was “not an American.”
All of this has been tough to stomach. So when Neil Munro of the Daily Caller interrupted President Obama’s remarks last week on immigration, I saw red. Why do we allow this blatant, unprecedented disrespect to go on? Why didn’t the other press members shout him down? Why weren’t his credentials revoked on the spot? If I’d been among the press corps for that statement and anywhere near Mr. Munro, I would’ve knocked him out cold. I would’ve proudly chin-checked that clown and went to jail in order to give that clown and others an old school lesson in respect.
Having a policy dispute is completely legitimate. It’s fine if people dislike the President. But what’s not okay has been this continual diminution of this man. Should Mitt Romney win the Presidency, what do they think is in store for him after this? What kind of nation will we be when blacks, progressives and others jettison any pretense of respecting the office and go off on the next GOP President? Is that where we want to go?