I welcome The Right Stuff’s series of columns that promise to “promote thought and ensure accuracy in political issues.” But, darn it, accuracy today is a sticky wicket.
I already disagree with some of the facts in the lead-off columns. My friend Rod Keck complained that “elected legislators . . . blindly, and in lock step support all [Obama’s] actions.” C’mon, Rod, does the obstructionist House of Representatives follow in lockstep? Not for the past four years.
Rod is certain that President Obama is “exceeding his authority and violating his oath of office” unconstitutionally. I’m no constitutional scholar, but if Obama actually did something unconstitutional, I’m sure the rabidly anti-Obama Republicans would bring impeachment action immediately.
Dark intimations of unconstitutional actions are just propaganda.
Like many conservatives, Rod complains about Obama’s foreign policy. I have some complaints, too; maybe I’ll write about them some day. But “failing to support Georgia’s appeal against Russian takeover” isn’t one of them. That happened on George Bush’s watch.
And “surrendering European security by canceling the missile radar defense program in Poland” isn’t one of them, either. Lots of conservatives missed the full story because Fox “News” didn’t cover it. Obama moved one of the sites to Romania and upgraded the missiles.
Rod says we “violated the American treaty to protect Ukraine from Russian invasion.” He is probably referring to the 1994 Budapest Memorandum in which the U.S. and Russia agreed to “respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine.” We haven’t violated the memorandum, Russia has.
I was particularly startled by the assertion that “Obama disregarded history and removed our defensive forces in Iraq immediately after winning control.” The tragic fact is, Obama almost begged Iraq to allow us to keep residual forces there to back up the new regime. But Iraq refused to sign the agreement. I’ll bet they regret that now.
Rod Keck is a concerned patriot. He keeps abreast of the news and is distressed about what’s happening in the world. I salute that. But like most conservatives, he seems to get his facts from conservative sources only. That leads to problems because there are two sides to everything.
For instance, when your daughter came home from school whining about the bad teacher and what outrageous things she said to your daughter, did you immediately rush down to the school to confront the teacher, or did you say, “Well let’s phone Bad Teacher and see what she says.”
“News” has to be “fair and balanced,” citing both sides of any incident. Fox News and MSMBC aren’t really news sources. They’re soap operas. They’re bread and circuses. They set up a good guy and a bad guy. Good guy hits bad guy over the head. Bad guy goes down for the count. We cheer. We go to bed and sleep soundly knowing that justice reigns supreme in the world. It’s fun.
But it isn’t the truth, because “the rest of the story” is missing. Rod – everyone, really – should take note.
If you want the news, tune into The News Hour or CNN. If you want to feel outraged about what the Bad People are doing, tune into Fox or MSNBC. Or listen to those “newsmen” who call themselves “entertainers”: Rush Limbaugh or Michael Savage. They’ll raise your blood pressure.
But remember, it isn’t the news.
Jack Batson is a former member of the Fairfield City Council. Reach him at email@example.com.