Monday, July 30, 2012

"Vetters" offer reward to prove Obama has an open mind

I don't usually weigh in on Israeli/Palestinian issues because it tends to be a landmine better left to those who are more informed than I am.

But I will say that it causes me no concern whatsoever when I hear reports that there is obvious tension between President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu. It suggests that the President is applying pressure to a man who has proven that he cannot be trusted...and that's a good thing. It is, of course in contrast to Mitt Romney, who speaks Netanyahu's words.

While Romney was in Israel, the Breitbart crew used the occasion to continue their efforts to "vet" President Obama - this time on his past with regards to the I/P issue. They're offering a $50,000 reward to anyone who produces a tape of then state senator Barack Obama speaking at a farewell event in 2003 for Rashid Khalidi - founder of the Arab American Action Network and advocate for Palestinian rights.

This is something the wingers have been screaming about for years. The LA Times reported on the event in 2008.
A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."
I suppose that the wingers think they can make hay out of our President having an open mind to potential blind spots and biases he might have about the plight of Palestinians under Israeli occupation...oh, the horrors!

In case you haven't read it - David Maraniss - who recently published a biography of President Obama - had a word to say about these so-called "vetters."
In the introduction to my book, I took note of a sick political culture where “facts are so easily twisted for political purposes and where strange armies of ideological pseudo-historians roam the biographical fields in search of stray ammunition.” That sentence is now cited on right-wing Web sites as evidence that I hold them in contempt. True enough, one of the few accurate things that I’ve read from them. I do hold some of them in contempt, not because of their politics, nor because of their dislike of Obama. Political debate and disagreement are the lifeblood of American democracy. No, I hold them in contempt for the way they disregard facts and common sense and undermine the role of serious history as they concoct conspiracy theories that portray the president as dangerous, alien and less than American.

What drives them? Some of it can be attributed to the give-and-take of today’s harsh ideological divide. Some of it can be explained by the way misinformation spreads virally to millions of like-minded people, reinforcing preconceptions. And some of it, I believe, arises out of fears of demographic changes in this country, and out of racism.
I'll simply say..."ditto to that."

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