On Scott Walker and the absolutely absurd media histrionics concerning his refusal to both take responsibility for Rudy Giuliani’s comments, and also confirm President Obama’s Christianity for the world, I can’t help wondering, why does the press seem to want and need Obama to be a Christian? I don’t remember them much caring for it that Dubya was one.
The answer to whether or not someone believes President Obama (or anyone) is a Christian is really simple. If I were a pol, it would go like this:
MSM: Do you think the president is a Christian?
Me: What a weird question. Man says he’s a Christian, I take him at his word.
MSM: You’re not answering the question.
Me: I am answering it the only way a reasonable person can answer it: if a guy says he’s a Christian, I have no reason to doubt him, absent some evidence of behavior that tells me otherwise. Have you heard of any such behavior?
MSM: Well, no!
Me: Then I guess that’s your answer, isn’t it?
Actually, Walker appears to have come close to that sort of response and the press didn’t like it. They wanted the affirmation, or a complete dissembling that could be turned into a disqualifying “gotcha” and a “gaffe.”
“But, Governor, what about your gaffe?” is the game the press loves to play, at least in one direction.
Still, I can’t help thinking, “why?” Why, suddenly, is it so important to the press that this presumptive candidate, Scott Walker, confirm President Obama’s Christianity? Has someone suggested that privately Walker believes differently? Does someone have a tape of him vaguely implying that Obama is not a Christian, and they’re waiting to use that at some future date?
Because otherwise, it seems strange to me that the question even came up. It’s reminiscent of the out-of-the-blue question about contraception that George Stephanopoulos threw at Mitt Romney in ’08. That question proved to be a stage-setter; the foundation upon which the Democrats successfully build an utterly fake narrative of a GOP “war on women” with bonus “your contraception is going to be banned by Catholics and women-haters” narrative.
Are we being prepped for 2016’s fake narrative? In Clintonian election years we always hear some variation about Hillary Clinton’s “strong, pragmatic Methodist faith”, and since this Pew study points out that almost all US Presidents have been Christian, is this a tactic to keep everyone talking about how the Democrat nominee — whoever she will be — is a hardy Christian, while pitting “progressive” Christianity against “conservative” Christianity.
Taking the long view, is it all part of a strategy, meant to reframe the idea of faith and conscience itself — one that softens Americans up to the notion that Freedom of Worship, (described by Frank Bruni as “in their pews, homes and hearts”, but not in the public square) is the equivalent of Freedom of Religion?
A question about Obama’s Christianity, six years into his presidency, is so weird that I wonder if it is about to be held up to us as a shining example of what humble faith should be: largely unexpressed in public and deferential to the “greater common good” of government, from which our consciences should be formed in trust and obedience?
That sounds crazy. But then again, suggesting women were about to lose their birth control (and by extension abortion, their careers and all of their dreams) in 2012 sounded crazy too, but the pitch was thrown and the public swung at it, over and over, until 2014, when that ball got overthrown and bases were loaded on wild pitches.
When the fastball is worn out, you go to the change-up. Or the knuckle ball.
On Giuliani’s remarks about Obama and whether or not he loves the country, I expect every GOP contender, in turn, will be asked about it, challenged to affirm Obama’s patriotism.
It’s weird. Why should anyone but Obama have to affirm his creed or his national pride? That’s like someone going into an apartment and saying, “tell us about your neighbor; do you think he’s this? Do you think he is that?” The correct answer is, “I dunno, have you asked him? What does he say? Don’t you have anything more pressing to report on than a private citizen having opinions?”
MSM: But Mayor Giuliani said Obama doesn’t love America, how do you answer for that?
Me: What answer would you like? When did I become responsible for the mind of another person? Is Obama responsible for the mind of Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Harry Reid? Was Obama responsible for Hillary’s idiotic, “at this point what difference does it make?” For that matter, are you responsible for the thoughts of others? Well, actually…you might be, because so much of what we still allow to be called “news” is less about information than formation, isn’t it? I mean, you do form minds when you frame and promote narratives rather than simply reporting stories, don’t you?
Americans have come to really dislike and distrust mainstream media. Given that — and the media’s fealty to whomever the Democrat candidate will be — seems to me it costs nothing for any GOP candidate to, when served gotcha-crap, just hand it right back to them, until they stop it.
Since the press is so interested in the thoughts of a man who hasn’t held any sort of office for 14 years, I wonder why they are not also plotzing and carping about this retired Admiral — another private citizen — suggesting that Obama is anti-American and pro-Islamic.
I don’t know if the President is “anti-American”, by the way, or if he’s just a standard-issue-academic-antinationaist (the latter would be my guess) but seriously, why shouldn’t the White House say, “yes, we are pro-Islam”? After all, Obama said the Muslim call to prayer at sunset was “one of the prettiest sounds on earth…”; he went to the UN and declared to the UN that “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. He is certainly not anti-Islam. What’s their problem (or for that matter, the media’s problem) with saying, “you’re damn right! As pro-Islam as George W. Bush was; pro-Islam enough to want to protect it!”
But I suppose that would be too easy, too clear, and it wouldn’t suit the “gotcha” game, which is a shame, because that game is tiresome and the people playing it are ill-serving the country they are so quick to say they love.
To my way of thinking a President should want to express a sense of protectiveness over all of the great religions — and their constitutional right, in America, to exercise their belief — just as he should want to protect the right to believe nothing at all. On that, Obama isn’t quite up to par, is he? It would be nice if he felt protective of, say, the Little Sisters of the Poor.
I think Obama is just a strange dude: An American who thinks carrying on about the country is unseemly, and whose praises can therefore seem like reluctant sops, yanked out of his mouth only when votes matter; a Christian who feels no need to shout about his creed, and feels duty-bound to go out of his way to protect other beliefs, all while encroaching upon fellow Christians.
Maybe Obama believes he is being brave and honorable in both cases.
It is, in fact, a courageous thing to temper one’s patriotism with fair critiques; it is courageous to defend the beliefs of others. But in both cases, such courage must be supported by unambiguous baseline pronouncements that reveal (by word and deed) one’s commitment to country and creed. Otherwise, what you get is a giant, confusing and amorphous mess, that has people wondering about you.
Then again, I think Obama likes all the confusion, too. I’ve always believed that he is, in the end, a guy who is comfortable with chaos.
Instapundit: JAY CARUSO: The Media: When You Attack Obama, You’re Attacking Them: “In Obama they see themselves.”
Heh. Yeah. I actually have written a book about that…