Monday, February 14, 2011

Just the Facts, Speaker Boehner

Speaker John Boehner was on Meet the Press yesterday.  Interviewer David Gregory brought up the persistent notion within Republican circles that President Obama was not born in the United States and that President Obama is a Muslim.  Mr. Gregory points to a clip on Fox News where half or more members of a Republican study group believe that President Obama is a Muslim.  Mr. Gregory challenged Speaker Boehner to decide if he has a responsibility to tell the American people the facts.  Speaker Boehner said it’s not for him to tell people what to think, he then said the state of Hawaii has said President Obama was born in that state.  He also said he will take the President at his word when he says he’s a Christian.

I was flabbergasted by this response.  His answer was not an assertion of the facts, it was a statement of faith.  But the discussion wasn’t a matter of faith, it was a matter of fact.  President Obama was born in Hawaii.  President Obama is a practicing Christian.  These are facts and it’s disappointing that the Speaker of the House, the man who will need to work with the White House to address the policy needs of this country, can’t simply say that.  People will say I’m nitpicking, and maybe I am, but when you watch the video you can see Speaker Boehner trying to rhetorically discredit the position he says he believes in.  It was a pathetic display.  Then again, maybe I should be unsurprised.  Paul Krugman has been spending some time in his columns recently to address the Republican party’s rejection of facts and analysis time and time and time again to score some cheap political points.  Maybe I should be thankful Speaker Boehner even said Obama was a Christian, but his half-hearted defense in the face of blatant falsehoods was pathetic and cowardly.  We should be able to expect more.

You can watch the full exchange to make up your own mind here:

1 comment:

B said...

I think a more important issues is that Gregory keeps indulging this fantasy as if it's a real issue, and he's turning a perfectly reputable journalistic institution into a farce in the process. The birther-Muslimers are not serious, they don't deserve a seat at the table, and by and large, they don't have one. Except inasmuch as they are legitimated by journalists that try to press leaders to denounce what is self-evidently ridiculous. This is the same reason that MSNBC hurts political discourse more than Fox News. The answer to this kind of bullshit is objective journalism, not creating legitimate discourse by providing an antithesis to a proposition that doesn't deserve any serious intellectual consideration.

If Gregory wants to play real watchdog journalist one day, there are plenty of things to press Boehner on. This isn't one of them. Besides, what's Boehner supposed to say? The birthers are just a bunch of drunk girls at McFaddens. If Boehner really wants a blowjob in the bathroom come November 2012, all he has to do is not say something stupid to fuck it up.