Obama Naysayers Speak Out

With Barack Obama's approval ratings in the 70s and his visage plastered on every shop window and Metro card in Washington, it's hard to remember that 58 million Americans voted for the other guy.

Even President Bush - who presumably counts himself among that group - said last week that Obama's inauguration is "a moment of hope and pride."

That's not exactly how Michelle Malkin describes it.

"Jan. 20 has turned into a schlock inauguration, (where) every last moocher has come to cash in on Obama," says the conservative blogger and pundit. "There are some of us who want to bang our heads against the wall."

While most Republicans now in office are saying all the right things about Tuesday's proceedings - roll tape on "peaceful transfer of power" and "historic moment for the country" sound bites - some conservatives can't quite get themselves in the "We Are One" mood.

Not even for a day.

On his radio show last week, Rush Limbaugh railed against "people on our side of the aisle who have caved and who say, 'Well, I hope he succeeds. We have to give him a chance.'"

"Why?" Limbaugh demanded. "They didn't give Bush a chance in 2000. Before he was inaugurated, the search-and-destroy mission had begun. I'm not talking about search-and-destroy, but I've been listening to Barack Obama for a year-and-a-half. I know what his politics are. I know what his plans are, as he has stated them. I don't want them to succeed."

In the wake of the disputed 2000 election, only 47 percent of the public predicted that Bush would be an "above average" or "outstanding" president. In a new Associated Press-GfK poll, 65 percent of the public attaches those words to Obama.

Asked about Obama's inauguration last week, former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay hammered on the cost.

If Obama were "serious" about changing Washington, DeLay said, "He would announce to the world: 'We are in crisis, we are at war, people are losing jobs; we are not going to have this party. Instead, I'm going to get sworn in at the White House. I'm going to have a nice little chicken dinner, and we'll save the $125 million.'"

DeLay said he understands why Republicans in Congress aren't complaining about this publicly: "Those in elected office are looking at Obama's popularity numbers and don't want to be perceived as anti-American by being anti-Obama."

He didn't name names, but the normally outspoken Rep. Michele Bachmann might fit the bill.

Just before the election, the Minnesota Republican told Chris Matthews that she thought Obama might have "anti-American views."

Last week, she told The Hill: "I look forward to working with him and I would expect to be as friendly as I would be to [any president]."

In March, Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King predicted that an Obama victory would have "the al Qaida and the radical Islamists and their supporters . . . dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11th."

Last week, King was still grumbling about Obama's middle name - Hussein - but he told Politico that he's "very respectful and appreciative of the historic moment" and counts it "among life's privileges" that he'll have a seat in Congress when Obama puts his hand on the Bible.

Malkin conceded that it's appropriate to show some deference to the occasion, but she complained that Republican lawmakers aren't standing their ground.

"Especially in the Beltway," she said, "they are more wrapped up in who got invited to what dinner and who didn't. And my criticism of the GOP establishment, as they've rolled on every [Obama cabinet], nomination, is they are completely out of touch with how fly-over America feels about this spectacle."

Or, as Bob Anderson put it: "Pffffffffffffffffft."

Anderson, a retired chief master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, is the founder of the conservative grass-roots organization, "What are we fighting for?"

Asked to elaborate on his onomatopoeia, Anderson said that "Obama-mania" is leading the country into bad times.

"The only positive thing I can see is hopefully it will be bad enough quick enough that the people will stop drinking the Kool-Aid and see what we're about to lose," he said. "I think we have a very short launch window."

RedState's Erick Erickson is blasting off.

"I think we're going to be treated to.hagiography for weeks if not months," Erickson complained. "The first time Obama uses the bathroom, Newsweek will do a five-page spread."

Tom Hoefling, the political director for Alan Keyes' group America's Revival, has had it with all the talk about the "historic" nature of Obama's inauguration.

"What's historic about it?" he asked. "So it's historical because of his skin tone? Isn't that a racist idea in the first place? . . . I could care less what color his skin tone is. What matters is his philosophy -- his political philosophy and his ideology."

Anderson suggested that squeamishness about race is silencing the dissent.

"We're so focused with political correctness people are uncomfortable in saying your baby is ugly and stuff is broken," he said. "While we're sitting around the campfire and trying to sing Kumbaya, our country is slipping away from us."

Anderson won't be watching the inauguration. DeLay will be out in California to rally conservatives. And Richard Viguerie, the king of right-wing direct mail, said Tuesday will be "just another day at the office."

"Yeah, sure, we can be happy that we've taken another step in the racial progress, but I just am not about race, quite frankly," Viguerie said.

He doesn't necessarily begrudge those who will celebrate this week - so long as they keep it short. "You can take a sip of Kool-Aid. It's OK to smell it, stick your finger in it. But on Jan. 21, let's get back to business."

Copyright POLIT - Politico
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