This is interesting. The president of the United States gets a lot of mail. Let me rephrase that. People send a lot of letters to the president. These letters don’t actually go to the White House. They go to a government mail processing facility where they are examined before forwarding. Some of the mail sent to the president actually winds up in the White House, and the president reads some of it.
Sometimes the president responds:
Here’s the story:
A Texas schoolteacher who wrote a letter highly critical of President Obama’s health care law was surprised when the president himself wrote back defending his policies but admitting that health care “wasn’t the smart political thing!”
But that’s not what this blog post is all about. Here is what Thomas Ritter had to say in response to the letter he received from the president:
This bill has caused such a divisive, dirisive [sic], and toxic environment … The reality is that any citizen that disagrees with your administration is targeted and ridiculed. I hesitated to write for fear of some kind of retribution. I watched you make fun of tea baggers and your press secretary make fun of Ms. Palin which was especially beneath the dignity of the White House.
The New York Post reports that Ritter is a fifth grade school teacher, so we can hope his tasks do not involve instruction in spelling and grammar. That aside, the key point is Ritter’s reference to making fun of “tea baggers” and making fun of (former Alaska Governor) Sarah Palin (one such “tea bagger”).
And that’s it. Ritter finds it remarkable and even deplorable to make fun of “tea baggers” and even the hyperventilating Ms. Palin? Let’s be clear on one point. Even brief mention of “tea baggers” and Sarah Palin is to invite ridicule upon them. Let’s roll the Tea Party parade video:
To be fair, I need to be careful to attack the message, not the messenger. It’s possible these people have a good message they want to convey, but they are just not the most capable exponents of their cause. So let’s look at the message.
One person, face hidden by a bandanna, holds up a sign that has what appears to be some Chinese writing. Below the Chinese is a note in this person’s best of English: “You better learn to read this! Our politians represent it!”
What is this person trying to say? If he is saying our government is too cozy with the communist government of China, then from where is he getting this idea? If he is saying the government is too lenient in allowing the importation of manufactured goods from China, then he needs to look not only at our government but at the large American corporations that depend on these cheap imports in their goal to turn a profit, all the while selling cheap goods that our fellow Americans depend on for the lifestyle they currently enjoy.
There’s a sign that simply reads “1930s Gemany all over again.”
This means what? There’s a person holding the sign. Does this person know the history of Germany in the 1930s? Mass murder by the government of political opponents and others deemed a risk to Hitler’s regime. Jews disenfranchised, denied jobs, stripped of government protection when thugs destroyed their property. Look around. Do we see anything that remotely approaches 1930s Germany? Blatant disregard for facts is one thing that’s making “tea baggers” a laughing stock. No assistance from the president is required.
Another poster has trouble with the plural form of the English word “levy.” He does not want any more tax levies to support (I suppose) building and maintaining public schools. There is an annoying cadre that thinks we spend too much educating our children while at the same time exhibiting the need for better public education.
There’s a smiling couple, and the woman is holding up a sign that says “No Hussien Obama.” Forget the spelling. Does this woman actually think that the president’s middle name is what’s wrong with this country. Political conservatism should be made of sterner stuff.
Anyhow, the president doesn’t even need to put his shoes on to make fun of “tea baggers.” They are doing an excellent job on their own:
All that said, I do take issue with the president’s press secretary’s making fun of Sara Palin. He needs to stop doing that right now. That’s my job:
I have previously mentioned the devastating effect this choice had on the McCain campaign, but the movie shows a deeper view, if reviews are to be believed. But that is not what I am getting into here, so I will get some points out of the way first:
Palin was pulled from obscurity for a perceived popularity with the party’s conservative base. Palin, pumped up and clueless, was tossed into the shark pool after which party staffers begin to teach her how to swim. At that point a horrifying realization set in:
Palin has only a passing acquaintance with the truth. Todd Palin was (at least at one time) a “member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a fierce states’ rights group that wants to turn all federal lands in Alaska back to the state.” The movie shows Palin demanding when the Republican Party was going to put out a press release denying this fact.
Compared to your average college professor of political science, Palin is dumber than rocks. She is shown to be ignorant of the Federal Reserve and what it does, and she has no idea why there is now a North and a South Korea. Her knowledge about the two major world wars of the twentieth century is also vanishingly small. There is more, of course.
There is more, of course.