Quantcast

«

»

May 09 2014

Cheney: Obama Doesn’t Like America

There was a time, back when she was with the National Endowment for the Humanities, when I thought Lynne Cheney was a serious intellectual. That time is long gone. Like her husband and her daughter Liz, she’s a tiresome political hack and a right wing shill, as she proved yet again in an interview with Steve Malzberg.

Malzberg asked Cheney why Obama “isn’t proud of our history” and believes America “was built on the backs of slaves and the poor,” noting the president’s recent comments on “the legacy of race and slavery and segregation” in response to a question on the Don Sterling scandal. Cheney responded that she agrees Obama doesn’t like America, which she believes is partly due to his time as a professor.

“Part of it is, we forget that President Obama comes out of an academic background, you know he was teaching constitutional law,” Cheney said. “There’s this idea on campuses that is mostly about how this country has oppressed people.”

“In the rest of the country,” Cheney added, “parents want to teach their kids about what an amazing piece of good fortune it is if you’re born in this country.”

I think this highlights the key difference between liberal and conservative conceptions of patriotism. For a conservative, patriotism means pretending that your country is perfectly fair and just in all ways (except, of course, when they’re ranting about how evil we’ve become because we don’t throw gay people in prison). The mere mention of America’s legacy of slavery, segregation and racial discrimination sends them into this kind of “OMG, you hate America” tizzy.

It also highlights their aversion to reality. Racism in the United States is not some long-dead feature of the distant past. We had slavery for the first 80 years of the nation’s history. We had segregation for another 90 years after that. And to this day we have a criminal justice system that is so pervasively racist that Michelle Alexander correctly calls it the “new Jim Crow.”

For liberals, patriotism does not mean mindless cheerleading and denial of reality. It means demanding that your country live up to its stated ideals. It means working to make society more fair, more just and more equal. I’ll take that version over ignorant demagoguery any day.

36 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Synfandel

    Why doesn’t Ed Brayton like America?

  2. 2
    Trebuchet

    She also thinks the reappearance of Monica Lewinsky is some kind of Clintonist plot.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2014/05/lynne-cheney-hillary-clinton-monica-lewinsky-106434.html

  3. 3
    dhall

    The country wasn’t just built on the backs of slaves and the poor. It was also carved out of someone else’s homelands and included, at times, deliberate policies of genocide and the continued policy of practically ignoring the Native Americans. Unless, of course, one wants to name a sports team after them, defend the demeaning, racist name of a sports team, or bitch about Native American casinos ripping off hapless whites who were evidently coerced into going to them and gambling away their money.

  4. 4
    dingojack

    “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” – Carl Schurz (attrib.)
    Dingo

  5. 5
    dingojack

    dhall – “… Native American casinos ripping off hapless whites who were evidently coerced into going to them and gambling away their money”

    Nice to see you’re taking the tragedy of problem gambling seriously.

    Dingo

  6. 6
    pocketnerd

    I’ve heard it said Liberals love America like a parent loves a small child — we want to think the best of our country, but gentle criticism and guidance is necessary for the country’s long-term well-being — but conservatives love America like a small child loves a parent: There are no valid criticisms of Daddy because I love Daddy and Daddy is big and strong and smart and perfect and if you criticize Daddy it’s because you’re a meanie who hates Daddy so shut up.

  7. 7
    ArtK

    @ pocketnerd

    I really like that analogy. I’ve likened the right to children in other contexts and this fits right in.

  8. 8
    Modusoperandi

    It means demanding that your country live up to its stated ideals.

    We Conservatives do too. The Declaration of Constitution reads “All Men are Created Equal”. After that you’re on your own.

     

    It means working to make society more fair, more just and more equal.

    That’s Redistribution. Unless you’re whatever African-Americans are calling themselves today. Then it’s Reparations. Both of those are Socialism.*

     

    I’ll take that version over ignorant demagoguery any day.

    You pointy-headed Liberals in your Ivory Towers would!

     
    * SOCIALISM!!!

  9. 9
    karmacat

    “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.”
    ― Bill Clinton
    Unfortunately, we have a lot of stupid leaders that don’t get it. I guess if they acknowledge there is something wrong that they could fix, that would mean they would have to do actual work

  10. 10
    dhall

    All sarcasm aside, dingojack, Native American casinos are singled out for special criticism beyond what the others are subjected to, because they are run by Native Americans, not whites.

  11. 11
    colnago80

    Re chihuahua @ #4

    The first iteration of this quote was from Stephen Decatur

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Stephen_Decatur

  12. 12
    katzenklavier

    The linguist George Lakoff explained the crux of this perceptual problem in his 1996 book Moral Politics: How Liberals and Conservatives Think:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_Politics_%28book%29

    He argued that “conservatives and liberals hold two different conceptual models of morality. Conservatives have a Strict Father morality in which people are made good through self-discipline and hard work, everyone is taken care of by taking care of themselves. Liberals have a Nurturant Parent morality in which everyone is taken care of by helping each other.”

    In other words, logic and reason be damned. We are hardwired by our upbringing to see things a certain way, the awareness of which saves me a lot of anguish by not persisting in explaining facts to those who cannot psychologically absorb them.

  13. 13
    D. C. Sessions

    Conservatives are adamant that the United States is perfect [1] and that anyone who doesn’t like it as it is should leave [2].

    [1] Except, of course, for the unbearably high taxes, intolerable regulation, uppity [fill in the blank], coastal elites, disobedience to God, unions, …
    [2] Especially those elitists that make up the majority of the country.

  14. 14
    cptdoom

    So the country wasn’t built on the backs of slaves & poor people? Slaves didn’t build the Capitol? Poor Irish didn’t dig the canals and clean the houses of the rich? Chinese laborers weren’t imported to build the railroads and then denied full citizenship? Did the nuns really steerme wrong when they taught me my history?

  15. 15
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    @katzenklavier:

    I missed the part where Lakoff says that these attitudes are “hardwired”. I think he might prefer the term “predisposed”. His main point, I think, is that a liberal has to know where conservatives are coming from before he or she can frame an argument that will make sense to them (and the reverse would be true as well), not that all such arguments are fated to be fruitless. After all, sometimes people do cross the divide. Little Green Footballs, for example, is awash with people who used to be conservative but now identify as liberals.

  16. 16
    Mobius

    Well, I thought of things to say just reading the title, but you seem to have already said them.

  17. 17
    laurentweppe

    Little Green Footballs, for example, is awash with people who used to be conservative but now identify as liberals.

    Yeah, but Little Green Footballs was originally the blog of a guy who had a massive post 9/11 freakout before realizing that many of the people he praised as courageous anti-fundie warriors were in fact the mirror image of those very fundies. So it’s less a case of “crossing the divide” and more a case of “wait a minute: the only substantial disagreement between Pam Geller and Bin Laden is «Who deserves to hold the whip»: Fuck me, I’ve been conned” epiphany

  18. 18
    alanb

    We love America just as much as they do. But in a different way. You see, they love America like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world. That’s why we liberals want America to do the right thing. We know America is the hope of the world, and we love it and want it to do well.

    -Al Franken

  19. 19
    gshelley

    I’ve never quite understood this. do they think the 50% of people who voted for him were fooled in some way, or that they also don’t like America?
    What about the people who actually agree with his policies – For pretty much anything he proposes, 30+% of the country think it a good idea

  20. 20
    D. C. Sessions

    I’ve never quite understood this. do they think the 50% of people who voted for him were fooled in some way, or that they also don’t like America?

    ACORN and the New Black Panthers stole the election.

  21. 21
    laurentweppe

    I’ve never quite understood this. do they think the 50% of people who voted for him were fooled in some way, or that they also don’t like America?

    They don’t: they just made the very rational calculus that looking like conspiracy nuts would elicit less animosity from the rest of the populace than candidly saying “I wish we had the firepower to pull a successful coup and put those uppity plebs back in their place

  22. 22
    Hank_Says

    Leaving aside the fact that America was built by slaves, and later by the poor, on the bones of the First Nations and that isn’t a Good Thing™, yes, it’s obvious that people like the Cheneys love America because they lied her into an illegal war that got 4000 Americans killed for no good reason.

    I know there are some intelligent and reasonable conservatives out there; can they please stand up? Or are they frightened they’ll be crushed by the sheer weight of malignant stupidity on display by the new GOP base of the entitled rich, out-and-out racists, virulent Teabaggers and all-purpose neocons?

  23. 23
    Marcus Ranum

    It means demanding that your country live up to its stated ideals.

    I’d be happy if it just followed its own laws.

  24. 24
    Marcus Ranum

    yes, it’s obvious that people like the Cheneys love America because they lied her into an illegal war that got 4000 Americans killed for no good reason.

    4000 americans and between 300,000 and 500,000 Iraqis. I generally get horrified when someone talks about the war dead and only talks about the butcher’s bill for the servants of the empire.

  25. 25
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    @laurentweppe:

    That’s all true as far as Charles is concerned, but I don’t know how well that description applies to all the other people who post there.

  26. 26
    Jafafa Hots

    We hold Congress in a building built by slave labor, for fuck’s sake.

    I can’t decide if people like this are just ignorant, just liars, or are ignorant liars.

  27. 27
    dingojack

    Jafafa Hots – let us not forego the possibility they are lying ignorami.
    :) Dingo

  28. 28
    lorn

    Liz Cheney, evidently as part of pushing her book, was also on Charlie Rose where she blames on-campus rudeness to her husband after Desert Storm on rampant liberalism run amok. Evidently the faculty stood up, turned their back on Dick, and walked out. She claimed that they did this because they ‘know nothing of the real world’. Rose is such an undemanding interviewer when dealing with rich and powerful conservatives.

  29. 29
    democommie

    The Cheneys are shit, all the way down.

    “Rose is such an undemanding interviewer when dealing with rich and powerful conservatives.”

    He’s a suck-up.

    When I saw the header I thought for no particular reason that it would be interesting if somebody served The Dorklord Cheney his next infantahemolatte the way Pauly (Eric Roberts) gave the Pope of Greenwich Village his last espresso.

  30. 30
    matty1

    Evidently the faculty stood up, turned their back on Dick, and walked out.

    You should never turn your back on Dick Cheney, he might decide to go quail hunting.

  31. 31
    birgerjohansson

    Dick Cheney loves America so much that when he was CEO of Haliburton he illegally sold stuff to Iran while using a tiny Caribbean country the size of Central Park to launder the equipment (those politicians in the sub-committe who are supposed to monitor shit like that presumably got generous campaign donations).

  32. 32
    pocketnerd

    Thus Spake Zarabirgerjohansson, #31:

    Dick Cheney loves America so much that when he was CEO of Haliburton he illegally sold stuff to Iran while using a tiny Caribbean country the size of Central Park to launder the equipment (those politicians in the sub-committe who are supposed to monitor shit like that presumably got generous campaign donations).

    But that was the free market! Choosing not to chase profit at all costs, including harm to your fellow man and your country, is SOCIALISM!

  33. 33
    Mobius

    @alanb

    Thanx for the Franken quote. Wonderful, and oh so true.

  34. 34
    Robin Lionheart

    dingojack – Another good quote along those lines:

    “My country, right or wrong”, is a thing that no patriot would think of saying except in a desperate case. It is like saying, “My mother, drunk or sober”. — G. K. Chesterton, The Defendant (1901)

  35. 35
    katzenklavier

    @ Hercules Grytpype-Thynne – #15

    I confess to laziness in employing the convenient term “hardwired” to mean “predisposed,” as you suggest. And it has been many years since I read Lakoff’s book.

    A poor defense, perhaps, but there IS ongoing argument among respectable neuroscientists whether early predisposion may indeed hardwire the brain to some degree.

    And in the broader sphere, I do not share your optimism as to converts, in any significant number at least..

  36. 36
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    There was a time….when I thought [prominent conservative/narcisso-capitalist] was a serious intellectual….[but they're]….a tiresome political hack and a right wing shill

    This seems to happen to you a lot…?

Leave a Reply

Switch to our mobile site