Check out this video of Bill O’Reilly slamming Obama for being a weak liberal, then read Andrew Sullivan’s point by point rebuttal, followed by a challenge to debate O’Reilly on his show:
Sullivan’s take down is sublime:
O’Reilly lumps Obama into the “progressive values” camp and claims he is moving still further to the “left”. What is his evidence for this? He says first that in foreign policy, progressives believe that America is a “bully” and “too aggressive.” Obama, however, has retained most of Bush’s executive powers against al Qaeda (except, critically, torture), has poured more troops into Afghanistan than was ever the case under Bush, has ramped up the drone campaign in Pakistan, retained Bush’s defense secretary, stuck to Bush’s withdrawal timetable in Iraq, and embraced targeted killings of al Qaeda operatives, even US citizens. On Iran, Obama has managed to get a far more comprehensive and global set of economic sanctions against the Revolutionary Guards, and has refused to take military force off the table. Obama, moreover, went to Oslo to defend the necessity of war while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize. For this record, O’Reilly says Obama represents the pursuit of “peace at pretty much any price.” There is no other description of this than a travesty of the truth.
O’Reilly’s mischaracterization of Obama is symptomatic of the Right’s inability to attach itself to reality. The truth is, Obama is basically a conservative with some liberal tendencies, and has followed a cautious and pragmatic path back to the center away from the lunatic Right. His policy proposals have been incredibly mild, designed to elicit the least amount of screaming from the GOP – yet the Right continues to portray him as the Che Guevara of the Left and a danger to America. It’s difficult to have a serious conversation with the Fox News demographic because they have been fed so much nonsense their understanding of the real world doesn’t really exist any more. I think Sullivan should go on the air with O’Reilly, but I wouldn’t expect too much. O’Reilly knows who pays his salary and won’t deviate from company policy – Obama is a radical and must be destroyed as soon as possible regardless of the truth.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.