There are certain issues that are clearly President Obama’s problem. Immigration, the economy, securing a nuclear treaty with Iran, signing (or not) a trade deal with Pacific Rim nations, and so on. Likewise, there are certain mistakes we can and should blame on Obama, as well as more than a few successes we ought to rightfully thank him for.
In a fair and rational debate, however, the unrest in Baltimore has nothing to do with Obama, one way or another. So, in case you thought the “Thanks, Obama” meme was laughed off the stage months ago — nope. It never went away.
On Monday, as police vehicles and CVS franchises burned, I spotted tweets from two of my conservative friends (not unknown figures, each having appeared on cable news, etc) who directly blamed Obama for what happened, one of whom added that it’s the first time in a generation something like this has happened, painting the situation in the most dire and historic light, thus rhetorically amplifying Obama’s alleged failure. Naturally, as many of us are aware, riots and looting occur multiple times every year, with or without Obama, and are perpetrated by whites and people of color alike. By the way, the latter of which are usually instigated by terrible injustices committed by unchecked authority, while the former is instigated by trivial, nonsense events like pumpkins or a football game. Yes, context matters.
Throughout the subsequent 24 hours of cable news and social media coverage of Baltimore, other conservatives lined up to blame Obama; not only for his apparent failure to stop the violence but also for not preventing racial tensions in the first place.
CNN (warning: auto-play video within link):
The growing violence in Baltimore, just 40 miles from the White House, represents another challenge for the Obama administration in addressing racial unrest across the country.
“I think there is a war on law enforcement in this country, and it was corroborated if not condoned by this administration.”
“If you want to tear down the system, you might be taking your cues, by the way, from a president who has given the appearance that there is every justification for any level of anger at our country because we’re such despicable people.”
Fox Business Host Charles V. Payne:
No matter what, President Obama simply winks his eye and nods his head as if rioting and destruction are justifiable!http://t.co/jTTYVKB8Iu
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) April 28, 2015
Breitbart author Ben Shapiro:
BREAKING: Barack Obama just found out about his legacy of racial polarization on the news.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) April 28, 2015
The worst offender was serial sideshow freak Donald Trump:
President Obama, you have a big job to do. Go to Baltimore and bring both sides together. With proper leadership, it can be done! Do it.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2015
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2015
Okay, let’s talk about the “Blame Obama” crowd first then we’ll circle back to whatever the hell it is Trump would do about it.
Remember, this is the same crowd that’s quick to remind us how Obama has nothing to do with job creation whenever a new jobs report drops. They also insist that Obama has nothing to do with the economic recovery, the record-high stock market, precipitous unemployment numbers or the hunting and capturing of Bin Laden. Yet he’s somehow a major instigator when it comes to what amounts to a statistically minuscule fraction of the African-American population of Baltimore looting and rioting. It can’t possibly have anything to do with decades of racial tensions or the brutal death of Freddie Gray or, simply put, a gaggle of opportunistic young people piggy-backing their lack of judgment onto more noble causes in order to hork some free crap from a corner store. No, no — it’s none of that. It’s all Obama’s fault.
Indeed, if the looting and rioting is Obama’s fault, then logic mandates that the positive reactions from the community are also his fault: neighbors helping neighbors to clear and repair property damage; community leaders joining citizens to stand with the police against the mob; brass bands giving residents the gift of music instead of the blight of fear and chaos; or a little boy delivering bottled water to police officers. You can’t rationally blame Obama for what’s gone wrong without crediting him with what’s gone right. Moreover, none of these usual suspects appear to have considered the idea that perhaps, without Obama, matters could’ve been a lot worse. Maybe, maybe not.
Photo: Van Applegate
Photo: Bishop M Cromartie
As for doing something to prevent future crises, as Trump appears to have promised — sure, we’re all for it. Maybe the congressional Republicans will authorize increased funding for community outreach; housing assistance and improvement incentives; modernized schools and better teachers; and, hey, here’s something crazy: pass a jobs bill. Yes, small government conservatives want Obama to inject himself into a state and local matter, and perhaps even authorize federal funds to assuage the problem. Fantastic. Funny how guys who don’t want Obama meddling in anything suddenly demand that he do everything when there’s a crisis like this.
Oh, but Trump also promised to “fix it fast,” so I suppose that’d mean, what exactly? Using deadly force against looters? Declaring martial law? Shutting down the city like Escape from New York? Or would Trump himself swoop in and fire everyone? Who knows, because he never said exactly what his obviously secret plan is, though it might be entertaining and informative to know.
Just another series of examples proving how the activist far-right is so ensconced in the throes of Obama Derangement Syndrome they don’t know their asses from the mouth-hole in Trump’s head.