Sunday, October 11, 2009

Question Of The Day: What Is Carol Swain The Tennessean Smoking?

Seriously, is this the best person The Tennessean could find to write an op-ed opposing President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize?

Carol Swain’s piece in today’s fishwrap reads like the greatest hits from Michelle Bachmann’s cult of crazy. For example:
Everything that we know about President Obama causes one to marvel at his extraordinary good fortune. The odds against his election were enormous. No other president has been surrounded by a shroud of secrecy that includes sealed birth, educational and travel records. These sealed records have made it difficult for him to garner the military respect needed for a successful commander-in-chief.

You can just hear where Swain is going with this "it's awfully suspicious isn't it" tack. Yes, Obama was pretty "lucky" (wink wink) to rise to power, wasn't he? Strange, isn't it? And now a Nobel Peace Prize on top of that? (You know, that "prize" awarded by "foreigners"?)

Oh, there’s more:

A great fear is that the prize was given to influence future presidential behavior. That it could serve to curtail military options. Already some people fret about weakening national sovereignty, reductions in domestic freedoms through increased surveillance of citizens, and a thumbing of the nose at traditional American values.

“Some people fret” -- like who? The UN black helicopter crowd? Those people? Apparently, yes:

The peace prize has gone to a president who engaged in what some called an international apology tour for past U.S. behavior. Under his watch, U.S. military officers ordered the burning of Bibles in Afghanistan, and he told a Muslim audience in Turkey that the United States is no longer a Christian nation. In words and deeds, some see a rejection of American exceptionalism.

OMG!!!1!!!1!!!ELEVEN!!! It’s a Muslim conspiracy!!!! Where’s the outrage!

Perhaps the U.S. military didn’t think it helped the war effort when some Fundies took it upon themselves to convert the Afghan population to Christianity. Maybe that church should have checked with someone before going to all that trouble. Sorry but you’ll have to proselytize without the help of the U.S. military. (Fact check note: Via Black Gold 68 in comments, this incident happened during the Bush Administration and was merely confirmed after Obama became POTUS.) And no, the U.S. has never been a “Christian nation.” I really don’t want to have that argument again.

And finally:

A cosmopolitan man, who has worn an American flag pin with great unease, has been awarded a Nobel Prize. Where he takes America, God knows.

Oh Carol Swain! Just come out and say it already: you think President Obama is an America-hating secret Muslim installed into the White House as part of some conspiracy by "foreigners" who hate Jesus. He could be the Antichrist!!! OMG!! Don't dance around it, you lay out your "evidence" pretty well. Just tell us what you think.

I cannot believe this crackpot is a Vanderbilt University professor. What an embarrassment to that institution.

Even worse: I cannot believe The Tennessean assigned Swain the anti-Nobel Peace Prize column. I have heard some actual legitimate arguments questioning the Nobel Committee’s decision (personally I think the entire thing is ridiculously overblown, but that’s just me). But fear-mongering that it’s an attempt by foreigners to control the president and trotting out “he’s a super scary secret Muslim” conspiracies from the campaign are not among them.

Is The Tennessean trying to make conservatives look stupid by giving column inches to the right’s most wacked out voices, people like Carol Swain and Phil Valentine? Or is this really what the conservative movement has become? Crazy conspiracies about Manchurian presidencies and intolerance for the poor?