Not My President

Someone I know well, who will remain nameless, still has a “Not My President” bumper sticker on his car from the W. era. I mention it not to excuse the unpatriotic morons who pulled their kids out of school yesterday, but to remind myself that, as much as I want to be all “Even in the worst days of the GWB presidency, you never saw liberals acting like Bush wasn’t our leader; in fact, that’s in part why we were so mad–because he was.” it’s not true.

I also am very sympathetic to the “it’s not equivalent” argument, but I also know, having been in the blogosphere for a while now, that nuanced truths are very hard to get out there.  Large groups of people believe large un-nuanced concepts.  One group says “He’s not really my President” and the other group thinks “Oh, look, ‘He’s not really my President’ is an acceptable tactic, can be considered the truth.”

Which is not to say that I don’t completely agree with Katie Allison Granju’s post. I do.

I think it’s appalling that people not only are teaching their children that “Not my president” bullshit, but that they think they have a right to bully every other family in their school system, to prevent other children from seeing the President speak.

And that school administrators caved to that?

Wow. Well, at least now we know where the bullies rule.

But back to my point. That the right would move to deligitimize Obama when so many on the left never recognized the legitimacy of Bush is the least surprising thing in the world.

And yes, I know there are nuanced arguments for why we were completely justified in our feelings towards Bush.  Or whatever.  That’s not what I’m trying to get at.  I don’t care if it was justified then, but not now.

I care about recognizing that the nuance gets lost at crowd level.

18 thoughts on “Not My President

  1. Pingback: Nobody Thinks The Other Guy Is Their President : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  2. Sorry, B, leave aside for a moment the question of whether or not one side or the other is justified in mentally rejecting presidential authority. Look, instead, at what people actually do about that mental reservation. Putting a “not my president” bumper sticker on one’s car does not equate to pulling one’s kids out of school lest they be polluted by exposure to the mentally-rejected president’s words, and certainly doesn’t equate to trying to prevent other people’s children from being exposed to those words (and succeeding! which is a different issue). It is anyone’s right to mentally reject Obama as president, but it isn’t anyone’s right to impose that belief on others. Unless you can show me a big group of lefties who pulled their kids out of school for Bush’s school talks, you don’t actually have the same sort of thing going on.

  3. In fact, conservatives of a former era would have been aghast at willful, spiteful displays of civic disengagement. I sat through my share of taped exhortations by Reagan under the watchful eye of my high school government teacher and while I disagreed vehemently with most of what I was being fed, listening to his speeches did give me a way to speak specifically and cogently about what he said and why I thought it was wrong.

    A speech that boils down to “stay in school, kids, because education is personally empowering and we as a society benefit from a well-educated population” doesn’t seem to me to be all that controversial. However, if there is something in it that offends, the majority of kids are sharp enough to see it and critique it. It does make one wonder why the people who insisted that no child to be left behind are now outraged when the President dares to say that each child’s intellectual potential is valuable. Is it really the case where any acknowledgement of society or culture (rather than nation) is suspect among the right-wing?

    Ignorance is a bad politics and urging your kids to keep themselves politically stupid is nearly criminal. You have to engage to transform.

  4. And that school administrators caved to that?
    Wow. Well, at least now we know where the bullies rule.

    in schools. yes. please don’t tell me that was news to you?

  5. I have a feeling that the parents who don’t want their kids taught that homosexuality is normal, or feel their kids are too young to be shown how to put on a condom would disagree with exactly whom the bullies are.

    Eye of the beholder and all that.

  6. Exador, “bully” actually has a meaning other than “person whose opinions i don’t like”. bullies are defined by specific, well known patterns of behavior, not just trying to teach kids that reality has something to do with provable truth.

    although the people you specifically referred to have been known to want their opinions valued above tangible facts before, very notably in science classes. so, yeah.

  7. Pingback: SAY AGAIN? I CAN’T HEAR YOU BECAUSE OF THE CROWD - The Public Interest : WTVC NewsChannel 9: Chattanooga News, Weather, Radar, Sports, Lottery

  8. Facts are funny things. Like the facts of global warming that are fed to children like gospel.

    Bullies are people who try to force their beliefs on others.

  9. The hypocrisy of the right is what gets to me. These are the same people who solemnly swear they believe teaching children to respect authority and the position if not the person occupying it. But when the authority and the person don’t suit them, they’re perfectly ready to abandon their principles.
    I will never forget, during the Clinton administration, the day I took my then young son to the public library, where displayed in the lobby was a large chain carved out of wood, with all the links intact and interlocked, clearly carved out of one tree. The maker was there, taking it down, and my son asked him “What is it for?” The man replied, “To lynch the president with.” I was so taken aback it took me a minute to get him on his own ground: “I am trying,” I said, “to teach my son respect for authority. And to call for the death of the president is completely unacceptable.” To his credit, he agreed.

  10. To say “who” when “whom” is called for is perfectly acceptable today. But to say “whom” when “who” is called for makes you look like an ignoramus trying to puff himself up.

  11. Thank you, Mr. Pedant, for the drive-by grammar smackdown. One could point out that the second sentence of your comment starts with a conjunction and does not agree in number, leaving this reader to wonder who is the over-inflated ignoramus.

    Or were you trying to be funny in an ironic sort of a way?

  12. That’s what I get for trying to get a quick post in from work. Eli, go up the stairs from the basement and ask your mom what “work” means.

  13. See, I’m one of these evil people that don’t really care about politeness in political discourse. I never did consider bush my president, with all of the ramifications that statement holds. I understand if the sentiment is returned to me about Obama.

    I even understand it about the representative yelling at Obama, I wish someone had yelled at bush in a similar manner. And that’s the big problem to me… that the democrats are still worried about playing nice. Van Jones?

    Playing nice.

    Forget that noise, the stakes are too high to place nice. Please, democrats, Play hard, play to win.

  14. Yeah, but what does “win” look like? I mean, does winning still include giving public speeches that throw illegal immigrants under the bus? Is winning still waging two wars in the middle east?

    I mean, the problem with winning is that we’re still stuck with the Democrats.

  15. And let’s remember that it’s not sports or war. It’s the public good; if we keep thinking about it as war or sport (something to be won while our opponent/enemy loses), then we miss opportunities to demonstrate that the
    good of the whole must be advanced. Gains for previously disenfranchised people sometimes translates in to gains for everyone. Politics doesn’t have to be zero-sum and often isn’t.

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