Remember back in 2003, when the Dixie Chicks were tarred and feathered after their lead singer told a London audience that, “we don’t want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas” Remember how angry so many people were? Remember the CD smashings? The boycotts of the group’s music by radio stations?
Most important, remember how shameful it was supposed to be to slam your commander in chief during wartime? Boy, those Dixie Chicks had some nerve …
Yet here we are, in good ol’ 2010, still at war, still fighting terrorism, still trying to protect our “American way of living”â€”only this time conservatives no longer like the president. So they can slam him and slam him and slam him and slam him.
Forget the tools like Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck (who, at the time, killed the Dixie Chicks). Let’s talk about Dick Cheney, our former VP, whoâ€”according the precedent and protocolâ€”is really supposed to be offering, oh, zero opinions about the president right now. Ever since leaving the White House, Dick has repeatedly questioned the president’s ability to handle terrorism. Why, just the other day he ripped Obama’s handling of the recent airplane scare, saying, he â€œis trying to pretend we are not at warâ€ with a â€œlow-key response.â€ (To his credit, Richard Lugar, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was one of the few Republicans with the balls to call out Cheney, saying, “It’s unfair. I think the president is focused.” Also, one can’t help but notice the irony of the VP who was in office on 9/11/01 slamming the president who didn’t have a terrorist attack. Wacky.)
Even worse than Cheney (of whom little is actually expected) is the recent behavior of Joe Lieberman and John McCain, who visited Israel and held a press conference to announce that, when it comes to the Jewish homeland, well, ignore the president. Our president. “Any attempt to pressure Israel, to force Israel to the negotiating table by denying Israel support, will not pass the Congress of the United States,” he said. “In fact, the Congress will stop any attempt to do that. I don’t think we will come to that point.” (Here’s the video).
Look, I’m not saying this is strictly a Republican thing, because it’s nice. Both parties play this game, where they praise something when it’s their side, then bash the exact same principle when it’s not. As Bill Maher recently rightly noted, were Barack Obama still a senator, he would not support a surge in troop activity in Afghanistan. No way. But now he’s the presidentâ€”and he does.