On This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Matthew Dowd tries to equate the left's hatred for George Bush with the over the top attack by the right wing about Obama's speech to school children. I'm sorry Matt, but it's not the same thing.
As Digby pointed out in her post where she talks about the media fueling this nonsense, there is a difference.
I know how she feels. I had the same reaction when George W. Bush was on television every five minute launching invasions of other countries for no good reason and yammering on about how oceans once protected us and now drone planes with biological weapons were coming to kill us all in our beds. It's easy to understand why this woman would be equally freaked out by the president trying to make sure everyone can go to a doctor when they get sick. It's scary stuff.
There's a part of all this that's simply a matter of the right riding the existing zeitgeist. For years liberals loudly denounced the neocons for their megalomania, warning about the ramifications of an America that has become a rogue superpower, torturing, invading and spying on its own citizens. It was a violent, frightening time with some real world consequences that are still not fully understood or absorbed.
The right, with their pretense of assuming the moral positions of their opposition, twisting their rhetoric to suit their own needs and basically use the other sides' own methods against them, have simply jumped on the bandwagon now that their boy is gone. These people are posing as civil libertarians afraid of an authoritarian take-over,something we all have felt recently. Because they've absorbed all the fear and concern of the past years, even as they rejected it, they are now able to emotionally apply it to the president they hate and it has the same emotional resonance, even if it is completely ludicrous.
Katrina Vanden Heuvel does a pretty good job of talking about how all of this is being fanned by "a right wing media that wants to cripple or take down Obama's presidency" and how we didn't see this when President's Reagan and George H.W. Bush spoke to school children, and then Dowd follows with this.
Dowd: Well it reminds me, to be honest it reminds me of exactly what the left was doing to George W. Bush in this time. There was no way no matter what he said, how he did, whatever he talked about that they would accept, react to well at all, no matter what he did. And the same is happening to Barack Obama.
In Matthew Dowd's world, the left being upset about being lied into war, the spying, the torture, stolen elections, using 9-11 to scare the crap out of the American public, tax breaks for the rich who don't need it, using the Department of Justice as a political arm of the White House and getting a Governor thrown into jail, outing a CIA agent because her husband dared to speak out against Dick Cheney, putting industry hacks in charge of every government oversight agency, and I could go on but I'll stop... being upset about those things is exactly the same as the right wing freaking out over a speech given to school children by President Obama. I don't think so.