Original Link: http://pundits.thehill.com/2009/05/01/john-boehner-and-pete-hoekstra%E2%80%99s-despicable-web-video/
By Jim Mills
Before you read any further — watch the video by clicking right here. Watch it several times if you want. Then come back here and share your thoughts with the entire class.
… Back now? What did you think?
If you are a boring, knee-jerky, off-the-shelf Obama-hater, you absolutely loved it. You have already made up your mind that Barrack HUSSEIN Obama is a one-worlding-lefty-socialist-pinko-traitor who wasn’t even born here in the U.S. Should never have been elected president of the United States, am I right? You love the video so much you already sent the thing around to all your similarly brilliant and sophisticated friends.
Fine. That’s the beauty of this revolutionary experiment in democracy known as the United States of America. Think what you want. Say what you want. Gather with like-minded soul mates. Protest. Scream at the top of your lungs, if you want. All within the four corners of what makes this great nation live and breathe year after year.
For those of you in the Obama-Can-Do-No-Wrong Caucus, however, you probably switched off the video after about three nanoseconds and instantly wrote the whole thing off as nothing more than the typical right-wing scare-the-hell-out-of-people crap that conservatives seem to be able to crank out in their sleep.
Then there are the rest of us (most of us, I hope) — who have the temerity and are secure enough to actually listen to both sides of an argument and let facts and reason dictate where our emotions should follow.
I can think of no two Republicans I enjoy being around more than Reps. John Boehner (Ohio) and Pete Hoekstra (Mich.). Both smart. Engaging. Patriotic. And funny as hell when they want to be. That is why it gives me no pleasure to call them out on this despicable video that is designed to do one simple thing — scare the hell out of people.
For the simple purpose of scoring quick and easy political points (and campaign cash, no doubt) Boehner and Hoekstra’s nefarious, subtle video message basically tells those who see it that we have a weak commander in chief, who, in his short 100 days in office, has single-handedly made the country less safe and more vulnerable to attack.
Edit in some urgent, spooky music, some well-placed newspaper headlines and some ominous camera pushes and pulls and you are ready to grab a bottle of wine, head to your basement, curl up in the fetal position and just wait for the terrorists to come find you. All because Barack Obama is on the job. Have a nice day, folks.
To be perfectly honest about it, I have my own concerns about President Obama’s stirring up the “torture memos”/Gitmo hornets’ nest (one of the video topics) and opening up the door to the possibility of future high-level prosecutions of Bush administration officials. So, many of the topics raised in the video are fair game for a fact-based discussion.
Please don’t get me wrong here. I am not letting the Bushies off the hook one iota. Condi Rice was the worst national security adviser in American history — even compared to the guy who pilfered those secret documents from the Archives and stuffed them in his jockey shorts. And I will go to my grave believing that President Bush intentionally deceived the American people about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Which brings me full circle here — Boehner and Hoekstra, with their video, have lifted a few tricks from the Bush playbook.
The thing about the video is this. You can slow it down, transcribe it and watch it 50 times and you won’t hear or see anything, in and of itself, that you can point to and say “untruth.”
Just like George W. Bush’s 2003 address to Congress (and the nation) when he intentionally played with the emotions of the American people by citing questionable British intelligence about the Iraqis seeking to buy fissile material in Africa, Boehner and Hoekstra, through the video, have also figured out how to bypass the brain and go right to those deep, dark, innermost core areas where fear lies waiting.
Boehner and Hoekstra should be ashamed of themselves for participating in this video stunt. I am sure there are GOP staffers who are already out and about celebrating this hip, new, cool video project that really sticks it to Obama. Fine. Drink up, kids. But you ought to celebrate something else while you’re at it. You have irreversibly cheapened Boehner and Hoekstra, who both should have known better.
But more to the point, the video not only undermines Boehner’s and Hoekstra’s reputations as serious legislators, it also intentionally undermines the efforts of the only commander in chief this nation has — all in full view of the very enemies Boehner and Hoekstra want us to believe they are so concerned about.