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On Foreign Soil

June 7th, 2009

During the Bush administration, Republicans launched scathing attacks against Democrats for having the temerity and gall of criticizing Bush while he was on foreign soil.

March 25, 2002:

President Bush yesterday accused the Democratic Party of “petty politics” for using its radio address to attack him on foreign soil, saying the president was “pandering” to Hispanic voters by touring Latin America. … White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was even more critical of the Democrats, who used their weekly radio address to attack the president’s four-day trade trip to Mexico, Peru and El Salvador. … “This would mark the second time that the opposition party has attacked the president on a trip abroad,” he said. “That’s not a part of the tradition that has been afforded to presidents when they leave the country before.”

He added: “When the president left for his trip to Europe in June of 2001, he was also attacked by a member of the Democratic Party.”

November 18, 2005:

Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) declared: “Murtha and Democratic leaders have adopted a policy of cut and run. They would prefer that the United States surrender to the terrorists who would harm innocent Americans. To add insult to injury, this is done while the president is on foreign soil.”

The criticisms? When Bush was in Europe in 2001, Tom Daschle said Bush was engendering an isolationist policy. Ooooo, nasty. Daschle later apologized, by the way. While Bush was in Central America, the speaker emeritus of the California State Assembly (what a high-level Democrat!) said Bush was pandering to Hispanic voters. Later, Hastert complained about Murtha when Murtha did not even directly criticize Bush, but simply called for the return of American soldiers.

But the point is, Republicans are very sensitive about matters like this, protocol and respect for the office of the President of the United States of America, and if the tables were turned, say if Obama was in the Middle East and Europe making important speeches and trying to smooth relations with other countries, you can be absolutely certainly that Republicans would never, ever do anything even remotel

House Minority Leader John Boehner blasted Obama’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian question. …

Boehner’s Republican colleague, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, added that “there was a sense in here of a moral equivalency between those who are driving for a Palestinian state and the state of Israel.” …

Marc Thiessen, a former Bush administration speechwriter, noted that Obama … “is naïve and dangerous.” … Thiessen was sharply critical of Obama….

Republican strategist and CNN contributor Ed Rollins said Obama may have further soured relations with Israel.

…former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — an often-talked-about 2012 GOP presidential candidate … said that Obama needs to stop using foreign soil to apologize for U.S. relations, in what he calls a “tour of apology.” … Obama’s plans to trim the missile defense budget [are] a “grave miscalculation” that puts the nation at risk….

That’s just from one article.

Republican Senator Jim Inhofe called the president “un-American” and said, “I just don’t know whose side he’s on.”

Sarah Palin attacked Obama on domestic issues, saying he wants to “control the people” with the stimulus bill.

Newt Gingrich criticized Obama several times, on issues both foreign and domestic.

The list goes on, but the point is clear: Republicans are utter, flaming hypocrites. When Democrats, any Democrats, even local Democrats, even timidly criticized Bush while he was abroad, or even said things that seemed to criticize Bush, Republicans lashed out in outrage at such affronts, and accused Democrats of violating protocol.

But when Obama goes overseas, Republicans seem to criticize Obama even more than usual, which is saying a lot. Almost every major Republican keeps up the constant blast of attacks, even to the point of calling the president “un-American”.

And do not expect any apologies to be forthcoming.

Yes, yes, I know–we should not be surprised that Republicans are incredible, bald-faced hypocrites, they are always doing stuff like that, I shouldn’t be surprised. But nevertheless, it should always be pointed out and never excused, marginalized, or let go.

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    June 10th, 2009 at 00:03 | #1

    American politics were never for the faint-hearted, but the gross disqualifications of Obama one reads not from lesser doctrinaires -but from top of the shelf Republican politicians, such as Gringrich, are shocking. What are they thinking! Can you actually get elected in the U.S. today with such an approach? Well, … I wonder!: after all, Bush was reelected. As Tolstoi put it, “maybe they know something that I do not know”.

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