The War on Legitimate Dissent

April 25, 2011, WH Egg Roll. Clearly this president has always been at war with Easter. (Reuters)

I wasn’t even going to dignify this Fox News/Drudge-generated distraction, but then I read the following snippet from Salon’s Alex Pareene — White House war on Easter: Party, but no proclamation?

From the link:

Sure, the White House had its annual “egg roll” on the lawn, with tens of thousands of children and a giant rabbit and general Easterness, but without a White House proclamation how could anyone have known yesterday was Easter? As Fox Nation commenter “jfitz” writes: “He gives his flock a happy Ramadanadingdong, but shows little regard for Easter. Why give his slight a second thought. After all, he is not of our culture.”

Then there’s this, via CNN:

“Well I’ve been told very recently, Anderson, that the birth certificate is missing,” Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday. “I’ve been told that it’s not there or it doesn’t exist. And if that’s the case it’s a big problem.”

And this, via Politico:

“I heard he was a terrible student, terrible,” Trump told the Associated Press in an interview, a claim he’s made in the past but one he doubled down on by suggesting he’s probing that area of the president’s life.

“How does a bad student go to Columbia and then to Harvard? I’m thinking about it, I’m certainly looking into it. Let him show his records,” he said, without providing backup for his claim.

Trump added, “I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and they can’t get into Harvard.”

“We don’t know a thing about this guy,” Trump said. “There are a lot of questions that are unanswered about our president.”

The lengths these idiots will go to “discredit” Obama on such xenophobic, puerile, and irrelevant grounds is apparently endless. The assorted nitwits that make up the “secret Muslim”/birther contingent are not discrediting Obama.

They are fueling his re-election campaign and helping to bring disgruntled Dem voters back into the Dem column for 2012.

I cannot in good conscience vote for Obama after he’s normalized GOP/Bush policies and made them par for the course, but I can certainly understand why people feel tempted to vote for him out of spite or sympathy after watching these phony baloney attacks on his citizenship, religion, and culture.

On the other hand… inane though his birther rhetoric is, Trump hits on a kernel of truth when he says we don’t really know much about this president. Obama was never properly vetted in any meaningful or substantive way. Americans were sold change. No more Bush Clinton Bush Clinton. Obama was the antidote to the inevitability of a Clinton third term.

What Americans got instead of a return to the dreadful peace and prosperity of the nineties was the third Bush-Cheney term.

Given that Trump has a history of donating to Democrats (as the Center for Responsive Politics report at the link illustrates), the only conspiracy theory here that seems remotely worth considering is whether or not David Axelrod and Donald Trump are ultimately working for the same team.

The symbiotic relationship between the birthers and the corporate media keeps the irrelevant questions about Obama’s background front and center while legitimate scrutiny of the president goes largely unanswered and unaddressed. This works to the oligarchy’s advantage. Instead of asking the critical questions–for instance, why is President Obama, the much ballyhooed “expert” in constitutional law, presuming Bradley Manning to have “broken the law” before proven guilty–the WH press Corps gives us this:

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60 Comments on “The War on Legitimate Dissent”

  1. Apparently CNN did another investigation to “refute” birthers… wish they were this relentless in refuting the claim that Al Gore said he invented the internet….

    • dakinikat says:

      I saw that. What a waste of resources. They need to get off the birther distraction.

      • dakinikat says:

        Oh, and my only hope in all of this is that they get all of this crap out of the way so that by the time people are focused on the election, the real issues can be discussed. Unfortunately, it may be too late to get a Dem to primary him by then

      • A waste indeed. I doubt there’s much of a chance of a serious Dem primary challenge of O as it is, but the continuation of the “Obama vs. birthers” narrative is another dynamic that will keep Dems from primarying him, since a lot of Dems still conflate primarying him with letting the birthers/rightwing/racists win.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    I like this conspiracy theory. It makes sense that Axelrod would pull something like this to distract from all the really horrible stuff Obama is doing.

    • Thanks for commenting, BB. I wasn’t even suggesting that Axelrod orchestrated anything. It’s just that the bottom line effect of keeping the birther headlines in circulation is that the real questions about Obama and his governance never really get asked. So IF there’s anything to wonder at all, it’s not where Obama was born but how much is he loving this spectacle.

      • dakinikat says:

        the Donald is now going after how Obama got into two Ivy League schools with bad grades ..

        wow is he three years late to that party

      • Yes, I linked to Trump’s “questions” about Obama’s academics in the post… it’s the third blurb at the top. I was almost tempted to go off on a tangent about how Trump isn’t exactly the best messenger for wondering how Obama got where he did.

        • dakinikat says:

          yes, I was just parroting it back … it’s like how late is this fool to the party? Like he couldn’t bring this up three years ago?

      • Lol. Didn’t Trump switch from Hillary to McCain though after O didn’t put Hillary on the ticket?

  3. dakinikat says:

    This drives me nuts. Back when the media could’ve done due diligence on Obama and the other blaring example–the Iraq invasion–they’ve been asleep at the helm. Now all we get is nutsy nutsy conspiracy theories because on one did their background research then.

    The press is just awful these days! They are worthless! They fall for the honey traps and ignore the investigations that would actually yield something.

    • paper doll says:

      They fall for the honey traps

      Indeed. Their pay checks depend on it!

      • I kind of envision it figuratively as the corporate media’s masters filling up the newsroom watercoolers regularly with koolaid and today’s infotainment journalists getting paid according to how much they’ll drink.

    • Minkoff Minx says:

      Did you all see this from Jon Stewart on Monday’s show:

      Jon Stewart Ridicules Donald Trump | Early Poll Result | Video | Mediaite

      The video is freaking hilarious. Watch it!

      Jon Stewart returned from a week off to catch up on the continued media hype surrounding Donald Trump’s unlikely publicity tour in which he has shamelessly flirted with a presidential run. And while all the skeptics in the world can claim that his White House campaigning has been about promoting his own brand (or reality TV show), early poll results indicate that likely GOP voters see Trump as a front runner. About those early poll results though…Mr. Stewart seems to think that we may be getting ahead of ourselves.

  4. paper doll says:

    Like the bunny photo. Obama finally found someone who will let him eat his waffles. lol!

    • Heh, remember when he wouldn’t eat the chocolate at that factory in PA… maybe the bunny lets O eat his waffles so O will spare all the chocolate bunnies by not eating them 😉

  5. fiscalliberal says:

    Gee – I would be interested in comparing Obama academic grades to George Bush II academic grades. Any thougts?

    • dakinikat says:

      We have a Rhodes Scholar governor down here in Lousyana and believe me, his brains are the last thing he uses anyway … he knows what he’s doing is wrong but he does it any way

    • I’m just going by his performance as a pol, so I get the impression O was probably an above average student, more a showhorse than a workhorse/intellectual though, and he has thin skin for a pol and doesn’t want to go through the hassle of being compared to other pols’ grades or performance. I always think of how he just got Alice Palmer off the ballot and didn’t want to compete with anyone. He’s not stupid, but he likes shortcuts. In 2008, this was all fair game–he should have been held to the same standard as any other president or potential president, instead of being presumed to be a genius, especially since we mostly heard him speechify via prompter and he had very little record in the US Senate for us to gauge him as a pol at the national level. But, now he’s got a record of governance to judge him by. The country’s seen it unfold in real time. So his grades seem kinda moot now, but that’s just me.

      • Seriously says:

        I think it’s funny that people want to create a conspiracy around O’s grades. You don’t get into Columbia and Harvard without good grades. However, there’s no correlation between grades and–well, anything, really. I’m dumb as a post, but I can pull down grades. Trump’s wealthy friends’ “sons” should be able to get in with pulses as legacies. So W got an A in a class, that doesn’t qualify him to serve as President. The whole thing seems kind of silly. O’s default position is secrecy, and that’s probably all there is to it. Ted Kennedy cheated, the Kennedy Library proudly puts JFK’s Harvard “D” on display–who cares? 😉

      • I agree, I don’t think Obama’s grades are really going to tell us much. Though with the way Obama’s supporters go after Bush’s and Palin’s academic record or with the way the GOP went on and on making attacks on Sotomayor’s intellectual rigor based on nothing, I guess the lack of consistency in how these rules are applied and who gets judged by what standard is the part I see as relevant in terms of fair game. I mean, you’ll still hear people bringing up Hillary failing the DC bar like it proves something definitively about Hillary’s intelligence. Candidate Obama didn’t get that kind of treatment from either the MSM or the progressives. But discussing his grades now that he’s President Obama really doesn’t seem to serve much purpose either. It’s really not going to help us hold him accountable for his current performance/grades as president.

      • dakinikat says:

        didn’t Obama graduate magna cum laude from Harvard? I know Harvard is the stand out school for grade inflation and easy grades, but still that implies he had high grades at Harvard

      • He did graduate magna cum laude from Harvard Law. I think all of this is code for saying he was an affirmative action admit but the legacy admission is the more plausible explanation IMHO, if anything. Regardless, I’m not really convinced he had horrible grades in high school (or at Columbia for that matter). It’s all playing on a stereotype of “the blacks” as Trump calls them.

      • Seriously says:

        Yeah, that’s a good point. O’s supporters cleve to their grades like a security blanket–well, except for the ones who cleve to the idea that grades are just for Hillary-style grinds and still resent their female teachers for being too pedestrian to appreciate their hidden genius. 😉 Twist, twist, little pretzels…

        And yep, it’s all affirmative action dogwhistling. He could release straight A’s and they’d say the profs went easy on him for “undefined” reasons. Instead of getting in as a legacy and getting by on schmoozing and personality like all the other dopey politicians.

      • Also, Seriously: you are so not dumb as a post. You’re one of the smartest commenters I’ve ever seen on the blogs anywhere.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Obama has admitted he used Affirmative Action to get into colleges. Why shouldn’t he? I’m sure he wasn’t really a “terrible student” in HS anyway. Trump is a complete moron.

      • bostonboomer says:


        You are brilliant! Please don’t ever call yourself “dumb” again–even in jest. You are one of the smartest, most knowledgeable people I’ve come across in my blogging life.

      • O saying he used affirmative action kinda reminds me of saying “you say I’m a bitch like it’s a bad thing.” Reclaiming a term that’s been made negative. You’re right that there’s nothing wrong with O using affirmative action as he said, but I guess what I hear Trump et al dogwhistling is different–they’re dogwhistling the negative connotation, that he (and Michelle too) don’t have the grades to be where they are, they got by on affirmative action alone, other people who had the grades couldn’t even get in, etc. Trump is a blowhard and a buffoon…but I don’t think he even believes half of what he’s saying about O right now, he’s just playing to a crowd that does.

      • paper doll says:

        I concur. Seriously always brings to the table brains AND the funny = wit

      • Seriously says:

        Aww, you guys, I love you guys. 🙂 I agree that it’s reclaiming to some extent, Wonk, but then on the flip side O et al were constantly reenforcing the meme that Hillary was just someone’s wife and got where she did through Bill so as usual, nudge nudge wink wink–and no girls in the clubhouse to refute it (not anyone anyone’d listen to, anyway). yeah, Trump is stoking the perception that wonderful hardworking students are getting systematically screwed for like -Z minus students who could never get in on merit and once in, just get passed with A’s because they could never possibly compete on an equal playing field. It’s really heartwarming that so many politicians have a low enough opinion of the American people to not only believe that a majority or significant minority actually believes this nonsense, but is strongly motivated by this alleged belief. As usual, from the Repubs to the Dems, everyone constructs Mythical Lowest Common Denominator Voter, then panders to him and his ignorance and prejudices.

      • Hillary on Bill’s coattails… yeah… they did throw everything at her that was offlimits to say about him. If Hillary had a past of doing drugs, I could easily picture Obama surrogates attacking her for being a privileged middle class girl who did drugs while maintaining it was racist to question Obama’s past use.

      • Seriously says:

        Yeah, they did it because they knew they could get away with it. With the entire establishment backing him, every bit of stupid made up fauxrage got traction, but on the other side, it was like the adults in the Charlie Brown cartoon were talking. She wasn’t allowed to complain about anything, however legitimate, without dealing with combination of fury and boredom, culminating in more fauxrage. She complains and she’s the whiny girl looking for special treatment–and how well they knew that, and exploited it.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Trump seems to have the dog whistles turned up to 11

        Is that slightly higher than a 10?

        This made me laugh.

        And I agree with all the others up top”’ Seriously, you got brains.

        • dakinikat says:

          You must be too young to remember this in Spinal Tap:

          • Minkoff Minx says:

            Are you kidding? It is one of my favorites…I was trying to be funny because when Christopher Guest is explaining that volume level 11 he says something about “there’s 10 and then there is 11, it is just above the level 10” or something to that affect.

      • And THEN when she conceded and finally talked more candidly about gender in her concession/DNC speeches, the Andrea Mitchell, Dana Milbank, et al set criticized Hill for not campaigning that way and making the case for herself as a woman candidate during the actual primaries.

      • Seriously says:

        Thanks, Minx. 🙂 Oh, god, that was infuriating! That one speech she gave where she alluded to gender and they came down on her like a ton of bricks!!! Grr. They’re so full of it. Actually, a bit earlier I overheard a couple people talking about this, the guy said of course we’ll have a woman President some day (oh, of course!), and the girl says um, did you notice how a woman with massive name recognition became the first ever to win a state and nothing was made of it? Like, nothing?

        I so wanted to butt in and say, well, that’s not actually true. Dennis Kucinich was ready to launch a Federal investigation into how such a thing could’ve happened. 😉

      • I so wanted to butt in and say, well, that’s not actually true. Dennis Kucinich was ready to launch a Federal investigation into how such a thing could’ve happened. 😉


      • paper doll says:

        Dennis Kucinich was ready to launch a Federal investigation into how such a thing could’ve happened.

        That’s not just his usaual caving to the Man…that’s running to do his bidding…that bastard!! I won’t be forgiving him trying to get Hill into ANOTHER Federal investigation…. grrrr

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Donald Trump’s unqualified son-in-law who got into Harvard

    • Trump isn’t a good messenger at all for questioning how Obama got where he did.

      The other thing that bugs about his questioning how Obama got where he did is that Ferraro got called a racist for much less. The media, while incredulous of what Trump is saying, isn’t treating him like the pariah that they treated Ferraro at the time. Trump gets a media pass because he’s Trump.

      • HT says:

        Silly wabbit, Trump has acceptable plumbing – aka a penis. Ferraro had the dreaded vayjayjay, so it was more acceptable to attack her on specious grounds because that’s what men and their compliant females do to marginalize strong women.

      • It’s the plumbing plus the faux “real estate magnate and one of the most successful men on Earth” persona. When Trump was supporting Hillary in ’08, he said Obama was inexperienced and “the last thing we need is a lazy president” to Wolf Blitzer. If Bill had said that, the MSM would have gone nuts.

  7. paperdoll over at my Let Them Listen crosspost of this piece wrote:

    It gets complicated pretty quick when one tires to figure out what’s going on. Given his Dem back ground , I was wondering if Trump was attacking Obama FOR the Democrats! lol! Obama’s murdering the brand. As you say, something ain’t right….the bc stuff is silly, but it’s simple and the over all feeling something is amiss finds political expression though it…because , as you also note, none of the “news” out lets will be investigating Obama for real . Firstly, they don’t know how to do so anymore, they are PR firms. But mostly because due to the fact Obama is too intertwined and a creature of the power structure like the media itself. Even though they decry the bc stuff, much of the Left is thrilled they have some reason to rally and defend their awful choice of 08. They love the bc story as much as Fox etc. I don’t see them investigating Obama for real either.

    But something is definitely not right this utter zero is where he is…..except that’s the answer:
    He’s an utter zero. In terms of seeing anything though by his own efforts, forget it . If Obama meets any resistance, even the idea of one, he just folds up …as we see in his “negotiating” skills .
    ( i. e. get back to me with your decision) You have to go to math theory to find the type of minus this guy is

    Goddess help us!

    I thought I’d bring this over and reply here too because there’s something a bit rotten about all this, isn’t there? That’s why I tried to write out what I could make of it. Trump’s angle in this seems to be to crazymake, and I just can’t help but wonder given Trump’s political pendulum. He’s donated to Dems, was a johnny come lately critic of Bush but a pretty vocal one. He backed Hillary then McCain. He was never an Obama person. So, I don’t think he’s necessarily intending to help Obama. But, given his track record and the birther tack that he’s taken, he doesn’t really seem to be helping the GOP make an effective case against Obama either. Maybe he really is just pandering with wingnut red meat to stay newsworthy during the GOP primaries cycle. Who knows. It all seems really strange for someone worried about Obama being president because all the birther red meat seems to accomplish is making sure nobody primaries Obama and the GOP is a general election loser, helping Obama herd his voters back to him come November 2012.

    • paper doll says:

      Wonk, you flatter me bringing this over! It all may be as simple as Trump’s ego. lol! He’s not keeping people from primarying Obama however. Nobody was ever going to primary Obama for 2012…they are all about 2016 now.

      The best way to figure out what’s going is to see the angel the press gives something.
      Whatever the event or its cause, the press makes everything sausage to serve its Master

      • Nobody was ever going to primary Obama for 2012…they are all about 2016 now.

        That’s what I meant! Like I said above to Kat–I didn’t think the chance of primarying O was there anyway, but this just helps make it that much more impossible. Remember, O and the Dems took Hillary’s four delegates just to rub it in that they could and that resistance was futile.

      • Seriously says:

        I think it will turn out to be just that Trump’s a self-aggrandising jackass–but I’d like to see someone else pull this type of stunt as an ironic comment on the media and then write a book about it. Trump’s uniquely unqualified, though. *sigh*

        • dakinikat says:

          Considering he only got into the real estate business with daddy’s name and daddy’s money … he should really talk about the ultimate affirmative action not made to correct any injustices or barriers. That would be nepotism. He’d be a used car or insurance salesman if it wasn’t for daddy Trump. Oh, and just to add on top of that, how many times has Trump gone bankrupt? He’s failed on so many deals he shouldn’t talk about bad anything.

      • Trump’s too much of an ego…

        This would never happen, because Obama is too much of an ego too, but it would be funny if when Obama writes his next book he would just call it “S-U-C-K-E-R-S” and write about how he loved watching the birthers help him get re-elected.

      • Seriously says:

        Lol That should be his Inaugural Address–Hey, where are my dumbasses at? Thanks, suckers, for getting that tingle up the leg that allowed me to dismantle everything you claim to believe in. Now, with your help, I’m going to give Trump everything he ever wanted and continue to kick you morons in the teeth! God bless America! Thank you Donald!

      • Seriously says:

        What was it Molly Ivins said about Trump? “He was born on third base thinking he’d hit a triple”? Even his media persona–he’s not actually good at anything, but he gets to hang around Medialand forever based on a combination of inertia/nostalgia and famously bad hair.

        • dakinikat says:

          exactly … every day the press should ask him … don’t you think inheriting all that money and your father’s name helped? And, why did you still manage to lose it all? He oozes white male privilege.

  8. paper doll says:

    I see Pat Buchanan featured in a crooks and liars headline.About time he showed up.

    I consider Trump and Newt spawns of Pat Buchanan. Long time media types forever running for 1600 PA Ave as a means to enhance their real careers in the media and nothing more…DT sees it working and is working it. He’s actully running on the Donald party ticket

    • Definitely, Trump, Pat B, etc. are in the tank for themselves and their own brand. (I’d include Bill O’Reilly in that category too.)

      • paper doll says:

        Oh Bill O’Reilly for sure. Running on a slogan of, ” a loofah in every tub” …. really, one can’t count them all ! lol!