(Pardon the excerpt but it's a long (and thoughtful!) piece...)
In an Feb. 14 Wall Street Journal article, Michael Medved asserts, by way of title, “Obama Isn’t Trying to ‘Weaken America.’” A film critic and generally conservative cultural commentator, Medved only approaches the primary thrust of his argument in his final paragraph when he writes:
Americans may not see a given president as their advocate, but they’re hardly disposed to view him as their enemy — and a furtive, determined enemy at that. For 2012, Republicans face a daunting challenge in running against the president. That challenge becomes impossible if they’re also perceived as running against the presidency.
As a 2012 political strategy, Medved’s final point is, as far as it goes, reasonable. However, the rest of his essay often argues against his thesis, which seems to be that Mr. Obama is not consciously trying to harm America and is a conventional American president and politician with conventional political goals and aspirations. If one assumes, for the sake of argument, that this is true — if Mr. Obama is, with the best intentions and with good will, pursuing policies that are manifestly harmful to America and Americans — the end result is the same. The matter of his motivations will doubtless be a ripe controversy for future historians, but will matter little to contemporary Americans, who will suffer regardless.
Medved begins his essay with a quote from John Adams: “I pray heaven to bestow the best of blessing on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May not but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof.” Medved mentions some who were not so wise and honest in making the point that the quality of our presidents has always been limited by the fact that we are limited to choosing from the human race. “For all their foibles, every president attempted to rise to the challenges of leadership and never displayed disloyal or treasonous intent. This history makes some of the current charges about Barack Obama especially distasteful — and destructive to the conservative cause.” Perhaps, but only if Mr. Obama is unquestionably a member of that august company.
Read more here: http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/well-meaning-or-not-obama-threatens-america/#comment-910698