A Little Context, Please
January 18, 2010
By Phil Perkins
The latest uproar over a Rush Limbaugh utterance gives us a chance to reflect on the context in which the remarks were both given and received. That Rush has provided his critics yet another opportunity to "Alinsky" him should come as no surprise. Neither should the truth of Rush's claim that the Obama administration is politically motivated, in the face of numerous faux pas in 2009, to make itself look good by supporting the relief effort to earthquake-ravaged Haiti.
There is, and has been for time immemorial, a certain context in which people from all political persuasions analyze events. As a conservative, I tend to think that whatever the media report (other than Fox News) passes through the filter of their liberal worldview and that, as a result, the events themselves are tainted by that brush. For example, when all of the corporate fraud and corruption scandals of the early 2000's erupted, culminating in a company auditor receiving Time magazine's "Person of the Year" award, I could not help but think that the liberal media were downright gleeful in reporting the demise of so many entities that represented the "evil" big business leviathan. And that they positively salivated at elevating to "star" status the lone corporate heroine who single-handedly slew the dragon. This thought overshadowed the thought that the auditor truly deserved the accolades she received for busting the executive team at WorldCom with her stunning findings and her tenacity and courage in not backing down in the face of executive pressure to do so. Unfortunately, her well-deserved recognition does not change the fact that the media used her work to help promote their agenda.
Similarly, Rush's recent claim that Obama is so energetic and upfront about supporting the Haiti effort due largely to political considerations is filtered by the left as sour-grapes divisiveness at a time when the country should be pulling together to help the Haitian people. However, when analyzed within the context of how the president has conducted himself in his year in office, there is certainly at least some validity to the claim. With the possible exception of Bill Clinton, no president has ever been as self-focused, evidenced by his all-to-frequent use of the personal pronouns "I," "me," and "my" in his speeches, as this one. Further, Obama is much more in his element – community organizing- in this relief scenario than he is when confronted with a terrorist incident. His quick response to Haiti versus his dithering, uncertain responses to the terrorist incidents on his watch provide clear evidence of that.
Of course, what really set the liberals' blood boiling was Rush's throw-off line about the American people already supporting Haiti through the taxes we pay. Ill-advised on his part perhaps, but then again, if he was more cautious he might not have such a large following. While the left gave Rush the Alinsky treatment by painting him as callous and cold for saying that, the point was that it is not Obama's generosity but rather that of the American people that will make a difference for the people of Haiti. And that is already proving true in the generous donations to relief agencies even in our troubled economic times.
It will be important for the voters of Massachusetts to consider the context of what they hear as their critical senatorial election draws near. No doubt that the Democrats will pull out all of the stops in their bag of dirty tricks to prevent a Republican victory, and their desperate over-the-top demagoguery, including the president's in support of the hapless Dem candidate, should be seen as just that.
As part of that election and those coming up soon, African-Americans should step back and consider the context of remarks certain Democrat leaders have made over the years that may betray a racism that they have emphatically denied. Part of that involves the projection of their racism onto the rest of us, demonstrated in Reid's arrogant presumption that the American voters would not elect a person of color unless that color was "light" enough and the person spoke without any unique dialect. It is in fact the Democrats, by and large, that practice the "soft bigotry of low expectations" in promoting the social programs that assume minorities cannot make it without beneficent government's help. If the true context of their statements and actions is seen, maybe those dots will finally start to be connected.