There’s a bizarre conversation going on between a number conservative writers over the right hysterical tone to take against Barack Obama’s insidious agenda, kicked off by this from Human Events’ First Things’ David Goldman:
I’ve been screaming about this for more than two years: Obama is the loyal son of a left-wing anthropologist mother who sought to expiate her white guilt by going to bed with Muslim Third World men. He is a Third World anthropologist studying us, learning our culture and our customs the better to neutralize what he considers to be a malignant American influence in world affairs.
Commentary’s John Podhoretz called this “disgusting”:
In the first place, Obama is not responsible for his mother or her political views, any more than Ronald Reagan should have been be held accountable for the fact that his father was a drunk. In the second place, Goldman’s speculation about her sexual history is appalling in about a hundred different ways. […]
The opposition to Barack Obama needs to keep its wits. His domestic-policy proposals and foreign-policy ideas constitute a profound challenge to the good working order of the United States and the world. Spewing repellent nonsense about Obama’s mother and spinning bizarre notions about his innate foreignness — when he is in fact the possessor of one of the great and enduring American stories, and is in his own person a demonstration of precisely the kind of American exceptionalism that Obama so pointedly pooh-poohs — can be used to discredit his opposition.
Then Michael Ledeen intervened to defend Goldman, who Ledeen assures us “has offered plenty of evidence to explain why he believes” these things, and claims that Podhoretz “would have done better if had taken a bit of time to study the facts of Obama’s life”:
It’s surely important to pay attention to biography, as John no doubt agrees in calmer moments. I don’t understand his complaint about “speculation about…sexual history.” It’s not speculative to say that she married a Kenyan and then an Indonesian, and produced children from both. […]
The character of our president is an important matter. I think both John and David have tried to illuminate it, but I wish John had taken more time with his latest tirade, gotten the facts right, and focused his considerable talent on the serious matters that rightly concern us.
Commentary’s Peter Wehner weighs in to agree with Podhoretz. Yes, the same Peter Wehner who recently stated that President Obama “simply doesn’t hold this nation in very high esteem.”
Human Events’ First Things’ Joseph Bottum steps in to squash the beef, agreeing with Podhoretz that all of their thinking “stem[s] from the same root — a conviction that the West is under ideological assault and needs defending from its Islamofascist enemies.”
So, for those of you keeping score at home: The “crazy” side of this debate (Goldman, Ledeen) believes that President Obama’s mother’s choice of male companions is hugely relevant to understanding his plans for surrendering to the Islamofascists. The “sane” side (Podhoretz, Wehner) thinks that President Obama’s mother’s choice of male companions is irrelevant to the fact that President Obama doesn’t like America very much.
When this is the state of the debate among “serious, mainstream” conservatives, is it really any wonder that the sign below is a regular feature at tea parties?