Speaking in Strasbourg, France, last Friday, President Obama sought to turn the page on the American-Europe relationship. He admitted that in the past, America had “shown arrogance” and had “been dismissive, even derisive” of Europe. He also said that Europe’s rampant anti-Americanism was “insidious.” Neither attitude, he said, was “wise,” nor do they “represent the truth.”
Apparently, maturity and nuance from a U.S. President gets interpreted as anti-American hatred to the radical right. On Friday night, Fox News’ Sean Hannity said Obama’s speech was evidence that “he harbors deep resentment” of America. The right wing continued its hysteria over the weekend and today:
KARL ROVE: There are ways to make the point that he made without running down America.
SEAN HANNITY: I am tired of Obama pandering to what I consider to be the worst instincts of those who hate this country.
NICOLE WALLACE: I think at his core he does not seem to believe in American exceptionalism, the way more Republicans define it.
Watch a compilation:
Not surprisingly, Hannity tied Obama’s comments back to his favorite topic: Rev. Jeremiah Wright. “Where did he get these ideas?” Hannity asked on Fox & Friends this morning. “Could it be that he sat in Rev. Wright’s church for 20 years? Could it be that he hung out with Father Pfleger? Could it be that he was hanging out with his buddy Tony Rezko?”
For months, the far right has sought to peg Obama as some sort of anti-American “Manchurian candidate.” In October, Michael Goldfarb said that “Obama has a long track record of being around…anti-American rhetoric.” Rep. Steve King (R-IA) warned that an Obama presidency would turn America into a “totalitarian dictatorship,” while Tom Delay prided himself on being among the first to declare Obama a Marxist. Dispensing with nuance, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) proclaimed flatly last fall, “Barack Obama’s views are against America.”