The Rightwing’s Obsession with Obama and Terror

Did we forget what the story is here?

Somewhere aliens are watching us from outer space and scratching their headlike appendages. Because before all the blood had even dried on the sidewalks, the rightwing dropped the subject of what happened at the 2013 Boston Marathon and got back to the subject they seem to care most about: hating Pres. Obama.

This tweet hints at the problem.

Fort Hood? Wait. What? Wasn’t Fort Hood a case of a wacko with a gun shooting up his fellow service members, like James Holmes shooting up fellow Batman fans, and Adam Lanza shooting up his fellow Newtown youth? What distinguishes Fort Hood from the other mass shootings that have become part of the landscape? Could it be that the gunman in Fort Hood was a Muslim? Now we’re getting somewhere, because any time you have a Muslim person involved, it’s de facto terrorism. Right?

But why are we slamming Obama for not labeling all three of those events as terrorism, straight out of the gate? Here, this tweet should clear it right up.

Got it now? Obama doesn’t want to call things terrorism because he’s a terrorist! These terror folks are his brethren. Wait. What?

Tommy Christopher’s disdain for this line of thought was vivid.

…if you find out that there are God-knows-how-many people dead and injured in a bombing attack that people are being raced away from in wheelchairs, and the first thing you think of is taunting the President beccause [sic] you don’t like him, you are a grade-A asshole, and deserve no mollification. You deserve to wake up in an anxious sweat wondering “WHY?!? Why wouldn’t he call it ‘terrorism?’ Aren’t all the best marathoners from…KENYA?”

I admit that, like Obama, I was guilty of waiting until we knew more before calling what happened in Boston terror. I was careful in my post while the news was breaking to refer to “explosions” and not bombs. At the time I thought it was because rumors were flying and people were speculating about fires in hotel basements but now I realize — OMG! — maybe I’m a…you know…the t-word! I can’t say it!

Or maybe it’s because I just finished reading The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, who explains early in the book that the signal is the truth and the noise is anything that gets in the way of the signal. And you could probably be more confident in your conclusions if you have some kind of clue how you reached them. Here’s what Silver tweated.

Maybe FOX New’s Britt Hume read Silver’s book too, because even he refused to criticize the president’s circumspection in regard to the word, “terror.”

You can attribute that to all kinds of reasons. I think he’s being careful. If this is a terror attack, as it looks so much like it is, we will know soon enough. There is no reason to rush a characterization of that, in my opinion, and I wouldn’t find fault with him not saying that.

A comment left on a Media Matters story called, “The Worst Conservative Reactions To The Boston Bombings,” took it a step further than Hume did, wondering about the priorities of those who think like the first two tweeters.

In all seriousness, I remember 9/11…I never liked George Bush, but the next day, and a few days after that, I didn’t see him as anything but a president responding to a national crisis. I was ready to see his leadership and direction to whatever course it may bring that very first week, and even supported his carpet bombings of Afghanistan, even though I loath war with heavy distain.

Well, it sure didn’t take long for the right wing…to pounce on their favorite target. No not the person, or persons who might have actually done this, but to president Obama himself. Hannity, O’Reilly, and many in the main stream right wing media are pointing their fingers not at a potential terrorists, [sic] but to the sitting president!

It’s hard to think back to the pre-9/11 mindset and imagine there being more focus on whether the president used a particular word in condemning in the harshest terms violence directed at Americans in America. Those little green aliens would probably appreciate someone explaining it because we all look alike to them, and they just don’t get it when we act like this.


  • April 16, 2013 - 12:23 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if it was Michelle Bachmann’s followers responding to her pleas for Americans to be armed and dangerous!

  • April 16, 2013 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

    The Fort Hood incident was not an attack on civilians, but if they want to change the rules, fine. By their new standard, look how many “terror attacks” there were on Bush’s watch, not counting 9/11, the anthrax attacks, the shoe bomber, the Beltway snipers, and six or eight other incidents:

    1. October 2002 – a series of sniper-style shootings occurred in Washington DC, leaving 10 dead.

    2. August 2003 – in Chicago, a laid-off worker shot and killed six of his former workmates.

    3. November 2004 – in Birchwood, Wisconsin, a hunter killed six other hunters and wounded two others after an argument with them.

    4. March 2005 – a man opened fire at a church service in Brookfield, Wisconsin, killing seven people.

    5. October 2006 – a truck driver killed five schoolgirls and seriously wounded six others in a school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania before taking his own life.

    6. April 2007 – student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded 15 others at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, before shooting himself, making it the deadliest mass shooting in the United States after 2000.

    7. August 2007 – Three Delaware State University students were shot and killed in “execution style” by a 28-year-old and two 15-year-old boys. A fourth student was shot and stabbed.

    8. September 2007 – A freshman student at Delaware State University shot and wounded two other students at a campus dining hall.

    9. December 2007 – a 20-year-old man killed nine people and injured five others in a shopping center in Omaha, Nebraska.

    10. December 2007 – a woman and her boyfriend shot dead six members of her family on Christmas Eve in Carnation, Washington.

    11. February 2008 – a shooter who is still at large tied up and shot six women at a suburban clothing store in Chicago, leaving five of them dead and the remaining one injured.

    12. February 2008 – a man opened fire in a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, killing five students and wounding 16 others before laying down his weapon and surrendering.

    13. July 2008 – A former student shot three people in a computer lab at South Mountain Community College, Phoenix, Arizona.

    14. September 2008 – a mentally ill man who was released from jail one month earlier shot eight people in Alger, Washington, leaving six of them dead and the rest two wounded.

    15. October 2008 – Several men in a car drove up to a dormitory at the University of Central Arkansas and opened fire, killing two students and injuring a third person.

    16. December 2008 – a man dressed in a Santa Claus suit opened fire at a family Christmas party in Covina, California, then set fire on the house and killed himself. Police later found nine people dead in the debris of the house.

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