Two things that got the collective political dander up this week. One local, one national.
No doubt you have heard about Rush Limbaugh’s comments on the Obama administration’s response to the Haiti earthquake. But it depends on where you heard about the story first that might frame your opinion of what was actually said. The first time I heard about it, it was on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown show on MSNBC. Now, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Olbermann is going to try to blast Limbaugh into orbit at every possible opportunity. So I followed up by hitting the Google search. Each story I found isolated the “we already donate to Haiti, it’s called the U.S. income tax” line and was headlined as “Rush Says Don’t Donate To Haiti.”
Limbaugh has, of course, denied his ever saying not to donate. I have to admit, I don’t see a message of “don’t donate.” But the “income tax” line was brought on by a caller that questioned why we should go to www.whitehouse.gov and didn’t trust the Obama administration. This is sad. We have become such a divided, partisan nation that we cannot trust our President with anything if he does not hinge to the same political and ideological that we do.
First off, www.whitehouse.gov is not Barack Obama’s website. It is the President’s website. 14 month ago, it was controlled by George W. Bush. Three or seven years from now, it will be controlled by someone else’s administration. If we cannot trust our own President to not turn our donations to an international crisis into a reason to spam us with campaign donations, then we are truly a lost country.
Naturally, Democrats are patting themselves on the back because their President reacted more swiftly on Haiti than Bush did on Hurricane Katrina while Republicans are crying foul. First of all, these are not comparable disasters. What is happening in Haiti has been exaserbated because it took place in a third world country where the infrastructure and government were fractured and in disrepair. What happened in New Orleans was shocking because it was unimaginable that such devastation and uncoordinated federal response could occur here. It’s easier to react to foreign disasters than domestic, because at the end of the day we can go to sleep in the comfort of our own warm homes when the ordeal is happening in someone else’s backyard.
Just like with Katrina (when Democrats were barking and moaning), now it’s the GOP’s turn (led by Rush Limbaugh) with Haiti. Just continuing to prove my point about partisan politics – they are not about what is doing right for country and humanity, they are about what is doing right for party.
Then there is the alleged “booing” of Senator Ben Nelson at an Omaha pizza place last week. Some say it happened. Others say it has been overblown. Seriously, people!?! Booing somebody at a pizza place? Do yourself a favor and enjoy the food and enjoy the company of others and check your politics at the door. You’re at a restaurant, not a football game. I understand that people will never totally agree on anything, but can we at least try to be civil about our public discourse?