Saturday, January 07, 2017


Kathleen Parker's latest column is titled "If Obama Is a Muslim, Is Trump a Russian Spy?" She starts with that glib premise -- hey, if conservatives could call Barack Obama a Kenyan-born Muslim all those years, shouldn't liberals return the favor and make the equally absurd charge that Donald Trump a spy for the Russkies? -- but as the column progresses, she expresses increasing alarm at the fact that Trump really does seem to be acting in Russia's best interest rather than America's:
Obviously, Trump wants to preserve the narrative that he won fair and square. And, clearly, claims of Russian interference would muss his ego. But is that it? Ego and narrative?

Consider further: Trump would rather make common cause with our fiercest geopolitical adversary (hat tip Mitt Romney) than take the word of our best people. Moreover, he has said he won’t receive daily security briefings and reportedly plans to reduce our security agencies.

Pray tell, whose side is this man on? When was the last time you had to ask that question about a president-elect?

... when the president-elect persists in a state of denial, siding with the enemy against his own country’s best interests, one is forced to consider that Trump himself poses a threat to national security.

In Russia, they’d just call it treason.
But I'm focusing on the fact that Parker sets this up by heaping scorn on birtherism and the rumors about Obama's religious identity -- something I don't think she would have done when Obama first became a national figure:
First, a history refresher: For the past nine years, a smattering of Americans, most recently led by our now president-elect, have insisted that Barack Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya.

For years, Donald Trump was unrelenting in his insistence that Obama prove beyond existing proof that he was born in Hawaii and not in the African country of his biological father. That Obama said he is a Christian wasn’t enough to persuade Trump’s followers, who apparently know a Christian when they see one.

Further, there is no logical basis for assuming that a young person briefly raised in a given country -- say, Indonesia -- necessarily would adopt the dominant religion of that country. He might, however, observe that though people worship in different ways, we’re all essentially the same. Never mind the cruel and absurd assumption that being a Muslim means that one is, ipso facto, a “bad person.”

Respecting others despite differences is, generally speaking, the hallmark of an enlightened soul, as well as a desirable disposition in a leader.
That's a sign of real progress for Parker, because during the 2008 presidential campaign she was writing this:
"A full-blooded American."

That's how 24-year-old Josh Fry of West Virginia described his preference for John McCain over Barack Obama. His feelings aren't racist, he explained. He would just be more comfortable with "someone who is a full-blooded American as president."

... Full-bloodedness is an old coin that's gaining currency in the new American realm. Meaning: Politics may no longer be so much about race and gender as about heritage, core values, and made-in-America. Just as we once and still have a cultural divide in this country, we now have a patriot divide.

Who "gets" America? And who doesn't?

... It's about blood equity, heritage and commitment to hard-won American values. And roots.

Some run deeper than others and therein lies the truth of Josh Fry's political sense.

... so-called "ordinary Americans" ... know ... that their forefathers fought and died for an America that has worked pretty well for more than 200 years. What they sense is that their heritage is being swept under the carpet while multiculturalism becomes the new national narrative. And they fear what else might get lost in the remodeling of America.
Now Parker says that "Respecting others despite differences is ... the hallmark of an enlightened soul, as well as a desirable disposition in a leader." In 2008 she said that important virtues might be lost in a "remodeling of America" caused by "multiculturalism," strongly suggesting that that regrettable "remodeling" would be greatly advanced by an African Muslim's son whose stake in America had insufficient "blood equity." She told us that those who worried about the level of Obama's "blood equity" were in touch with an important "truth."

I still read Parker warily. But I much prefer the 2017 Parker to the 2008 edition.


Never Ben Better said...

Perhaps reality has managed to pierce her comfortable bubble, however tentatively?

main street liberal said...

Parker's 2008 perspective was a common one and early in the general election campaign, McCain ran an ad with the tagline "the American President Americans have been waiting for." The ad was short-lived as McCain chose for his running mate an individual from outside the continental United States who had been sympathetic to Alaska secession from the Union.

McCain, who famously corrected a supporter who suggested Obama is a Muslim, refused to win except on his own terms. Good thing, too, or Sarah Palin might today be a heartbeat from the presidency.

Jimbo said...

I think Parker has been an uncomfortable ironclad Conservative. Over the whole of Obama's administration, she has been slowly "evolving", at least in my reading and was never as idiotic as Will, Krauthammer and other Conservative print pundits (I don't take seriously online conservatives as they tend to be extremists). So, yeah, I guess she's dropped the multiculturalism critique in a country that has been multicultural since it's birth (the multicultural critics always forget that the colonies had Native Americans and African slaves and so, duh, were already multicultural). Glad she is outing Dump as is Jen Rubin (who so loved Mittens and must hate how Dump humiliated him). Basically, Dump will be an endless target of severe criticism as long as he lasts in office, which will be less than a year for sure.

Anonymous said...

There is some question as to exactly what constitutes a "full blooded american."

O'owlish Amenheh
(Ten Bears)

Blackstone said...

Lets see how long it lasts