September 7th, 2009
06:47 PM ET

Hicks: 'The right should know better'

Joe Hicks

Vice President, Community Advocates, Inc.

There are some interesting things going on these days around presidential politics. Oddly, while critics endlessly attacked Senator John McCain for his choice of Sarah Palin as his running mate and accused his staff of conducting an inadequate vetting process, there has been a nearly deafening silence from those same critics regarding another vetting process, this time on the part of the Obama administration.

Van Jones, President Obama’s self-professed “Green Czar” has been forced to resign after it became known that he had what some call an “interesting past.” He was linked to radical leftist organizations, arrested during political protests, called Republicans derogatory names, and joined with the bizarre “truther” movement when he signed a petition implicating the government in a 9/11 conspiracy. How’d a guy like this slip under the radar screen?

Still on the payroll is another odd selection. Mark Lloyd, the FCC’s newly-named Chief of Diversity (yes there’s such a position), has made statements that appear to favor the quieting of popular conservative radio talk show hosts.

What’s the larger meaning of this? Is it just a matter of bad choices? Are there sympathetic politics at the White House? Or is this just a poor vetting process on display? That President Obama’s basic political instincts veer to the left should not be a shocking premise – he was after all a Chicago community organizer, a guy who hung out with the reverend Jeremiah Wright for more than 20 years.

However, none of this excuses the paranoia that has seemingly found a home at the fringes of America’s political right. It can be seen in the so-called “birthers” movement, as well as among those who maintain that Obama is really a closet Muslim of some sort.

This was evident recently in the near-hysteria that was unleashed by the announcement that Obama was poised to address the nation’s schoolkids – something hardly new, this was done by two previous Republican presidents, including Ronald Reagan.

But, we’ve seen this phenomenon before. This craziness was previously identified as a “Bush Derangement syndrome, with the likes of Michael Moore and the Code Pink-types castigating President Bush as a dangerous figure for eight long years. Now, elements of the political right are engaging in similar behavior – let’s just call it the Obama derangement syndrome.

The right should know better. Conservatives rightly attacked the left’s silly anti-Bush paranoia, and its members are aware of the destructive and polarizing nature of the politics of personal destruction.

Speaking as an independent conservative, there are plenty of policy issues with which to disagree regarding this president. Obama’s tendency will be to lean to the left, which will inevitably cause principled opposition from Republicans and conservatives. But they will need to maintain their focus on policy decisions and issues that may have long-term implications for the nation. Paranoia, or derangement fantasies have no place in mature politics.

Editor's Note: Joe R. Hicks is a PJTV commentator and vice president of Community Advocates, Inc.

Filed under: Republicans
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Lisa

    I agree with Sally. Bush actually left the US in a mess, whereas these people are just pushing conspiracy theories, accusing the president of secretly being Muslim (the horror!) or trying to indoctrinate people's kids into communism by addressing them with a back to school speech.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  2. Sally

    If the so-called "Bush Bashers" were simply paranoid, then why was the country essentially broken by the time Bush left office?

    September 7, 2009 at 8:56 pm |
  3. Rebecca Rak Streetsboro, OH

    THANK YOU! Now, I'm a independent liberal, and I feel the exact same way. We are all supposed to be mature adults who take part in this great thing called democracy. This kind of paranoia and unfounded cynicism has no place in the workings of our government. People shouldn't blindly stereotype, generalize, and generally not look deeper into things, especially when it concerns the leader of our government.

    I'm so happy you wrote this article, and interested in what the responses will be. 🙂

    September 7, 2009 at 8:27 pm |