The Politics of Obloquy

If I were to have a “word of the day” calendar on my desk, I think I would make every day “obloquy day.” It’s just such a cool looking word. Sadly, it also describes, to a tee, how the President of the United States behaves. In his acceptance speech at the DNC in the summer of 2008, then Senator Barack Obama famously said, “If you don’t have any fresh ideas, then you use stale tactics to scare voters. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from.” President Obama has plenty of fresh ideas, but they’ve led to disaster, a horrible record, and a dismal 41% approval rating. His only hope is to paint his opponents as someone people should run from. Instead of leading the country, he just practices the politics of obloquy. Here’s what the dictionary has to say about obloquy.

Sounds an awful lot like the very unfortunate way Obama governs. Bad ideas? Unpopular? Just call the other guy names, smile while the liberal media repeats it over and over, and hope that it sticks. Sadly for our country, it often does and all honest debate is shutdown, along with the government. Merriam Webster uses obloquy in the following example:

<Unable to mount a rational defense of his position, he unleashed a torrent of obloquy on his opponent>

Again, you feel like they wrote this example specifically for the President – a torrent obloquy. I was also intrigued by the following chart that shows the usage pattern for “obloquy” over the past 200 years.

I guess folks were unleashing a lot of nasty shit on each other 200 years ago, but apparently we cut back our verbal abuse around the turn of the 20th century and “obloquy” had fallen almost into obsolescence….until about 2008, when its usage ticked up for the first time in 200 years. Gee, what happened in 2008 that might have caused the revival of a word that hadn’t been used in 200 years?

And, recall that the president who revived obloquy from its vocabularic grave is the same one who promised he would “turn the page on the old politics of division and anger.” He said he would end politics that “breeds division and conflict and cynicism.” He said he would help us to “rediscover our bonds to each other and get out of this petty bickering that’s come to characterize our politics.” This all from the Man from Obloquy, who won’t even sit down and negotiate with Republicans.

During the recent government shutdown, President Obama and his minions have alternately referred to the loyal opposition as jihadists, terrorists, extortionists, grave threats to American democracy, etc. White House aide, Dan Pfeiffer, recently referred to Republicans as “people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” It doesn’t get any uglier than that in politics, particularly given the actual pain and suffering caused by suicide bombers in the recent past. Obloquy.

I recently posted an article on my Facebook page that characterized President Obama’s politics of obloquy as “governing by temper tantrum.” One of my well-intentioned, but liberal-leaning cousins countered with a comment that it was really the Republicans who are throwing the tantrum because the healthcare debate has already been settled and it’s time for them to just accept that reality and move on. All obloquy aside, this final point warrants some attention. Does President Obama have an obligation to negotiate on healthcare or is Cousin Brian right that the debate was “settled” when the law was passed and the Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality on the grounds that the individual mandate is a tax (even though Obama said over and over it was not)? This is a trick question.  Debates are never “settled” in a democracy. By this logic, the “slavery debate” was settled in the early 19th Century. Fortunately, Republicans didn’t let Democrats “settle” that debate either. We kept fighting them on it until we won and slavery was abolished.

A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll put the approval rating for Obamacare at 31%. THIRTY-ONE PERCENT. Fewer than one in three people in this nation support this horrible legislation. A CNN poll (and recall that CNN is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat party) pegs the disapproval rating of Obamacare at 57%. Settled? This debate is settled? Are you serious? The elites in the Democrat party may think it’s settled, but the American people don’t see it that way.

Obamacare was passed using an obscure procedural vote without a single Republican voting yay, the first time in American history that a major piece of legislation passed on a strict party line vote. The closest the American voting public got to voting on Obamacare were the 2010 mid-term elections. Nearly every Republican and Tea Party candidate made the election a referendum on Obamacare and many Democrats denounced it or remained silent on it in order to retain their seats. President Obama didn’t visit a single swing district during that election. Democrats got slaughtered and the Tea Party rose to prominence. Put differently, many members of congress were sent to Washington with the explicit directive from their electorate to get rid of Obamacare. That is how democracy works, folks. To paraphrase Bluto in Animal House, “it ain’t over til the voters say it’s over.”

So, no degree of whining or obloquy from liberals can change the reality that the American voting public is against Obamacare. Many may not support the current tactics in Congress and I’m not convinced that they are politically astute either. However, this debate is far from settled. Liberals need to own the reality that they jammed a piece of very unpopular legislation down the public’s throat and they will be living with the repercussions of that until it is gone or stripped of many of its more damaging provisions.  I’m sure we’ll get a lot more obloquy along the way, but we’re used to it.

About Bruce Robertson

Bruce Robertson is an amateur writer and professional provocateur
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1 Response to The Politics of Obloquy

  1. Andy says:

    As a history geek/nerd, I always thought the election between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams was the nastiest. These people have surpassed. Of course the lickspittle leftie media can’t stop squealing like teenage girls at an Elvis concert at the mere sight of Pharaoh Obama long enough to do their jobs and vet out this thug.

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