They say you are known by the company you keep and boy, what a rollercoaster ride the past few months have been for President Obama and friends. It started during the campaign with revelations of ties to the likes of convicted felon Tony Rezko, Pentagon bomber Bill Ayers and of course, bombastic preacher Jeremiah Wright. Yet, by the sheer force of his charismatic personality -- capable of causing chills to run up the legs of a media with schoolgirl crushes on him -- in-depth reporting of these associations mostly failed to reach the ears of the general public.
But now that he's the president, his friends should have received the scrutiny they deserve, right? And some of his buddies have been in hot water recently, most notably his "green jobs" commie-czar Van Jones, as well as his pals over at ACORN. But, given that the media don't feel obligated to investigate these folks whose enormous power is equaled only by their shady pasts, it's no wonder that their troubles have so easily been exposed by the loyal opposition.
Also unsurprising is that the president's desire to be loved by those who reviled and more importantly feared his predecessor has come to fruition. But it wasn't without great effort. His bowing, scraping and apologizing to world leaders for America's supposed crimes finally culminated in his exchange of a warm handshake with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.
You may remember Chavez' quaint remarks at the UN in 2006 when he said of President Bush: "The devil came here yesterday. It still smells of sulphur today." Sniffing around at the same venue just weeks ago he said of the Obama aura, "It doesn't smell of sulfur. It's gone. No, it smells of something else. It smells of hope."
And the romance between despots and the leader of the free world doesn't consist only of olfactory oratory. During his recent, rambling rant at the UN, Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi expressed hope that Obama, whom he called "our son," would "stay forever as the president of the United States."
Such adulation was never heaped upon George W. Bush, who graciously lifted sanctions against Libya after her crackpot leader came begging with his tail between his legs, promising to abandon his WMD program scant days after Saddam Hussein was pulled out of his rat-hole. Yet in his September UN speech, Qaddafi called for Bush to stand trial for war crimes in Iraq. How fleeting is the gratitude of madmen!
Most of mainstream pundithood thinks that the preposterous award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama was a slap in the face to our 43rd president; that it somehow repudiates George Bush's approach to foreign relations in the post-9/11 world. Yet in actuality, nearly all Americans save those on the left see it for what is: an empty gesture that speaks only to the wish that Obama continue with his naive intention to put down the big stick W wielded to keep our nation safe for seven years.
George W. Bush was certainly never loved by the rest of the world. Like President John Adams, we can bet that "panegyrical romances will never be written, nor flattering orations spoken, to transmit [him] to posterity in brilliant colors." Of course just such worshipful paeans have already been composed about Barack Obama by New Jersey schoolteachers. Yet President Bush had the one thing his successor surely lacks; the one thing that made bloodthirsty killers around the world respect him: a resolute belief in the goodness of our country and the steely determination to defend it at all costs.
No, President Bush never got a Nobel Prize and he never even got close to hosting the Olympics. He was never lauded by Hollywood; that most depraved of all cultures, or by academia or any other entity whose praise is coveted by those on the left. But in spite of a vicious and all-encompassing media blitz against him he was rewarded in the 2004 elections by the American people; those who knew and hopefully still know exactly who our enemies and their friends really are.
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