Printed letters, August 27, 2013

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Ron Sherman’s letter in today’s Sentinel – “Marcus failed to justify Obama’s abuse of power” – aptly illustrates the depth of ill-informed ignorance that pervades local right-wing anti-Obama “believers”.

Thus, first, in her Sunday column – “New court documents show NSA lied even to those overseeing the agency” – Ruth Marcus “failed to justify” President Obama’s purported “abuses of power” for the simple reason that there were none.

Rather, the “NSA lies” cited by Marcus and noted by FISA court Judge Bates occurred under the “royal” auspices of George Bush – not under “King Obama”, as Sherman implies.  By contrast, “President Obama has proposed additional oversight mechanisms”.

Second, Sherman seems as clueless as Louisiana Repugnicans – 28% of whom reportedly believe that President Obama was responsible for the inept federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 (when Obama was the new junior Senator from Illinois), while only 27% know that “Shrub” was actually President then.

Third, General Clapper’s admitted dissembling in response to Senator Wyden’s public questioning was arguably justified by his oath to protect the secrecy of what were then – and still are – classified (albeit no longer “secret”) NSA surveillance programs.

Perhaps Sherman can be forgiven for his noxious anti-Obama prejudice because – as Bob Dylan presciently wrote in 1963 – “He’s only a pawn in their game”.

Thus, the real culprits are irresponsible Repugnican and “Tea Party” politicos and rabid right-wing media demagogues who propagate evidence-free mythologies questioning President Obama’s legitimacy – frequently fueled by thinly veiled appeals to racism.

The Daily Sentinel also shares some responsibility – for failing to adequately fact-check and critically chronicle the false right-wing propaganda being propounded on its pages.

Remarkably, Sherman also seems entirely unaware that President Obama is being forced to exercise unilateral executive powers by what 90% of Americans recognize as the most dysfunctional (“works best”?) Congress in our history.

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