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Never on the Offensive

So last night, as per usual, I’m playing XBOX Live. Modern Warfare 2 to be exact. After making a surprisingly adept 9 kill streak I let loose a B-2 strike on the enemy…with no success. Completely wasted effort which was frustrating because I almost never get 9 in a row without dying. My remark at the time was “well there goes 1 billion of the tax payers’ money.” A slight jab at the cost of the actual B-2 Spirit, the most expensive warplane ever built.

One of my teammate’s replies was, “if you think that’s bad Obama’s deficit is now the highest in US history.”

Confession time: even though I’m a left leaning centrist social libertarian I never hated Bush. I was pro-Afghan war, pro-Iraq war, never once thought that either election was stolen (for gods’ sake Al Gore couldn’t even carry his home state), and continue to doubt that Bush will be considered the worst president in American history (I’m going with Fillmore).

The reason I’m making this shocking confession is because I haven’t had the opportunity to really go on the offensive against the head of the executive branch. I was way too young to know what was going on under Reagan/Bush, only marginally interested in politics with the first Clinton term, didn’t seem to understand why the second term was preoccupied with whether or not he cheated on his wife, so I had no particular interest in who won the 2000 election. For a 21 year old college student it just seemed like direct impact on my life was going to be nil, although I did vote for the leading 3rd party candidate.

Whenever I hear some of my right wing friends make a comment about Obama, I get this weird twinge of defensiveness mixed with jealousy. I voted for the current president, I stand by that vote even though certain things have been a disappointment. That’s where the defensiveness comes from, but the jealousy…I just wish I could suspend reason enough to levy polemics against a president for nothing more than party loyalty.

Case in point: an extended family member who blamed Obama for the BP oil spill, and then told me upon my disagreement with her that I “just didn’t understand.” Which still burns me, since clearly I do understand that oil rig explosions aren’t the president’s fault unless he orders them blown up (still waiting for that conspiracy theory) and secondly I wonder what exactly a “better” president would have done in this person’s mind. It also spawned a new rhetorical question that I know ask people, “what exactly would Reagan have done differently?”

All of this rage just reminds me of the lefties (the actual lefties, not me) and their rage against Bush for anything that happened from 2002-2007. Unwittingly they sought to crucify him for New Orleans after Katrina, not realizing that he only took control after the flood whereas previous to the flood it was up to both the mayor of New Orleans while the larger responsibility rests on the governor of Louisiana. Or those that thought Bush caused the Pacific Tsunami, which were the source of some laughably creative conspiracy theories.

I’m not bragging when I say that I need actual clear cut logical reasons for hating an elected official. I wish I could have the emotional involvement that the left did, and that the right currently does, but I’ll have to wait until Rand Paul gets elected to something before I can share in the fun…or maybe it’s better this way because for the most part the only fun looks like shouting.

In the example that led into this post, I was making a joke that was supposed to be completely politics neutral, aimed instead at the futility of me calling in an airstrike that missed everything. Yet, being so opposed to the president meant that my friend had to make it political. I guess the downside is that jokes can no longer be jokes. Which I should have learned from someone else a long time ago when I made a list of how Ohioans should cope with being a blue state and it was a lefty that got all flustered then.

Maybe I’ll just stay satisfied being on the defensive. 

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