Friday, April 15, 2011

No He Can't by Kevin McCullough

Years ago, McCullough, a talk radio host in Chicago, labeled Barack Obama as “one of the most dangerous politicians our generation will see.” Accurately predicting the rise and election of President Obama, McCullough “genuinely began to dread the future.” He realized the high expectation of “Yes, we can!” would soon turn to “No, he can't.” (As a talk show host, McCullough knows how to use inflammatory language. He describes Pres. Obama as a “ruthless charmer” and a “ruthless pragmatist.”)
He shows his allegiance early on. “Palin was a clear-thinking and clear-speaking evangelical.” “Naming Palin as VP was perhaps the only right thing the McCain campaign did.” McCullough “is not interested in championing the “Republican message,' for the GOP has disappointed nearly as greatly on some of the issues – particularly economics – as the current administration.”
“...[O]ne thing is clear,” McCullough says, “regardless of the causes, the United States is now facing one of the greatest crises of her history.” McCullough examines where we were told we would be by now and how we could perhaps get there in spite of the crisis we face.
McCullough says Pres. Obama was dishonest, saying that the country had been economically damaged by the prior administration. (So...the economic crisis that began in the fall of 2008, before Pres. Obama was elected, was not caused by the prior administration? It seems to me McCullough became dishonest at this point.) McCullough says that at the time of the 2008 election, “the bottom 45 percent of earners in the American economy had a 0 percent federal tax burden to pay.” (Wow! Can I have my 1040 back for the year 2008? I must have made a mistake!)
On Pres. Obama's spending, “...the amount of federal money spent during his first six months in office was more than what we'd spent in the entirety of America's history in terms of gross numbers of dollars allocated.” (Was some of that the bailout that was approved by Congress while Bush was still president?)
I think one needs to read McCullough's book critically. For example, McCullough says, “[Obama] appointed more czars (32) in oversight position than the number of weeks he'd been in office (22). Had he maintained that pace, by the end of his term, he'd have appointed roughly a grand total of 256 czars.” (12) Now, first of all, it is very normal, I think, for a president to appoint many positions the first weeks in office and then not appoint very many as his term progresses. So McCullough's statement about 256 czars is really an exaggeration and borders on purposefully inciting angry feelings toward Obama. Secondly, the czar numbers is an issue MediaMatters has dealt with. They note that the Washington Post reported on 9/16/09, “By one count, Bush had 36 czar positions filled by 46 people during his eight years as president.” (http://mediamatters.org/research/200909170003, accessed 4/6/2011) If McCullough's writing about the czars is typical of his style in this book, then one should investigate his every claim. Many of McCullough's critical comments deal with the first months of Obama's administration. It seems to me that much of the economic decline during that period was still the fallout from the fall of 2008. The economy was still responding from eight years of Bush, not fifty days of Obama, as McCullough claims.

Here are a few interesting quotes from McCullough: “...companies never pay taxes. Yes, you read that right.” “Democrats in the House...commanded the gerbil-operated printing press in the White House...” Of Obama's team, “economics is not the only places their lips curl.” “The administration has seemed especially hostile toward the working poor.” “Even with all the problems of the uninsured walking into emergency rooms, America provides health services to everyone within its borders.” “President Obama and his team did not intend to solve the economic crisis as quickly as they possibly could... Instead, his intention was to let us bleed...” “Instead of countering violent terrorists, he has permitted them to commit attacks against U. S. citizens on American soil six times since the inauguration.” “Instead of combating the false claims of the global warming propagandists...” “...[President Obama] cannot simply come out and say what he wishes he could, for if he did, he would be impeached.” “...this president rarely grasps the obvious...” “...Obama is ruthlessly pragmatic about transforming Western culture.”
“If you're the leader of the free world, there may be a few things that take you by surprise from time to time. Big things, like planes flying into buildings of your largest city. … One thing is for sure – these surprises will often tell everyone watching a little bit about who you really are.” (While McCullough anticipates an example critical of Pres. Obama, I thought of Bush's, “Go shopping” comment after 9/11, or his, “Heck of a job, Brownie” when New Orleans was still in great need of timely help from FEMA. Yes, that did tell us about Bush.)
At the end of chapter 16 he makes a distinction between the right and left: those on the right believe in the biblical God and to those on the left “God is someone who might not exist. … may even be able to be squelched altogether...generally speaking, he is unwanted, unneeded...” This is the kind of political division I detest. McCullough would have us believe all people on the right are Bible, God believing people while those on the left are not. That is forcing an alienation between the two parties on a “Christian” basis that ought not to be. There are Bible believing, sovereign God honoring people on the left.
McCullough brings up ACORN (yes, again) and Obama opposing the Arizona immigration laws. (Interestingly enough, the day I read this, another U. S court said what Arizona did was illegal...) McCullough says, “When the president allowed his Justice Department to take on Governor Jan Brewer and the voters of the state of Arizona, he believed he was assisting his administration in winning over minority Hispanic voters for the cause of the Democratic Party in the elections of 2010.” This is exactly what irritates me about McCullough. He assumes he knows Pres. Obama's motives. He does not consider that the action was taken because it was the law (as recent judges have confirmed).
What about this: “In his mind President Obama considers himself a citizen of the world first, and a citizen of America second. … Because of this, voters cannot be confident that President Obama - … - is viewing the potential viable solutions from a viewpoint of what benefits America first."
I say, finally! Finally we have a president who thinks what is best for the whole world is more important than what is best only for America! Help me out here, do we really want America to run the world and not care how our actions affect other nations and peoples? (How arrogant and ungodly!) Yes, our President is to be loyal to the U. S. but with an attitude of screw every other nation? I hope not!
He reminds us more than once that during Pres. Obama's term, so far, “no fewer than seven terror attacks have been unleashed against us on our own turf.” Help me out here, didn't more people die from terrorist attacks during Bush's presidency than Obama's? How soon we forget!
McCullough refers to “highly rated fellow Fox broadcaster, Glenn Beck...” Sorry, McCullough, Beck's ratings have fallen and he's gone from Fox at the end of this year.

Here is an example of the hype a book written by a radio talk show host can contain. The chapter titled, “Obama's Belief That 'America's Exceptionalism' is a Myth” contains the following: “...if [Obama] did not believe America was good enough to lead without apologizing for itself, he likely felt she was rather unexceptional as well.” (Italics added.) Since no other statement in that chapter supports the chapter title I find it not acceptable that the author has taken what he states is likely and made it into a fact in the chapter title. This makes me distrust everything else he has written in this book.
As Christians, we are to speak the truth with grace. McCullough has (some) truth, but no grace!
I suggest this book be read with a very wide open critical eye.

I was provided with an egalley of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers for the purpose of this review.
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