In a special comment on the Shirley Sherrod story, Countdown host Keith Olbermann dished out his usual wrath against Fox News and Andrew Breitbart, and he told President Obama that he must stand up against these racist attacks, “You, sir, must stand up against this attack on you and this nation.”
Here is the video from MSNBC:
Olbermann slammed those in the Obama administration who blew it, To paraphrase James Lot, Mr. Mecina, Mr. Emmanuel, everyone is remodeling this president to something generic and safe and electable in 2012 on the slimmest of margins to be media and circus free and better suited to this atmosphere as possible. Let Obama be Obama? and that advice must be heeded by one man above all others can you give us some — specifically some things he said that would help us Mr. Gibbs was asked at this afternoon’s press briefing. Again, Mr. Gibbs replied. He talked about the fact that — that a disservice had been done here, and the injustice had happened. He was quoting you, Mr. President. Fire it up? A disservice has been done. Fire it up, an injustice had happened.”
The Countdown host spoke of the reality on the ground floor of our political dialogue, “Mr. President, it is beyond admirable in your position and at this time of fearful division in this country that you view yourself as president of everyone not as the predecessor did only as the president just of those who voted for you. you must at long last come to terms of the fact that you spent the first 18 months and one day of your presidency bending over backwards for the other people, they have spent the same time insisting that they are not actually president, or you are a communist or you’re bent on restoring whatever started this week on Fox knew and the Breitbart.
He urged Obama to fight back against these attacks, “If only the arrogance of the irony that this crusade to prove you a foreign influence is led by an Australian named Murdoch and the sons who pretend to be British and the second largest shareholder, prince al Awid of Saudi Arabia. You, sir, must stand up against this attack on you and this nation.”
Olbermann laid out the simple game plan of the Right, “The game plan is transparent, strand together all of the forces of anti-black racism in this country. Direct them at you, and all for which you and this nation stand and convince the great unwashed and unthinking out there that not only are they not racist, but you — you, Barack Obama, and Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod, you are the real racists. Opposing you, they are not accepting the worst vestige of our past; they’re standing up against it. As you stay silent and neutral and everybody is president, they are gradually convincing racists that they are the civil rights leaders and you are police chief Bull Connor, and then some idiot at Fox News barks and your people throw an honorable public servant under the nearest bus for the sake of decisive action and the correct way to respond in this atmosphere.”
He continued, “Mr. President, please stop trying to act every minute like some noble neutral figure sharing equal and dispassionate minds and contemplated scholars. It’s a freaking war out here, and the imagined consensus you seek is years in the future if ever it’s to be rediscovered in this country. This false consensus has gotten us only the crucifixion of Van Jones and a racist gold-chilling buffoon speaking on the memorial of the 42nd anniversary of Dr. King’s speech, and now it’s gotten us Shirley Sherrod, and your answer is to note a disservice and injustice. Get a copy of the Michael Douglas movie “The American President,” when you get to the line where he says, I was so busy keeping my job I forgot to do my job, hit the rewind button 20 times, fire it up. fire it up? anybody? anybody?”
Olbermann’s discussion of the media, Fox News, and their current role was spot on, but he has said those things before. What is most thought provoking is how he said much of what may of Obama’s supporters have been thinking all day. Why does Obama keep bending over backwards for the Right when all they do is stick the knife in deeper. His administration made a poor and panicked decision. They did not even bother to verify Breitbart and Fox News’ claims.
The idea that Obama doesn’t see the reality of what is happening on the ground is gaining more credibility after the Sherrod incident. The problem isn’t that Breitbart and Fox News trumped up charges against Ms. Sherrod. That is what they do. No, the problem is that this administration was seemingly so fearful of the charges that they immediately caved to the slightest bit of pressure. I have supported Obama and even defended Obama, but what happened to Shirley Sherrod is an embarrassment that falls on the shoulders of Obama.
Perhaps, the president needs to stop seeking a racial utopia, and start battling against the reality of his opposition. The milquetoast strategy will get Obama reelected in 2012, but right now, the nation needs his leadership as the Fox News and the Right is attempting to open up the old and never full healed racial tensions that are always hover below the surface of our nation.