One of the sites I occasionally post in has an 'Off Topic' forum where someone posted a message that said:
Congrats to Barack Obama for being voted the 44th President! This is quite a historic occasion.
To which I replied:
yep. sure is. just like October 25, 1917.
I will admit that my reply was a bit snarky, but I also thought it quite clever, if not downright prescient. Anyway the moderator of the forum removed the thread to avoid potential nasty responses and unpleasantness.* I don't necessarily blame the moderator since that's their job (a volunteer one), but having the thread removed did make me think about why I chose snarkiness.
First, I don't want to congratulate Obama ... why should I? If I work real hard to educate myself, start at the bottom of the career ladder, gain valuable experience working my way up and finally, after demonstrating significant competence and ability and dedication to my organization, I get promoted to an executive position, I might expect some, and be entitled to, congratulations.
If, on the other hand, I'm given every break in obtaining an Ivy League education, use political means and a network of connections to advance, use questionable tactics to take out those competing with me for promotion at every level and finally, after recognizing and taking advantage of an organizational weakness, I am chosen as CEO despite my inexperience, should I be congratulated?
If you want to congratulate Obama for being a shrewd politician and knowing how to work the system, that's fine. As long as you know what it says about you for admiring those characteristics. Getting elected President of the United States was a remarkable achievement, but that doesn't mean he earned it, or our congratulations.
One might say he was entitled to win, but then someone would point out that entitlement implies government programs and is therefore a racist comment, which brings me to the next issue.
I find it incredibly disturbing that there is so little tolerance of any criticism of Obama. It's been apparent since the beginning. If you expose the tactics, you're racist. If you question the ideology, you're racist. If you run critical ads, you're threatened. If you report unflattering facts, you're shouted down. If you ask difficult questions, you're banished or investigated. If you don't agree with him, you're marginalized.
Given this track record, I doubt that President Obama will be the same "good sport" that President Bush has been when being ridiculed by Stewart, Colbert, Letterman and Maher. Oh wait. Nevermind. He won't have to be. I'm sure they've already gotten the memo ... "please don't squeeze the Shaman!"
* update: the thread has been re-instated and has been met with a rather large yawn so far ... an update to the update ... the thread actual spawned a long and reasonably well mannered discussion of many political issues, the most recent of which is the discussion of the automaker bailouts. See, it is possible to have polite political discussions ... but, apparently now not only can you not criticize Obama, you can't even ask them to tap the brakes on the praise!