Cheap Seats 2016
The Customers Always Write - 12/21
By Rich, Dorothy and Larry Trzupek
Rich here: though I don’t choose to engage in debates with readers, my sibs have no such inhibitions. This opens the door to a terrific scam: if I play this right and my sibs can stir up and respond to enough liberal angst, I may be able to get away with writing The Cheap Seats without actually writing it.
Those who complained about brother Gene’s views that he expressed last week claimed that the entire basis of his criticism was flawed. According to those critics and much of the left, President Obama had not said anything that could be perceived as undermining order and discipline in the armed forces.
Gene quoted the President as saying the following: “each of us has…the universal right to speak your minds and to protest against authority; to live in a society that’s open and free; that we can criticize our President without retribution.” Some of you claimed that, in citing Breitbart.com, big bro was fabricating that quote.
My sister Dorothy took issue with that claim: “Is whitehouse.gov a good enough source?” she asked. “Seventh paragraph from the bottom documents the exact same words. One may not like Gene’s editorial comments about what was said here, but he for sure damn well said it.” http://go.wh.gov/6krtLn
So really, the debate here is not about what the President said – for there is no doubt about what he actually said – it’s rather about the significance of a sitting President of the United States saying such things.
Gene’s point, if I have to explain it, is that the President of the United States is not just another elected official. The President is Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States. In that role, the President is morally and legally obligated to adhere to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and to ensure that everyone serving under him or her does the same. That means that everyone in the armed forces has a legal obligation to cheerfully and willingly obey the lawful orders of anyone appointed above them, including a President that any particular member of the military may not particularly agree with.
Brother Lar took that analysis to a deeper level. (Note to readers: you really don’t want to engage in a urination contest with brother Lar. Nobody, but nobody, possesses more debating skills than my next eldest bro). Here is Lar’s take on Obama’s controversial words:
“The offended readers in question are correct in that BO does not explicitly mention Trump per se in the speech at all.
Obama encourages criticism of the POTUS in the context of our responsibility to sustain our hard-fought freedoms (that’s in the sentence directly preceding the contested quote, if one is looking for context, which is apparently one of things with which some readers are having difficulty).
So then the question becomes who is Obama referring to in terms of that quote? If it’s any president previous to himself, the statement is largely pointless, as such criticism will have no effect on any policy, and is thus largely irrelevant to the point Obama is making about our responsibility to sustain our freedoms by taking on those in power (since previous presidents no longer possess such power).
If Obama’s referring to himself, then Gene should be congratulated for following his President’s advice.
If Obama’s referring to future presidents, there’s only one we can identify with any specificity.
Given the fact that Obama doesn’t have a track record of encouraging criticism of himself, it doesn’t take much analysis to figure out where he intends the critiques he recommends to land - but ultimately making that conclusion is one that depends on the good judgment of the readers of The Examiner. Whether a hysterical screed of a reply is an indication of good judgment is another call those readers can make.”