armchair cultural observation since 1995

Elsewhere: President hating of a different kind

When I was a teenager and still bought a bulk of my music from Christian bookstores, I believed pretty much what I was told to believe.

So I had little reason to doubt a video my dad picked up from a local Christian bookstore that more or less implicated President Clinton in all kinds of slimeball behavior: infidelity, corruption, drug trafficking and murder to name a few of the things I fuzzily recall from that VHS tape viewing a decade and a half ago. After watching the video, I do remember being convinced that Bill Clinton was the worst thing that could have ever happened to a nation under God. I may have even written a review of the video for an old issue of Tangzine – I’ll have to see if I can dig it up in the shoebox archives in a closet at my parents’ house.

Somehow, some way, the nation survived under the leadership of Bill Clinton and when his vice president conceded a contested election to George W. Bush a whole different style of hate-mongering erupted. I haven’t heard of Christian bookstores selling any anti-Bush propaganda, but there have been plenty of mean-spirited venom about things the president has said and done in documentaries and on bumper stickers and T-shirts. Insults of the president’s intelligence and the way the war in Iraq has been handled are impossible to ignore.

Hatred of Barack Obama, back when he was still just a guy running for president, has been well documented, but how the haterade drinkers will spew their venom on him once he becomes the president remains to be seen.

Michael Shaffer notes in a New Republic article that the socialist, Muslim, friend of terrorists, love-child of Malcolm X-style routine used against Obama during the campaign may not translate so well when he speaks at a podium with a real presidential seal.

He flashes back to the Clinton years for context because, well, Clinton isn’t so much remembered as the drug abusing, America-hating, murderer he was painted out to be on a video sold in Christian bookstores when he was running for president now is he?

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