On her show on Tuesday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow dedicated a segment to laughing at right-wing pundits and provocateurs for their most recent attack on President Barack Obama. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the websites Breitbart.com and the Daily Caller accused Obama of omitting the words “under God” from his reading of the Gettysburg Address for a project by filmmaker Ken Burns.
Conservatives have a long tradition of attacking Pres. Obama for things that actually have no basis whatsoever in reality, Maddow explained.
For example, there was the flap when the First Family took its first vacation to the president’s home state of Hawaii. Conservatives wasted no time calling the president lazy and saying that he cared more about golf than the economy.
“Conservatives all over the country were outraged!” Maddow said, “that Pres. Obama had the nerve, the gall to go on vacation.”
The fact was, however, that by the same point in his presidency, George W. Bush had taken many, many more days of vacation than Obama, nearly four times as many.
“You know what else Pres. Obama does?” Maddow asked. “He puts his feet up on the desk at work.”
She was referring to a right-wing furor over a photo from the Oval Office that showed Obama with his foot on the edge of his desk. Never mind that Google could quickly turn up images of Presidents George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan both putting their feet on their desks in the Oval, this was an outrage!
“This is called Obama Derangement Syndrome,” Maddow said. “It’s when common sense and logic and the ability to simply Google something vanishes. It surrenders before the superior force of just incoherent blinding disdain for this particular president.”
The latest hubbub centers around Obama’s reading of Pres. Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address for a project by filmmaker Ken Burns. Conservatives “lost their collective mind,” Maddow said, because Obama allegedly omitted the words “under God” from the address.
Obama was actually heeding Burns’ instructions, which were to read an early draft of the Address, the so-called Nicolay Draft, which does not include the words in question, which were added before Lincoln gave the speech on November 19, 1863.
“The right just had its hair on fire about this today,” Maddow said. “‘How dare President Obama omit God from the Gettysburg Address? To remove its reference to God?!’”
“Yeah, he did not do that,” Maddow said.
Besides, no one really knows exactly which draft of the speech Lincoln gave. Maddow noted that nobody was actually able to tape it, of course, so at any given time, there are about five different versions out there, all of which Burns tried to include in his project.
It was Burns who specifically asked Obama to read the Nicolay Draft, but, obviously, the facts have rarely stood in the way of a good right-wing meltdown.
The media watchdog group Media Matters has been printing the embarrassed corrections that conservative websites published in the wake of the allegations, but, Maddow said, not all of them are bothering to issue them.
Watch the video, embedded below via MSNBC: