President Obama’s list of 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom winners came out yesterday, and rightbloggers have had some time to snarl over it. There is plenty there to exercise them. The list includes Harvey Milk (a homosexual!), Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow (an injun!), Rev. Joseph Lowery (a civil-rights pioneer-slash-race hustler!), Desmond Tutu (ditto!), etc. So we are grateful to those who spiced things up by focusing on the real outrage: the inclusion of former President of Ireland Mary Robinson.
In her capacity as U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Robinson presided over the 2001 Durban Conference on Racism. She said then that no resolution equating Zionism with racism, as had previously been proposed, would be accepted. But one of the conference’s forums published inflammatory remarks about Zionism, which Robinson denounced.
Not good enough for Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard! “Freedom Medal for the Disgrace of Durban,” he cries, and notes Robinson’s sympathetic comments about the Palestinians. Her thus exposed anti-Semitism, he concludes, reflects on Obama. “It was, after all, our current president who once declared that ‘No one is suffering more than the Palestinian people’… I guess the opinion of the Columbia faculty club is all that really matters.” (There are no Jews at Columbia?)
Even as President of Ireland Robinson did not cease to murder Jews: Commentary says she “provided millions of dollars of support to the PLO, which were used in terror attacks.” One wonders how the woman escaped Gitmo, let alone became a Medal of Freedom winner. Obama’s signal is clear. Prepare for the New Holocaust!
Of course, these being rightbloggers, their most serious wrath is reserved for honoree Ted Kennedy. “Mary Jo Kopechne still dead,” says Daily Danet. “Vomit Alert… Murderer and All Around Disgusting Slob,” says Weasel Zippers. “Do you not remember a drowned girl in Chappaquidick Massachusets (sic my wife is typing this for me)….do you not remember Marilyn Monroe?” free-styles Andy Stephen. “Barack, I think with your last RUSH TO JUDGEMENT you should check yourself into Walter Reed Hospital for pre-alzheimers check.”
“Only could this moron-in-chief consider giving the Medal of Freedom to people who are drunken murders,” says The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance. This cowboy is also angered by the honoring of Harvey Milk, which he considers a Medal “for fellatio, cunnilingus, and sodomy,” which he thinks is a bad thing for some reason. He also finds Sandra Day O’Connor’s medal “surprising since she is a Republican and heterosexual.”
Some, like Debbie Schlussel, just dismiss the lot as a “Who’s Who of Lefties Who Took Away Freedom” — including the late Republican congressman Jack Kemp, whom Schlussel calls “liberals’ favorite pseudo-conservative.” (NewsBusters was mad that NBC and ABC failed to announce Kemp’s award, which must prove they’re in on the Big Conspiracy.) Schlussel also declares that “Milk’s gay activism has led to enormous government controls on the freedom of employers and institutions to hire and promote as they wish,” is mad that honoree Billie Jean King is a lesbian, and calls Muhammad Yunus “a Muslim he can get away with supporting” whose micro-loans fund terrorism, which is news to us. Even breast cancer fighter Nancy Brinker, a seemingly unobjectionable choice, gets the thumbs-down: “Her efforts and lobbying have led to the lion’s share of government cancer research money going to breast cancer at the expense of other cancers that harm far more Americans, like pancreatic cancer…” She admits that four of the honorees are “token deserving recipients.”
This is not to speak of the folks at Free Republic (“Milk already got the ‘medal’ he deserved. From Dan White!”). We usually eschew offerings from that site as bottom-feeding, but it seems the mainstream is catching up to them.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 31, 2009