Wash. Times' Pruden: Obama is still a scary foreigner

Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL

Wesley Pruden seems unable to write about President Obama without being condescending about Obama's origins and imparting more than a little dog-whistle racial politics designed to push the notion that Obama is a scary foreigner.

In June 2009, the Washington Times editor emeritus asserted that Obama is "our first president without an instinctive appreciation of the culture, history, tradition, common law and literature whence America sprang." In November, Pruden stated that Obama "was sired by a Kenyan father, born to a mother attracted to men of the Third World and reared by grandparents in Hawaii, a paradise far from the American mainstream."

Pruden keeps up the condescension in his July 15 Washington Times column. He begins by weirdly asserting that even "the Muslims, who had expected Mr. Obama to lead wholesale conversions to Islam, with conversion of St. Patrick's and National cathedrals to mosques soon to follow," have cooled on Obama. Pruden then moved on to a comparison between Obama and Ronald Reagan, which quickly devolved into Pruden's patented scary-foreigner fearmongering:

Mr. Reagan, a son of the heartland, celebrating America as a nation forged in the melting pot, understood America in a way that Barack Obama, who boasts that he is descended from "generations of Muslims" and seems puzzled that this evokes no applause at home, never could. Mr. Obama has never been more eloquent, or sounded more like his heart was in his message, than in Cairo where he apologized for America's "sins" against the Muslims. Ronald Reagan never sounded more like his heart was in the message than in Europe singing a familiar hymn to America's virtues and its sacrifices on behalf of others. Mr. Obama was raised in the third world and through no particular fault of his own never absorbed the words and music of "morning in America."

Actually, by the time Reagan was using the "morning in America" imagery for his 1984 re-election campaign, Obama had been living in the United States for several years and had graduated from Columbia University. And of course, not only did Obama not "apologize for America's 'sins' against the Muslims" in his Cairo speech -- Pruden invented the quote, as the word "sins" appears nowhere in the speech.

And it also wouldn't be Pruden if he didn't invoke a little Old South nostalgia, noting that "[b]old consistency has not been a Republican trait since Abraham Lincoln visited war on the land, reluctantly freeing the slaves as a convenient afterthought."

Person
Wesley Pruden, Washington Times
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