Fischer: Well Governor, what got lost in all the shuffle was the legitimate point that you were making which is that we may have a president who has some fundamentally anti-American ideas that may be rooted in a childhood where he had a father who was virulently anti-colonial, hated the British - might have something to do with the President returning the bust of Winston Churchill back to England. You know, I was struck by the fact that when he made his tour to Indonesia, he made a point of going to an Indonesian memorial that celebrated the victory of Indonesians over British troops - again, part of that anti-colonial thing. And so I'd like you to comment on that; you seem to think that there is some validity to the fact that there may be some fundamental anti-Americanism in this president.Link
Huckabee: Well, that's exactly the point that I make in the book and I don't know why these reporters - maybe they can't read, I guess that's part of it because it's clearly spelled out and I'm quoting a British newspaper who really were expressing the outrage of the Brits over that bust being returned and the point was that they felt like that due to Obama's father and grandfather it could be that his version and view of the Mau Mau Revolution was very different than most of the people who perhaps would grow up in the United States. And I have said many times, publicly, that I do think he has a different worldview and I think it is, in part, molded out of a very different experience. Most of us grew up going to Boy Scout meetings and, you know, our communities were filled with Rotary Clubs, not madrassas.
But why let facts get in the way of good political rhetoric? The opposition somehow feels forced to paint Obama as an "other". He's not like you and I you know.....he's different.
Let's debunk, shall we?
1. There is absolutely no evidence that Obama attended a Madrassa while he was in Indonesia.
But reporting by CNN in Jakarta, Indonesia and Washington, D.C., shows the allegations that Obama attended a madrassa to be false. CNN dispatched Senior International Correspondent John Vause to Jakarta to investigate.
He visited the Basuki school, which Obama attended from 1969 to 1971.
"This is a public school. We don't focus on religion," Hardi Priyono, deputy headmaster of the Basuki school, told Vause. "In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don't give preferential treatment."
Vause reported he saw boys and girls dressed in neat school uniforms playing outside the school, while teachers were dressed in Western-style clothes.
"I came here to Barack Obama's elementary school in Jakarta looking for what some are calling an Islamic madrassa ... like the ones that teach hate and violence in Pakistan and Afghanistan," Vause said on the "Situation Room" Monday. "I've been to those madrassas in Pakistan ... this school is nothing like that."
Vause also interviewed one of Obama's Basuki classmates, Bandug Winadijanto, who claims that not a lot has changed at the school since the two men were pupils. Insight reported that Obama's political opponents believed the school promoted Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam, "and are seeking to prove it."
"It's not (an) Islamic school. It's general," Winadijanto said. "There is a lot of Christians, Buddhists, also Confucian. ... So that's a mixed school."CNN
2. Is there a definition of anti-American? I think not, but as a corollary, what could be more American [given our history and principles] than to be anti-colonialist?
3. The Churchill Bust. Forget Beck, Huckabee and the other assorted script readers.
A British Embassy spokesman said: "The bust of Sir Winston Churchill by Sir Jacob Epstein was uniquely lent to a foreign head of state, President George W Bush, from the Government Art Collection in the wake of 9/11 as a signal of the strong transatlantic relationship.Telegraph
"It was lent for the first term of office of President Bush. When the President was elected for his second and final term, the loan was extended until January 2009.
"The new President has decided not to continue this loan and the bust has now been returned. It is on display at the Ambassador's Residence."
You may note that these script writers uniformly fail to report on anything that may possibly make Obama out to be anything other than American.
California decorator Michael Smith worked with Obama on updating the look of the Oval Office.CBS
In came four pieces of pottery by contemporary Native American artists, all on loan from the National Museum of the American Indian. Also new to the Obama bookshelves are three mechanical devices on loan from the National Museum of American History's patent collection: models for Samuel Morse's 1849 telegraph register, John Peer's 1874 gear-cutting machine and Henry Williams' 1877 feathering paddlewheel for steamboats.
White House curator William Allman said the patent models fit Obama's personality - his "interest in American history, his interest in technology and his interest in the creative spirit."
The pottery and gadgets arrived in the Oval Office months after a collection of decorative plates from the Bush years made a quick departure - plates just weren't his style, Obama said.
A big bowl of fresh apples on the coffee table, something of an Obama family tradition, has proved hugely popular with visitors, although the president still keeps M&Ms handy for kids.
As for artwork, the Texas landscapes that dominated the walls in the Bush years were gone with Obama's inauguration. Swapped back in were traditional Oval Office paintings including Childe Hassam's "The Avenue in the Rain," an impressionist view of New York's flag-bedecked Fifth Avenue, and Norman Rockwell's colorful "Statue of Liberty."
I don't count myself as a supporter of Obama beyond his role as the Commander in Chief, but just remember to take into account the intentions of those pundits and bloviators when they casually drop the "anti-American" reference or "misspeak" about his "childhood in Kenya" or that he's "soft on the war on terror".
Conduct research, stay informed......it's the American thing to do.