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'Personal note' to Obama filled with self-importance

Nov. 16, 2012 @ 06:56 AM

I was astonished six days following the presidential election when I read Bill O’Reilly’s column, “Here’s a Personal Note to President Obama.” It was typical O’Reilly, and Bill isn’t the only conservative columnist searching for material.

Almost certainly, President Obama was fretfully sitting at his Oval Office desk, having handily won a second term, awaiting O’Reilly’s advice on how to conduct himself during a second term.

O’Reilly needled, “You spent a ton of our money, Mr. President, and we didn’t even get a T-shirt.” No, but we got a rejuvenated automobile industry, 30 months of continuous job growth, and infrastructure projects in states where Democratic governors were willing to accept assistance-stimulus money from Washington.

Then, O’Reilly wrote: “Now, I know some of my fellow citizens voted for you believing your economic vision is sound. But let’s be honest: The voter breakdown shows that folks receiving some kind of government largesse supported you big-time, while those avidly competing in the marketplace voted for Gov. Romney.”

Obviously, Bill O’Reilly resents the 47 percent as much as Gov. Romney does. I’m not among the 47 percent, unless you consider my monthly Social Security check, but I resent the insinuation that folks on welfare or disability shouldn’t have the right to vote. Or, conjecturing that O’Reilly doesn’t mean what he writes, exactly what does he mean? Or, is he simply being mean?

His remark, “So I hope you’ll rethink the big spending and begin to make it easier for small-business people to make money,” suggests that O’Reilly doesn’t understand a couple of important things about government spending. First, he doesn’t appear to understand that all government spending bills originate in the House of Representatives — not with the president.

Second, he doesn’t know or doesn’t want to admit that a huge debt was accrued under Presidents Reagan and the two Bushes; further, that a huge portion of it is not new spending, but interest accruing.

O’Reilly cannot resist bringing up the latest conservative “beat it to death” project, Libya. He calls upon President Obama to “be a stand-up guy,” and calls the internal investigation into the Libya affair “a ruse.” He has the audacity to say, particularly after the president has just won a majority of the popular vote over Gov. Romney, “It is important that the folks trust you even if they don’t like you.”

The president’s likeability factor has never been in question. It is high. Higher than Mr. O’Reilly’s. Interestingly, on the heels of his likeability remark, Bill tells us “my television program has been top-rated for nearly 13 years, and it’s not because I’m Dale Carnegie.” Give Bill an Oscar, an Emmy, or a footprint in cement. Something!

He closes with “Fix the economy … Do that, and your legacy will be assured. Fail, and all hell will break loose.”

I’m sure the president will appreciate your arrogant bloviating, Mr. O’Reilly, and I’m sure he’ll get right to work on your suggestions.

Milt Hankins of Ashland, Ky., is a retired minister, theologian and freelance writer.

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