The White House announced that President Obama will be visiting with Pope Francis at the Holy See in Rome on Mr. Obama's European tour in March. This reminded me of one of my favorite news "outrages" in recent months from the GOP against the president. That's when many Republicans got up in arms that the United States was supposedly shutting down its embassy to the Vatican.
Potential GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush (R-FL) chimed in, “Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare"
(Hopefully not. That would be terrible! O why indeed would he do such a thing?!! "He," in this case, is Jeb Bush...)
The Republican Party itself made a huge issue of it, getting all faux-outraged and sending out a petition from its Senatorial Committee. It said --
“The media is reporting that President Obama plans to close the U.S. Embassy to the Vatican. This is just the latest anti-religion pursuit of this administration, a slap in the face to Catholic-Americans around the country that weakens America’s position as a global leader. Sign the Petition telling President Obama to leave the American Embassy at the Vatican.”
The media that is reporting this, mind you, was largely the right-wing media, either outlets that didn't bother to look into the story and discover the reality, or those who knew what they were doing but just trying to ratchet up ignorant anger.
In fact, that reality -- the actual truth -- is that the United States is moving its Vatican Embassy into its complex that's part of its Embassy to Italy and its United Nations embassy to the Vatican. This is not only being done for security measures (something other nations have already done) -- but it will now be closer to the Vatican than the two miles -- it was before. But it gets worse: the original study done that recommended this came during the Administration of George W. Bush!
(You remember George W. Bush. He's the brother of Jeb Bush. If you don't remember Jeb Bush, see above...)
Republicans are so up-in-arms with this non-issue that they even added a rider to the recent spending bill that prohibits the State Department from moving the Vatican Embassy. No, really.
I swear, if Barack Obama really wanted to pass everything he wanted, I think he only would have to propose everything the Republican Party wanted, have them vote it down simply because it came from him, and then they'd propose the very opposite, precisely what he wanted in the first place.
In some circles, they call Republican action for the past five years the Terrible Twos. In other circles they call it shamelessly pandering to the unthinking base. Mixed with racism. With a touch of idiocy sprinkled in for flavoring.
Note to the Far Right. If you actually do believe in religion, then use the brain that God gave you.
The mind. It's a terrible thing to waste.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor