Obama Should Follow Reagan’s Lead: Oh Wait, Maybe Not
The fine folks at Fox News apparently believe that President Obama hasn’t been sufficiently Reagan-esque in his reaction to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
Obama, the Fox folks whine, failed to act aggressively enough in his response to the tragedy as compared to Reagan’s response to the former Soviet Union’s shoot down of Korean Airlines Flight 007.
The problem for Fox is Obama comes out way ahead on this particular comparison to Saint Ronnie.
According to Olive Kittel:
On the July 17 edition of Fox News’ The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly connected the July 17 tragedy to the 1983 Korean airliner crash, highlighting Reagan’s speech in response and noting in comparison that Obama has “been accused of ‘leading from behind.’ ” Fox contributor Chris Stirewalt compared Reagan’s response to Obama’s, saying Reagan’s response made Americans feel “reassured and resolute,” and Kelly echoed that Obama’s response “makes him look unconnected and makes a lot of Americans feel unrepresented.”
It took one of Fox’s own, Chris Wallace, to point out that the facts didn’t support some of his colleagues’ conclusions
I was covering Ronald Reagan at that time. He was in Santa Barbara at his ranch when that [KAL incident] happened, and quite frankly he didn’t want to leave. And his advisers realized how terrible this looked, and eventually persuaded him he had to fly back to Washington and had to give this speech to the nation, but it did take him four days.
Obama, on the other hand, responded with a speech the day following the Flight 17’s demise, vowing to hold the people who “committed this outrage” responsible for their actions, and stating that the Ukrainian separatists who shot down the plane got their sophisticated weapons from Putin’s government.
Compare Obama’s statements to Reagan’s, who, after being criticized by conservatives over his handling of the downing of KAL 007, exclaimed: “Short of going to war, what would they have us do? I know that some of our critics have sounded off that somehow we haven’t exacted enough vengeance. Well, vengeance isn’t the name of the game in this.”
Can you imagine what right-wing reaction would be if Obama had said something similar. Sean Hannity’s head would have exploded. For his critics, it doesn’t matter what Obama says or does. Whatever his response, even to tragedy, it’s simply wrong because it’s Obama.