Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

by digby

The pettiness of the modern conservative movement never ceases to amaze. But it's actually one of their most potent weapons. They make a huge shrieking stink about everything until people just get so sick of it they can't wait until the Democrat is out of office so they don't have to hear it anymore. It even used to have a name: Clinton Fatigue.

Here's a good example of the kind of thing we're going to be putting up with:

Ronald D. Rotunda and J. Peter Pham ... inanely write in tomorrow's Washington Post that President Obama is constitutionally barred from accepting the Nobel Prize:
An opinion of the U.S. attorney general advised, in 1902, that "a simple remembrance," even "if merely a photograph, falls under the inclusion of 'any present of any kind whatever.' " President Clinton's Office of Legal Counsel, in 1993, reaffirmed the 1902 opinion, and explained that the text of the clause does not limit "its application solely to foreign governments acting as sovereigns." This opinion went on to say that the Emolument Clause applies even when the foreign government acts through instrumentalities. Thus the Nobel Prize is an emolument, and a foreign one to boot.

One problem: the hero of the first Gulf War, Gen. Normon Schwarzkopf, received an honorary Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth (which technically makes him a "Knight of the British Empire") in May of 1991 while still on active duty. According to Rotunda and Pham's argument, this violated all kinds of constitutional constraints, Emolument Clause notwithstanding. He retired at the end of August 1991, meaning the General was clearly a foreign agent for the British Empire for approximately 3 months, because how can you be a Knight and an American General at the same time? Where would his loyalty really be? Under this Op-Ed's logic, Schwarzkopf's retirement South should have sent him to the Naval Brig at Charleston, not the golf courses of Florida.

They argue that the money he will receive will belong to the United States and he can't give it to charity because it would entitle him to a tax deduction. (So much for that principle about charity they all supposedly believe in.)

They claim that he has run afoul of this constitutional requirement before as well:

This is at least the second time that Obama has run afoul of the emolument clause. On June 3, 2009, the day before he gave his speech in Cairo on relations with the Muslim world, he accepted (and even donned) the bejeweled Collar of the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, Saudi Arabia's highest honor, from the hands of King Abdullah.(President Bush was awarded the Order in January last year.)

Wow. That sounds bad. I'll bet FOX was livid:
After dinner in the King's Palace, Bush and Abdullah walked through a large central atrium and picked up cups of Arabic coffee to take into their meetings. Sitting side by side in chairs, Abdullah presented Bush with a gold necklace adorned with a large medallion — the King Abdul Aziz Order of Merit, the country's highest honor, named after the founder of the modern Saudi state.

The award was placed around Bush's neck and the two exchanged the region's traditional double kiss. "I am honored," Bush said.

Well, that was different. Bush wasn't a Kenyan usurper bent on destroying the nation.

This is the way the death by a thousand cuts strategy works. The wingnuts are already in a frenzy about Obama dismantling the constitution, although they don't really know specifically what it is he's supposed to have done. But the specifics don't matter because all they need to do is feed the teabaggers ,who are hungry for new examples of how the new Hitler is ruining the American way of life.

(And at some point, its entirely possible that the "smell test" will kick in among the villagers. They find it very difficult to resist this stuff for long. In fact, here's a good example of it beginning to permeate. They can't really put their fingers on it. But something is amiss.