To Barack Obama's supporters the actions he has taken in these first few days of his presidency are not particularly surprising. After all, they are reflections of themes he stressed during the campaign. For example, his executive order instructing "federal agencies to handle requests for information from the public and press under the Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] with an eye toward disclosure, not refusal" is just a return to the pre-Bush Administration policies regarding FOIA requests. But what most Americans view as a return to the status quo after 8 years of lawlessness has some Bush supporter's heads exploding. Here is Rush Limbaugh's reaction:
LIMBAUGH: What I’m afraid of is that what Obama did with this executive order is actually make it easier for the media to go get Bush documents. Because you know Pelosi and some of the guys over in congress are talking about war crimes trials and charges and so forth. […]
What I’m afraid of is what Obama’s done here is made the gathering of the information for this kind of stuff– This is not American. This is not America. This is not what America does. We don’t– This is Banana Republic kind of stuff.
The idea that obeying the law and allowing citizens to hold the government accountable for their actions makes us "a banana repubic" is pretty bizarre. Even more bizarre is Rush Limbaugh's view of who has been exhibiting racism lately:
You know, racism in this country is the exclusive problems of the left. We’re witnessing racism all this week that led up to the inauguration. We are being told that we have to hope he succeeds; that we have to bend over, grab the ankles, bend over forward, backward, whichever; because his father was black, because this is the first black president. We’ve got to accept this. The racism that everybody thinks exists on our side of the aisle has been on full display throughout their primary campaign.
It is hard for me to make any sense of this. He says that he and people who think like him are being told they have to "accept this" but it is not clear what "this" is. It surely cannot be that Obama has a black father or that Obama is the first black president. He surely cannot be objecting to being expected to accept those facts. No, it must be that he objects to the assumption that we all agree that it is good that we finally have a black president. Amazingly, he is claiming that it is racist of us to expect him to be glad about that.