Despite being typecast as an unenthusiastic dullard in Clear Eyes commercials and in his famous role as a teacher in the film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ben Stein is about as vitriolic and opinionated as they come. Indeed, his political commentary rivals the sharp tongues of like-minded pundits including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity, especially when he lashes out at the big names in his least favorite political party, the Democrats.
In a recent interview with conservative news outlet Newsmax TV, Ben Stein took aim at a prime political target, President Barack Obama. During an appearance on The Steve Malzberg Show, the former game show host and television pitchman referred to President Obama as a “bad joke,” and accused the chief executive of harboring an intense resentment towards America. Excerpts from the interview were transcribed by Breitbart.com.
“He’s a very real danger. Well, I’m very interested in psychology I’m very interest in psychoanalysis. I guess I probably should have been a psychologist. I think the question is, why is he so angry at America? I don’t think there’s much question that he does not wish America well. He has a real strong hatred of America.”
— Raw Story (@RawStory) November 18, 2015
Stein went on to speculate on factors that might have influenced Obama’s alleged feelings regarding the United States.
“Is it because he’s part black? I don’t know. Is it because he felt his father was mistreated by the British in Kenya? I don’t know. We don’t know. We just know that in terms of being a forthright, bold leader who takes on our enemies, he’s not there. He’s missing in action.”
Stein’s recent musings are not the first time he has projected personal and political aspersions on President Obama. As reported by Inquisitr, the man who effectively launched Jimmy Kimmel’s career via Win Ben Stein’s Money, blasted Obama in November, 2014, calling him “the most racist president there has ever been in America.” Stein citied his opinion that the Obama Administration attempts to “racialize” prominent issues in America as proof of Barack Obama’s racism.
Of course, a distinction of “most racist” is decidedly difficult to objectively justify, despite Stein’s steadfast (albeit politicized) assertions. After all, it’s worth noting that a number of former presidents have overt histories of racism and victimization along racial and ethnic lines, including President Woodrow Wilson, who once described racial segregation as “not a humiliation, but a benefit.” A number of former presidents were slaveholders, and some, like Andrew Jackson, presided over campaigns aimed at containing and exterminating Native Americans.
In addition to a lengthy resume of appearances both as an actor and a paid celebrity spokesperson, Ben Stein does have a political background that ostensibly gains him credibility among his political fellow travelers. As noted in various biographical sketches, Stein served as a speechwriter for the troubled Nixon Administration, and he also worked to control damage behind the scenes in the midst of the Watergate scandal. He also worked in the Ford Administration and wrote for the Wall Street Journal before pursuing a career in show business.
Ben Stein’s criticism of Obama came in the context of the President’s ongoing response to threats posed by ISIS, especially in the wake of the Paris attacks. Many commentators have focused on Obama’s continued resistance at framing the ongoing struggle against the guerrilla caliphate as a war on Islam. For his part, Ben Stein asserts that President Obama has continued to underestimate the threat posed by the adherents of political Islam, but it is unclear as to what Stein himself would do as an alternative to the nation’s present course of foreign policy.
[Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images for IFAW]