Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our Uniter-in-Chief?

From "I won"--said to House Republicans who also won--to Republicans can come along but he doesn't want them to talk much, to Republicans having to "sit in the back" of the bus, to "We're gonna punish our enemies and we're gonna reward our friends", President Obama is the very antithesis of the uniter he claimed to be during the election. Frankly, I find his relentless attacks on anyone who disagrees with him to be unpresidential at least, dangerous at most. Charles Krauthammer nails it:

This is how the great post-partisan, post-racial, New Politics presidency ends - not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a desperate election-eve plea for ethnic retribution.
That type of behavior may work on the streets of Chicago, but I still hold out hope that it won't work across America.

Update, 10/31/10: From the Washington Post:
We write in sadness as traditional liberal Democrats who believe in inclusion. Like many Americans, we had hoped that Obama would maintain the spirit in which he campaigned. Instead, since taking office, he has pitted group against group for short-term political gain that is exacerbating the divisions in our country and weakening our national identity.The culture of attack politics and demonization risks compromising our ability to address our most important issues - and the stature of our nation's highest office.

Indeed, Obama is conducting himself in a way alarmingly reminiscent of Nixon's role in the disastrous 1970 midterm campaign. No president has been so persistently personal in his attacks as Obama throughout the fall. He has regularly attacked his predecessor, the House minority leader and - directly from the stump - candidates running for offices below his own. He has criticized the American people suggesting that they are "reacting just to fear" and faulted his own base for "sitting on their hands complaining."

With the country beset by economic and other problems, it is incendiary that the president is not offering a higher vision for the nation but has instead chosen a strategy of rank division. This is an attempt to distract from the perceived failures of his administration. On issue after issue this administration has acted in ways that are weakening the office of the president.
Before you attack that piece, take a look who the authors of it are. If you don't recognize the names, I'll quote again from the column and let the authors themselves tell you about one of them: "one of us was the youngest member of Nixon's enemies list".


Anonymous said...

I see you bought into the Fox News lie. He never once mentioned any buses. He never mentioned any race. But because it suits the people at Fox News to pretend otherwise, we get this "back of the bus" meme. Staggeringly dishonest.

Darren said...

Do you want to argue what the meaning of "is" is?

Gawd, you lefties bore me. Just because you get your information from MSNBC and NPR doesn't mean that I only get my news from Fox. In fact, I don't watch Fox because I don't have cable.

I heard the quotes. If a white man had said President Obama had to sit in the back, everyone would have heard "of the bus". In fact, we have precedent for that (oh look, it's by Maureen Dowd!). Sorry, that's just the state of our post-racial politics. He said what he said, and within the context of our racial climate, he gets dinged for it.

And where, precisely, did I even claim that he mentioned race? You're entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

Anonymous said...

The metaphor is clearly that of a car. The most common variation is that it is a car the the republicans drove into a ditch and now wish to take control of again. This has been a common and utterly not racial metaphor for a long time. And one does not need to watch fox to pick up their memes as they are recycled by the right wing media such as talk radio, blogs and columnists.

Anonymous said...

And the race part comes from the quote "ethnic retribution". So seems I don't use my own facts but respond to what YOU posted

MikeAT said...


I belive you are proceeding from a false assumption. Darren, correct me if I'm wrong, you don't have cable. So you would not watch much of Fox news would you?

Darren said...

No, I don't have cable. And "anonymous", perhaps you're not aware of the entire quote. I'll allow you to remain in ignorance if you wish; if not, look up his entire statement that he addresses to Hispanics, and tell me there's no racial directive there.

Again, you're not entitled to your own facts.

Darren said...

For everyone else, here's audio in the president's own voice:

Darren said...

Obama's backtracked:

“And I said, well, you can't punish your friends when — the folks who’ve been supporting it. Now, I did also say if you're going to punish somebody, punish your enemies, and I probably should have used the word ‘opponents’ instead of ‘enemies.’ Now the Republicans are saying that I'm calling them enemies. What I'm saying is you’re an opponent of this particular provision, comprehensive immigration reform, which is something very different."

That first sentence is a doozy, isn't it? Anyway, he "probably" should have used the word opponents. I guess he spoke "inartfully".

And his quote, with the racial/ethnic component, is included in the link above as well.

Facts are pesky things for liberals.

Anonymous said...

Wow.. a link that said nothing about any buses. Well done. You win the prize.

Darren said...

Joe Wilson said nothing about "boy", either, but Maureen Dowd heard it. What's good for the goose, and all that.

You're just being intentionally obtuse, though. I notice you don't now acknowledge that he *did*, specifically, mention that Latinos need to punish their enemies.

Facts are pesky things. You're clearly a member of the "reality-based community".