Friday, March 11, 2016

A heart full of love

This is funny:

Barack Obama said Thursday that he has “not contributed to” dividing the country.
Blame for that, he said, lies at the feet of Republicans and Obama-critical media outlets.

“I’ve said at the State of the Union that one of my regrets is the degree to which polarization and the nasty tone of our politics has accelerated rather than waned over the course of the last 7 1/2 years.”
“I do all kinds of soul searching in terms of, are there things that I can do better to make sure that we are unifying the country. But I also have to say… that objectively it’s fair to say that the Republican political elites and many of the information outlets, social media and news stations, talk radio, television stations have been feeding the Republican base for the last seven years a notion that everything I do is to be opposed, that cooperation or compromise somehow is a betrayal, that maximalist, absolutist positions on issues are politically advantageous, that there is a ‘them’ out there and an ‘us’ and ‘them’ are the folks who are causing whatever the problems you’re experiencing and the tone of that politics, which I certainly have not contributed to.”

“You know, I don’t think that I was the one to prompt questions about my birth certificate, for example. I don’t remember saying, ‘Hey, why don’t you ask me about that?’ ‘Why don’t you question whether I’m American or whether I’m loyal or whether I have America’s best interests at heart.’ Those aren’t things that were prompted by any actions of mine, and so what you’re seeing within the Republican Party is, to some degree, all of those efforts over a course of time creating an environment where somebody like a Donald Trump can thrive.”


Anonymous Denver Guy said...

If George W. Bush had said this kind of thing, he would have been ridiculed by the media as a partisan hack. The reaction to Obama grew out of the treatment of Bush. And I will readily admit that the treatment of Bush grew out of the treatment of Clinton by the Republicans. And even the treatment of Clinton, to some extent, grew out of the treatment of HW Bush and Reagan before him.

The Demonization of the other party's President began with Nixon, though of course Nixon brought a lot of it on himself. I believe FDR, Truman, Eisenhower and Kennedy were afforded general respect by all sides. LBJ was demonized by his own party. The paranoia of Nixon brought on counter-paranoia (as Nixon's enemies list proved cause for paranoia). Carter was not demonized, but general incompetence did not earn him a lot of respect.

It was with Reagan's win that the polarization really set in. Prescedents were set to judge judicial nominees by their President's policies, not their legal acumen. Laws were passed to try and stifle the executive branch's authority of conduct of foreign affairs. Some of this was bred by the exceedingly long time that Democrats had controlled the Congress. Was Tip O'Neal in fact more powerful than Ronald Reagan?

I feel like the temperature might have cooled down during the Bill Clinton administration, if Clinton had not brought dishonour to the office of the Presidency. That, combined with the fact that Hillary Clinton was the new keeper of the enemies list bred the paranoia about the other party's intentions that we see full bloom today.

George W. Bush tried to counter the descent into mindless partisanship, asserting a new "Compassionate Conservatism," but the Democrats would have none of it. the term Bush-Derangement Syndrome was coined, the flames stoked by anger over the impeachment of Clinton. And the last 7 years we have had Obama-Derangement Syndrome, stoked by the likes of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi who dishonor the legacy of earlier Democrats like Tip O'Neal.

What will come of a Trump Presidency? I'm pretty sure a Hillary Presidency will continue us down the same dark path (she isn't a uniter - if anything she is the Democratis Nixon, our for revenge and retribution). If Trump wins with significant Democratic cross over, he might actually allow there to be a reset. Afterall, he opposed much of the traditional Republican platform. He appeals to a significant portion of the Democratic base. Would he view being a "uniter" as part of his mission as President?

8:21 AM, March 11, 2016  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not kid ourselves about Trump crossover. If he manages to get the nomination, there will be tremendous crossover in the opposite direction.

9:16 AM, March 11, 2016  

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