Our 'Insulter-in-Chief' about to go into overdrive
Debates over immigration reform (to take but one example) are derided as polarizing. Commentators deride the lack of civil discourse in our political speech-especially if articulated by Republicans or tea partiers (who are derided as bitter and greedy, and otherwise disparaged in Menckian terms). Yet Barack Obama who preached unity a few short years ago:
"Even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us--the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of 'anything goes.' Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America--there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and Latino America and Asian America--there's the United States of America."--state senator Barack Obama , Democratic National Convention, July 27, 2004
Not only has ditched that soundbite::
"In the video message to his supporters, [President] Obama said his administration's success depends on the outcome of this fall's elections and warned that if Republicans regain control of Congress, they could 'undo all that we have accomplished.' 'This year, the stakes are higher than ever,' he said, according to a transcript of his remarks provided by Democratic officials. 'It will be up to each of you to make sure that young people, African Americans, Latinos and women who powered our victory in 2008 stand together once again. . . .' "--Washington Post , April 26, 2010.
But now seems ready to step up the insults and derision:
BRINGING THE HEAT: Obama gets increasingly personal -- POLITICO's Jonathan Allen and Carol E. Lee:
'Mitch McConnell is in bed with Wall Street 'movers and shakers' - and is fronting 'cynical and deceptive' arguments on their behalf. ... Sarah Palin can be ignored on arms control because she's 'not exactly an expert on nuclear issues.' And Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are just a 'troublesome' twosome spreading 'vitriol.' Democratic oppo research? Comments from Daily Kos? No, this is your president speaking. Once chastised for not being tough enough, President Barack Obama has lately been getting personal with his political adversaries - singling them out for scorn in speeches, interviews, asides and even in his weekly radio address. Rather than just going after big groups of bad guys - insurance companies, lobbyists, the media - Obama has adopted a strategy that gives a face to the enemy. By setting himself up against specific opponents, he provides a point of contrast that's useful in invigorating a base hungry for bare knuckles and bravado.'
He might be bringing the heat-but not the light (as a demigod should). There will be many moments when his attacks can enter in the annals of "great Democratic presidential rhetoric. This is the man who proclaimed in 2008 that when his opponents bring a knife to the contest, they (his campaign) bring a gun. This is the man how advocated his followers "get in the face" of those friends and family members who disagree with his agenda. The Insulter-in-Chief will have many targets in the years ahead
In any case, how does criticism that is heaped on Republicans when they critique Democrats and Barack Obama (in particular) become praiseworthy when engaged in by Barack Obama because it is "invigorating a base hungry for bare knuckles and bravado"? The derision that greets Republicans or tea partiers is meant to chill free speech..while the praise heaped on Barack Obama is meant to energize the troops.
Sheer liberal hypocrisy (Example #874,286).