Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Our Divisive President

Our Divisive President:

During the election campaign, Barack Obama sought to appeal to the best instincts of the electorate, to a post-partisan sentiment that he said would reinvigorate our democracy. He ran on a platform of reconciliation—of getting beyond "old labels" of right and left, red and blue states, and forging compromises based on shared values.

President Obama's Inaugural was a hopeful day, with an estimated 1.8 million people on the National Mall celebrating the election of America's first African-American president. The level of enthusiasm, the anticipation and the promise of something better could not have been more palpable.

And yet, it has not been realized. Not at all.

Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship. Moreover, his cynical approach to governance has encouraged his allies to pursue a similar strategy of racially divisive politics on his behalf.

More radical Republican criticism? Uh, no. That's from a piece by Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen, two lifelong Democratic operatives.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Obama's campaign emphasized repeatedly that his minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, was being unfairly stereotyped because of racially incendiary sound bites that allegedly did not reflect the totality of his views. In the Gates incident and others, Mr. Obama has resorted to similar forms of stereotyping.

Even the former head of the Civil Rights Commission, Mary Frances Berry, acknowledged that the Obama administration has taken to polarizing America around the issue of race as a means of diverting attention away from other issues, saying: "the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. . . . Having one's opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

Now obviously, there's nothing the least bit surprising or revelatory here. This is what anyone who has watched has seen. But it's important that someone who isn't a Republican is willing to stand up and say it. The "racist" tag is so toxic, and played so quickly by the left, and supported so eagerly by the mainstream press, that it's almost impossible for a Republican to cut through the noise it creates. These guys are Democrats - maybe someone will listen...

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