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Humiliating the Opposition, it’s the Obama Way

“Perhaps”, wrote Michael Barone Tuesday in the Washington Examiner, President Obama’s inability to “stomach listening to views he does not share” . . .

is to be expected of one who has chosen all his adult life to live in university communities and who made his way upward in the one-party politics of Chicago. Thus on the “fiscal cliff” he left the unpleasant business of listening to others’ views and reaching agreement to Joe Biden.

A sad commentary on higher education in America today that university communities are seen not as places open to diverse points of view, but as akin to the one-party politics of Chicago.  (Read the whole thing.  It’s Barone.)

If the university today were to be the kind of place it should be, then instead of it producing a man like the incumbent president unwilling to negotiate, it would produce a man nearly identical to the one the Obama campaign (with the active assistance of the media) created in 2008, a post-partisan healer able to consider both sides of an issue, able (as well) to offer respectful rebuttals to opposing points of view.

Such a leader would work with his partisan adversaries to compromise and arrive at a consensus, much as Bill Clinton did in working with then-Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican Congresses of the mid-1990s.

Instead of working with Republicans, however, Obama, Barone observes,

To judge from his surly demeanor and defiant words at his press conference Monday, Barack Obama begins his second term with a strategy to defeat and humiliate Republicans rather than a strategy to govern.

That sage pundit and demographer finds that administration supporters have adopted this Obama strategy in “defending” a controversial nominee for the president’s second term cabinet. Chuck Hagel’s “vocal defenders tend to concentrate on attacking his detractors rather than make the affirmative case for his qualifications.”
Does seem to be the way Obama Democrats argue these days, by attacking their critics instead of arguing their positions.  And this from a man who promised to end the divisive politics of the past.