In his speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, President Obama took another stab at summarizing the philosophy of the Republican Party. And this is the best Obama could do: “Their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.”Now I think this is too harsh. Mr. Obama is a gentleman, a good husband and father. Such men are not demonizers. After all, it was Mr. Obama, wasn't it, who during the campaign repeatedly promised us "hope and change" from the tawdry politics of the past.
This is a silly and intentionally misleading statement — silly because it’s so transparently false and intentionally misleading because the president surely cannot believe his own rhetoric. The problem for Obama is it’s becoming a pattern. Earlier this year, he charged that Republicans want the elderly, autistic children and children with Down syndrome to “fend for themselves.”
After that, he told us the GOP plan is ”dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance.” Given his rhetorical trajectory, Obama will soon be insisting that Republicans favor reinstituting slavery at home and genocide abroad (or perhaps it’s favoring genocide at home and slavery abroad).
These are the kinds of things a politically desperate and intellectually bankrupt politician says. The president must believe he cannot win a debate on philosophy on the merits, so he instead employs the crudest caricatures he can.
The point is that there seems to be no limit, no check, on what Obama will say in order to demonize his opponents — or, to quote Obama’s own words, his “enemies.”
It was Mr. Obama, Wehner admits, who in an interview once declared, ”I want us to rediscover our bonds to each other and to get out of this constant petty bickering that's come to characterize our politics.” Does that sound like the sort of thing we'd expect from a man who would demonize his opponents?
Moreover, even Mr. Wehner acknowledges that it was Mr. Obama who during the campaign proclaimed that "We can accept a politics that breeds division and conflict and cynicism… [...] That is one option. Or, at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, ’not this time….’” And it was Mr. Obama who said on the night of his election, on a stage in Grant Park, ”I will listen to you, especially when we disagree… [...] Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for too long.”
Those sound to me like the words of a high-minded intellectual, a man too noble to be grubbing about in the political gutters. Mr. Wehner should apologize for thinking that Mr. Obama is just a typical political opportunist and moral pragmatist who says whatever he needs to say to discredit his opposition in the eyes of the voters.
Indeed, he should be ashamed for even thinking such a thing about the leader of the free world. Read his column and see if you don't agree.