Monday, October 7, 2013

Politics Of Division And Anger

Peter Wehner, writing online at Commentary magazine, Oct. 3 (Quoted by the Wall Street Journal)

"In the current debate about the continuing resolution and the government shutdown, and because of their determination to begin to unwind the highly unpopular Affordable Care Act, Republicans are being referred to as jihadists, arsonists, anarchists, terrorists, extortionists, racists, gun-to-the-head hostage takers, grave threats to American democracy, the heirs of Joe McCarthy...
There are several points to be made about this, the most obvious of which is that these charges are being leveled by President Obama and the aides and allies of Mr. Obama - a man, it's worth recalling who promised he would "turn the page" on the "old politics" of division and anger. He would end a politics that "breeds division and conflict and cynicism." He would help us to "rediscover our bonds to each other and...get out of this constant petty bickering that's come to characterize our politics."
Yet things are worse now than before; and they are worse in large measure because of Mr. Obama himself.
Now, even if you believe what the GOP is doing is unwise - even if you believe the Affordable Care Act is one of the great achievements in American history - the characterization of Republicans by the left is not just unfair but slanderous. One can actually believe the Affordable Care Act is harmful and should be undone without being "people with a bomb strapped to their chest," in the words of White House aide Dan Pfeiffer. But the kind of sulfuric rhetoric that's being commonly used these days is also, on a deep level, damaging to our country."

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