Our Divisive President

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Pop Sickle, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Clear thinking Democrats should agree with this op ed.

    JULY 28, 2010

    Our Divisive President
    Barack Obama promised a new era of post-partisanship. In office, he's played racial politics and further split the country along class and party lines.


    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.

    We have seen the divisive approach under Republican presidents as well—particularly the administrations of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. By dividing America, Mr. Obama has brought our government to the brink of a crisis of legitimacy, compromising our ability to address our most important policy issues.

    We say this with a heavy heart. Both of us share the president's stated vision of what America can and should be. The struggle for equal rights has animated both of our lives. Both of us were forged politically during the crucible of the civil rights movement. Having worked in the South during the civil rights movement, and on behalf of the ground-breaking elections of African-American mayors such as David Dinkins, Harold Washington and Emanuel Cleaver, we were deeply moved by Mr. Obama's election.

    The first hint that as president Mr. Obama would be willing to interject race into the political dialogue came last July, when he jumped to conclusions about the confrontation between Harvard Prof. Henry Louis "Skip" Gates and the Cambridge police.

    During a press conference, the president said that the "Cambridge police acted stupidly," and he went on to link the arrest with the "long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately."

    In truth, the Gates incident appears to have had nothing to do with race—a Cambridge review committee that investigated the incident ruled on June 30 that there was fault on both sides.

    Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) has said the president told him in a closed-door meeting that he would not move to secure the border with Mexico unless and until Congress reached a breakthrough on comprehensive immigration reform. That's another indication Mr. Obama is willing to continue to play politics with hot-button issues.

    Add in the lawsuit against the Arizona immigration law and it's clear the Obama administration is willing to run the risk of dividing the American people along racial and ethnic lines to mobilize its supporters—particularly Hispanic voters, whose backing it needs in the fall midterm elections and beyond.

    As the Washington Post reported last week, two top White House strategists, speaking on condition of anonymity, have indicated that "the White House plans to use the immigration debate to punish the GOP and aggressively seek the Latino vote in 2012."

    On an issue that has gotten much less attention, but is potentially just as divisive, the Justice Department has pointedly refused to prosecute three members of the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation at the polls on Election Day 2008.

    It is the job of the Department of Justice to protect all American voters from voter discrimination and voter intimidation—whether committed by the far right, the far left, or the New Black Panthers. It is unacceptable for the Department of Justice to continue to stonewall on this issue.

    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."

    The president had a unique opportunity to focus on overarching issues of importance to whites and blacks. He has failed to address the critical challenges. He has not used his bully pulpit to emphasize the importance of racial unity and the common interest of poor whites and blacks who need training, job opportunities, and the possibility of realizing the American Dream. He hasn't done enough to address youth unemployment—which in the white community is 23.2% and in the black community is 39.9%.

    Mr. Obama has also cynically divided the country on class lines. He has taken to playing the populist card time and time again. He bashes Wall Street and insurance companies whenever convenient to advance his programs, yet he has been eager to accept campaign contributions and negotiate with these very same banks and corporations behind closed doors in order to advance his political agenda.

    Finally, President Obama also exacerbated partisan division, and he has made it clear that he intends to demonize the Republicans and former President George W. Bush in the fall campaign. In April, the Democratic National Committee released a video in which the president directly addressed his divide-and-conquer campaign strategy, with an appeal to: "young people, African-Americans, Latinos, and women who powered our victory in 2008 [to] stand together once again."

    President Obama's divisive approach to governance has weakened us as a people and paralyzed our political culture. Meanwhile, the Republican leadership has failed to put forth an agenda that is more positive, unifying or inclusive. We are stronger when we debate issues and purpose, and we are all weaker when we divide by race and class. We will pay a price for this type of politics.

    Mr. Caddell served as a pollster for President Jimmy Carter. Mr. Schoen, who served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton, is the author of "The Political Fix" (Henry Holt, 2010).

  2. In other words, he DUPED the voters... LIED THROUGH HIS FRICKIN' TEETH to get elected.. all along with the purpose of promoting his radical Far Left agenda.

    He doesn't care about US citizens, he doesn't care about the USA, he doesn't care about the economy or jobs. He cares only about embedding his far left agenda into American law and culture.

    And he probably never was eligible to be president... we may find the proof after he's gone from office.
  3. Yannis


    By Dick Morris

    Having already lost all Republicans and almost all independents, Obama is shedding Democrats these days. According to a Fox News poll, his job approval among them has dropped from 84 percent at the end of June to 76 percent in mid-July. A combination of the Afghan War, the oil spill, Guantanamo and his failure to act on immigration reform have all eroded his credibility with his liberal constituents.

    Now comes evidence that the war in Afghanistan cannot be won — certainly not with the effort and constraints now in place. It is obvious that Obama and Hillary Clinton are being duped by the Pakistani government and the Afghan leadership is awash in corruption. With Pakistan offering the Taliban sanctuary next door and the government in Kabul staying in office in order to steal American aid, the Afghan war is looking more and more like Vietnam.

    And now we have the equivalent of the leak of the Pentagon Papers discrediting the war effort from the inside.

    All this comes at a time when Obama is suffering from erosion in his liberal support due to his seeming pandering over the racial issue, bending first to accommodate conservative critics and then to cave in to black activists. The image of weakness that emerges, combined with the incompetence of his reaction to the BP oil spill, does him no good in his ratings.

    The Democratic defection is critical. Those who leave Obama’s ranks will not likely defect to the Republicans. But they will stay home on Election Day in November. In any off-year election, the two-way contest between the parties masks the real competition — a three-way race among Democrats, Republicans and those who stay home.

    Why should Democrats come out to vote for Obama? To end the war — the initial selling point he used to get nominated? The war is dragging on without end. His pledge to withdraw the extra troops rings increasingly hollow as it becomes clear that the price for keeping that pledge would be surrender. To close Guantanamo? He has no place to put the terrorists, and the stories of former inmates who have returned to their old day job — killing Americans — makes any further releases too risky. To pass cap-and-trade or amnesty for illegal immigrants or the repeal of the secret ballot in union elections? These issues have come and gone without any action, even when Obama’s rubber-stamp Senate and House majorities would have passed them. To create jobs? Unemployment persists and the evidence suggests a double-dip recession is coming.

    And while liberals have increasing reason to question Obama’s performance on their litmus-test issues, they also have increasing cause to wonder at his competence. His inability to be anything but a spectator — and a sometimes disinterested one at that — to BP’s efforts to contain its oil spill and his obvious mismanagement of the Afghan war both raise questions about his abilities, concentration, focus and competence. These doubts further depress Democratic turnout and prospects.

    With such scant reason to turn out and vote for Democrats in November, the additional evidence that the war in Afghanistan is turning into a quagmire will further depress the president’s prospects.

    The most recent Gallup Poll showed that while 51 percent of Republicans described themselves as “very enthusiastic” about voting in the coming midterm elections, only 28 percent of Democrats shared that level of commitment. The prospects for a Democratic turnout grow dimmer by the week and the chances of a Republican victory, capturing both houses of Congress, grow stronger."
  4. Yannis


    IMAO: A New Democrat Strategy

    "Instead of just running against Bush, the Democrats have a new strategy to tie the GOP to the Tea Parties. So the Democrats really think everyone will be like, “Oh no! They’re going to cut government! I’m going to vote for more awesome Democrat leadership!”

    As for the GOP, I think their strategy will be to tie Democrats the current state of the country. They’ll say to the American people, “The Democrats have controlled Congress for four years and been completely in charge for two, and just look at the country. LOOK AT IT!!”

    And the American people will break down sobbing and be like, “No! Don’t make us look at it!”

    And the GOP will be like, “LOOK AT IT!!!!”

    And the American people will be like, “Please! We’ll vote for you! Just don’t make us look at it!”

    What exact horrible thing are the Democrats going to claim the Tea Party is going to do? Nuke their own country, because that’s still not quite the level of devastation the Democrats have already wreaked upon us."

    :) :) :)
  5. Who is Pat Caddell?

    Pat Caddell, a FOX News Channel contributor and onetime pollster for former President Jimmy Carter, has made the rounds on cable television this campaign season, apparently being booked as a counterbalance to Republican pundits. But on almost every occasion, Caddell has attacked the Kerry-Edwards '04 campaign and the Democratic Party, reinforcing Republican pundits' attacks rather than refuting them.