Monday, November 01, 2010

Republicans and the art of the hissy fit: Obama's "enemies"

Republicans are just better at it than the Democrats are. Throwing a hissy fit, I mean.

As I've been posting here, FreedomWorkds head and Tea Party sugar-daddy Dick Armey said on This Week Sunday that Democrats were obsessed with the effort to "destroy America", and the star pundits on hand didn't seem to bat an eyebrow. Ted Nugent goes on stage at a rally for West Virginia on behalf of Republican Senate candidate John Raese and rants about the "rats" we've let into the White House and Nancy Pelosi and says it's time to "fumigate the rats".

But, as all our Pod Pundits know, extremist rhetoric is a problem causing by "both sides", the left and the right. So how does the "left" side of this work? Well, Aamer Madhani reports in Obama Backs off calling Republicans "Enemies" National Journal 11/01/2010 that our allegedly (alleged by Tea Party Republicans) Marxist Kenyan America-hating President said something shocking, just shocking I tell you!

In an earlier interview with Univision radio, Obama said: "If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying 'We're gonna punish our enemies, and we're gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us' — if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election — then I think its going to be harder. And that's why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2nd."
Yes, in this mild appeal for Latinos to go vote, he used the common-as-dirt phrase about politics involving rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies.

Republican Senate Leader John Boehener knew this was a moment to do a WATB hissy fit:

Obama's comments come ahead of House Minority Leader John Boehner’s closing campaign speech tonight in which he was planning on taking the president to task for the comment.

"Sadly, we have a president who uses the word 'enemy' for fellow Americans, fellow citizens. He used it for people who disagree with his agenda of bigger government," Boehner said, according to prepared remarks released in advance of his speech.
Do I even need to say how Obama responded?

President Obama backed away from comments he made last week in which he suggested that Republicans are "enemies" of Latinos.

In a radio interview on Monday, Obama tried to clarify comments in which he suggested Latino voters should "punish our enemies" for their stance on immigration reform.

"Now the Republicans are saying that I'm calling them enemies,” Obama told the Michael Baisden Show. "What I'm saying is you're an opponent of this particular provision, comprehensive immigration reform, which is something very different."
And there you have it: incivility on both sides!

The Republicans are just flat-out better at the WATB hissy fit.

And Obama just doesn't seem to get it that it makes him and the Democratic Party look weak to back down from such a petty criticism. I've come to believe that he really thought that he would be able to achieve some new bipartisan love fest with today's Republican Party. And from his statements in recent weeks, including his weekly message Saturday, he hasn't given up on it yet. The fact that

This is one reason it's such a pleasure to watch Jerry Brown campaigning for Governor here in California. If he had been tossed a WATB criticism like that, he would have brushed it off like a speck of dust and proceeded to lambaste the Republicans for acting like enemies of Latinos with their racist ads, their xenophobia and their embrace of "papers-please" segregationist laws. And thrown in something about how un-Christian their attitude was, to boot. (Yes, Jerry pulls that one off as well as any Democrat I know.)

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"It is the logic of our times
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