Tuesday, April 10, 2012

President Obama Must Be Doing Something Right in Politics – He is Driving Republicans to Personal Attacks on Him

And Their Supporters Decry – Wait for It – Mr. Obama for Daring to Campaign

The President has finally realized that his opponents are not going to play nice.  They are not going to govern, they are not going to compromise, heck that are not even going to approve his policy positions when those positions were the policy positions of Republicans.  So the President is on the attack.

This is horrifying to Republicans who feel the rules of the game are that they get to unleash the most vitriolic personal attacks on the President, while he has to exhibit restraint.  Here is the usually readable Peggy Noonan writing in the Wall Street Journal on this issue.

The speech was an unusual and unleavened assault on the Republican Party. As such it was gutsy, no doubt sincere and arguably a little mad. The other party in a two-party center-right nation is anathema? There was no good-natured pledging to work together or find common ground, no argument that progress is possible. The GOP "will brook no compromise," it is "peddling" destructive economic nostrums, it has "a radical vision" and wants to "let businesses pollute more," "gut education," and lay off firemen and cops. He said he is not speaking only of groups or factions within the GOP: "This is now the party's governing platform." Its leaders lack "humility." Their claims to concern about the deficit are "laughable."

which actually seems to present the Republican positions rather correctly. No wonder she was very upset.

Much has been made of the President’s criticism of the Supreme Court potentially declaring unconstitutional the health care bill.  But Mr. Obama never said he would not abide by such a decision and he will certainly accept any decision the Court makes as law of the land.  Actually the only person recently to say that the President has the right to disregard Supreme Court decisions is Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.  This is a fact totally lost in the discussion, probably because everyone thinks Mr. Gingrich is a little whacko.  Still an honest commentator would have mentioned this.

Notice also that Mr. Obama has refrained from attacks on the personality and character of his opponents.  And notice also that there is this.

Sen. Chuck Grassley lobbed a back-handed crack at President Obama through Twitter on Saturday, suggesting the president is "stupid" in a Tweet about Obama's comments last week on the Supreme Court.

Grassley, a Republican from Iowa and the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Tweeted that constituents wanted to know why he was not outraged by the president's "attack" on the court. He said because the American people "r not stupid as this x prof of con law."

This rather nasty personal attack by a leading Republican Senator is not mentioned or considered by Ms. Noonan, nor are any of the others but if she is really sincere about wanting more ‘grace’ in public life she might want to have a nice chat with Senator Grassley, or Mr. Gingrich, or Rush Limbaugh or well, the list is too long to list here.

But criticizing Republicans would not be adhering to the rules.  Remember the rules are Republicans get to use the most personal and vicious and vitriolic attacks that they can muster.  Democrats are supposed to play nice. 

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