This item by James Vega was originally published on May 21, 2013.
In a new piece titled provocatively titled, “Obama the Uniter? Not Really”, the Washington Post’s resident dispensers of inside the beltway common wisdom have once again managed to concede the reality of Republican extremism as the source of political polarization in one sentence and then turn around and lay the responsibility for it on Obama in another.
Just watch how this world Olympic-class “it’s not really his fault except it really is” gymnastic logical summersault is performed:
“Obama the Uniter? Not Really”,
…there’s little question that Republicans in Congress have been driven to the ideological right over the past few years due in large part to a series of primary victories by conservative insurgents over incumbents viewed as insufficiently loyal to party principles.
But, Obama is still the president who pledged — loudly and repeatedly — to change how Washington works. That has not happened. The economic stimulus bill and the healthcare law passed on party line votes in his first term. The gun bill failed on party lines in his second term. And, with a series of scandals and investigations now mounting, it seems more likely that partisanship will grow rather than shrink in the coming months…
None of that is Obama’s fault and there is nothing — or virtually nothing — he can do to change it. But, add it all up and you are left with one inescapable conclusion: The president who pledged to change Washington is almost certain to come up short on that promise.
Wow. I sure am glad Cillizza and Sullivan weren’t writing in the early 60’s. They probably would have evaluated Martin Luther King something like this:
Martin Luther King, Man of Peace? Not Really
…there’s little question that segregationists have been driven even further to the ideological right over the past few years due in large part to the growing demands for equality …But Martin Luther King is still the leader who pledged — loudly and repeatedly — to seek civil rights without violence.
That has not happened….A church in Birmingham has been bombed, civil rights workers have been murdered and John Kennedy has been assassinated.
None of that is King’s fault and there is nothing — or virtually nothing — he can do to change it. But, add it all up and you are left with one inescapable conclusion: The leader who pledged to seek civil rights without violence is almost certain to come up short on that promise.
Does anybody except me think that this is just world class crazy? I sure do hope so.