Divided We Stand

The following towering pile of horseshit was written by Fox News Democrats Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen, and appeared in the WaPoo, under the Fair and Balanced headline, “Our Divisive President, Redux.” (h/t Media Matters.):

President Obama’s post-partisan America has disappeared, replaced by the politics of polarization, resentment and division.

Genius observation….  any clue as to why these halfwits think that is?  You guessed it, Obama is “divisive.”

Our Divisive President, Redux

A choice for Obama: Try leadership (Sage political advice, that is if you just arrived from Uranus, which Caddell and Schoen obviously did….)

In a Univision interview on Monday, the president, who campaigned in 2008 by referring not to a “Red America” or a “Blue America” but a United States of America, urged Hispanic listeners to vote in this spirit: “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”

A pretty rough quote, although undoubtedly taken out of context, but again, the turnip truck problem rears its head; what group has been relentlessly smeared as freeloaders, anchor-baby droppers, criminals, beheaders and what have you by Republicans?  If you said Hispanics, you win a sombrero.  The writers, however, get a dunce cap.

Recently, Obama suggested that if Republicans gain control of the House and/or Senate as forecast, he expects not reconciliation and unity but “hand-to-hand combat” on Capitol Hill.  (Yay!  Obama’s finally wised up!)

What a change two years can bring. (Granted, two years that these two seem to have slept through, but they’ve obviously woken up sad.

We can think of only one other recent president who would display such indifference to the majesty of his office: Richard Nixon.  (That’s because you can’t think, period.  Was there anything “majestic” about Bush’s needlessly bellicose rhetoric, fiscal profligacy, cronyism, and flat-out incompetence?)

We write in sadness as traditional liberal Democrats who believe in inclusion. Like many Americans, we had hoped that Obama would maintain the spirit in which he campaigned. Instead, since taking office, he has pitted group against group for short-term political gain that is exacerbating the divisions in our country and weakening our national identity.The culture of attack politics and demonization risks compromising our ability to address our most important issues – and the stature of our nation’s highest office.

First of all, only an idiot would believe that such manipulative claptrap could be uttered by any “traditional liberal Democrat.”  This is kindergarten-level concern-trolling with no basis in fact; Republicans have done all these things for twenty years, and upheld our supposedly fragile “national identity” by alienating allies, advocating for torture, looting the treasury, and starting useless and costly wars.

Indeed, Obama is conducting himself in a way alarmingly reminiscent of Nixon’s role in the disastrous 1970 midterm campaign. No president has been so persistently personal in his attacks as Obama throughout the fall. He has regularly attacked his predecessor, the House minority leader and – directly from the stump – candidates running for offices below his own. He has criticized the American people suggesting that they are “reacting just to fear” and faulted his own base for “sitting on their hands complaining.”

Had Obama done any of these things to the degree that they were necessary, he wouldn’t be in trouble.

Obama is walking a knife’s edge. He has said that the 3.5 million “shovel-ready jobs” he had referred to as justification for the passage of the stimulus bill didn’t exist – throwing all the Democratic incumbents who had defended the stimulus in their campaigns under the proverbial bus.

As usual, they never use a direct quote, since they’ve merely cribbed mindless right-wing talking points.

Although he said, as part of his effort to enact health-care reform, that the health-care mandates were not taxes, now his administration acknowledges in court papers that they are, in fact, taxes.

Yes. the individual mandate was a stupid, Republican idea that dragged down the popularity of health care reform, but this word quibble is as meaningless as it is deceptive; Bush said that the majority of his tax cuts went to the lower brackets, too.  I guess these two only like the really big lies.

As Election Day approaches, the president and others in the Democratic leadership have focused on campaign finance by moneyed interests – an ancillary issue serving neither party nor country. They have intensified attacks on business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and individual political operatives such as Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie – insisting that organizations are fronting for foreign campaign money and large secret donations and campaign expenditures. Even the New York Times has noted that “a closer examination shows that there is little evidence” that these organizations have engaged in activities that are “improper or even unusual.”

“Even the New York Times?”  Where’d they get that line?  Bill O’Reilly?  Further, anonymous donors buying a midterm election is no “ancillary” issue; to say so is to toss whatever credibility you have in the crapper.

It astounds us to hear such charges from the president given that his presidential campaign in 2008 refused to disclose the names of all of its donors, and in past election cycles many liberal groups, such as the Sierra Club and the Center for American Progress, refused to disclose their contributors.

It’s astounding, all right.  That you two lying cretins are allowed to call yourselves Democrats.

To be clear, we favor disclosure of every dollar spent and closing the disclosure loophole that exists as a result of the Citizens United ruling. But it is disingenuous for a president – particularly one whose campaign effectively dynamited the lone beachhead of public financing in American politics – to scream about money pouring in against his political interests.

Oh, he’s “screaming” now?  If he were, it would be appropriate, given that the Citizens (!) United decision, written by a crooked right-wing majority on the court, is performing exactly as intended, with Republicans outspending Democrats 5-1.

We are also disturbed that the office of the president is mounting attacks on private individuals, such as the founders of the group Americans for Prosperity. Having been forged politically during Watergate – one of us was the youngest member of Nixon’s enemies list – we are chilled by the prospect of any U.S. president willing to marshal the power of his office against a private citizen.

Oh, those billionaires are just so danged defenseless.  Please.

The president is the leader of our society. That office is supposed to be a unifying force. When a president opts for polarization, it is not only bad politics, but it also diminishes the prestige of his office and damages our social consensus.

The consensus being that Republicans are always right, even when they’re direly, spectacularly, wrong.

Moreover, the divisive rhetoric that Obama has pursued can embolden his supporters and critics to take more extreme actions, worsening the spiral.

News Flash:  The critics have been “emboldened” since January 2009, and they ARE THE ONLY ONES RESORTING TO VIOLENCE.  Read a newspaper, you dipshits.

Whatever the caliber of Obama’s tactics, they might achieve some short-term success. The Republican Party has offered no narrative or broad solution, and it has campaigned exclusively to take advantage of the negative environment. It contributes merely a promise of a more hostile environment after Tuesday.

The Republican Party created the hostile environment, with congressmen and even Supreme Court justices heckling the President at the State of the Union, etc.  Any President who puts up with that, as Obama has, is insufficiently Nixonian for the task at hand.

With the country beset by economic and other problems, it is incendiary that the president is not offering a higher vision for the nation but has instead chosen a strategy of rank division. This is an attempt to distract from the perceived failures of his administration. On issue after issue this administration has acted in ways that are weakening the office of the president.

Most high school English teachers would smear red ink on that illiterate use of the word “incendiary,” but clearly the editors at the Wapoo are used to that and worse, and waved it through.  But as a closing argument, this is pretty pathetic.  No examples of Obama’s supposed “weakening” of the office are specifically named, because there aren’t any; he has continued the most abhorrent, Cheney-led “strengthening” in areas from wiretapping to torture, which actually is Nixonian, but these two evidently didn’t notice.  No mention is made of the rather glaring fact that Republicans caused ALL of our current problems they now fret about, and thus deserve whatever mild rebukes Obama is willing to send their way.  I wish Obama had an Enemies List, so he could put these two Fox News Democrats on it.


  1. avelna says:

    Are these two really that stupid and ignorant or are they just shills for Fox News? Reading this makes my head explode. In any case, Obama has not predicted hand-to-hand combat but expects reconciliation and compromise from the rethugs (and in that he’s blindingly wrong.)

    • cocktailhag says:

      I think they’re shills, and they think their audience is stupid. Everything they say is from Opposite Day; not just false, but the inverse of the truth. My head exploded, too. With “friends” like these….

      • daphne says:

        It’s what I call the “kiss-my-ass-I’ll-kick-yours-back” game.The harder Obama tries to be bipartisan, the more he is accused of being divisive. Add faux Democrats to the mix and my head will be exploding alongside you guys’.

        • cocktailhag says:

          It’s the way it flies in the face of reality that sends my curlers into orbit…. Name ONE TIME that Obama did something without letting the Republicans shit all over it first. That’d be none. But people still write this crap, and it lives on by sheer repetition.

  2. nancy says:

    We really are all going down the rabbit hole. Do you suppose we’ll wake up from the dream? Last night as I was trying to decide whether “House” or Judy Garland in “The Easter Parade” deserved my attention to go along with beverage of choice, I could hear my husband yelling at the teevee downstairs. Well, he had just watched the Huskies get creamed by Stanford, but what brought him to full volume was watching our President do his “I’ve talked with Senator McConnell and we’ll all be able to work together after the election” persona. And then this morning these jokers can blame divisiveness on Obama? Has WaPo been secretly absorbed by the Murdoch empire with no disclosure? And now Breitbart on ABC? Breitbart. ABC. Election night?

    Check, please.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I watched “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane,” last night, and it was perfect for my mood. The WaPoo, alas, has long since become a Neocon cesspit, thanks to Fed Hiatt and others. Katharine Graham (and Phil, too) must be rolling over in their graves.
      Turns out Breitbart drastically inflated his role at ABC (quelle surprise…), enabling ABC to shrink his role further and get away with it. I’ll drink to that.
      PS… I just talked to Retzilian and she persuaded me to do a CHNN Election Predictions post and reader thread for tomorrow. I hate to make predictions, unless I’m sure they are correct, and on this election I’m more doubtful than ever, but I do think it would be fun to make some guesses for key races, and hear yours. I’d love input on who should make the watch list. There will be prizes, but not furs, jewels, or anything like that.

  3. nancy says:

    I just discovered the solution to election season nuttery. Hand out Halloween candy to costumed children—–proud protective moms standing slightly offsides. It’s warmish. When it’s been cold in years past, it’s been proud protective dads. Good to remember.

    • cocktailhag says:

      We don’t get trick or treaters on the 13th floor, which is good for the figure, anyway, but kind of sad, too. In all my adult life, I’ve never had them. Ah, well.

  4. mikeinportc says:

    Apparently y’all missed a major Scream-at-the-TeeVee moment tonight. ( Probably a good thing) Happened across ( on FOX, of course) the World Series pre-game. ( “Fall Straight Pride Week”, CH? ) Got there just as Joe Buck deferred to Generic Voiceover Guy, who deferred to the PA guy, for “something special”.

    “Something Special ” = Bush I & Bush II riding in from the outfield , to some sort of tepid royal “music” ( “God Save the Queen” morphed with “Hail to the Chief”?) , on their way to throw out the ceremonial first pitches.

    Unlike opening day in D.C. 2-3 yrs ago,there were no boos to be heard, and the overwhelming majority cheered enthusiastically. Of course, it being on FOX, everybody with a mic was dutifully ooing & cooing over it. I suppose it’s appropriate that W return to the scene of one of his greatest financial crimes, but what an effin’ embarassment. 30-40k cheering loudly for war criminals.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Wow, Dirigo. When you fall below Fox’s journalistic standards, that’s something. I think it must be Katie Couric’s fault.

      • dirigo says:

        I dunno. In the world of fake news and semi-sanity, a take-down of Palin, by Fox, in her effort to smear a local CBS affiliate up there in boonieville has to morph into a Stewart bit this week. Too bad he didn’t pick it up (or have Fox hand it to him) while he was on stage in D.C.

        The more absurd it gets the more difficult to determine reality. Right?

        Still, who can believe Fox on any given Sunday? Are they about to eat their golden hen? I think not.

        My head explodes internally (or infernally) now several times a week, and in addition to copious amounts of beer and other spirits, I’m daubing a few squirts of decking glue here and there on top to keep my skull from splitting irreparably.

  5. FunnyDiva says:

    I love these snarky, hard-hitting analyses of yours, Cocktailhag!
    You just make me smile! “read a newspaper, dipshits” indeedy!


  6. mikeinportc says:

    That’s not Straight Pride, that’s Cuckoo Pride. What a horrifying spectacle; Yep.
    I hope you’re drinking enough.

    Unfortunately not .

    I didn’t stick around for the rest of it . I was all set to drink ( Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale – Mmmm) , but that drove me to such distraction, that I forgot about it . It was warm by the time I remembered . By the time it was cool again , I was too sleepy . Damned Bushes! ( actually, the other [xxxxxx] -don’t even know what to call them )

    • cocktailhag says:

      Dang. There haven’t been any pumpkin ales at my local dump this season; they’re always good for starting early…. Got any predictions for CHNN’s Official Predictions post? Post ‘em.