Courtesy of The New York Times:
It is a peculiar, but unmistakable, phenomenon: As Barack Obama’s presidency heads into its twilight, the rage of the Republican establishment toward him is growing louder, angrier and more destructive.
Republican lawmakers in Washington and around the country have been focused on blocking Mr. Obama’s agenda and denigrating him personally since the day he took office in 2009. But even against that backdrop, and even by the dismal standards of political discourse today, the tone of the current attacks is disturbing. So is their evident intent — to undermine not just Mr. Obama’s policies, but his very legitimacy as president.
…Perhaps the most outrageous example of the attack on the president’s legitimacy was a letter signed by 47 Republican senators to the leadership of Iran saying Mr. Obama had no authority to conclude negotiations over Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Try to imagine the outrage from Republicans if a similar group of Democrats had written to the Kremlin in 1986 telling Mikhail Gorbachev that President Ronald Reagan did not have the authority to negotiate a nuclear arms deal at the Reykjavik summit meeting that winter.
…The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, who declared war on the new president in 2009 as minority leader and used the filibuster to paralyze the Senate, essentially told foreign governments to ignore the carbon-emission goals Mr. Obama was trying to set by international agreement. Because climate-change deniers in Congress and in some states oppose the effort, setting those goals is pointless, Mr. McConnell pronounced last month.
If this insurrection is driven by something other than a blend of ideological extremism and personal animosity, it is not clear what that might be. But it is ugly, it deepens mistrust of government and it harms the office of the president, not just Mr. Obama.
As one commentor put it…
Thank you, NYT Editorial Board, for pointing out the ugliness of the attacks on President Obama. The hate and hypocrisy from the GOP shows such poor leadership. Sometimes, I look at pictures of these leaders with their families and I am astounded that many of these men are also husbands, fathers, and grandfathers. How can they leave such a destructive legacy not only for their country but for their families?
I just don’t understand that either! How can hatred of one man cause people to act in a manner that threatens the future for their own children and grandchildren?