Barack Obama

How Obama Divides America

You're either with him or one of the bad guys

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At the funeral service for five slain Dallas cops, President Barack Obama delivered another one of his needlessly politicized lectures. As is customary these days, those who were critical of his rhetoric were branded racists and unthinking haters.

That's one theory.

Another one is that people may be put off by Obama's grating habit of turning every tragedy into a sermon about our supposed collective failings. I doubt the president is substantively more partisan than the average politician, but like most people on the left these days, he no longer bothers to make a distinction between a policy position and a moral struggle.

The issue of gun control, for example, is not a good-faith disagreement among people of different persuasions but—like civil rights or suffrage—a struggle waged by the righteous against the evil (and sometimes those poor souls tricked by the National Rifle Association).

Seemingly every political battle waged by the modern Democratic Party—gay rights, immigration, climate change, inequality—is imbued with a kind of spiritual certitude that justifies circumventing debate. If a person who opposes the Obama administration's transgender bathroom policy is just like a Klansman, why even discuss the matter? In this context, the histrionics of Democrats in Congress over guns or the media's melodramas make all the sense in the world.

In this context, why wouldn't the president lecture us about gun control in his eulogy? Why wouldn't Obama offer completely unsubstantiated claims about guns? "It is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book," was a contention Obama made that no rational person could ever possibly believe. It's meant to convey the idea that half the nation cares more about the NRA than about children.

So maybe some conservatives are put off by Obama's awe-inspiring propensity to create straw men and offer false choices at every opportunity—all under the guise of thoughtful discourse. Maybe it's that he never offers a fair or reasonable assessment of his opposition's positions before pretending to debunk them. Or maybe it's that no matter what actually happens, he clings to a predetermined message before blaming the half of America that didn't vote for him.

Last week, the Dallas chief of police told us that the murderer of five cops, Micah Xavier Johnson, was "upset about the recent police shootings" and "wanted to kill white people, especially white officers." In the same way, the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, was a Muslim motivated by the Islamic State group to murder as many gay Americans as he could. Because neither of those storylines comports with the president's worldview, in each instance, he laid down collective responsibility and implored us to be more liberal and thus avoid more incidents like them.

We are better than this, he says.

We are. When speaking about Johnson, Obama claimed that "none of us is entirely innocent" when it comes to racial discrimination—"and that includes our police departments." Actually, most cops and most people are entirely innocent when it comes to racial discrimination. Yes, there are racists and bigots in all our institutions and communities, but most Americans don't need to "open our hearts" on the subject simply because liberals accuse them of harboring ugly thoughts. We need to fix police departments. We need to fix our inner-city schools. And we need to fix the economic prospects of minority populations. People have different ideas for how to go about it. Every day, though, the vast majority of citizens peacefully interact in families, in friendships and in commerce.

If you continually claim that every problem in America is driven by hate, people may start believing you. According to a new Pew Research Center poll, Americans' perception of race relations is more negative today than it has been in 20 years. About 48 percent of those polled claim that "race relations are generally bad." And 36 percent of adults say that "too much attention" is paid to race and racial issues today. Are things really worse today than they were 30 years ago? Fifty years?

When Obama calls for unity (you'll recall this was a big part of his first campaign), he's not talking about a nation that maximizes its freedom so that there is space for an array of cultural outlooks and ideas. He means a nation of diverse people who can all agree that progressivism is right for the nation.

Meanwhile, this administration has made a habit of using the power of the state to coerce and compel others to accept its cultural attitudes. For him, unity means little dissent. In his last State of the Union address, for example, Obama laid out a progressive agenda and then implored us to embrace "American ideals" as if they were the same. Obviously, the nation is divided because Americans have deep-seated, legitimate and meaningful disagreements about the future. One man can neither unify us nor break us apart on his own. But it's been a long time since we've had a president as divisive as Barack Obama.

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  1. Obama grates on my nerves worse than Bush ever did, and that is saying something.

    1. When Bush idiotically talked about how if you’re not with us, you’re against us, he was talking about other countries and the international community. When Obama and the Dems today have similar notions and says similar things, they’re talking about half of America.

      1. Typically the half that would never vote for him, or his 3rd term heir.

      2. No, Bush was telling anyone, including Americans, that you’d better get with the program of invasion and occupation or you’re the enemy.

        1. He actually had a CIA agent outed when her diplomat husband questioned his “proof” that Iraq had WMAs.

    2. This^. He is the most partisan President in my lifetime. He made one non-partisan unifying speech in his life (the 2004 convention that made him national) and has simply ridden that ever since. My dad says Nixon was comparable – but his partisanship was more a paranoid character flaw and he hardly has a positive reputation.

      It’s almost like Obama has never understood that he actually won the 2008 election. But rather than become President of the entire country, he chose to keep on campaigning as Leader of the Democratic Party.

      1. He and his supporters absolutely don’t understand that they’ve been in charge for eight years

      2. Like any hustler, whether race, “class”, gender… they can never have the appearance of having won. They need to create the perpetual victimhood theme. Obama has done it constantly (far too many times to specify) and Bush did it with Iran/Iraq.

  2. Honestly he is a pretty sad individual. History will only remember him as being the first African American President who was given a Nobel peace Prize based solely upon the color of his skin.

    1. An acquaintance of mine is having a bumper sticker printed up:

      “Vote for Hillary because she is a woman
      just like you voted for Obama because he is…”

      The guy is almost as much of a troll as Trump. I warned him that his car/tires/paint probably wouldn’t last a week if he put that on his truck.

      1. He should take out the battery and leave it in his driveway. Then set up a hidden surveillance camera and sue the ever loving fuck out of whatever asshole democrat messes with the truck because of a bumper sticker.

    2. When he first ran, the support he got was proof of how racist the country still is. The argument boiled down to, we need a black president. Ability, accomplishments, wisdom, character ? Nah, people flat out said they were voting for the color of his skin.

      1. Actually people told me they voted for him because McCain promised to continue the Iraq War for another 50 years but your skin color theory is interesting. How come they didn’t just vote for Herman Cain?

    3. If only. He’ll be painted as the greatest president ever, who deftly steered us out of the Bush years and reigned over years of unprecedented prosperity. They rewrite history with the best of them

    4. I suspect history will remember him as being divisive because of the color of his skin.

  3. Note that, as absolutely insane as “It is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than get his hands on a computer or even a book” is, Politifact can’t bring themselves to rate it as “Pants on Fire,” choosing a weaselly “Mostly False”. They tie themselves in knots blathering about numbers of bookstores and ignore that all kinds of stores, from Walmart to Goodwill and other thrift shops, have book sections. Not only that, but they also justify it by saying that inner city kids probably know somebody with access to guns — ignoring that they damn sure know people with access to books, too (like teachers, counselors, social workers, ministers, any literate adult, etc.).

    1. Politifact is terrible.

      They called “More white people are killed each year by police than black people” half true, even though it’s 100 percent absolutely true.

      There’s a point to be made about why that is and population makeup, etc. But that statement is ABSOLUTELY TRUE, not half true.

  4. Yes he is bad but at least he gives lip service to free speech and religion – our most important rights. He is far better than Hitlary or Der Drumpf on the issue. And he’s kept us from becoming more like Europe: German police launch first nationwide hate speech raids. (Weimar blasphemy laws, anyone?) For that I’m grateful for the Obozo.

    1. Yes he is bad but at least he gives lip service to free speech and religion

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! OMG, you just absolutely made me pee my pants laughing!

      Oh, did you ever pay up?

      1. Yeah, shreek must think this is opposite day, or something.

    2. “We need to rethink our position on free speech. The rest of the world doesnt see free speech the way we do.”

      That lip service?

      How about trying to prosecute oil companies and think tanks for being global warming deniers? More examples of his respect for free speech?

      Go fuck yerself shreek.

      1. That sounds like something Loretta would say. Not Obozo.

        Here’s something Obozo said:

        “Don’t feel like you got to shut your ears off because you’re too fragile and somebody might offend your sensibilities.”

        1. We must not leave the future to those who would defile the name of theprophet mohammed.

          Benghazi was the result of a youtube video and we need to arrest its creator.

          Pretty compelling support for the 1A.

        2. good point, but ironically he said both things.

    3. I wonder how many police raids Germany launched in the late 1930’s.

      1. Do you know who else…damn…

  5. “to the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”

    this is what obama said after the 2014 elections. in his mind, by not voting, those 2/3 were signaling that they agreed with him, so why would he care that democrats lost horribly….most people agreed with him, and he’s the only one who noticed. he’s special that way.

  6. You order the killing of a young teen and his friends eating breakfast and you are goddamn right I am not with you. How could any rational person, even a very left-wing one, excuse that behaviour? So his dad was a bad guy…okay why was John Gotti’s teenage son not imprisoned along with his dad? He MIGHT grow up to be a mobster, right?

    As for the arguments that books are hard to find in poor areas, how about Goodwill stores? They are not, and they sell used books – cheap. How about those failing schools in poor areas? I don’t think lack of any books is why they fail. And don’t get me started on computers. Is the man not aware that cell phones have computers built right into them? How many poor people don’t have a cell phone? Give me a break.

    1. Just curious, anyone ever heard of fucking AMAZON? Most kids, even in the inner city, actually have those phone gizmos from which, you know, you can order shit.

      1. Do not schools / municipalities have libraries? One does not have to buy a book to benefit from it.

      2. Good point. They have smartphones. Those ARE computers. And they dont need books with the internet at their fingertips. Kindle app among others, and millions of free books, not to mention other educational materials. Besides, dont we fund free internet for the poor? Obamaphones? Etc.

    2. +1 Obamaphones

    3. Plenty of people put out books to give away. Seriously, books are (a substantial amount of) garbage.

  7. It’s what psychologists call “projection”. Mofo assumes that everyone is as much of a hateful, enraged SOB as he is.

    1. Projection is pretty much what the left does in general.

  8. We are better than this, he says.

    Uh, apparently *not*.

  9. Yes, there are racists and bigots in all our institutions and communities, but most Americans don’t need to “open our hearts” on the subject simply because liberals accuse them of harboring ugly thoughts.

    Nuh uh… I was told by a liberal that I can be a racist piece of shit without being a Klansman

    1. Check your privilege, racist. You don’t have to say, do, or even think anything, you are racist because you do not belong to a bona fide victim group.

      And somebody has to be the bad guy, capiche? Otherwise who would they blame for their own problems?

  10. Holy shit. The talking heads are going nuts this morning. Obumbles is getting the most blistering criticism I have heard to date…I mean they are finally taking the gloves off.

    My wife – “What the hell? Are they using your posts on Reason for the last 8 years as a script?”

    I guess reality eventually sinks in.

    Conversation with a friend –
    Me – “If you let savages in your country this is what you get. Savagery.”

    Friend – “Thats crazy. You cant say things like that. It’s racist.”

    Me – “It’s not crazy, it’s obvious. Living in a fantasy world is crazy.”

  11. Hmmm, you’re either with us or agin us, eh? I’ve heard that before actually said, and not implied, as Harsanyi does.

    Oh that’s right, GW Bush’s exhortation for the misbegotten Iraq adventure. One Harsanyi helped sell at the outset.

    Good try, Harsanyi. Check the mirror.

    1. Sept. 13, 2001, seven days before Bush’s use of the phrase, Senator Hillary Clinton said, “Every nation has to either be with us or against us. Those who harbor terrorists or who finance them are going to pay a price.” Maybe Bush borrowed that rhetoric from her?

      1. Bush is the biggest monster since Hitler and the fact that you tried to smear Her Excelency by tying his statement to her shows how much of a Team Red cheerleader you are. Also, you’re a misogynist.

        /sarc

        1. I’m self-flagellating right now. (Sad face, bowed head)

        2. I truly detest Bush, but “biggest monster since Hitler” So hard, there is SO much competition for that title.

      2. He may have. After all, she was a big supporter of the Iraq War. And Bush got his marching orders from many people I guess, maybe not just Cheney. Clinton too!

        And still…Harsanyi as well. He still needs to look in the mirror. But thanks.

    2. GW Bush’s exhortation for the misbegotten Iraq adventure.

      It is comforting to see your memory is as weak as everything else in your intellect. What Bush said was And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. And he was talking about the perpetrators of 9-11.

      1. Thanks.

        It’s still use of the same kind of argument mentioned above. One that Harsanyi has disdain for. Unless of course it supports something he believes in. He’s not big on principle.

        1. It’s still use of the same kind of argument mentioned above.

          I’m looking for a good set of portable goalposts, where did you find yours, at the Sports Authority liquidation sale?

        2. Of course the big difference is that Obama is saying that to the American people, not countries aiding and abetting terrorist.

          But you knew that, didn’t you?

  12. “a kind of spiritual certitude that justifies circumventing debate.”

    Pretty much explains it. I don’t care, if you disagree you are a racist, misogynist, hate children, are blind to your privilege, or just an all around retrograde troglodyte.

    I been called all of them. And yet “I’m as happy as a June bug.”

  13. We will put our boots to the neck of those who disagree with us, thats some uniting words form Obama right from the start, and they call republicans racist.

  14. We’re going to need a collective shower after this fool.

  15. If by racist he means smarter and better looking, then yeah..

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    GO to the web>>>>> http://www.CareerPlus90.com

    1. ITT:

      anonobot learning post styling from Hihn. (giggles)

  17. RE: How Obama Divides America
    You’re either with him or one of the bad guys

    One must realize that Dear Leader does not divide the untermenschen here in the USA. There are only doubters and racists who oppose him and his wise socialist policies. Such people are obviously either unenlightened in the judicious policies of socialist thought or counter-revolutionaries capitalist pigs that are working for the nefarious Koch brothers. We must all be grateful for Dear Leader’s wise policies of increasing our national debt, pushing socialized medicine, engaging in selective cronyism with British Petroleum, Solyandra, etc., and keeping our armed forces in Iraq and other places so they can continue to engage in realistic war games. I think I can speak for everyone here that it will be a sad day when Dear Leader will no longer leading us toward the conclusion of the Great People’s Revolution.

  18. summary of leftist delusions: we’re all a bunch of racists and even if we’ve never done or said anything racist to anyone, we’re just a racist for not recognizing our own racism.

    1. ^THIS^

      You must realize that your failure to openly engage in racism against members those races that have in the past had members engaged in racist behavior is prima facia evidence of your racistm. The lack of appropriate racism is racist comrade.

    2. I think it’s funny how most leftists love to mock religion, particularly Christianity, yet their philosophy pretty much boils down to “you have all sinned and you can only redeem yourselves by submitting to the will of the Democrat Party”.

  19. as did Bush…as do they all

  20. According to the Drug Policy Alliance:

    Although rates of drug use and selling are comparable across racial lines, people of color are far more likely to be stopped, searched, arrested, prosecuted, convicted and incarcerated for drug law violations than are whites.

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/race-and-drug-war

    Who supports the racist war on drugs?
    Obama.
    Therefore Obama is racist.

  21. Excellent article Mr. Harsanyi. Spot on.

  22. Maybe one day Obo will make a speech that isn’t about him. Maybe.

  23. Let’s just say it, the “new” Democrats are the Nihilist zealots of old, with a 17th century Calvinist’s absolute assurance of the sanctity of their righteous agenda.

  24. ,,it’s been a long time since we’ve had a president as divisive as Barack Obama.
    ‘A, so very true comment.

  25. Barak Obama in actuality is a very small man in mental capacity and depth. He has no real character or moral code. He simply doesn’t have the mental strength to analyze problems. His rhetoric is pretty much the same when he address every problem. He either blames conservative, the police or racism. I don’t think he is mentally equipped to solve the root cause of problems. His shallowness is evident by how he reacts to a tragedy. He goes on vacation or to the golf course and leaves his underlings to take care of them. If anyone thinks that Hillary Clinton is much different they will have a rude awakening.

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