Lefty Pundit: Republicans Routinely Tell ‘Utter Lie’ That Obama’s ‘Ideas Are Alien and Threatening’

When it comes to battling President Obama, implies Paul Waldman, Republicans should (to borrow a phrase from Sinead O’Connor) fight the real enemy, not the cartoon ideologue of their imaginations.

“If you spend some time investigating what evidence Republicans offer when they call Obama divisive, what you find is not actually evidence at all, but their own skewed interpretations of events," wrote Waldman in a Tuesday column for The Week. “You might think he has been a good president or a bad one. But the idea that blame for the political divisions we confront lies solely or even primarily at his door is positively deranged.”

The “divisive” charge, Waldman suggested, is inseparable from conservatives’ supposed hyperbole about Obama’s far-left positions: “Any time you hear a Republican begin a sentence with ‘Barack Obama believes…’ it's an absolute guarantee that what follows will be an utter lie about how Obama doesn't accept the basic values nearly all Americans agree on, that his ideas are alien and threatening.”

From Waldman’s post (bolding added):

[W]hen historians assess the Obama presidency, they will pay a great deal of attention to the deep political divisions within the country…

…Republicans are sure that the fault…can be laid at the feet of Barack Obama, who is terribly, appallingly, despicably divisive…

…[I]f you spend some time investigating what evidence Republicans offer when they call Obama divisive, what you find is not actually evidence at all, but their own skewed interpretations of events. "He says 'It's my way or the highway' on legislation!", they charge — although he doesn't actually say that. It's just that he has a different legislative agenda than they do. "He crammed ObamaCare down our throats!"…Back on Planet Earth, the Affordable Care Act spent over a year going through endless hearings, floor speeches, and debates…

…You might like Barack Obama or you might not; you might think he has been a good president or a bad one. But the idea that blame for the political divisions we confront lies solely or even primarily at his door is positively deranged.

…Before you protest that Obama himself sometimes questions his opponents' motives, it's important to realize that when he does so, it's in a narrow way focused on the issue at hand — they really want to cut taxes for the wealthy, they don't think women ought to have access to abortion, they're too eager to start a new war, and so on — to explain their behavior at a particular moment. What he doesn't do, and what he has never done, is accuse them of hating their country. But this is something Republicans have done constantly — not once or twice, not a dozen times or even a hundred, but constantly for seven years…

In fact, any time you hear a Republican begin a sentence with "Barack Obama believes…" it's an absolute guarantee that what follows will be an utter lie about how Obama doesn't accept the basic values nearly all Americans agree on, that his ideas are alien and threatening…

…[T]he best explanation for their argument that Obama is so terribly divisive [is that] it's projection. They're blaming him for their own shortcomings, their own misdeeds, the political divisions that they have worked so hard to exacerbate.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters