In its 2008 endorsement of Barack Obama, the Los Angeles Times asked this question: Will Barack Obama and Joe Biden do more to reconstruct a culture of mutual regard, or will John McCain and Sarah Palin fare better?
And their predictable answer:
As a young politician in Illinois, Obama won admirers among both Democrats and Republicans, whites and blacks. His agenda today is far more Democratic than Republican, but he does not demonize his opponents.
Palin brought us “drill, baby, drill,” this year’s polarizing and vulgar bit of political speech. McCain then unleashed Palin to tear down Obama, and she responded by suggesting that Obama liked to “pal around” with terrorists. Palin’s boast that “the heels are on, the gloves are off” is just too embarrassing to warrant response.
On the question of who will best bind up this torn nation, we are far more troubled by what we know about McCain than what we don’t know about Obama. It is proper to admire McCain’s service to his nation — as a military man and as a senator — and he deserves our respect. On the question of who best can reunite us, however, we cannot put our faith in a man who has done so much to drive us apart.
So, the LA Times got the vapors over “drill baby drill” and described it as “polarizing and vulgar” and were so embarrassed by Palin’s comment “the heels are on, the gloves are off” that they were incapable of comment.
While I don’t claim to be a daily LA Times reader, I look forward to the editorial explaining they were wrong–that the politics of President Obama and his supporters are divisive and relies solely upon demonizing their opponents. From the debt limit to the government shutdown to Obamacare, Democrats have completely forgotten (if they ever knew) that this Republic was founded upon the principle that the opposition in each branch of government is not only to be respected, it’s absolutely necessary to the cause of liberty. And their rhetoric proves it:
Personalizing every argument and proving once again that it’s all about him, Obama said about his opponents in Congress, “They’re focused on politics; they’re focused on trying to mess with me.”
From the always-entertaining Debbie Wasserman Schultz:
You have Republicans on the other side who are irrational and not playing with a full deck. Would you — if you didn’t like the redesign of your kitchen, would you burn the whole house down or would you try to make modifications to the kitchen? These people have come unhinged.
From Harry Reid, “We’re not going to bow to tea party anarchists who deny the mere fact that Obamacare is the law.” (Would someone please remind Sen. Reid that DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) is also the law?)
From adviser Dan Pfeiffer, “What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest”.
When speaking of a possible government shutdown, former VP Al Gore said: “The only thing that describes it is political terrorism. Nice global economy you got there. Shame if we had to destroy it.”
The always-eloquent Senator from Maryland, Barbara Mikulski referred to supporters of Ted Cruz as “tea baggers”. And if she doesn’t know what that term means, my 86-year-old mother can explain it in detail. After hearing the term so many times on network TV she began to use it herself, until I put about 5 years on her odometer by giving her the definition.
It seems to me that mutual regard only runs one way. Democrats are not going to begin to play by rhetorical Marquess of Queensberry rules … why should they? No matter their lack of regard and their sometimes vile and violent rhetoric, they are never held to account by the media or their voters.
Quite frankly, I see no option but to put on my heels and take off my gloves, the opinion of the LA Times be damned.