News reports suggest that on Thursday night, the president will tell Republicans in the House and Senate that they should put “country before party” and endorse his proposals for job creation. The “country before party” line has become Obama’s new theme in the wake of the debt crisis, and the passion with which he invokes it indicates it’s something he actually and truly believes in.
And it’s utter nonsense. Offensive nonsense too. Obama isn’t truly asking Republicans to put country before party. He is asking them to elevate the interests and ideas of the Democratic party higher than their own ideas, their sense of what is best for the nation, and their deeply held convictions about the moral hazard posed by a too-large government and a populace too reliant on it. They won’t do it, and they shouldn’t, and the next time liberals complain that conservatives unfairly impugn their patriotism, Obama’s effort to do just that with his loyal ideological opposition should be thrown in their face.
Beyond that, though, is something more pernicious: the suggestion, which we hear more and more of these days, that opposition to President Obama is based on racist views. At the outset of his administration, some of us predicted this would happen once Obama encountered rough political waters. Still, this needs to be said: to hurl the charge of racism without any evidence is slanderous. The GOP’s opposition to Obama is rooted in profound political and philosophical disagreements; Republicans believe he is championing policies injurious to our nation. They may be wrong, but that does not make them malevolent. And to accuse people of racism in such a casual, promiscuous and reckless manner ultimately has the effect of draining the charge of its potency. Genuine racism is a terrible thing, which is why it should be reserved for the real deal rather than used as a clumsy and transparently ideological club.
The race and patriotism cards are based on the false premise that Republicans really know Obama is right, but they are opposing him anyway.
I am not saying that the Republicans have the right ideas for this country, I’m saying that most of them are good-intentioned people who honestly believe what they say.
Didja ever notice there isn’t a lot of civil discussion between left and right these days? The left talks to the left and the right talks to the right, both sides demonizing the other.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? – Matthew 7:3
And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. – Luke 4:23