His brief Senate record, his health-care partisanship of 2009, his snickering amid audience applause after the “inadvertent” middle-fingering of Hillary Clinton, and his polarizing metaphorical speech (e.g., knives, guns, kicking ass, getting angry, getting in their face, hostage takers, trigger fingers, tearing up) all attest to that.
That Obama is a postracial mellifluent Chicago politician does not mean that he is not a Chicago politician. That he blasts the “fat cats,” the “stupidly” acting police, and the limb-lopping surgeons, or that his attorney general calls the American people “cowards,” is typical, not aberrant. For 2012, President Obama will have raised $1 billion in cash. He knows from 2008 (“cling to guns or religion,” “typical white person,” “gun to a knife fight”) that his own emotionalism and polarization both earn him cash and create the “them” against “us” (minorities, youth, gays, women) binaries that might draw attention away from an agenda that a majority simply does not want. Obama has always used polarizing politics, coupled with calls for bipartisanship, to great effect, and he surely — as we just saw again in October 2010 (“punish,” “backseat,” “enemies”) — cannot stop now....
Indeed, hours after President Obama’s calls for a new landscape of civility, Rep. Steven Cohen (D., Tenn.) was comparing Republican opponents of the health-care legislation to Nazis from the House floor, while Slate published a screed by Emily Bazelon on “Why I Loathe My Connecticut Senator,” with serial expressions of how she “loathed” and “despised” Sen. Joe Lieberman.
January 21, 2011
Says Victor Davis Hanson, explaining why call for "civility" is bogus: