CBS’s interview with Barack Obama has to be seen to be believed. Here, Harry Smith asks Obama whether he is aware that some have called him a “socialist” or a “Nazi.” The tone of the interview is remarkable; just try to imagine a network news correspondent asking George Bush in the same sympathetic manner what he thinks about the appalling excesses of the other side:
Note how Obama immediately starts talking about the “vitriol” of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. This is a bad joke: has Obama never listened to Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow et al.? I’ve never watched or listened to Beck, but Limbaugh is a more moderate and sophisticated analyst of the political scene than, say, Paul Krugman or E.J. Dionne.
As for vitriol, has Obama forgotten his own contributions? “If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun,” and “Get in their face”? Or how about his many denunciations of the insurance industry, of doctors, and others involved in health care? Can you remember the last time a President insulted millions of Americans in this manner? I can’t. As far as Obama is concerned, “vitriol” is entirely a matter of whose ox is being gored.
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