In a story in the British paper the Independent, we find this nugget:
“Obama has created an atmosphere of no fear,” Douglas Brinkley, a history professor at Rice University and political biographer, told the National Journal. “Nobody is really worried about the revenge of Barack Obama, because he is not a vengeful man. That’s what we love about him; he is so high-minded, and a conciliatory guy, and he tries to govern with a sense of consensus – all noble goals, but they don’t get you very far in this Washington knifing environment.”
Exactly what planet is Professor Brinkley living on? The person he describes was Candidate Obama. But President Obama — you know, the one who targets news networks, the Chamber of Commerce, insurance companies, and people attending town-hall meetings; the Obama who accuses his critics of being liars; the Obama who is trying to ram through one of the largest pieces of legislation in American history without a single Republican vote and after having done virtually no outreach — is a very different person.
The curtain has been pulled back on the supposedly high-minded and noble Mr. Obama. The game is up. And the reality is that he is one of the most partisan and divisive figures we have seen, even as he tries from time to time to reach back to unifying rhetoric — rhetoric that has grown old and stale. His White House — led by Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, Anita Dunn, and Robert Gibbs — is also showing a propensity to bring knives and clubs and guns to Washington’s political skirmishes. They are pulling down rather than elevating our politics. That should be obvious to anyone paying attention, to anyone not blinded by ideology. Which perhaps explains Professor Brinkley’s silly comments.