Democrats: “President Trump’s rhetoric is divisive, which is why our politics are in such a miasmatic state.”
Also Democrats: Trump “just makes it up!”
The first remark isn’t so much a quote so much as a composite; while constituent parts of it could have been uttered by numerous liberals at various times during Donald Trump’s candidacy or presidency, it’s not a direct excerpt from anything.
The second quote, however, isn’t just from a Democrat — it’s from what many might consider the archetypal Democrat, the man who led the party’s lurch to the left and continues to take the spotlight nearly two years since he left office.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Barack Obama:
This comes from a speech the former president gave in Milwaukee on Friday, where he was stumping for Democrats and asking, “Who are we?”
“What kind of politics do we want to see? What kind of accountability do we expect from of our elected officials?” Obama asked.
Those questions were apparently rhetorical, particularly in regards to the kind of politics we want to see — which is to say civility.
There wasn’t much of that to go around in Wisconsin, where Obama said, “What we have not seen before — in our recent public life, at least — is politicians just blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly lying.” Kettle, Pot’s on line two.
“Making stuff up!” he exclaimed. “Calling up down! Calling black white!”
“The president said he’d pass a middle-class tax cut before the next election,” Obama later noted. “Congress isn’t even in session! He just makes it up!”
(Actually, Trump said the 10 percent cut would be “put in next year,” but please continue with your rant about shameless lying.)
“He says, ‘I’m going to protect your pre-existing conditions,’ while his Justice Department is in court right now trying to strike down those protections,” Obama continued, trying his hand at a Trump impression.
“That is not spin,” he said. “That’s not exaggeration. That’s not trying to put a positive glow on things. That’s lying!”
Lying about health care — you mean like, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor“? I dunno, man. Nothing Trump has said sounds as bad as anything from whoever dropped that nugget of mendacity. Wonder where he is these days.
Of course, that’s not the most egregious takeaway from the speech. Nor is it the fact that Obama is accusing the president of “blatantly, repeatedly, baldly, shamelessly lying” with his long record of doing just that in office. Rather, it’s the fact that Obama’s remarks came on the same day that the media went after Trump, implying that his “incivility” caused suspected explosive devices to be sent to Democrats and related figures.
I’m one of those individuals who has a hard time believing, unless there’s an actual exhortation to incivility (see: Waters, Maxine), that a 1:1 relationship between a politician’s words and uncivil acts exists. However, if the media is going to posit that, there has to be some level of consistency.
Insisting that Trump deserves some blame for the mail bombs and then — on a selfsame day — calling Obama’s speech merely “fiery” is an abdication of journalistic responsibility.
It’s funny, then, that these outlets actually believe Trump is perpetuating an unspeakable awfulness by noting that the press is biased against Republicans. The implication that the press is responsible for any violence is just as specious as the implication that Trump is, mind you. However, denying the bias at this point simply won’t fly — particularly when Obama gets a pass.