President Obama has governed as a pragmatist during some of the most difficult times we have encountered in the past fifty years. Contrary to the ridiculous patter of many Republicans, Mr. Obama is not a “leftist,” a “socialist,” nor a “radical”. Even the Obama health care plan was originally a Republican idea from 1992. After the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, the central concepts of what is now the Obama health care plan were backed by Republicans Robert Dole and Newt Gingrich among others. Mitt Romney implemented an almost identical health care plan while he was governor of Massachusetts and now disingenuously rejects it.
When their arguments against the President’s policies have fallen flat, some Republicans have insisted on inventing stories about Mr. Obama. The “birthers” have insisted that Mr. Obama is not a natural born American citizen, and have frequently been abetted by the silence or acquiescence of those in Republican leadership positions. The “whispering campaigns” about Mr. Obama’s religion, and even Mitt Romney’s suggestion that the President is trying to make America a “less religious” country have been cynical attempts to divide Americans and undermine the President. When the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, suggests his number one priority is to make sure Barack Obama is a one-term president, Mr. McConnell’s priorities have veered sharply astray.