Thank you to @lillly on Twitter for the lead on this. Peter Wehner’s piece in Commentary magazine is so well written that I won’t add much. The only thing I disagree with is that I knew Obama would be more of a polarizing figure than a uniter. Given his background, and his friendly and political associations, it was easy to see what kind of a president he was going to be. Great article nonetheless and I will follow Mr. Wehner’s articles. Here’s a little bit about him: Peter Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He served in the Bush White House as director of the office of strategic initiatives.
I have argued before that the tone and manner in which one practices politics are undervalued commodities, especially at a presidential level. The public looks for leaders who are large-minded rather than petty and peevish, who engage in public arguments class=”hiddenSuggestion” pre=”arguments “>rather than in personal attacks, who want to solve problems rather than settle scores. Tone and approach are important not simply for the aesthetics of politics but also because of what they reveal about a person’s predisposition and attitude, temperament and spirit.
That is but one reason why President Obama’s war on Fox News — being carried out by him and his top aides — is so unwise. One of the attractions of Obama during the election — one of his attractions to me, who wrote favorably about him several times — was his tone and countenance, his apparent interest in a serious engagement with issues, and his professed allergy to politics practiced by those who are bitter and brittle. We should, he said, “resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.” He went on to say, “I will listen to you, especially when we disagree.” All impressive and high-minded sentiments. And all, apparently, a ruse.
Read the rest of the article here: