Please, no more teachable moments

All these controversies involve issues addressed at the state and local level, with presidential action unnecessary. In such contentious matters, why intervene when Obama cannot do much other than polarize millions?

We have learned that President Obama has a bad habit of impugning the motives of those with whom he disagrees. In the Gates case, he rushed to condemn Crowley and the police. Arizonans were not to be seen as desperate citizens trying to enforce federal law, but instead derided as bigots who harass minorities when they go out to get ice cream. And in the mosque case, the president disingenuously implied that opponents of a Ground Zero mosque wanted to deny the legal right of Muslims to build religious centers.

Note that all three issues poll badly for the president, and belie his former image as a conciliator and healer.