If Obama were to treat Republicans the way they say he should treat Islam, they’d squeal nonstop about slander and demagogy.
On Feb. 1, Obama was asked in an NBC interview about the mockery of him during the State of the Union. He shrugged it off as good-natured “ribbing” and changed the subject: “What I want us to focus on is the areas we have in common.” The next day, he sent his budget proposal to Congress. Republicans, determined to block his immigration agenda, were withholding money for the Department of Homeland Security. But Obama said these saboteurs didn’t represent the true GOP: “A large percentage of Republicans agree that we need comprehensive immigration reform.” Instead of using the fight for partisan advantage, Obama spread the blame to his own party. “Republicans and Democrats in Congress should not be playing politics” with the department’s funding, he warned.
On Feb. 6, Obama went to Indiana and lauded Dick Lugar, the state’s former Republican senator. The next day, in his weekly radio address, he repeated: “I’ll work with anyone, Republican or Democrat, who wants to get to ‘yes.’ … We should stop refighting old battles and start working together.” Even last Friday, in his speech to the Democratic National Committee, five of Obama’s nine references to Republicans were positive. “If Republicans are serious about taking on the specific challenges that face the middle class,” he pleaded, “we should welcome them.”