Perhaps what I have in mind is not so well hidden. I think I detect under the surface of the current contest for the Presidency a genuine loathing on the part of some for their opponents. I notice, for example, there is a not very well disguised animosity on the part of some, Chris Matthews, for example, towards the Republicans. Matthews and some others do not come right out and say what they feel but their contempt for what is going on is pretty obvious and seems to me has been growing over time. Maybe this is my imagination because this is precisely the growing animosity I have myself developed towards Republicans I have increasingly come to perceive as totally dishonest, unprincipled, and even somewhat criminal in their behavior. Not only do I feel this way, I believe there is good reason for this attitude. I think is undisputedly true their entire campaign has been nothing but a remarkable collection of lies, distortions, half-truths and extremely devious and hypocritical attacks on President Obama. Not the least of these has been their continuous insistence that he has failed to create jobs when in fact the failure to create jobs is a result of their own intransigence and lack of cooperation. As I have said previously, more than once, I think this began during the Clinton administration and has become increasingly worse over time.
During the last debate between Romney and President Obama I think it must be true that Obama was actually seething under the surface when he finally told Romney his behavior was offensive. It was offensive and the rebuke was perfectly deserved. And I also must say I think Obama has been remarkably tolerant of the disrespect he and his office have experienced over time. Being called a liar during his speech, having the disgusting governor of Arizona wagging her finger at him, having Sununu suggesting he was not an American, having to listen to Trump’s absolutely inane accusations about his birth, and the thousands of other slights he has endured by the likes of mental midgets like Palin and others, must have affected him seriously even though he seems to have kept his emotions remarkably in check. Most of these critics are simply too dishonest to just come out and admit they don’t want a Black man in the White House and resort to all kinds of code words, innuendoes and fantastic lies rather than admit their quite obvious prejudice.
When their behavior becomes so egregious that even Matthews, Maddow, Bashir, and others can barely conceal their contempt you begin to realize just how truly terrible it has become. These are supposed to be more or less objective reporters who obviously have lost their supposed objectivity and cannot any longer conceal their feelings. To me this seems to have culminated this evening when Lawrence O’Donnell, an obvious partisan but usually well controlled, I think went too far when he attacked the Romney’s for their failure to serve in the military even though they have supported all the wars. It might well have been okay to point this out but to imply they are cowardly and even challenge one of them to a fight went well beyond what I think was appropriate. It seems to me this could only have happened because O’Donnell, like others, has become so completely fed up with their devious, dishonest, disgusting, divisive, disreputable, and even despicable attacks, culminating in one of the sons saying he wanted to punch Obama, apparently caused him to temporarily snap. As much as I sympathize with his disgust and frustration I think he went too far.
I think it is quite remarkable that politicians, especially those at the higher echelons of politics, can manage to keep their emotions under control as well as they do. I believe Obama must have nothing but contempt for Romney but he seems to conceal it well, and I also suspect his feeling about Netanyahu must be even more difficult to control. I guess if it were otherwise we would probably be far worse off than we are. It must be the same for leaders of other countries, forced to be respectful to more powerful leaders they know are trying to dominate and even undermine them. I confess I do not think I could do this.
Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock.