Forget about tens of thousands of illegal immigrants flooding the border or the idea of terrorists attacking the homeland. In a softball interview with the New York Times, Barack Obama suggested that political conservatives are the biggest threat to the United States, the Daily Caller reported Saturday.
"The president mused, the biggest threat to America — the only force that can really weaken us — is us,” interviewer Thomas Friedman wrote. Throughout the interview, Obama positioned himself as a moderate facing obstruction from "maximalist" politicians -- read, conservative Republicans.
“Our politics are dysfunctional,” Obama said. He went on to tell Friedman America should see the divisions in the Middle East as a “warning to us: societies don’t work if political factions take maximalist positions. And the more diverse the country is, the less it can afford to take maximalist positions.”
Translation: Conservative Republicans need to stop opposing Obama's agenda. In Obama's view, America will turn into the Middle East unless everyone adopts his position on any given issue.
Neil Munro said Obama's comment about diversity was "likely a warning to conservatives, who are expected by many Democrats to lose power as the nation absorbs more foreigners who do not share conservatives’ small-government ideals." But the nation currently trusts Republicans on issues like immigration and the economy more than they trust Democrats, Rasmussen said in late July.
Obama, however, wasn't finished placing blame. In addition to political opponents, he also blamed gerrymandering, "uncontrolled money in politics" and what Friedman called "the Balkanization of the news media." Friedman did not explain what he meant, but it's quite clear Obama does not like the rise of what has become known as the "new media," consisting of blogs, citizen journalists, and outlets like this that allow a conservative voice. Throughout his presidency, Obama has railed against Fox News and conservatives like Rush Limbaugh.
According to Friedman, who, Munro notes, is a supporter of the president and "progressive-style expansive government," these things are "sapping our ability to face big challenges together, more than any foreign enemy.” The implication is clear: To move forward, Americans must all think alike and not oppose Obama on anything, no matter what.
Munro observed that neither Obama nor Friedman blamed Democrats for the partisan bickering in Washington. Obama’s claim of moderation, Munro added, is contradicted by a mountain of evidence that includes his own words.
In October 2013, for example, Obama described House GOP lawmakers as "akin to arsonists, kidnappers, deadbeats, butchers, lunatics and extortionists, obsessives, out-of-touch hostage-takers, nuclear-armed bombers, and unserious irresponsible extremists," Munro said. In the same speech, however, he claimed to be "willing to go more than halfway in these conversations."
Since then, he has adopted a more aggressive stance. Now, faced with opposition from Republicans and the public at large, Obama has declared time and again he will use his pen and his phone to unilaterally bypass Congress on a wide array of issues, including amnesty and the minimum wage.