As Andrew Klavan notes, rhetorical nastiness has been a feature of the liberal political landscape for the last 50 years. What's different in 2016 is that we have a candidate on the other side who's been willing to dish out the nastiness in return.
In a veiled reference to Trump at a recent lunch on Capitol Hill, President Obama declared he was “dismayed” at the “vulgar and divisive rhetoric” being heard on the campaign trail. “In America, there is no law that says we have to be nice to each other, or courteous, or treat each other with respect,” the president said. “But there are norms. There are customs.”
Are there? When I hear this sort of thing from Obama and his fellow leftists, what I wonder is: Have they not listened to themselves for the past 50 years? Do they really have no idea how vicious, how low, how cruel, and how dishonest their attacks on the Right have been?
No, they haven’t; and, no, they don’t. The Democrat-monopolized media, which explodes with rage at any minor unmannerliness on the right, falls so silent at the Left’s almost ceaseless acrimony that leftists are never forced to confront what despicable little Trumps they often are.
It begins with the Democratic leadership. Last August, principled Republicans opposed Obama’s foolish nuclear deal with Iran. Obama’s response? He compared them to terrorists. “Those hard-liners chanting ‘Death to America,’” he said. “They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus.” And yet “there are norms. There are customs.”
Occasionally, I'll hear in some commentary somewhere, about how Obama is such a likable guy, and I wonder, on what planet might that that guy be living? It sure as hell isn't here. As with everything, it's all about politics and power with Obama. There's nothing — no foreign policy issue, no domestic issue, no social justice issue — that is not about getting and retaining power.
For Obama that means attacking his opponents personally, accusing them of hypocrisy, dishonesty, racism, and greed. Instead of attacking opposition proposals directly, Obama attacks the people who make them calling them haters or deniers. By successfully smearing the people, he stokes opposition to their proposals, even before anybody knows what the proposals are. Of course, liberal media luminaries have been only too happy to assist.
Is it any wonder why Trump is so popular? He's just stealing a page from Obama.