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It’s not personal this time

Posted by Richard on April 22, 2010

On the way home this evening, I heard Hugh Hewitt talking with National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru. Ponnuru made an interesting point that I hadn't thought about, but which strikes me as quite valid: the opposition to the Obama administration is much more programmatic and policy-driven, and much less personal, than the opposition to the Clinton administration was.

Think back — the right's dislike of both Bill and Hillary was quite intense, personal, and visceral. Yes, there are a few whose reaction to Obama is similar — but they're mostly marginalized fringe people like the birthers. The Tea Party people, who are the opposition mainstream, are thoroughly focused on issues: out-of-control spending, out-of-control growth of government, out-of-control deficits, "stimulus" pork, cap-and-tax, health care takeover, etc.

When Clinton was called names, they tended to focus on his character and were quite personal. When Obama is called names, they tend to focus on his agenda — ends and means — and are quite ideological: socialist, radical, Alinskyite, etc. 

To the extent that this comparison is valid, it seems to further discredit the spurious claim that opposition to Obama is racially motivated.

Although I'm sure someone will point out that Bill Clinton was proclaimed our nation's first black president, so the opposition to him must have been racist, too.

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