Well, at least he is honest enough to admit it isn’t about race – unlike so many of his supporters.
President Obama late Wednesday dismissed the notion that partisan gridlock on Capitol Hill is the result of his stature as the country's first black president, instead accusing Republicans of a "habit" of attempting to "delegitimize" Democratic presidents.
"There does [seem to] be a habit sometimes of just Democratic presidents generally being – efforts being made to delegitimize them in some fashion," Obama told the PBS NewsHour. "And that’s fine because, you know, politics is – is not – is not bean bag, as they used to say – it’s not a noncontact sport. And I don’t worry about it personally."
Obama did say that he had observed a resistance to "any change in the status quo, particularly when it came to economic opportunity," but chalked that up "less to ... my race" than sentiments that "the government’s the problem instead of the solution."
Let’s be honest – the GOP opposed many of Obama’s policies when Clinton was president, or when Gore and Kerry ran on them during their campaigns. Why on earth would they embrace them once Obama took over? After all, it would be racist to cave on principle just because of the color of the man’s skin.
But the notion that there is some sort of “habit” of delegitimizing only Democrats in the White House is absurd. Think about it – Democrats spent 8 years trying to tear down George W. Bush because of the closeness of the 2000 election (with the notable exception of the immediate post-9/11 period). They pressed his father to violate his “read my lips” pledge – and then pilloried him for having done so. Reagan was demonized, too – and let’s not forget the treatment that Nixon got despite winning 49 states in 1972 (and no, it was not all over Watergate). What Obama is complaining about is Democrats being treated by Republicans the way that Democrats treat Republicans.