Political conservatives are the greatest threat to the nation, President Barack Obama suggested in a kid-glove interview with the New York Times.
“The president mused, the biggest threat to America — the only force that can really weaken us — is us,” said the interviewer, Thomas Friedman.
“Our politics are dysfunctional… societies don’t work if political factions take maximalist positions,” said Obama, who repeatedly claims to be a moderate stymied by the GOP’s supposed obstructionism and radicalism.
“And the more diverse the country is, the less it can afford to take maximalist positions,” Obama added.
That 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.
“Increasingly politicians are rewarded for taking the most extreme maximalist positions… and sooner or later, that catches up with you,” Obama warned.
The GOP was first on the list of causes that Obama blamed for the political divisions that are blocking his agenda, such as increased immigration. However, his list also included a series of subsidiary causes that are actually consequences of underlying ideological conflicts and economic factors.
“While he blamed the rise of the Republican far right for extinguishing so many potential compromises, Obama also acknowledged that gerrymandering, the Balkanization of the news media and uncontrolled money in politics — the guts of our political system today — are sapping our ability to face big challenges together, more than any foreign enemy,” said Friendman, who is an Obama supporter, and a champion of progressive-style expansive government.
Obama and Friedman did not put any blame on the Democratic Party or Obama himself, whose own aggressive use of big-government to promote the progressive goal of social diversity caused voters in 2010 to give the Republicans a majority in the House.
Obama’s complaints come as the GOP and public opinion have blocked his top priority for the second term — increasing immigration. That failure — despite near-universal support from Democrats, media, big business, Wall Street and many billionaires — recently prompted Obama to say he plans to provide an unilateral amnesty to several million illegal immigrants, and award them work-permits. That’s a high-risk threat, because many recent polls shows that the public very strongly opposes illegal immigration, and gives him very low ratings for his immigration policy.
But Obama didn’t suggest he’s responsible for the nation’s political divides.
Obama’s claim of moderation is contradicted by much evidence.
For example, in October 2013, during the dispute over the 2014 budget, Obama used one speech to describe Republican legislators in the House as akin to arsonists, kidnappers, deadbeats, butchers, lunatics and extortionists, obsessives, out-of-touch hostage-takers, nuclear-armed bombers, and unserious irresponsible extremists. (RELATED: Obama Offers To Fairly Negotiate With GOP Terrorists)
“I’ve shown myself willing to go more than halfway in these conversations,” he also told the TV cameras during the same speech.