An extraordinary item from Peter Baker in the New York Times:
WASHINGTON — President Obama must be touched by all the concern Republicans are showing him these days. As Congress examines security breaches at the White House, even opposition lawmakers who have spent the last six years fighting his every initiative have expressed deep worry for his security.
“Even”? Can it really be too difficult to recognize that citizens who strongly disagree with the president of the republic don’t want him to be murdered? Is the moral imagination of the center-left truly so barren as to presume as a matter of course that vehement and caustic political opposition must, eventually, lead to execution? What, one wonders, does Peter Baker consider are the options for the politically active in a free republic: a) you support a president unconditionally or b) you want him dead?
Baker reports that:
“The American people want to know: Is the president safe?” Representative Darrell Issa of California, the Republican committee chairman who has made it his mission to investigate all sorts of Obama administration missteps, solemnly intoned as he opened a hearing into the lapses on Tuesday.
Later, he suggests that “it would not be all that surprising if Mr. Obama were a little wary of all the professed sympathy.”
Frankly, it hadn’t crossed my mind that Issa — or anyone in a similar position — would feel any other way. Of course we want the president to be safe. Those who are surprised by this perhaps need to spend some more time with their ideological opponents, or — and this will be harder, I grant — spend a little more time examining what it is about their ideology that led them to conflate political opposition and violence in the first instance.