Amy Holmes e-mailed me in shock this morning when she read this quote from Jonathan Alter’s new book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, in Mike Allen’s morning e-mail:
“Obama said that the unanimous House vote against the Recovery Act ‘set the tenor for the whole year’: ‘That helped to create the tea-baggers and empowered that whole wing of the Republican Party to where it now controls the agenda for the Republicans.’ For Obama this was the greatest surprise of 2009. ‘[It wasn’t that] I thought that my political outreach and charm would immediately end partisan politics,’ the president said. ‘I just thought that there would be enough of a sense of urgency that at least for the first year there would be an interest in governing. And you just didn’t see that.’”
I realize the word has now been mainstreamed, but the etymology is what it is and the White House shouldn’t be using it, never mind the president of the United States. Beyond that, President Obama alienates a whole lot of stirred up voters when he dismisses them as people of bad tenor whose supposed control of the Republican agenda is a bad thing for America.