Here’s a quote from an interview yesterday with NPR where Barack Obama was asked about opposition:

If you are referring to… specific strains in the Republican party that… uh… suggest that somehow I’m different… I’m… Muslim… I’m disloyal to the country, etc…you know… Which, unfortunately, uhh, is pretty far out there and gets some traction, uh, in certain pockets of the Republican party, and that have been articulated by some of their elected officials. Uh, what I’d say there is that, uh, that’s probably pretty specific to, uh, me, and, uh, who I am and, uh, and my background, and that in some ways I may represent change that worries them.

We’ve heard this basic script many times before with the president. It’s interesting how thin-skinned he is. He talks in measured academic tones, with thoughtful uhhs, and there is an undercurrent of condescending offense that anyone could actually disagree with him. There is a touch of passive-aggressive ad hominem. He comforts himself that he’s dealing with simpletons harboring bad motives– most especially, racism.

Granted, anyone who reads news article comments on the internet will often see discussions conducted in bad faith, but that cuts all ways. It’s rare to see thoughtful, unapologetic, fair-minded arguments in lieu of the usual pointless brawls between “libtards” and “teabagger racists.” However, I think a less arrogant man than the president would disregard such chaff and act more charitably toward his opposition. Once you get past the insults, even some of the name-callers can articulate reasons for their disgust with his policies.