January 18, 2016

OBAMA — STILL POLARIZING AFTER ALL THESE YEARS, writes Victor Davis Hanson, with a detail that should have gotten much wider play last week:

Polls confirm that Obama is the most polarizing president in recent memory. There is little middle ground: supporters worship him; detractors in greater number seem to vehemently dislike him. Why then does the president, desperate for some sort of legacy, continue to embrace polarization?

A few hours before delivering that State of the Union, President Obama met with rapper Kendrick Lamar. Obama announced that Lamar’s hit “How Much a Dollar Cost” was his favorite song of 2015. The song comes from the album To Pimp a Butterfly; the album cover shows a crowd of young African-American men massed in front of the White House. In celebratory fashion, all are gripping champagne bottles and hundred-dollar bills; in front of them lies the corpse of a white judge, with two Xs drawn over his closed eyes. So why wouldn’t the president’s advisors at least have advised him that such a gratuitous White House sanction might be incongruous with a visual message of racial hatred? Was Obama seeking cultural authenticity, of the sort he seeks by wearing a T-shirt, with his baseball cap on backwards and thumb up?

Read the whole thing.

VDH naturally asks how the media would have responded if GWB had invited a figure this polarizing to the White House, but the current president’s own history is also telling. Recall that in January of 2011 after the Tucson shooting, “Obama [Called] for a New Era of Civility in U.S. Politics,” as the New York Times described his widely praised speech. Jared Lee Loughner severely wounded a congresswoman, killed or wounded 17 others — and killed a federal judge. And last week, Obama met with someone whose album cover features an image of a judge who had just been murdered. And a media that was once utterly obsessed over “eliminationist rhetoric” and bulls-eye clip-art didn’t lose a moment of sleep.

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As Jonah Goldberg once said of the DNC-MSM, “To Hell With You People.”

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