I can’t believe it’s come to this, our country’s great hope being undermined at every turn — but at least I’m not the only one who feels this way. As “Gemli,” a commenter on the NYT article, put it,
Republicans are playing Mr. Obama like a cheap violin, and it’s embarrassing. One gets the image of high school bullies playing keep-away with his lunch box, which is not the image one wants to have of the president of the United States. I’m not sure if Stockholm Syndrome really applies, as the Republicans are incapable of showing any kindness, even of the bogus variety. It was particularly distressing to witness Mr. Obama offer the federal salary freeze concession, as he might as well have tossed it into a black hole. It is not a mark of honor, nor does it set a good precedent, to willingly give your lunch money to bullies. They don’t “respect” you for it. They laugh at you behind your back.
On the other hand, JRL, also in the NYT comments, says,
Nothing but a deep civic consciousness combined with a spiritual approach can explain such unflappable behavior in so intelligent a man as Obama. He has modeled himself after Lincoln who said in his first inaugural address: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory…will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
I hope the latter view is true, but I fear it is the former that will be borne out.