Two chief pollsters for former Democratic Presidents Clinton and Carter issued a blistering attack on Barack Obama's politics in the Wall Street Journal's op-ed columns Wednesday. They write that "Barack Obama promised a new era of post-partisanship. In office, he's played racial politics and further split the country along class and party lines."
The authors, Douglas Schoen and Patrick Caddell, surprisingly don't even specifically mention either the firing of Shirley Sherrod or the White House backing for forcing Rep. Charles Rangel out of Congress. But they write, "Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class, and partisanship. Moreover, his cynical approach to leadership has encouraged his allies to pursue a similar strategy of racially divisive politics on his behalf.... By dividing America, Mr. Obama has brought our government to the brink of a crisis of legitimacy, compromising our ability to address our most important policy issues."
Schoen and Caddell accuse Obama of using the Justice Department, including in the Arizona lawsuit, to get Hispanic voters in 2012, and cite an anonymous White House strategist saying that "the White House plans to use the immigration debate to punish the GOP and aggressively seek the Latino vote in 2012." And they quote a former head of the Civil Rights Commission, Mary Frances Berry, who agrees with them on Obama trying to polarize America: "Having one's opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness," about which Obama has done next to nothing, Schoen and Caddell say. They conclude, "President Obama's divisive approach to governance has weakened us as a people and paralyzed our political culture.... We will pay a price for this type of politics."