The examples are plentiful: Rep. Joe Wilson shouting "You Lie!" to President Obama from the House Chamber. Rep. Ted Yoho (FL) responding with "I'm not gonna comment" when asked if Obama's a "born American." Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO) saying he doesn't want to be associated with Obama because "it's like touching a tar baby." Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) telling supporters "I stood 12 feet away from the guy, and couldn't stand being there." Or Sen. Dick Durbin recalling how a high-level Republican leader told the president "I can't even stand to look at you" at a recent White House meeting. And then there was Newt Gingrich's bizarre statement that we can only begin to comprehend Obama's actions if we understand "Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior." Do I even need to bring up Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Rush Limbaugh and other Republican leaders?
What does all this point to? To many it suggests an issue with the fact that Obama is black. The Tea Party in particular, judging by the words and actions of many in this radical right-wing faction, seem sickened by the fact that a black man lives in the White House. With his black wife. And black children. In their America, the one in which they grew up in, the only black people walking around the White House were servants. I think they're disgusted, angry, resentful and frustrated that a black man is the most powerful person in the world; a job that's been reserved for whites since the birth of America.
To be sure, the crippling polarization in Washington isn't a result of typical partisan differences. It goes so much deeper than that. It's rooted in an unprecedented level of bitterness, disrespect and the belief that Obama is neither American nor a legitimately elected president. They can't stand to be near him, or to talk with him, because, to them, he's no more qualified to be leader of the free world than the guy who shines their shoes at DC's Union Station.
Which is why they will never support anything he does, even if he discovers a cure for cancer. Which is why they quite calculatingly branded the Affordable Care Act "Obamacare." If you hate Obama, you gotta hate Obamacare, right? To them this law is nothing more than a black guy giving away hard-earned white money to poor, lazy blacks. And Obamacare is a sly symbol of that racial animus.
The blatant racism in America today is ugly. It's shameful. It's embarrassing. And it sure as hell exists.