January 13, 2016

Bill O'Reilly needs to look in the mirror to answer his own question about why it is that more people aren't rabid Obama-haters like the hard right wing and Fox News viewers.

On Tuesday night, O'Reilly observed, "On the right, many despise the president. But, in the middle...they are not, for some reason, holding it against President Obama per se."

He did manage to allow that people actually like the President, but let's be honest. O'Reilly hasn't done his job spreading hate, fear and anger far enough to have a deeper impact on that non-hating wing of centrist types.

I take that as a performance review on O'Reilly's part, one that should spur him to do better in the hate department. Eric Boehlert expects efforts to redouble in this last year of Obama's presidency.

"By all indications Obama's final year in office is going to feature a never-ending geyser from the far-right press, where every move and utterance from the president is met with overwrought name-calling and desperate cries of help," writes Boehlert. "His critics have bronzed and memorialized the art of indignation."

And it's still not enough.

Does anyone imagine that if President Obama was white, his approval ratings would be hovering around 47 percent? It's far more likely that at this point in his presidency he would have surpassed Bill Clinton, whose approval ratings were 65 percent when he delivered his final State of the Union address.

Now we have the Republican frontrunner essentially building an army of white nationalists to win the primary for him, while every shrieking Ann Coulter wannabe is out there working the rope lines for him.

That's a house Fox News built, alongside their online counterparts. If Bill-O hasn't successfully built the hate machine to a level that's satisfactory, that's because a good chunk of this country doesn't want to be driven by hate and fear.

Perhaps the President's answer is the best one. Change is scary, but it's not new.

We did not, in the words of Lincoln, adhere to the “dogmas of the quiet past.” Instead we thought anew, and acted anew. We made change work for us, always extending America’s promise outward, to the next frontier, to more and more people. And because we did — because we saw opportunity where others saw only peril — we emerged stronger and better than before.

The sad truth, BillO, is that more of us don't want to live in fear. We'd much rather hope and find new ways to succeed.

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