Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has come in for intense media criticism for suggesting that President Barack Obama might have some sympathy for Islamic terrorists like the one who carried out the Orlando attack.
“He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands,” Trump said in an interview with Fox & Friends on the Fox News Channel.. “It’s one or the other. And either one is unacceptable, number one, and number two, calling on another gun ban, I mean, this – this man has no clue.”
The implication that the president empathizes with, or is somehow in cahoots with, Islamic terrorists is certainly appalling — and it is no worse than what Obama has said about his own political opponents.
Last year, as he pushed for the Iran deal — an agreement that was meant to set the stage with a regime that is the world’s leading state sponsor of terror, and which persecutes gays and lesbians — Obama accused critics of the deal of making “common cause” with the regime’s “hardliners.”
Obama made that accusation before an audience at American University — to the evident delight of his left-wing audience:
In fact, it’s those hardliners who are most comfortable with the status quo. It’s those hardliners chanting “Death to America” who have been most opposed to the deal. They’re making common cause with the Republican caucus. (Laughter and applause.)
The reality: it was Obama making deals with the “hardliners.” Earlier this year, the administration had to admit that it began talks with the administration of the Holocaust-denying Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, not the supposedly moderate Hassan Rouhani. It was later discovered that the State Department had edited out footage of spokesperson Jen Psaki lying to Fox News reporter James Rosen about that very question.
Regardless, it was a new low in American politics.
Still, the Obama administration never apologized for the “common cause” accusation. Challenged to do so by the Obama-friendly Fareed Zakaria at CNN, the president refused: “What I said is absolutely true, factually,” he claimed.
The coarsening of political language, however regrettable, did not begin with Donald Trump — and it has taken a Trump to make the unrepentant American left realize that it is a problem.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.