IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Let Me Finish: The sharper contrast of this presidency

Let me finish where I started.

Someday, years from now, people will look back on this presidency and see it in sharper contrast.

They will read how it started, with the Republican senate leader calling for the president's defeat, declaring that the business of the opposition from the first day was to ensure the new president (a) accomplishes nothing and (b) gets booted from office as quickly as possible.

They will read of a U.S. Congressman yelling "You lie" during a State of the Union.

They will read how the Speaker invited, without informing the President, a foreign leader to denigrate his foreign policy before the entire Congress.

And, as of this week, they will learn that a new Senator from Arkansas got the signatures of 46 other Senators on a letter to the hardliners in Iran, urging that they reject the efforts of this President to keep them from building a nuclear weapon.

They will read all this and wonder: what was it that made the Republican opposition so all-out contemptuous of an American president?  What made it treat him as below respect, below the dignity historically accorded his office? They will look at the concerted effort of Republican legislative leaders in three dozen states to make it harder for minorities to vote, even claiming partisan victory when successful in the effort.

They will then look at a picture of this president and, perhaps, get the idea that the age of Jim Crow managed to find a new habitat in the early 21st century Republican Party.