Obama said, "I don't think you or anybody who's been watching the campaign would say that in any way we have tried to divide the country. We've always tried to bring the country together."
If this weren't such a serious subject, his statement would be laughable. Let's just say it's ludicrous -- and disingenuous.
A Gallup poll showed that at the end of Obama's second year in office, 81 percent of Democrats approved, while 13 percent of Republicans did. This represents a 68 percent gap, the widest of any president in his second year since such polls have been conducted.
Obama has intermittently talked a good game about bringing us together. Indeed, much of his 2008 campaign pitch was centered on his promise to be a post-partisan, post-racial president who would usher in a new kind of politics. But his performance in office in this regard can at best be described as cynical.
It's one thing to earnestly try but fail to bring the two sides together. Though Democrats will deny it, that was the case with George W. Bush. On many issues, Bush didn't say, "It's my way or the highway." He poured more federal money into education than even any Democrat had ever done.
With Obama, it's always, "I want us to sit down and work on this." But as soon as a Republican tries to offer his input, he says, "I'm the president" or "You can't count the time I speak against the Democrats' allotted time in this bipartisan health care summit because, ahem, I'm the president" or "I don't want you to do a lot of talking."
Obama hasn't been divisive just because his policies are so unpopular, though that's a large part of it. He has intentionally engaged in identity politics, trying to pit groups of people against each other on the basis of race, gender, religion, economic earnings and sexual orientation. He has pitted labor against management, creating an adversarial and litigious climate. He has demonized private jet owners, domestic energy producers (oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy), corporations, the Chamber of Commerce, businesses, executives, financial institutions, insurance companies, doctors, tea partiers, small town inhabitants (bitter-clingers), immigration enforcement advocates and the so-called 1 percenters.
Indeed, there is not enough space in a column to chronicle all of Obama's polarizing conduct even as an abridged list, but let me give you a flavor of it. In addition to the foregoing, he and his team:
--Called American businesses soft and lazy and said they'd lost their ambition; they didn't build that; they need to up their game.