Paul Greenberg

Another of the Rev. Obama's specialties is doubting the motives of anyone who takes issue with him. Plugging his gun-control program a few days before his inauguration, our president didn't just go after Republicans but anyone who might express doubts about any part of it, and it's got lots of parts. And lots of critics. But he lumps them all together as people not to be trusted.

Fine distinctions have never appealed to the demagogue; they just get in the way of his high-powered rhetoric, which has all the precision of any other scattershot blast. As in this attack on any and all who won't rubber-stamp his gun-control agenda: "There will be pundits and politicians and special-interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty, not because that's true but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves." In contrast no doubt to his own motives, which are always pure. Even as he campaigns against name-calling by calling names.

Let this be said about our president: He always sounds sincere. If he ever tires of his day job, he might try acting. Which reminds me that the Greek word for actor is the root of an English one: hypocrite.

Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.