In the early 1980s veteran pollster Stan Greenberg, conducted a focus group in Macomb County, a Detroit suburb, of former Democrats who had switched allegiance to the Republican Ronald Reagan. After he read a statement by Robert Kennedy about racial inequality, one participant interjected: "No wonder they killed him."
"That stopped me and led to a whole new analysis of Reagan Democrats," wrote Greenberg in a recent report, Inside the GOP. "I realised that in trying to reach this group of people race is everything," he told me.
While conducting a focus group with Republicans over the summer he had a similar revelation, although it came not from a sole outburst but almost throwaway comments, often left on cards after the session.
~ from Race Is Central to the Fear and Angst of the US Right by Gary Younge ~
It is quite normal for opposing political parties to try to block each other's paths. It is also typical that the minority party will try their darnedest to impede the agenda of the president. What is abnormal this time around is that the rabid right is so bent on thwarting this particular Democratic president that they are more than willing to turn even non-controversial issues into controversial ones.
Though the mainstream media predominantly refuses to state the obvious, anyone paying attention should know what fuels this type of behavior. Those on the far right simply cannot accept the fact that Americans twice elected a black president!
Many of these same sorts of people went after the prior Democratic president (Bill Clinton) too, but they didn't do it with such vitriol. While they may have viewed Clinton as a tax-and-spend liberal -- it is hard for me to fathom how -- he has one thing going for him: he's a white guy. Obama is not and so they have not been constrained in the least.
While I find this sort of attitude despicable, I also understand that these folks are in the minority. This is certainly not to suggest that racism is dead -- far from it -- but, just like with the issues of homosexuality and marijuana, the younger generation appears to be far more accepting than the old guard. And that goes a long way toward explaining WHY the old guard is being so loud and onerous today. They realize this might be their last gasp.