President Obama has enjoyed a pretty good week—the rescue of the kidnapped cargo-ship captain went swimmingly, and the first family enjoyed some softball coverage of its new dog. But this week also saw the boiling-over of the segment of Americans who loathe the president, observes the Economist. Besides the tax day “tea party” protests, the American Spectator compared Obama to Mussolini, and the conservative blogosphere has reclaimed the word “fascist” from the left with gusto.
Why? Despite his best PR efforts, Obama remains an Ivy League, big-city liberal, and therefore distrusted by some conservative elements. But the economic crisis, stimulus, and bailouts have “transformed this cultural suspicion into a much more potent political force.” Bush hatred eventually spread from a liberal core to most of the country—but irrational Obama hatred could pigeonhole right-wingers as ineffectual naysayers.