Even if you are not worried that someone might draw from these vitriolic attacks a license to try to hurt the president, you have to be worried about what is happening to American politics more broadly.
Mr. Friedman's point that death threats and discussions about B. Hussein Obama are wrong - cannot be disputed. The America promised in the US Constitution is a nation of rule by law - extra-legal acts are against those laws. That should be simple enough for everyone to understand.
But Mr. Friedman takes a surface view only. He looks at who badmouths and belittles - and threatens - who.
I personally find that B. Hussein Obama has exceeded his authority under the Constitution. Constitutionally provided checks and balances - the Congress and the Supreme Court have not addressed those abuses of office. Congress persistantly aids and abets, in some cases, as in the hounding and badgering - for public consumption and political gain - AIG bonuses, an issue that should have been beneath the notice of Congress, in the larger issues facing America.
The Supreme Court, with it's newly appointed racially bigoted political hack justice, Sotomayor (and what did Obama do to get Souter to resign?), has yet to address Obama interfering in the restructure - and firing a CEO - of GM and Chrysler.
Pelosi/Reid/Obama have chosen to wield their power for political gain, for corrupt enrichment of hangers-on, and to punish those with wealth they covet. This is a dangerous, dangerous action, taken in such a way that they create a scenario where the safeguards of the Constitution are thwarted. In effect, by acting as tyrants, by enacting whatever they want in the face of popular opposition, they create a sense of desperation in their opponents. Desperate opponents need to see formal safeguards in action - or desperate responses may be tried.
Since taking office, President B. Hussein Obama has taken frequent steps to curtain and interfere with gun ownership, and frequently denied plans and actions taken. This pattern of bald-faced deceit has raised the hackles, paranoia, desperation, and anger of his opponents. No one doubts that Obama still intends further attacks on gun ownership - in flat defiance and disregard of the Bill of Rights - but is biding his time, planning his next moves.
This is not the way I believe a President governs in a constitutional government. In fact, I believe President Obama has violated his oath of office - to support and defend the Constitution, and thus should be impeached. I am firmly convinced that for now, the US House of Representatives is flatly incapable of honoring it's duty to consider and serve a bill of impeachment if warranted. I am convinced that the Pelosi-led House would block consideration of a bill of impeachment of the President, and would, on party lines, neglect to consider the merits of holding the President to the contents of the US Constitution, and to his oath of office. That is, the Pelosi-led House is acting in a tyrannical manner.
Reid has less of a political plurality to work with, but seems even less likely to follow the path of honor than political expedience. His Senate confirmed Sotomayor, after all. And continues to confirm fringe, radical, bigoted, and anti-American Obama appointees.
Are we to the point where the Declaration of Independence states, "When in the course of human events . . ."? I am offended at the Obama administration, and the Democrat-led Congress that this question occurs to me.
Mr. Friedman, you lament the "dangerous" atmosphere endangering our President. I do as well. But from my chair in Oklahoma, it seems that organized labor and radical elements of the Democratic party are largely to blame for making villains of opposing candidates.
As for the birth certificate - three supposed facts keep the issue alive for me. Kenya, as a nation, believes Obama to be their native son. The certificate of live birth from Hawaii is incomplete as a birth certificate of a natural born citizen of the United States, not requiring that the birth took place at the facility cited. B. Hussein Obama has spent time, energy, and effort to conceal the original of his birth certificate. In addition, there are so many questions about Obama's background, including who financed his Ivy League college education, what his participation was in the Chicago politics that sold his Senate seat - did those same factors buy it for him in the first place? Obama claims to be Christian, with a 20 year membership in Rev. Wright's racially polarized congretion. Yet, within days of publication about that congregation, Obama no longer belongs - was it faith that kept him going to church, political expediency, or a cover for the Muslim beliefs of his early schooling and childhood?
It seems incredible to me that a closet-raised, inept, unschooled person could make as many foreign affairs blunders by accident. If President Obama isn't deliberately trying to dismantle America's place in world stability - by giving away our honor, our promises, our friendships - he sure makes himself look stupid. And this from a background of world travel, Ivy League education, and a sitting US Senator.
I think the right place to start is an intense review of the most polarizing efforts by Congress and the President. Let supporters and opponents hear the arguments, and ask their questions. Let bills and actions be submitted for public comment and review. Act as representatives of the nation, rather than autocrats ruling with an iron fist and no concern about nay-sayers.
I actually think that the atmosphere of antagonism can be returned to a hashing of issues quite readily. It just takes all parties allowing their pet agendas to be legal, shaped by all interested parties, and a dedication to rule of law and the Constitution. There are laws and procedures and best practices in place for all of this. Let the leaders show that the Constitutional protections against tyranny are in place and that they work. That would be a really worthwhile change.