Senator John McCain, Barack Obama’s Republican opponent in the 2008 election, writes that the president made a “terrific speech” in Tucson on Wednesday, and adds:
I disagree with many of the president’s policies, but I believe he is a patriot sincerely intent on using his time in office to advance our country’s cause. I reject accusations that his policies and beliefs make him unworthy to lead America or opposed to its founding ideals. And I reject accusations that Americans who vigorously oppose his policies are less intelligent, compassionate or just than those who support them.
A perfectly decent and reasonable thing to say. But consider how many figures on the Republican right, many of them by no means marginal, would (based on recent statements) be unwilling to sign onto the first two sentences of that paragraph. And I won’t deny that there are people on the left who would be unwilling to sign onto the last sentence.