Barack Obama’s pledge to defuse the anger and rancor that have made modern politics so toxic was a central theme of his presidential campaign. It’s one of the things that made his 2008 candidacy so appealing to voters weary of political rancor. His promise recalls Richard Nixon’s post-election pledge to “bring the American people together.” But like Nixon — and with Nixonian bile — Obama has widened the breach he promised to heal.
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