Last week after delivering his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama traveled to Arizona for an event and was met at the airport in Mesa by Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ). On the tarmac, the two got into a testy exchange regarding comments Brewer made in her book. The incident culminated with Brewer wagging her finger in the President's face. Brewer then recounted the incident in a publicity tour including an appearance on Fox News where guest host Monica Crowley applauded Brewer for "getting in the president’s grill" and adding "You go, girl."
My take: there is no excuse for Brewer's behavior. It is just another sign of a disrespect for the office of President and disrespect for the man currently occupying that office. Can you imagine the outrage had this occurred in 1984 and the president was Ronald Reagan? In the last 3 years, this President has been subject to a number of public slights that no president has endured. Can you imagine Dwight Eisenhower being heckled by a sitting member of Congress at a speech in front of a joint session of Congress like Barack Obama was in 2009 by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)? Can you imagine a birther controversy erupting about Sen. John McCain's place of birth had he won in 2008?
The question is: why is this happening? Part of it stems from the incivility that is plaguing our politics. But I think it goes beyond that. In my opinion, it has to do with race. There are some who will never accept a president of any color other than white. It is up to society as a whole, however, to condemn that kind of behavior and attitude.