The political Right has dismissed any notion of so-called bi-partisanship in favor of an all out war against President Obama.
It is not a matter of simply offering serious criticisms. I have serious criticisms of the President. No, what we are witnessing is something different.
It is reminiscent of the rabid attacks that took place against President Bill Clinton when efforts were made by the political Right to defame his character, intelligence and policies.
The most recent so-called ''TEA Parties'' were an interesting example of contemporary right-wing insanity and mischief.
These tax day actions were allegedly aimed at suggesting that the Obama administration is misusing funds and is overtaxing the population.
Well, the facts of the matter, that even some conservatives have been forced to admit, is that the US taxpayer is actually NOT anywhere close to being overtaxed.
The tax rates of many other parts of the industrialized world are in some cases FAR higher than our own. But what about the alleged misuse of funds?
Here is where it gets interesting. While I would say that I think that President Obama has done far too much for the banks, that is not the criticism he is receiving from the political Right. The political Right believes that the very notion of an economic stimulus aimed at putting people back to work is wrong!
In fact, their answer to the current recession/depression is to cut taxes, a policy that would answer none of the major problems facing this country since we not only need jobs but we also need to invest in the long-term reconstruction of the country's infrastructure (including steps to address the environmental crisis). None of that happens with tax cuts.
The objectives of the political Right, particularly in their tax day demos, became much clearer in listening to the rhetoric. There was not only a racist tone, but the raising of the call for secession was fascinating. Some of these right-wing anti-tax folks were actually calling for pulling out of the USA!
Secession, the battle cry of the Confederacy in 1860, was resurrected by sections of the extreme Right in the 1970s and 1980s as their proposal for a means to establish a completely all-White nation-state.
This was and is their answer to immigration, African-Americans, and changing demographics and politics. When in 2009 the Governor of Texas starts raising it, without apology, this is a very dangerous sign.
No, I do not think that the Governor of Texas has any intention of committing literal treason. But what he does accomplish is to give license to those who are prepared to take more extreme measures. Secession, in other words, is not just a matter of poorly phrased rhetoric.
It is part of right-wing coded language which is aimed at highlighting a significant point: the USA has a Black president and they are not at all happy about that.
While I have several significant differences with President Obama on matters of domestic and foreign policy, that does not stop me from recognizing that there are criticisms, and then there are criticisms. The Right is set on creating what is known as a ''state of un-governability'' in which there is a loss of faith in the Administration.
They wish to do this through the selective use of coded racist language along with misinformation and irrational assertions. In response to this it is critical that people of good will not sit back and assume that the Right will disappear. They will not.
They must be outflanked and they must be outflanked by those of us who are prepared to insist that President Obama shift the priorities of this country and its relationship to the rest of the world. That is why we voted for him and that is what we expect. There is no room to back down.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is a senior scholar with the Institute for Policy Studies. He is the immediate past president of TransAfrica Forum and the co-author of ''Solidarity Divided."