The ongoing war of words between President Barack Obama and GOP lawmakers is a textbook example in two sides talking past one another.
The relationship between the Democratic president and Republicans on Capitol Hill soured even before he took office. In some ways, the relationship is like a marriage gone south: Even when they agree, they disagree. For instance, Republican members often accuse the president of “gutting” the military; the White House notes its 2016 military budget plan is the biggest ever.
Obama and his top lieutenants spent much of this week, including during a White House summit with allies about countering extremism, making a case that the United States is not at war with Islam.
The Pew Research Center says Islam includes 1.6 billion people worldwide, or 23 percent of the world’s population.
“Muslim communities, including scholars and clerics, therefore have a responsibility to push back not just on twisted interpretations of Islam, but also on the lie that we are somehow engaged in a clash of civilizations,” Obama said during a summit session at the State Department.
Obama wants those individuals to push back in their communities against feelings “that America and the West are somehow at war with Islam or seek to suppress Muslims, or that we are the cause of every ill in the Middle East.
“The notion that the West is at war with Islam is an ugly lie,” Obama said. “And all of us, regardless of our faith, have a responsibility to reject it.”
The 44th president and his Republican critics agree that the United States is not in a war with 1.6 billion people.
Yet, vitriol has flowed freely all week from Republicans — and even some Democrats.
Senate Armed Services Committee member Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., took to Twitter to criticize the president.
Read More:Obama, GOP Talk Past Each Other on Extremism.