So what is it about? When people feel vehemently about something, and when you ask them what it is and the answer doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, they are mad about something else. This is true in all situations, not just politics. The secret to relationships is disentangling the things people SAY are bothering them from what is actually bothering them, and then having the discussion about the latter.

So too in American politics. Conservatives say their blistering hostility to Obama isn’t about race. After all, they felt similarly about Clinton. So it must be something else. Okay, but then what is it? Socialism? Unlikely. Obamacare is “socialism” the same way Social Security is. And Bush’s prescription drug plan too. And Romneycare. These are not attacked as “socialism.” So it must be something else. Deficits? Unlikely. Again, see Bush. He was not attacked for his deficits. So it must be something else. Taxes? Obama has CUT taxes. So it must be something else. Spending? Even including the recession-induced and textbook-response stimulus, which economists are now concluding was too SMALL, Obama has been disciplined in spending. So it must be something else. Corruption? The record offers the watery-thinnest gruel for that charge, the frantically-flayed Solyndra episode included. So it must be something else.

There is enough material here to argue that you would prefer a different president with a more corporate-friendly orientation, (and we now have that candidate standing at the next podium clenching a 10,000 dollar bill in his betting hand). But, sorry, not enough to justify all the eye-spinning fury. It’s not about race. What is it about?