The president's critics are not all prejudiced but the crowd is mutating to the extremes . . . It has to do with the difference between the individual and the crowd.Michael Tomasky, I think, is making an extremely important point here, but his response is to demonize and condemn, rather than to understand, what is going on.
To do that, one must turn to evolutionary psychology, which reveals humans to be not just very social animals, but also very tribal. Thus the difference between the individual and the crowd, standing in for one's tribe.
It is no good (but on the contrary, very bad) ridiculing, demonizing, condemning, denying and seeking to suppress our tribal nature. We have to understand and learn to live with it, in a humane and civilized fashion.
But, of course, we don't - and couldn't possibly - suppress our tribal nature, it being far too much a part of us. Instead, it is manipulated and exploited by the STATE, capital and organized religion for their own ends, which, since dawn of civilization, revolve around facilitating the self-exploitation of human society (under the guise of "service"), as an artificial ENVIRONMENT, to the advantage of wealth, power and privilege.
The state has always wrapped itself in the gab of NATION (the natural extension of our tribe), in order to legitimize itself and lay claim to the powerful emotions of shared identity and loyalty we evolved to feel towards it.
Like other American presidents, President Obama is always referring to the "American PEOPLE" and the "American NATION", but both are a LIE and (self)-deception, taken over from its British origins and necessary to maintain the authority and POWER of the American STATE, along with the status quo of wealth, power and privilege, which of course includes its liberal elite, who are as keen to maintain the LIE and self-deception which equates STATE and NATION as anyone else, and in the form of Liberal Fascism, (see Jonah Goldberg) even more so.
The "hatred" that Michael Tomasky detects in the "white crowd", I suggest, is the sub- or semi-conscious expression of European-Americans' tribal nature, rebelling against its suppression and forced redirected towards a multi-ethnic American STATE, masquerading as a NATION, when its natural tendency, of course (notwithstanding the taboo against admitting it, even to oneself), is towards its own ethnic group, i.e. towards people it can relate to spontaneously, even strangers, as members of one's own, or of a closely related, tribe.