There is a reflexive desire among a certain species of moderate Republicans to be perceived as "civil" by liberal opponents who believe that the mere existence of free-market, limited-government conservatism is an indecent affront to humankind. All aboard the U.S.S. Lost Cause.
This disastrous, bend-over bipartisanship is a hard habit to break. In 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain rode the "Barack Obama is a nice guy, but vote for me" wave to crashing defeat. In 2012, McCain's endorsee, Mitt Romney, has made "Barack Obama is a nice guy but in over his head" a standard stump-speech talking point.
Conservatives of good will who've watched President Obama brutalize his enemies have one question for the nice-guy niceties: Why, GOP, why?
Romney's smarter-than-thou strategists explain that he can't scare off independents and Democrats with straight talk about Obama's thuggery. But he's turning off the conservative base, on whom his hold is tenuous. More importantly, Romney's McCain-lite impersonation is also writing off independents and Democrats who've come to realize what the myriad targets of White House bullying have learned the hard way over the past four years: Barack Obama is not a "nice guy."
Ask Gerald Walpin, the former AmeriCorps inspector general who was pushed out of his job by the Obamas after exposing fraud and corruption perpetrated by Democratic mayor of Sacramento and Obama friend Kevin Johnson. Walpin was unceremoniously fired and smeared by Team Obama. The White House baselessly questioned the veteran watchdog's mental health and never apologized for slandering him.
Ask the family, friends and co-workers of murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. They have been forced to sue the Obama administration to combat the Operation Fast and Furious cover-up of deadly policy decisions that led to their hero's death. "I think they are liars, and I would tell them that," Terry's father, Kent, said of Obama's henchmen.
As Townhall editor Katie Pavlich makes clear in her devastating new book, "Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up," the president, his corrupt attorney general, Eric Holder, and their minions weren't "in over their heads." They knew exactly what they were doing and have obstructed investigations into the bloody consequences of their policies ever since.
That's not "nice." It's rotten to the core.
Nice? Ask those who have felt the wrath of Obama: tea party members, bitter-clinging gun owners and voters of faith; budget-reform leaders, such as Wisconsin's GOP Rep. Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker, Chrysler creditors and dealers, and Delphi auto-parts workers strong-armed and cut out of the White House auto bailout negotiations with United Auto Workers; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and their donors; Fox News, conservative talk-radio giant Rush Limbaugh; the Congressional Budget Office and the Supreme Court.
There is nothing shameful about shattering the left's defining fraudulent narrative — which was promoted again this week by myth-making first lady Michelle Obama — that the president has "brought us out of the dark and into the light."
There is nothing hateful about exposing Team Obama's hardball tactics and government witch-hunts against taxpayers, businesses and political opponents.
There is nothing unbecoming or un-presidential about questioning the Obama administration's Chicago gangster treatment of dissidents, whistleblowers and watchdogs.
Let it be noted that Mr. "Nice Guy" never goes out of his way to show his opponents respect. In 2008, Obama openly bragged that his campaign strategy is: "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun."
Remember when he sneered at millions who turned out for the nationwide Tax Day tea party protests in 2009: "You would think they'd be saying thank you."
Remember when he taunted GOP leaders: "We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back."
Remember when he told Republicans to shut up during the stimulus debate: "I want them just to get out of the way" and "don't do a lot of talking."
Remember when he outrageously insinuated before the 2010 midterms that conservatives were racist: He called critics of his amnesty policies "enemies" who needed to be "punished" by Latino voters because they were not "the kinds of folks who represent our core American values."
Remember when he remained silent about the vulgar rallying cry of Teamsters Union President Jimmy Hoffa, who introduced Obama at a Detroit Labor Day rally by urging union members to work against Republicans and "take these son of a bitches out."
Romney's surrogates insist that conservatives should "stick to the issues." But Obama's by-any-means-necessary ruthlessness is an issue. Like Chiffon Margarine said, "It's not nice to fool Mother Nature." And it's not nice to delude the American electorate in the name of comity, politesse and simpering civility.
Michelle Malkin [email her] is the author of Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores . Click here for Peter Brimelow’s review. Click here for Michelle Malkin's website. Michelle Malkin is also author of Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild and the just-released Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies.