ADAM GARFINKLE: Politics As Bloodsport: The troubling remark everyone missed in Tom Friedman’s interview with President Obama—and some ruminations on the sad state of American political discourse.

Our public discourse, even over matters that used to be and still should be above partisan politics, has become increasingly less rational, less responsible, and less civil. For every veteran Bush-hater out there we have now an equal and opposite Obama-hater. Some personal experiences, if I may, to illustrate the point.

It has become embedded in “common knowledge” on the Left in the United States, and certainly abroad, that the Bush Administration generally, and Colin Powell in particular in his February 2003 speech to the UN Security Council, knowingly lied about weapons of mass destruction stockpiles in Iraq. It is simply beyond discussion that Administration principals actually worried about that subject; it was all allegedly mere pretext. I have even had people look me in the eye and declare that there is no difference, morally or otherwise, between knowingly lying and simply being mistaken about some point of fact. Such is the underwhelming capacity for moral logic among true Bush haters.

Obama haters are equally certain that the President actually despises his own country and its history, and a certain subset of haters is as certain that he hates Israel and Jews and has conspired from the start to do irreparable harm to Israeli security and well-being. Thus all that the President said about Israel in the Friedman interview, and by implication his explicit acknowledgement of the anti-Semitism of the Iranian leadership, has to be out and out duplicitous to such haters. He is indeed lying through his teeth, they are sure.