Add that his team has indulged in invective like few recent administrations — whether Obama’s own slur against the stereotyping and stupidly acting police, Eric Holder’s collective denunciation of Americans as “cowards,” Van Jones’ various hysterics (e.g., polluting and mass-murdering whites, Bush in on 9/11, etc.), Anita Dunn’s attacks against Fox News, or the generic “Bush did it” chorus.
The wonder is not that Obama is angry at criticism, but why he is so surprised in a weird “how dare they?” fashion.
Did he really think he could talk his way through four years of the American presidency?
Apparently, he did, and apparently he was almost right — given that rhetoric and sophistry earned him the presidency in the first place. In what follows, I hold some empathy for Obama’s pique; you see in some sense those around him suddenly changed the rules, and what in the past had been habit and custom no longer quite applied.
his is an old story with a long heritage. We know Obama got into Columbia; we have no idea what he accomplished there — or whether his undergraduate transcript merited admission to Harvard Law School. Obama may have charmed his way into Harvard Law Review, but in brilliant fashion he seems to have guessed rightly that once there he would be singularly exempt from the usual requirements of quantifiable achievement.
A part-time visiting law professorship at the University of Chicago Law school rarely leads to a permanent tenure-track position, much less a tenured billet– and never without a body of published articles and books. In Obama’s case those protocols simply did not apply. He was not only offered whatever he wanted, but as Justice Kagan reminded us, Obama was courted by Harvard Law School as well.
Most candidates for state office do not sue to remove their opponents from the ballot. Obama petitioned (successfully) that most of them be disqualified in 1995. It is likewise rare for the sealed divorce records of a front-running primary rival to be mysteriously leaked, prompting a veritable uncontested nomination. But after Democratic rival Blair Hull imploded from such revelations, so did Obama’s general election Republican opponent Jack Ryan, who dropped out of the race after his divorce proceedings were eerily likewise exposed. Lightning does strike twice in the same place for the blessed Obama.
Yes, Race Was a Factor
Throughout the Obama presidential odyssey, an enthralled media variously dubbed him a “god,” confessed to tingling sensations when he spoke, and in vicious fashion turned on any politician who tried to question Obama’s actual record of achievement — whether Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin.
There is no need to pursue the journalistic malfeasance that allowed the president of the United States to be inaugurated without any real past scrutiny. Suffice to say that any future presidential candidate who promises to cool the planet and lower the rising seas will be laughed out of contention — even if he puts “yes, we can” into Latin on his pre-presidential seal.
Race was a factor. Here the left is correct in assessing its importance in evaluating Obama, although not quite in the way they think.
romoting Obama offered blanket exemption from even the suggestion of prejudice — a sort of cheap flip of a “get out of jail free” card than ensured liberal elites could otherwise pursue their sheltered lives without guilt or worry over demands for daily interaction with most African-Americans. Elect Obama, worry not what he did — and at last live guilt-free lives in seclusion.
That is a serious charge that should not be made lightly, but the emphasis on Obama’s diction, pigment, and appearance — rather than his actual record — is not my own.
Joe Biden, for example, blurted out, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy I mean, that’s a storybook, man.” Apparently Biden meant that the antithesis of Obama’s profile — a non-mainstream African-American, who spoke a southern patois and who did not appear bright and clean and handsome — most definitely was not to be a storybook candidate and perhaps likely to put off white liberals like Biden. (Note that Biden did not mention any particular achievement of Obama, merely the impression that he made on those like himself.)
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was perhaps cruder even than Biden. It was reported that he had characterized Obama as a “light-skinned” African American “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” Again, Reid’s implied antithesis — a dark-skinned African American who spoke with a Negro dialect all the time — would probably offend progressives like Reid. (Note here that Harry Reid seems to have been the first serious observer to publicly describe one of Obama most off-putting characteristics — the near cynical fashion in which he turns on not slightly, but entirely, different cadences and intonations to cater to particular crowds.)
But enough speculation over motives for the origins of Obama’s strange and growing petulance. All that matters for the country is that the current president of the United States seems surprised that as our chief executive he is earning scrutiny not previously accorded him — and that he finds that demand for accountability both exasperating and abjectly unfair. Thus this week’s latest “like a dog” whine.
For some reason, Obama believed that those who expected after his campaign promises a real upturn in the economy, or fiscal responsibility, or inspired foreign policy would be satisfied, as they had in the past, merely with soaring rhetoric and superficial reassurance. When they were not, and voiced such displeasure, as ingrates they had supposedly reduced Obama to canine-like status.
There is no need to add that abroad an Ahmadinejad, Assad, or Putin does not care a bit for the supposed personal chemistry or ethnic profile of Obama. Whether he was “clean” or not would be an absurdity to them. We sense only that those authoritarian sorts seem so far to like the idea that Obama speaks ambiguously about his country’s past and future, and appears more comfortable in pondering alternatives than making decisions.
Given all that, it is understandable both why America is very worried about what it has wrought — and why Barack Obama is miffed and lashes out.
You would too if both accountability and criticism were novel experiences at 49.