On Tuesday, President Obama met with Senate Republicans to discuss immigration and border security. By all accounts, it was not a productive meeting. Republican senators did not let the president off the hook with respect to his policies and the manner in which he pushes them—without GOP input.
According to reports coming out of that meeting, Obama tried to lecture the Republicans on the issues, only to be challenged on his views. He does not like being challenged. One participant wrote on a pad as Obama was talking, “thin-skinned,” as he watched the president get more agitated as the meeting progressed. Don’t they know he has the answers for everything? Don’t they know he is the answer?
All of those photos that show him with his chin up, as if he is above the rest of the human race, are not flukes. They are not accidents of the lens or deliberate attempts to make him look bad. Instead, they capture the essence of the man.
Obama likes to play the victim card—broken family, mixed race, etc. Yet few have been as privileged as he: getting a full ride to Harvard Law School; serving as editor of the Harvard Law Review while writing virtually nothing; receiving praise as a community organizer, working primarily with those who agree with him on everything; never having a strong opponent for the races he has won [and winning some of those by employing the skills of others to discredit opponents so they have to drop out of the race]. He has, to a great degree, led a charmed, unchallenged life.
Who else in the history of American politics has ever made statements like these:
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal [spoken when his nomination for president was assured].
Now, there might a lot of people who think such things, but few are brazen enough to say them out loud. No matter how he tries to couch those phrases within lines talking about his humility, there is little doubt which part of the quote he believes the most.
This overwhelming arrogance is what makes the policies even harder to swallow. I disagree with the policies anyway, but when they are combined with that “know-it-all” attitude, their destructive nature rises to an even higher level.
Another issue has come to the forefront that points to his unwillingness to be challenged: press conferences. He hasn’t had one since July 2009, nearly a full year ago. This is unprecedented. I’m not the greatest fan of the current press corps because most of them have been Obama apologists. Yet now they are being shut out.
Perhaps it has something to do with what occurred at that last press conference. That’s when he made the off-the-cuff remark about the Cambridge police acting stupidly when they arrested his friend Louis Gates.
You see, you can’t rely on a teleprompter at a press conference. The dangers of going off-script are legion.
It has taken nearly a year for the press to get a little perturbed about the state of things. One has to wonder how long they would have allowed President Bush to go without speaking to them. My distrust of the mainstrean media is so strong that I really don’t believe they will ever turn on him, no matter how they are treated. And I think he knows that, and it’s why he has decided to shun them. They may be rejected lovers at the moment, but they will always come back to him in a pinch.
[Note: after writing about the press conference issue, I read where Obama is going to hold one today—apparently it was becoming too much of an issue. We’ll see how “open” he is this time.]
Ultimately, he is in the position of president to do one thing—increase the power of the federal government over the lives of citizens as much as possible. I believe he is quite single-minded in that pursuit.
It’s one thing to talk about creating jobs, but it’s quite another to get the government out of the way so they can be created. Jobs have been added, to be sure, but not where they need to be:
Meanwhile, USA Today reports,
Paychecks from private business shrank to their smallest share of personal income in U.S. history during the first quarter of this year. . . .
At the same time, government-provided benefits from Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps and other programs rose to a record high during the first three months of 2010.
What is the strategy—have so many people dependent on the government that they won’t ever want to change the setup? Don’t dismiss that possibility. No, make that a probability.