Christopher Buckley was right: temperament matters in a president. But he couldn't have been more wrong in his assessment of Barack Obama's temperament, which has been marked by petulance, condescension, and a reflex to impugn the motives of anyone who disagrees with him. His demeanor often suggests a petty dictator rather than a statesman. And presidential temperaments have consequences.
Read this excellent piece of Obamanalysis by Daniel Henninger. He observes that it is politically imprudent of Obama to give free rein to his nasty side:
Even Achilles had a heel, and Mr. Obama's may be his decision to be his own Saul Alinsky. Defining, demonizing and making a mockery of one's opponents was one of Alinsky's main rules for community organizers. But community organizers, though often charismatic, can also be annoying jerks.Read the rest. His hubris makes him do it.
More observations on El Supremo's proclivity to go negative:
Jennifer Rubin: Obama's nastiness is not new
Well, actually this has been going on from Day One of the administration. The assault on Rush Limbaugh took place a year ago. And he called the Supreme Court out — with the justices sitting in the House — months ago. In fact, Obama has been vilifying and dismissing Republicans, the Supreme Court, Fox News, the Chamber of Commerce, insurance companies, Wall Street, and Tea Partiers for quite some time.Peter Wehner: RE: Obama nastiness is not new
Well, the Politico reporters say, the president now uses “Mitch McConnell” or “Sarah Palin” by name. It seems to be a distinction without much difference since it was always quite clear whom he was slamming. It does fit the Politico storyline that Obama is somewhat desperate and that this is what politicians do — attack! — when they are in the dumps. But it’s ultimately a false narrative, one that disguises central facets of Obama’s personality: he’s condescending (recall the health-care summit), thin-skinned, dismissive of opponents, and prone to ad hominem and straw-men attacks. That’s nothing new — although it’s nice to see the sycophantic press wake up and take notice.
Dennis Kneale: Obama is a bully
And for good measure, he cannot resist adding arrogance to his hypocrisy. Mr. Obama sees himself as our modern-day Socrates, the courageous voice of reason in an angry and rancorous world. His opponents are driven by base, if not corrupt, motives; they tell lies while he speaks Truth. One gets the sense from Obama that he is frustrated that more of us don’t acknowledge that he is a man of unparalleled wisdom and purity of heart. We don’t recognize the gift he is to all of us.
When challenged on his facts, he gets prickly and defensive; the more effective the challenge, the more contemptuous Obama becomes. One can see what is going around in his mind: “Do you presume to criticize the Great Oz! You ungrateful creatures. Think yourselves lucky that I’m giving you an audience…”
The problem for the president is that people are beginning to pay attention to that man behind the curtain.
Will someone please rein in our relentlessly hectoring President? Barrack Hussein Obama has taken his gift for inspirational oratory—one of the traits that got him elected—and turned it into something darker and more insidious. Bam is a bully. Bad enough that he bashes Wall Street, but this President has gone farther than any in modern history in putting the wrong kind of “bully”back into what Teddy Roosevelt called the bully pulpit. [. . .]Insert comparison to Bush as statesman here. RTR.
Rather than trash an entire state, Bam could have privately lobbied Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and urged her to veto the bill. Or he could have said, simply, that he hoped to pass better solutions at the federal level.
That would have been statesmanlike, but this President gets pouty whenever anyone dares to disagree with him. He seems to view dissension not as healthy public debate but as a suspicious, pernicious challenge to his omnipotence and popularity.
Karl Rove: It's Only Called the Bully Pulpit
But it is the president's intimidation that is most troubling. Mr. Obama has the disturbing tendency to question the motives of those who disagree with him, often making them the objects of ad hominem attacks. His motives, on the other hand, are pure.
Mr. Obama often makes it seem illegitimate to challenge his views, and he isn't content to argue issues on the merits. Instead, he wants to make opponents into pariahs. And it's not just business executives who are on the receiving end. We've also seen this pattern with the administration's attacks on the tea party movement and those who attended town-hall meetings last summer on health care.
This is a bad habit—and a dangerous one. The presidency is a very powerful office, and presidents need to be careful not to use it to silence dissenting voices.
But of course, silencing dissenting voices is exactly what Obama and company hope to do.
Many thanks to MichelleMalkin.com for the link.
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