"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Friday, February 6, 2009

Obama Frustrated

Check out this vid clip here at Michelle Malkin.

Is it just me or is Obama starting to get more and more snippy. I originally wrote it off as political playacting, but I think I misjudged him. Two weeks in office and he's already visibly frustrated that he can't just dictate all political policy, can't immediately insure the passage of a boondoggle of a bill that is now unpopular with the voters. I would just make some snide little comment like "welcome to the real world, Mr. President" and leave it at that, if I thought this wasn't a serious matter.

I remember Dennis Miller saying that Obama was "one cool cat," a sentiment that a large number of people seemed to share. When he threw off a bunch of reporters from "Air Obama" he didn't seem so cool, nor when he sees himself covered over by Jessica Simpson on the cover of People or Us or whatever magazine it was, and now his speeches are visibly showing frustration. He's had fawning media coverage, been given more than a few passes for his cabinet picks, wasn't significantly called out-- not even by his opponents-- during the campaign (the worst he endured was at the hands of Clinton's people and we should remember how that played out). Now, when he meets relatively weak opposition to sweeping and incredibly expensive legislation, he, as Michelle Malkin smartly puts it, has turned into Howard Dean.

The cool cat facade seems to break down when things don't instantly go his way. No matter how successful his presidency is, things are guaranteed to get worse for him. Iran and a lot of the Muslim world continues to hate the U.S., which seems to befuddle this president (don't they know he's African-American? don't they know that the popular tabloids adore him? and what about Oprah and the Presidential Pledge video? I mean Ashton and Demi...? Come on Iran... don't you want to be popular?), by his own admission the economy is going to get worse, and the Congressional Budget Office says that the stimulus will be ultimately harmful to the economy.

Almost gleefully, Obama described himself as taking office in a time of great crisis. In his inaugural address, he talked sternly, stared with great meaning, paused dramatically (before attending the most expensive gala ever, all smiles). He promised to lead. With only a little small-scale leadership experience and with no executive background, it is extraordinarily unlikely that Obama knows that governmental leadership is not simply telling people what to do. That naive perspective cannot work. How much political damage he does to himself until he learns (if he learns-- his political actions and general manner have always struck me as arrogant) is anybody's guess.

As long as Obama expects the government to jump to his every beck and call, and as long as Republicans and non-Obamacrats hold the line, the damage inflicted upon the robust U.S. should be negligible. The problem arises when outside forces (the worsening economy, international relations) force his hand, force decisions that actually are urgent and vital. When facing an adversary that is unmoved by eloquence, racial pity, popularity, celebrity endorsements, or media adoration, how will he react? Like a spoiled child, or as a leader? Will he be willing to sacrifice popularity to do the right thing? Any bets?

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