[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]
The other day, I mentioned how Obama compared the Congressional Republicans to terrorists and suggested that this lacked a certain amount of tact. One commenter defended those remarks by saying “[l]ook, he has an angry base to pacify. He is using the best kind of rhetoric to win them over.” In other words, him being an un-presidential d—k about it was a calculated political move.
But that theory really doesn’t hold up when you also see him being condescending toward his angry base:
The president admitted to supporters that right now there is a “healthy” debate going on about the details of the compromise and used the call to defend his decisions to compromise yet again.
“I know that there’s some folks who are angry about it,” he said. “They are confused about the extensions on the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and there are policy and political objections. Some people are saying, ‘Well, did we fight hard enough for our position? Did we position ourselves properly on this?’”
The president said the bottom line is the votes weren’t there.
“We put up the best and smartest fight that we could under the circumstances. That means without 60 votes in the Senate,” the president said, “not a single Republican would support our position in the Senate, and as a consequence we could not get the 60 vote we needed to overcome their filibuster.”
You got that, liberals? You’re not thinking clearly. You are confused. You aren’t actually smart enough to have an informed opinion. So just shut up and let Uncle Barry handle things for you.
Pretty condescending, huh? Well, welcome to our world. It’s a crowded place.
And it’s really hard to see the political advantage. I mean, the correct phrase is “I respectfully disagree, and here, let me make my case…” Or something else that says, “yes, we are disagreeing on tactics here, but I recognize that this disagreement is in good faith.” But the narcissist-in-chief is incapable of being so tolerant of disagreement.
Certainly, similar condescension fed Keith Olbermann’s anger which led him (with a rhetorical wink-and-a-nod) to compare Republicans to Nazis and Obama to Neville Chamberlain (wait, so liberals are opposed to appeasement now?):
Yesterday I had an exchange with a very Senior member of this Administration who wanted to sell me on this deal. I pointed out that that was fine, except that — as I phrased it to him — “frankly the base has just vanished.” “Well,” he replied, “then they must not have read the details.” There, in a nutshell, is this Administration. They didn’t make a bad deal — we just don’t understand it.
Just as it was our fault, Mr President, for not understanding your refusal of even the most perfunctory of investigations of rendition or domestic spying or the other crimes of the Bush Administration, or why you have now established for those future Administrations who want to repeat those crimes, that the punishment for them will be nothing.
Just as it was our fault, Mr. President, for not understanding Afghanistan. Just as we didn’t correctly perceive, Sir, the necessity for the continuation of Gitmo. Or how we failed to intuit, President Obama, your preemptive abandonment of Single Payer and the Public Option. Or how we couldn’t have foreseen your foot-dragging on “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Just as we shouldn’t have gotten you angry at your news conference today and made all the moderate Democrats wonder why in the hell you get publicly angry so often at the liberals who campaigned for you and whether you might save just a touch of that sarcasm and that self-martyrdom for the Republicans.
By the way, I think this means it is officially no longer racist to criticize the president. So there is that.
And as for the Chamberlain bit, well here you go:
The Churchill quotation — as opposed to the quotation from the very Senior member of your Administration, Mr. President — is from October 5th, 1938.
I don’t want to make any true comparison to the historical event to which it related; the viewer can go ahead and look it up if they wish; I will confess I won’t fight if anybody wants to draw a comparison between what you’ve done with our domestic politics of our day, to what Neville Chamberlain did with the international politics of his.
And even while Alan Grayson liked the terrorism metaphor from the other day, it is clear from this exchange with Lawrence O’Donnell that he felt the President capitulated too easily. The exchange is also fun because O’Donnell (who has previously stated that he was a socialist, but also knew realistically that Americans would not accept socialism), takes Grayson to task for his impracticality. I may vehemently disagree with O’Donnell’s philosophy, but I kind of respect his realism and honesty about it.
So getting back to the politics, who exactly is pleased by all this? Maybe he is hoping to appeal to some middle between the left and the Republican party and anyone who felt that raising taxes on anyone in the middle of the recession is a bad idea. But even if he was making that calculus, how on Earth was it necessary to insult the Republicans and his liberal critics? Couldn’t he have just as effectively disagreed with them without being disagreeable?
Unless it was part of a secret plan to unite liberals and conservatives in calling the President a putz for unnecessarily insulting them. In which case, mission accomplished.
Hat tip: Hot Air.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]