“What is it about this President?”

I’ve got the answer… but first… let’s read the question in context as it was posed on Obama’s flagship campaign network, MSNBC by Richard Wolffe, a network contributor:

“The interesting question is: What is it about this president that has stripped away the veneer of respect that normally accompanies the Office of the President? Why do Republicans think this president is unpresidential and should dare to request this kind of thing? It strikes me that it could be the economic times, it could be that he won so big in 2008 or it could be, let’s face it, the color of his skin. This is an extraordinary reaction to a normal sequence of events,” MSNBC contributor Richard Wolffe said on “The Last Word.”

That coming after the question was posed by MSNBC poser Lawrence O’Donnell wondering whether Obama was attempting to upstage the Republican debate when he attempted to schedule his big jobs plan speech to a joint session of Congress at the same time.

Setting aside yet another attempt to play the race card by those who have nothing else to play when defending this President, the real answer is… that it’s this President.

We have never seen this kind of arrogance, this kind of partisanship, this kind of comeuppance and in your face-ness that this President engages in.  Never.  But rather than me find my own words to explain this, let’s go to Shelby Steele’s words, words read aloud by Rush today, words that need to be inwardly digested by all of us:

American-exceptionalism If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a hundred times: President Obama is destroying the country. Some say this destructiveness is intended; most say it is inadvertent, an outgrowth of inexperience, ideological wrong-headedness and an oddly undefined character. Indeed, on the matter of Mr. Obama’s character, today’s left now sounds like the right of three years ago. They have begun to see through the man and are surprised at how little is there.

Yet there is something more than inexperience or lack of character that defines this presidency: Mr. Obama came of age in a bubble of post-’60s liberalism that conditioned him to be an adversary of American exceptionalism. In this liberalism America’s exceptional status in the world follows from a bargain with the devil—an indulgence in militarism, racism, sexism, corporate greed, and environmental disregard as the means to a broad economic, military, and even cultural supremacy in the world. And therefore America’s greatness is as much the fruit of evil as of a devotion to freedom.

Mr. Obama did not explicitly run on an anti-exceptionalism platform. Yet once he was elected it became clear that his idea of how and where to apply presidential power was shaped precisely by this brand of liberalism. There was his devotion to big government, his passion for redistribution, and his scolding and scapegoating of Wall Street—as if his mandate was somehow to overcome, or at least subdue, American capitalism itself.

Anti-exceptionalism has clearly shaped his “leading from behind” profile abroad—an offer of self-effacement to offset the presumed American evil of swaggering cowboyism. Once in office his “hope and change” campaign slogan came to look like the “hope” of overcoming American exceptionalism and “change” away from it.

So, in Mr. Obama, America gained a president with ambivalence, if not some antipathy, toward the singular greatness of the nation he had been elected to lead.

But then again, the American people did elect him. Clearly Americans were looking for a new kind of exceptionalism in him (a black president would show America to have achieved near perfect social mobility). But were they also looking for—in Mr. Obama—an assault on America’s bedrock exceptionalism of military, economic and cultural pre-eminence?

American exceptionalism is, among other things, the result of a difficult rigor: the use of individual initiative as the engine of development within a society that strives to ensure individual freedom through the rule of law. Over time a society like this will become great. This is how—despite all our flagrant shortcomings and self-betrayals—America evolved into an exceptional nation.

Yet today America is fighting in a number of Muslim countries, and that number is as likely to rise as to fall. Our exceptionalism saddles us with overwhelming burdens. The entire world comes to our door when there is real trouble, and every day we spill blood and treasure in foreign lands—even as anti-Americanism plays around the world like a hit record.

At home the values that made us exceptional have been smeared with derision. Individual initiative and individual responsibility—the very engines of our exceptionalism—now carry a stigma of hypocrisy. For centuries America made sure that no amount of initiative would lift minorities and women. So in liberal quarters today—where historical shames are made to define the present—these values are seen as little more than the cynical remnants of a bygone era. Talk of “merit” or “a competition of excellence” in the admissions office of any Ivy League university today, and then stand by for the howls of incredulous laughter.

Our national exceptionalism both burdens and defames us, yet it remains our fate. We make others anxious, envious, resentful, admiring and sometimes hate-driven. There’s a reason al Qaeda operatives targeted the U.S. on 9/11 and not, say, Buenos Aires. They wanted to enrich their act of evil with the gravitas of American exceptionalism. They wanted to steal our thunder.

So we Americans cannot help but feel some ambivalence toward our singularity in the world—with its draining entanglements abroad, the selfless demands it makes on both our military and our taxpayers, and all the false charges of imperial hubris it incurs. Therefore it is not surprising that America developed a liberalism—a political left—that took issue with our exceptionalism. It is a left that has no more fervent mission than to recast our greatness as the product of racism, imperialism and unbridled capitalism.

America seems to be facing a pivotal moment: Do we move ahead by advancing or by receding—by reaffirming the values that made us exceptional or by letting go of those values, so that a creeping mediocrity begins to spare us the burdens of greatness?

He’s not done.  He finishes strong and he answers Richard Wolffe’s original question and the title of this post with hard-core truth.  The entire post needs to be perused and passed on.

Opposition to Obama has nothing to do with the color of his skin.  It has everything to do with his hatred of all that made this country great and his apparent attempt to assuage that hatred.

Are you ready for some obfuscation!
Obama Gets Spanked
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  • Anonymous

    Must be those vulcan ears again?

  • Anonymous

    There is nothing….. NOTHING…. (other than the ongoing destruction of the country, I suppose) that pisses me off more than lefty whining about how this president is being treated SO awful and terrible, more than ANY president ever before, wah wah wah.

    This is the flip side of those same people who began by treating Obama like a typical fourteen year old girl treats Justin Beiber. “No one has EVER existed that could be so perfect! My love for him is unprecedented in human history! No one has EVER felt this way before!” etc etc) That analogy is perfect. It was the EXACT same drippy, immature, dewey-eyed nonsense that any normal 14-year-old girl will look back on at 24+, and roll her eyes in embarassment. 

    Sorry, guys, but shocking as this may be to you, some of us actually lived through the years 2001-2009. Where you were during that period is a bit of a mystery, I suppose. (A US congressman actually said, actually SAID…. “Hey, I don’t remember George W. Bush being compared to Hitler the way this President (BO) has been!”. Yes, he was actually able to form those words, and get his tongue to utter them — how, I cannot imagine.)

    Nothing pisses me off more than this whining that what was done to George W. Bush for eight long years never happened, and now that Obama feels similar heat it is the “MOST AWFUL HORRIBLE UNPRECEDENTED (ahem racist!) THING EVER EVER EVER!!!!”

    Shut up you whinly little punks. You dish it out, so your little pop star can take it…… and like it.

  • Anonymous

    The piss ant in chief has a lot to learn when it comes to Presidential decorum.  He, however, has the audacity of dope thingy down pat.

  • herddog505

    Amazing, ain’t it?  I mean, when Bush was in office, no insults or slights were too much for the left.  Now, if somebody looks sideways at their messiah, it’s RAAAAACISM!  AndrewX is right: they are like a bunch of swooning teens spouting “drippy, immature, dewey-eyed nonsense”.

    Are they really so clueless?  Bad Luck Barry, a year after he promised to present a jobs plan, just happens to ask for a joint session (usually reserved for a major national event or piece of legislation) on the day that the GOP are having a long-planned presidential debate.  He doesn’t bother to ask the Speaker or (we may presume) the Majority Leader; it comes across rather more as a demand than a request to be invited.  Then, when the Speaker wants to schedule for the following night… why… it MUST be RAAACISM!

    Is there anything that Barry can’t f*ck up that isn’t due to somebody else’s RAAACISM?

  • PBunyan

    The cartoon in the post above is wrong.  If Obama made those exceptions the sign he’s holding should read “If it’s good for Isreal.”

    Some of the others are questionable with regard to Obama, too.

    • Oysteria

      You know, I was thinking the same thing.

      • PBunyan

        I think Andew was correct when he posted (below) that this is a left wing cartoon.  Sure seems that way.  It’s pretty obvious that Obama is no way at all a friend of Isreal, he just doesn’t openly hate them enough to satisfy his left wing base.

        • Anonymous

          C’mon folks that’s just the point.  Even the Looney Left is getting fed up with him.  Forget James Carville.  When you’ve lost the looney left, previously known as moonbats, well…

  • Anonymous

    “Chimpy McHaliburton and Bushitler” come to mind as casual terms the other side used on a daily basis without a second thought. Dare I say that if I were to say anything remotely close to to that about the (P)resident I would be ‘Spongebobed’ and branded a ‘raaaaaacist’ for doing so, as tempting as it is.

    Let him be hoisted on his own ‘Anti-exceptionalism’ petard and use his own statements against him.
    Facts and actions speak for themselves.

    • Anonymous

      “…and use his own statements against him.”

      What, like the statement that increasing the debt limit was irresponsible and unpatriotic?

      -Oh, sorry. I forgot about the expiration date on Obama statements. Do they expire the day after he makes them, or sooner?

  • retired.military

    I had a friend that had the absolute gall to say that the signs of Obama with the Hitler moustache was proof of racism against Obama.

    I had to shake my head.

  • jim_m

    What is it about this president that has stripped away the veneer of respect that normally accompanies the Office of the President?

    Where do I start?

    It’s the bowing to every head of state he meets.
    It’s the apologizing to every foreigner
    It’s the constant ruinning down of America and the denial of American Exceptionalism
    It’s the pettiness,
    the involving himself in the municipal police activity of a college town in Massachusetts,
    the contemptuous treatment of people he has invited to be in the audience when he speaks.
    It’s his incredible ungraciouosness when he won( I won!!)
    It’s his glaceless behavior when he lost.

    This President has brought down the prestige of the Presidency because he is a small man.  He is petty and petulant.  He is obsequious to foreign leaders (especially leftist ones) and his administration shows open distrespect for Americans and american ideals.

    This President has stripped away the respect of the office because he has not earned any respect and offers none to this country or its people.

    • Anonymous

      So? Is he off your Christmas list?

      • jim_m

        Until he takes all the Chairman Mao ornaments off his Christmas tree, yes.

      • The bowing, I could live with – he’s a leftist, what is he going to do before the leaders of third-world hellholes?

        It’s all that damned scraping . . .

    • Correctamundo. You’ve captured the essence here. It’s not the office…it’s the man (and that may be generous) in the office.

  • retired.military

    ” or it could be, let’s face it, the color of his skin”

    Well it could be.  In fact, I sorta wish it was.  That would mean that the criticisms of him are based on bullshit and are probably as full of shit as racists usually are.

    Unfortunately for us, the criticisms leveled against him are more than justified.  I say unfortunately for us because he doesnt have to reap what he sows.  He will have a gaurenteed income of $400 k a year for life not to mention speaking fees and book deals, secret service protection for life, gaurenteed healthcare for life, etc.    None of which I begrudge him as I would not begrudge it of any former President.  But the damage wrought to people who do not have those luxuries by him and his policies are unforgetable and unforgiveable.

  • There was his devotion to big government, his passion for
    redistribution, and his scolding and scapegoating of Wall Street—as if
    his mandate was somehow to overcome, or at least subdue, American
    capitalism itself.

    AWWW POOR WALL STREET THOSE POOR BABIES!!So saying mean things about the oligarchs who ruined our economy now qualifies as “anti-capitalism?”

    • Oysteria

      No.  It the constant berating not only of Wall Street in general, but individuals who had nothing to do with the calamity that befell our economy, while completely ignoring that government played a significant role in it.  So don’t be so disingenuous.

  • Anonymous

    Who cares what the criticism is as long as the job is performed well?  You forgot to add  the stimulus retirement fund Barry has socked away for emergency golf getaways and 3 am wookie feedings.

  • hahaha

    The political cartoon you posted is a LEFT-WING critique of the Obama administration’s response to Arab Spring.

    • Oysteria

      Aw Andrew, did this post chafe you?  A liitle powder will fix that.

  • Obama is a right-wing corporate shill and the fact that so many people think he’s a subversive socialist is proof that America is hopeless, a lost cause.

    • jim_m

      It just shows how ignorant the left is that they say things like you just did.

      obama was raised by socialists. He traveled in far left circles in college. He shared offices with Bill Ayers and Mike Klonsky, both avowed Maoists.

      obama’s policies are infused with an anti-capitalist and pro socialist if not outright communist philosophy. 

      What ignorant leftists mistake as conservatism are his corrupt, chicago style crony-capitalism practices in his administration.  obama sees running the government as a means to get rich and to enrich his friends.  That mean cutting sweetheart deals for companies that he favors and punishing those he does not.  The fact is that leftists will only be pleased by the total destruction of all free enterprise and the notion that obama wants to get rich off of some companies is anathema.

      That doesn’t make him conservative.  It just makes him corrupt.  If you had any sense you would see that, but being that you are a lefty you lack any sense so we understand your confusion.

      • Corruption and cronyism is a problem that taints both parties and both socialism and capitalism. But even beyond that, Obama’s policies are not socialist in the slightest. His health care bill was watered down to the point of excluding a public option and he has done nothing to take on the bankers who brought down the economy. He’s currently pressuring state AG’s to accept a deal that lets BoA off the hook for blatant fraud and malfeasance.

        I don’t hear and conservatives criticizing this. They’re too busy looking for Black Panthers and ACORN death panels under their beds to care about genuine problems with the Obama admin.

        • Anonymous

          The whole administration is a genuine disaster.

        • jim_m

          Please.  The only reason there wasn’t a public option was not because he didn;t want it.  It was because he couldn’t overcome opposition from within his own party for it. (remember the dems had a filibuster proof majority in the Senate)

          As for the bankers bringing down the economy, that was more due to the meddling of people like Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, who passed legislation forcing banks to make loans to people who really ought not have gotten them.  Those banks were forced to make bad loans and the government then paid to clean up the mess.  The reaction has been to crank down on credit and to not allow anyone a loan, which is death to the economy because businesses need credit to expand.

          The one thing that the left backed completely was obama’s plan to bail out mortgages, which ended up enriching his banker buddies and not doing a thing for consumers.  Once again obama makes his friends (also known as donors) rich and screws the public.

        • Anonymous

          Andrew are you just now figuring out that politics is corrupt, really. God I wish we taught history in schools.

        • retired.military

          So you are complaining that Obama is not left wing enough???

          Geez guy.  I would offer you some help but I dont think anyone on earth can do anything for you.

        • Anonymous

          “The bankers” didn’t take down the economy.

          “The bankers” merely tried to unload the worthless loan paper that the cumulative weight of Fannie and Freddie had forced them to take.

          Your entire “evil bankers” scenario depends upon the bankers deciding to make very, very bad loans so as to be able to extract huge profits.

          Which is moronic. But since it’s the only way you can rewrite the story to drop the entire Fannie-Freddy-Barney-Chrissie main theme, I guess you’re stuck with it.

    • Anonymous

      As a matter of fact yes you are offensive.

      • I don’t find Andrew offensive at all.

        Pathetic? Yes.

        Ridiculous? Yes.

        A glittering jewel of colossal ignorance? Yes indeed.

        Offensive? No.

        • jim_m

          I find his pathetic, ridiculous display of colassal ignorance offensive.

          At least he didn’t call me racist.  He must have been waiting for Bob.

          • If it makes me roll around on the floor laughing at it, I just find it hard to be offended by it. I might feel pity, though.

            And really, isn’t that a bigger insult to Andrew?

  • Anonymous

    Barry could IMMEDIATELY triple his popularity score and improve the economy overnight with one SIMPLE move.

    Announce in his speech that he will not run in 2012.

    Guaranteed WINNER!

    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t like him any better but I bet that move alone would create a couple million jobs..

  • Excuse me, Richard Wolfe? Yeah, it’s 2008 calling. It wants its hackneyed race-baiting catch-all criticism of Republicans back.