Writing at the Washington Post, columnist Jonathon Capehart described the "kerfufle" over Obama's request to speak before a Joint Session of Congress as symptomatic of a greater disrespect by Repubicans for the Office of President. Capehart went on to suggest that while Democrats were sharply critical of President Bush they never disrespected the office. Who does this man think he is fooling by writing such tripe?
On the subject of Obama's speech request, Michael Barone had this to say:
Obama's request was regarded as a clever move by some wiseguys in the left blogosphere because that was the exact time of a long-scheduled Republican presidential candidate debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Take that, you guys!Readers may note that yours truly earlier zeroed in on Obama's 2009 effort to upstage Dick Cheney. That too backfired but in the Obama White House there is no shortage of hubris and apparently no desire to learn from their mistakes.
Before last week, presidents and congressional leaders always agreed privately on scheduling presidential addresses to joint sessions before any public announcement was made. But it appears that no such agreement was made here, just a brusque announcement that had to be retracted.
Another weakness on display was contempt for public opinion. White House press secretary Jay Carney said it was just "coincidental" that the president wanted to speak at the same time as the debate. It was just "one debate of many that's on one channel of many."
But those with memories that go back beyond last week may recall that in May 2009, Obama scrambled to find a venue for a speech at exactly the same time as former Vice President Dick Cheney was scheduled to speak at the American Enterprise Institute on detainee questioning issues. Cheney coolly watched Obama on television and then delivered his own speech.
Ham-handedly trying to bigfoot the opposition is a habit with this president, not a coincidence.
Democrats have criticized Obama on the speech-scheduling flap. James Carville said he was "out of bounds." Salon.com's Cenk Uygur sensed "the audacity of weakness." It reminds me of a phrase describing a character in the 1980s TV series "Dallas" -- "blustering, opportunistic, craven and hopelessly ineffective all at once."
In this latest case, Obama created the problem by knowingly going up against the GOP debate and scheduling his speech without due consultation with congress. If anyone is being disrespectful, it is Obama dissing the House of Representatives and GOP presidential hopefuls. If the White House was unaware of the GOP debate conflict then they are even more incompetent than we thought.
Now back to Capehart's column in the Post:
In Obama, we have a president more grounded and comfortable in his own skin than many of the people he has to work with to govern this country. He’s bigger than most of us. So the petty slights that get a lot of us riled up probably don’t register to him. He’s a thinker and plotter with his eyes on the prize down the road, not the daily hysteria taking place on the road to get there. That’s why I’m praying that when the real fight comes, the president will show Republicans — and the American people — that he’s not the pushover they believe him to be.From here on out when we talk about liberal Kool Aid drinkers we should include a copy of Capehart's picture. If the people in the White House have views that are as out of touch with reality as those of Capehart's then Obama may be in bigger trouble than we thought. GOOD!