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Is the president peevish in defeat?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:28 am - December 9, 2010.
Filed under: 111th Congress,2010 Elections,Obama Arrogance

With all the goings-on in the lame-duck session of Congress, there is much to write about, but, I, alas, have had less time than I would like to keep up with the news and to follow the blogs.

In what little attention I have paid to the news, I have noticed how the president has blundered badly this week.  He neglected to consult his allies before he negotiated with his partisan adversaries on extending the Bush tax cuts and acted as if blind-sided by the criticism which ensued.  Surely, a politician has to be prepared for attacks from all sides.

Jennifer Rubin called his press conference earlier this week this “worst press conference  – ever“:

I don’t mean just for Obama. I mean any president. Or head of state. When I wrote this morning that he doesn’t do well in defeat, you didn’t know how right I was, huh? Let’s count the ways.

Calling Republicans “hostage takers.” Not helpful. Saying Republicans opposed middle class tax cuts. Not true — they wanted no tax increases for anyone. Accusing Republicans of holding out tax cuts for the rich as the “Holy grail.”

Others had similar reactions.  Asking us to “Remember all that nonsense from the David Brookses and Chris Buckleys of the world in 2008 about” Obama’s “first-class temperament”, Rand Simberg, for example, quipped, “It’s hard to take anything they tell us seriously, at this point.”  (Via Instapundit.)

In another post commenting how “glum” he was in his presser, Rubin found it yet another example of his difficulty in facing defeat. In “his post-election “shellacking” press conference,” Rubin observed, “he became peevish.

Rubin’s former Commentary Contentions colleague Peter Wehner notes the contradictions in Obama’s campaign image and his record in office:

It appears to me that Obama is a man of tremendous internal contradictions. He fancies himself as a post-partisan, post-ideological figure who alone can elevate public discourse. He obviously took great pride in presenting himself as America’s Socrates during the presidential campaign.

At the same time, Mr. Obama is a man of unusual arrogance who, if things don’t go his way, becomes prickly. He lashes out. And he begins to feel sorry for himself. Notoriously thin-skinned and accustomed to worshipful treatment by those around him (including the press), Obama is now clearly disquieted.

Things have changed in Washington.  And the president doesn’t seem to have developed a strategy to respond to that change and look presidential at the same time.

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45 Comments

  1. Isn’t it just as accurate to say that Democrats were holding middle-class taxpayers hostage to their desire to raise taxes on bourgeois capitalist pigs earning more than $250K per year?

    Comment by V the K — December 9, 2010 @ 5:41 am - December 9, 2010

  2. I think it’s the unfortunate result of being a Wunderkind of sorts. Fame came too early and stunted his maturation process. The same thing is noticeable in writers who have a big bestseller in their early 20s. They peak quickly and become ogres rapidly, because they never develop the humility and thick skin that come with obscurity.

    Comment by R.O. Lopez — December 9, 2010 @ 5:55 am - December 9, 2010

  3. Actually, this happened because the leftists and the MSM wanted a “messiah” and annointed this dangerously inept politician as “Barack the Magic Negro.”

    Now we see the curtain pulled back and the Wiz is nothing but a humbug.

    He’s in way over his head, and we’re suffering the consequences.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — December 9, 2010 @ 9:36 am - December 9, 2010

  4. Watching Pres Obama responding to “impertinent” questions from liberal press people about his abandonment of the revenue needy Left in govt, I couldn’t help but think it was his JimmyCarter moment… now Obama has far more in common with Carter’s worst traits than he has in any attempt to triangulate ala Bill Clinton back toward the political center.

    Obama and the Democrats are to “blame” for having to be in the position of caving-in to GOP demands because, for 2 yrs, they didn’t address the issue of Bush Tax Cuts from a position of strength and power… the Bush Tax Cuts “won” not because of too many GOPers in Congress, it “won” because NancyP and HarryG couldn’t find enough Democrats to embrace a tax hike on anyone in a recession.

    The Prez may have wagged his finger at both the GOP and the purity Party folks on the Left, but the real anger should be directed inward for blowing many chances to deal decisively with this issue from a position of strength, not weakness and appeasement.

    I think Bishop Sheen was fond of saying, when you point a finger at someone else… remember, there are three fingers on your own hand pointing right back at you.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — December 9, 2010 @ 10:00 am - December 9, 2010

  5. Fame came too early and stunted his maturation masturbatory process of public preening and making poses from atop the grandeur of his self confident towering heights.

    “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.”

    “Don’t let them call you a little sh*t, stand up and show them what a big one you are.”

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.”

    “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, gang aft agley.”

    “When you get there you discover there is no there there.”

    “Never look a gift horse in the mouth.”

    “That dog won’t hunt.”

    Obama came down from the Big Rock Candy Mountain and strutted his way into the Oval Office where he proceeded to give us postage stamp poses and sermonettes about getting on with fundamental transformation and growing the economy from the bottom up and opening the valves to the lemonade springs and making us one with the world in peace and harmony and curing acne as we know it.

    He can not understand, tolerate, accept, countenance, brook, imagine being graded, let alone being considered an agent, progenitor, facilitator, or purveyor of failure.

    He is the school yard bully who got hit by the wimp who would not take it any longer and he is claiming his rights as an orphan of high status not to have the blow to his ego count. He wants his strutting and bluster rights restored to full glory.

    Sorry, peacock, but your tail feathers are molting.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 9, 2010 @ 10:04 am - December 9, 2010

  6. Watching that Obama press conference was like watching one of those scenes in “The Lord of the Rings” where Gollum argues with himself. The only things missing were the head twists and the two camera angles.

    Comment by Wesley M. — December 9, 2010 @ 10:45 am - December 9, 2010

  7. Sounds like I missed quite a presser!

    Of course it isn’t just Obama who is peevish in defeat, it’s Democrats: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101209/ap_on_bi_ge/us_tax_cuts

    Even the Dems’ media allies openly describe the Dems as “glum”, “unhappy”, etc. at the tax cuts. Words emphasizing emotional state and, well, peevishness.

    Let’s tease this out.
    1) Dems are emotionally “unhappy” when the rich are taxed 35% or less on income, 15% or less on long-term capital gains.
    2) It follows that Dems are emotionally “happy” when the rich are taxed 39% or more on income, 20% or more on LT capital gains.

    Why should those numbers make a difference to their emotions? Their sense of happiness?

    I could tease it out some more but, to cut to the chase, there is no answer that does not ultimately come down to, “Democrats hate successful people”. Or equivalently, “Democrats hate free people” (h/t TL), people who don’t need the Democrats to provide them with government assistance.

    Democrats think they own everyone and everything. Democrats think that people’s income and other gains are *not* their own; rather, all income and gains rightfully belongs to the government, and specifically to the Democrats who should of course be the rulers of the government.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 9, 2010 @ 11:07 am - December 9, 2010

  8. (continued) A lefty might leap in here and say, no ILC, Democrats don’t hate successful people, they just want more people to be successful. Well: Bullsh*t. If the Democrats wanted people to be successful i.e. to thrive without Democrat assistance, then they would be *emotionally happy* at the chance to lower anybody’s taxes – rich, middle class or poor.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 9, 2010 @ 11:10 am - December 9, 2010

  9. (continued) One way to know if somebody loves you, is if they are happy for your success – including your possibly not needing them.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 9, 2010 @ 11:18 am - December 9, 2010

  10. The latest is that some Democrats will vote against the bill. In there obsession to punish 350,000 highest income earners and taxpayers, they´re willing to end unemployment benefits for the couple of million unemployed Americans. I would like them to be successful just to hang it around their necks that they´re not really concerned about the disadvantaged.

    Comment by Roberto — December 9, 2010 @ 11:44 am - December 9, 2010

  11. Here we are again – Obama capitulating whole-heartedly, enthusiastically agreeing to the minority’s demands, and all the GayPatriots want to talk about is his tone and how un-Presidential he looks. Of course, actual policies are completely incidental to the average conservatives’ interests in politics. It’s all about image for you guys – and even though Obama is doing what you would like him to do, because he doesn’t cater to your vanity and indulge in your fantasies as enthusiastically as you would like him to, he has to be ripped apart. If only he was wearing a cowboy hat and talking with a drawl and clearing brush with a chainsaw….

    Comment by Levi — December 9, 2010 @ 12:57 pm - December 9, 2010

  12. Obama capitulating whole-heartedly, enthusiastically agreeing to the minority’s demands………

    What cha smokin’ Levi?

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 9, 2010 @ 1:08 pm - December 9, 2010

  13. Guess what, Levi, we conservatives don’t want no stinkin’ unemployment welfare extended. Guess what else? We conservatives want unemployment welfare rolled way back to a month or so.

    Does Obama whole-heartedly and enthusiastically support this as well? Are we messing with a true believer in conservative principles just because we supposedly “hate” all Democrats?

    Proof, please. When an ultra-liberal who has often spoken of his disappointment with Obama for not being “left” enough, how are we to assess your chastising us for grinning at Obama’s peevishness?

    Did it ever occur to you that we enjoy watching Obama implode? When you pump yourself up like a blowfish, as Obama has done, it is rather amusing to watch him sputter and puff and roll around grasping for a steadying hand. So, which cavalry is going to ride to his rescue? The Pelosi bunch? The Harry Reid gang? The Chicago machine? The Soros-Ayres cell? The ACORN organized community? The Kos Kids? Do tell.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 9, 2010 @ 1:23 pm - December 9, 2010

  14. Ah, the socialist pops up his head.

    No comments on Wikileaks exposing the lies that were made by this administration to try to get copenhagen passed? You should be happy, clearly the administration lies as often as you do.

    No comments on the documented failure of your vaunted porkulus?

    Now hush, Levi. Adults are talking.

    Comment by The_Livewire — December 9, 2010 @ 1:24 pm - December 9, 2010

  15. More evidence that the left is full of whining p*ssies.

    Comment by Az Mo — December 9, 2010 @ 1:26 pm - December 9, 2010

  16. President Obama’s other problem is he can’t run and hide from his statements.

    Levi wishes Obama was more like him. In the case of running and hiding from reality, so does Obama.

    Comment by The_Livewire — December 9, 2010 @ 1:37 pm - December 9, 2010

  17. Now hush, Levi. Adults are talking.

    Which reminds me, the demented liberal children of Berkeley California are voting to honor the traitor Bradley Manning as a hero.

    Comment by V the K — December 9, 2010 @ 1:55 pm - December 9, 2010

  18. It is great that conservatives and libeals alike are starting to agree that Obama is a dope and only tissue thin.
    The big news is that liberal Dems now agree that you need tax rate cuts to grow the economy. They just can’t bring themselves to do it across the board.
    This morning it was announced that 74 dummies were joining Gates and Buffet in giving away lots and lots of their Billions of dollars. (I’ll wait to see what ACTUALLY happens. beyond “committments”.) This is what I prefer, if you think “rich” people ought to pay more, get em to volunteer. Lots and lots of liberal Democrats should get in line to sign up now. And why just billionaires, how bout liberal millionaires and quarter millionaires? John Kerry….start to give away most of Theresa’s money now, why wait? Patrick Kennedy, Maria Shriver, put your money where your mouths are!

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — December 9, 2010 @ 3:09 pm - December 9, 2010

  19. And in a country with trillion dollar deficits, 17% unemployment, a metastisizing federal government, out-of-control entitlement spending and a stagnant economy… Levi is peeved that people are picking on his boyfriend.

    Comment by V the K — December 9, 2010 @ 3:32 pm - December 9, 2010

  20. I watched Baracks presser twice.
    It struck me that Obama just doesn’t understand why everyone is always so mad. What’s the deal? He’s “trying” he hasn’t stopped “fighting” for the American people.
    I wonder if he is stunned by the wholesale abandonment of his allies, the socialist nutts at MSNBC.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — December 9, 2010 @ 3:58 pm - December 9, 2010

  21. I think Levi only criticizes Obama because he can’t stand having a Black Man at the head of his party.

    Comment by V the K — December 9, 2010 @ 7:13 pm - December 9, 2010

  22. This morning it was announced that 74 dummies were joining Gates and Buffet in giving away lots and lots of their Billions of dollars.

    They wouldn’t be trying to avoid paying their “fair share” on that cash, would they?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — December 9, 2010 @ 7:14 pm - December 9, 2010

  23. So the DADT repeal got blocked in the Senate. I guess this means we will have to have this pointless, infuriating debate about gays in the military for another few months or until recruiters start hanging out outside Rage, whichever happens first.

    http://colorfulconservative.blogspot.com/2010/12/repeal-of-dadt-blocked-condemning-us-to.html

    I can’t wait to see what happens when recruiters figure out they can fill their quotas by promising 18-year-old gays a paradise at Ft. Jackson: Men! Men! Men! Washboard abs! Your ass will never feel this satisfied! And the military WANTS you there! They LOVE you! Sign up for Infantry, they need you! I promise! The war is almost ending, you’ll never get deployed anyway, and almost nobody sees combat! Sign up, nancy boy! And give me head behind the recruitment building when I get off, I’ll provide Hooah wipes for free.

    Comment by Robert Oscar Lopez — December 9, 2010 @ 8:56 pm - December 9, 2010

  24. Comment by Wesley M. ‘Watching that Obama press conference was like watching one of those scenes in “The Lord of the Rings” where Gollum argues with himself. The only things missing were the head twists and the two camera angles.’

    I’ve thought Obama was more like Saruman after his staff was broken, in that all he had left was his voice, his power of persuasion. Except we see that that’s all Obama ever had.

    Comment by Nate Whilk — December 9, 2010 @ 11:27 pm - December 9, 2010

  25. “He neglected to consult his allies …and acted as if blind-sided by the criticism which ensued.”

    Racists. He may really believe he’s unreproachable, anyone who criticizes him must be a racist. He is blind-sided that there are so many racists in his own party.

    Comment by ic — December 9, 2010 @ 11:35 pm - December 9, 2010

  26. Sounds like someone is grumpy. Sounds like someone isn’t listening to his Carpenters album. Perhaps though this someone is worried about Sarah Palin taking his chair.

    Comment by Ben — December 9, 2010 @ 11:58 pm - December 9, 2010

  27. [...] was peevish in victory. Just what are people expecting now that the world isn’t being handed to him on a [...]

    Pingback by Peevish « Big – Smart – Human — December 10, 2010 @ 12:18 am - December 10, 2010

  28. Peter Wehner in Commentary says, “It appears to me that Obama is a man of tremendous internal contradictions.”

    “Internal contradictions”? No, the word you’re searching for is “hypocrite”.

    Comment by Sardondi — December 10, 2010 @ 12:50 am - December 10, 2010

  29. This post is about Obama’s demeanor and his choice of words during this speech in the context of the agreements he made with the Republicans. While it’s engaging to objectively discuss these elements, I fail to see what reveling in hatred towards this man and/or his decisions does for civil discourse. Aren’t we only lowering ourselves to the level of behavior and attitude that we disdain in Gay, Inc?

    Comment by Vince in WeHo — December 10, 2010 @ 2:14 am - December 10, 2010

  30. Well said, Vince.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 10, 2010 @ 3:02 am - December 10, 2010

  31. The fraud sold to America can’t take the heat?

    Elections have consequences– better hope no 9-11 happens on his watch.

    Comment by backhoe — December 10, 2010 @ 5:42 am - December 10, 2010

  32. This morning it was announced that 74 dummies were joining Gates and Buffet in giving away lots and lots of their Billions of dollars.

    Gee, it’s almost as if they don’t trust the Government to spend it wisely on their behalf.

    Comment by V the K — December 10, 2010 @ 5:51 am - December 10, 2010

  33. [...] The Gay Patriot has a roundup of reactions to Fred-6′s epic presser … I’ve added TGP to the Royal Roll, fwiw… [...]

    Pingback by The Jellywhite Almanac: Intellectual snobbery, the moral universe and stuff Haiti-related « King B Live — December 10, 2010 @ 7:40 am - December 10, 2010

  34. [...] BARACK OBAMA: PEEVISH IN DEFEAT? [...]

    Pingback by americanconservativenews.com » Blog Archive » BARACK OBAMA: PEEVISH IN DEFEAT? … — December 10, 2010 @ 8:45 am - December 10, 2010

  35. Gee, it’s almost as if they don’t trust the Government to spend it wisely on their behalf.

    Few billionares get that way by being stupid. Why would they want to give that money to the black hole that is the federal treasury? Once they give it to them the party is over, and they are reduced to just another ‘wealthy’ schlub at the mercy of a rapacious taxman

    Better to ‘give’ it away to some super special foundations. The kind that always and forevermore will have your name perched atop it. Kind of like those marble colonnades topped by some long dead Roman’s name, carved in six foot high letters. Only now you won’t have to travel to one city to see it. It will be WARREN BVFFET broadcast across the world in perpetuity.

    But with all the attendant back scratching, log rolling, cronyism, and nepotism among the select who get to preside over all that tax free lucre held within those oh so civic minded foundations. Yeah, there might be a little to that aspect.

    I mean, can you blame them? What other option do they have? Die and let half of it go to some tinpot like TOTUS so he can dole it out for his own aggrandizement? Screw that, let that peon earn his. Convert it all into semi-museums ala Blenheim or the Biltmore? That’s so 19th century…

    It’s exactly what I would do.

    Comment by ThomasD — December 10, 2010 @ 9:28 am - December 10, 2010

  36. Obama has been coddled all his life. That is why he was called by the LA Times in all seriousness “The Magic Negro.” [which was then co-opted and twisted with sarcastic glee by Rush Limbaugh....]

    He may not be a full-blown narcissist, but he surely has many of the features of narcissism: to wit, an inflated sense of his own importance, a grandiose confidence in his ability to charm people, denial of his weaknesses, petulance and ready frustration when things don’t go his way, thin-skinned prickliness when confronted with world-views which don’t match his own.

    Added to that, he displays some borderline personality disorder features, such as over-identification with those who he sees as helpers, and facile labeling with malice towards those whose opinions differ from his own.

    Hence, his going after Fox news, Republicans, Rush and Hannity, Tea Partiers, police who “act stupidly,” or even Hillary.

    Since the unholy alliance of the voting blocs of blacks, Socialist Dimwits, guilt-addled whites and shallow-thinking independents voted him into office, and that alliance has crumbled, he is doomed to fail. He is caught in the chaos of his own making. Just desserts, eh Brutus?

    Comment by A. Reasoner — December 10, 2010 @ 12:41 pm - December 10, 2010

  37. Follow-up to my post …

    If you do have to express your disdain, though, at least be clever about it.

    Comment by Vince in WeHo — December 10, 2010 @ 3:32 pm - December 10, 2010

  38. Seriosuly, that wasn’t the worst Presidential press conference.

    The one that just finished is.

    “I can’t get my point across, so here’s the previous president to do it for me.”

    Comment by The_Livewire — December 10, 2010 @ 4:46 pm - December 10, 2010

  39. Just watched former President Bill Clinton go on and on about the tax compromise. After 10 minutes the CURRENT President BHO left the room like he had something important to do. Other than confirm his Hawaii vacation plans with Michelle.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — December 10, 2010 @ 5:03 pm - December 10, 2010

  40. Gene,

    Did you notice that while Obambi was “excusing” himself, Clinton never skipped a beat or acknowledged him or paused while taking the next question?

    I thought it was patently clear that the master was wasting no time on the understudy loser wannabe.

    Right now Clinton is chewing nails over having that dipstick mess-up strutting around the Clinton White House like he actually belongs there.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 10, 2010 @ 10:32 pm - December 10, 2010

  41. This clears everything up:

    http://iowahawk.typepad.com/iowahawk/2008/11/obama-names-bill-clinton-to-president-post.html

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 11, 2010 @ 1:27 pm - December 11, 2010

  42. I also noted the racial overtones of Clinton being dismissive of Obama. I don’t agree with BHO’s politics but it’s hard to imagine Clinton doing this to another white President.
    For any African Americans out there, was this a real slap in the face of Barack?

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — December 11, 2010 @ 2:13 pm - December 11, 2010

  43. Gene,

    I think Clinton might have done this to Carter.

    I recall that Clinton hung around the hangar smoozing after the Bush Inauguration and that the proceedings for the newly sworn-in Bush were on hold until the former President was airborne. (Protocol.)

    If there were a narcissist run-off between Obama and Clinton, I would put all my money on Clinton. However, when Clinton is not around, Obama’s closest competitors are Schumer and Rangle, Geraldo and O’Reilly.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 11, 2010 @ 4:00 pm - December 11, 2010

  44. I liked the comment that maybe Obama just left the press conference to bring Clinton some coffee.

    Comment by V the K — December 11, 2010 @ 9:59 pm - December 11, 2010

  45. [...] one breath during a Colorado news interview, Captain Clueless (or Peevish POTUS, or President Pantywaist, or Whiner in Chief — take your pick) stated that he thinks [...]

    Pingback by Stating the Ridicuously Obvious: Obama Remarks, “I Don’t Think There’s a Sense That I’ve Been Successful” (video) « Frugal Café Blog Zone — December 14, 2010 @ 3:14 pm - December 14, 2010

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