Monday, January 21, 2013

The cheapening of the presidency

Writing for the Washington Times, Joseph Curl, in a hat tip to a Simpsons episode, talks of President Obama's "besmallification" of the presidency.

And he has cheapened it.
And that former community organizer from Chicago promised us all he'd take us there, the Land of Happy Harmony, if we’d just vote for him. But once elected, he brought Washington to a new low with his vicious Chicago politics, his blame-everyone-but-himself victim's mentality, and, really, his own small-minded and angrily egocentric view of the world.

On Monday, as he is publicly inaugurated into a second term, he will be praised up and down Pennsylvania Avenue, and he’ll likely deliver a speech full of that 2008 soaring rhetoric, seeking to "embiggen" all of us small men. But Americans now know only too well that he is nothing like he said he was, and know that his promises were all lies.

Has America ever been more divided? White vs. black, man vs. woman, gay vs. straight, wealthy vs. middle class, religious vs. nonreligious — everywhere, this president has sought to divide, to conquer. He never reaches to unite Americans, especially when there’s a crisis (his Chicagoland godfather Rahm Emanuel taught him well when he instructed,"Never let a good crisis go to waste.")

Six months into office, in July 2009, the president had a chance to unite — or at least deflect and defer. A black Harvard University professor was arrested for breaking into his own home after being locked out. The arresting officer was, gasp, white. Asked at a press conference about the kerfuffle, the president, without knowing the facts of the case, said the local policeman "acted stupidly." Not, "Uh, you know, I'm kinda' busy trying to fix the economy and I don’t know all the facts, so let me just say cooler heads should prevail and we should wait until we know the full story” — just the police “acted stupidly."
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