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President is “Pissy”, film at eleven

The Washington Post has an article about how Democratic activists have found Obama to be an unsympathetic, whining, “Well, what do you want ME to do about it?” useless, all-about-him president when they go to him with problems.

To say this portrait of the president is unflattering would be an understatement.  I hate to blame the victims but you should have seen this coming for all of the reasons we have tried to point out in the past four years.  Still, some of the examples of interactions with Obama have been downright pitiless. Take this exchange that Obama has had with immigration activists who have been alarmed by the step-up of deportations under Obama:

Bhargava, 43, an Indian American who came to the United States as a child, had spent much of 2008 registering minority voters. The rise of a fellow community organizer, a black man, delivered to office on the shoulders of a new ethnic coalition, “hit me on so many levels,” Bhargava would later recall.

So it was an uncomfortable moment when Bhargava looked in Obama’s eyes and told him that he was presiding over a “moral catastrophe” in immigrant communities. He asked Obama to use executive powers to stop many deportations, said it was time to “lean in” on revamping the country’s immigration system and listed a number of Republican senators he should lobby.

The president grew visibly frustrated as each successive advocate spoke. He said that the advocates, too, should be pressing Republican lawmakers, that he sympathized with their concerns but that he did not have the legal authority to stop deportations.

Tensions mounted when Obama argued that his administration’s policy was to focus on deporting criminals and others deemed to be security threats.

“No, Mr. President, that’s not what’s happening,” interjected Angelica Salas, the head of the Los Angeles-based Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights. She was seated directly across the table from Obama and leaned toward him as she spoke, her hands trembling and her voice rising. “You’re deporting heads of households, mothers and fathers.” She said that “young people are sitting in detention centers when they should be sitting in the best universities in the country,” according to meeting participants.

Obama looked taken aback by the direct confrontation from Salas and then turned to aides seated against the wall, according to several participants. The aides affirmed that, yes, criminals were the priority.

Turning back to Salas, Obama asked: “What do you want me to do, not enforce the law?” He explained that he could not just ignore laws he didn’t like.

The president spoke sternly. Several participants described him as defensive. One person said that, at times, Obama was “pissy.”

How about working to *change* the law so that it didn’t rip families apart, impoverish children and turn them into vulnerable international orphans? Just a suggestion.

The funny thing is that this article highlights his interactions with immigration and gay rights activists.  It says nothing about women’s groups, which makes me wonder if they were even able to get a meeting or were so discouraged that they didn’t even try.  Isn’t it weird how in this year on the “War on Women” that womens’ advocacy groups are so invisible?  I’m telling you, it’s downright creepy.

There is a danger for the party to look like it’s tied too closely with special interest groups but working people, who the White House blew off earlier this week, and women, who it has always blown off, are NOT special interest groups.  The debacle in Wisconsin is particularly striking.  The White House, in fear of looking like it was sitting next to the dweebs at the loser lunch table, left labor to twist in the wind.  The worst thing that Obama did with respect to Wisconsin wasn’t that he avoided the state.  It was that he made no attempt to argue in any speech to the state or the nation about how important it was to the future of the country, economy and all working people that labor was respected, protected and championed.  There is a very good argument to be made there and Obama did not make it. Bill Clinton, who went to Wisconsin, had to do this.  The 99% need to remember this because the differences between how the two presidents stand up for labor couldn’t be more illuminating.

But that doesn’t mean that the president isn’t passionate about things:

The Barack Obama who spars with liberals in private seems far different from the man most Americans have come to know for his even-keeled, cerebral presence. He drops the formalities of his position and the familiar rhetoric of his speeches, revealing a president willing to speak personally and candidly to his allies, and also one who can be thin-skinned, irritable, even sarcastic and hectoring if his motives or tactics are questioned. He talks about his own ethnicity, his immigrant roots, his political high wire as a black president with a Muslim middle name — and then seems surprised when advocates who took deep inspiration from his election nevertheless question his commitment to their causes.

Awwww, the poor man.  It’s really hard to be half African America son of an immigrant with a funny middle name who is the most powerful person of the free world. He gets picked on. These activists, it’s all about them.  They have no idea how hard it is to be Obama.  First he campaigns as the first post-racial, post-partisan president and then people put unrealistic expectations on him to actually live up to his soaring, aspirational campaign rhetoric.

I think the people spoke in 2008.  They were willing to give Obama a chance to rise above his humble means, his prep school background and Harvard pedigree, and lead and they were willing to do this because he ran as the Democrat and once upon a time, that meant something.  Now, it seems like he didn’t really mean any of what he said.  Either that or he’s not really all that into you, activists, and he’s falling back on being the aggrieved party to get you to back off.  And if that doesn’t work, he’ll just be mean and pissy, reverting back to his “Can I just eat my waffles?!?” personality that was conveniently overlooked in 2008 by the very same groups he captured.

This is not a new Obama, it’s the same guy.  But the smoke has cleared now.  He got away with sidelining the activists in 2008 and now in 2012, they’re frustrated.  Well, no one held him accountable before the 2008 election or asked him to show them his policies.  He didn’t need policies back then because anyone who questioned Obama’s readiness, commitment or preparation was automatically bludgeoned with the “racists!” sledgehammer. They were all supposed to “Hang on a second, sweetie.” while he schmoozed them.

Of course, it isn’t too late to hold him accountable before he gets the nomination in September.  He’s not the only game in town and there are real politicians out there with actual policy plans that would make suitable substitutes.  The question is, do the various factions of the Democratic party have the courage to demand satisfaction?

You can’t complain later if he blows you off next year if you do nothing this year.  And you can’t complain if he gets booted out of office because the general public is disgusted with the excuses while their lives are being ruined.

No one is forcing him to take four more years of abuse and name calling. If he really doesn’t want to deal with those people, ie his base, he can always join the speech circuit, or become the new CEO of Pfizer and hasten its demise. There are options. He shouldn’t worry about disappointing us if he decides not to stick it out and yields the spot to a better Democrat. We’ll understand.

The infamous “sweetie” clip looks completely different to the party activists this year, doesn’t it?

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34 Responses

  1. If he’ll just quit, I’ll buy him a lifetime supply of waffles. I’ll endow a damned Barack Obama Waffle Trust with what’s left of my 401k.

    • I’m not buying his golf balls, though. Somebody with more money will have to do that.

    • Good point. No one is forcing him to take four years of abuse and name calling. If he really doesn’t want to deal with those people, ie his base, he can always join the speech circuit, or become the new CEO of Pfizer and hasten its demise. There are options. He shouldn’t worry about disappointing us if he decides not to stick it out. We’ll understand.

      • To me it looks more like he’s aiming for – have illusions of? – a future in Hollywood.

    • “Waffle Trust” would be a great name for a rock band. :mrgreen:

  2. Sweeties Waffle House. Obamney’s next gig.

    • Probably non-union where he will have to work for less than minimum wage and tips.
      I can’t see Obama as a server.
      “excuse me, but I asked for sautéed mushrooms on my steak and it was supposed to be medium rare.”
      “Well, what do you want ME to do about it?? I didn’t cook it. I just serve it. Do I look like Julia Childs to you??”

      I’ve tried that in my waitressing jobs. The tip feedback mechanism gives a very effective lesson in “the customer is *always* right.

      • Ha! I suspect Barack will be the maitre d and Michelle will be in the kitchen – in her proper place.

        • Not diggin’ the image of Michelle in an apron.

          Anyways, I am out of my depth with a sudden wealth of documents in German with details about where the kid is going to be this summer in Nuremberg.

          Damn my monolingualism.

          • So it’s been decided that Brooke is going to Nuremberg/ Nürnberg? Wow! The history alone, both ancient and more contemporary, makes the place so very interesting.

            I don’t know much about the city of today, but having travelled through the area by train I repeatedly wished I could stop and get off. The landscape and the cities are breathtakingly idyllic and picturesque.

            Of course I wouldn’t know if that impression has any appeal to a modern, young, urban American. ;)
            :idea: And if you need help with the translation, let me know and I’ll give it a try.

          • Are you kidding?? Brooke is intrepid. She loves that stuff. And she’s not urban. She’s SUBurban, which is boring as all get out. So any change in scenery is good

          • Ah! My kind of gal. :)

          • one of my uncles was at Nuremburg. He was assigned to watch Goering’s cell. One morning he reports for duty & everything’s apeshit. Goering had ostensibly gone to take a leak & hung himself instead

  3. Mr. O is completely self-referential. Everything is about him, always.

    • I think there is more to it than that. I think he just doesn’t like his base and he wishes they would go away.

  4. At one time on Youtube there was a video of Obama (since disappeared) giving a “Hoodwinked, Bamboozled, Old Obey Dokey” speech in front of a group in Chicago. I wonder how those folks feel about Obama today since he has done all of the above.

    • Damn spell check: “Old Okey Dokey”

      But then it insists on correcting Obama to ABM. As in ABoMination?

  5. I remember that Mr. Mike. It would be great to see that speech again with the sarcasm filter in place. I love prop’s Waffle Trust. My I also propose the Barack Obama Backbone Award– a slinky? (http://madinthemiddle.blogspot.com/2009/06/announcing-obama-backbone-award.html)

  6. This is not a new Obama, it’s the same guy. “

    When, in 2007, I attended an “Obama townhall” before he entered the presidential race, he responded to a question about what he was planning to do about the crisis that left us all paying $2.00+ and the war in Iraq (which he had famously bragged about opposing).
    He said, “I’m only a freshman Senator. What do you expect me to do about these things?” He went on,”No one will listen to me, anyway.” of course, he made no mention of any plans or even thoughts. (I suppose he didn’t have any.)

    • Obama’s Senate votes said it all. You did not have to look any further than that to come to a decision on which way to vote in the 2008 primary. After the nomination, it was Obama or McCain or stay at home – guess where I was election day!

      • I voted. But not for TehOnce. I lived in Illinois and the only way to register disapproval was to vote against BHO. Withholding a vote was even more meaningless than to vote against him.

      • I wrote in Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney- the former congresswoman who, unlike Obama faced real prejudice since she participated in Civil Rights marches when she was 8 years old with her father. And who had one of the best liberal voting records in congress.
        The Obots attacked her by repeating the Republican smear of “crazy” and adding their favorite vile misogynist word to the attack.

        Funny, how when an African American woman faces real prejudice she’s “crazy” but a half white man who has lived an economically privileged lifestyle most his life is the biggest victim ever to the Obots. and in Obama’s mind….

        • I voted for Cynthia too. She was the only democrat left in the race after Hillary got booted out (& if y’all think Hillary got a raw deal, it was nothing compared to what the Dems did to Cynthia) It also didn’t hurt that Cynthia’s female. Dems can’t stop me from voting a woman for Prez. F them

      • I voted for Obama to keep McCain out of the office. My feeling was and remains that McCain wanted/wants to extend the war to Iran partly because of his bitterness over our leaving (as he sees it) the Vietnam War. I imagine him thinking basically this: we were winning the Vietnam War and we would have won it if it hadn’t been for those meddling kids. So he wanted to launch a new war on Iran to show those meddling kids how wars are won. I don’t regret my vote for Obama IN THAT CONTEXT.

        Romney is not a bitter old warrior with anger management issues.
        Romney does not scare me the way McCain did. A President Romney would simply be a President Obama without the pretense of progressiveness. And if the DemSenators felt motivated to oppose him for TribalCratic reasons, he would be the less effective evil than a Term Two Obama would be.

  7. that “What do you want me to do?” line is taking on a goto status. As if he would listen if you told him. The pompous academic surrounded himself with 300 advisors and “dithered” over decisions supposedly entertaining all their insight. Then he invariably did whatever the fuck HE wanted to do without concern for anything but how it would make the opposition look instead of burnishing his own credibility. He’s toast today because those ears Michelle fell for are non-functioning.

  8. Obama reminds me of many upper to upper middle class “African Americans” who milked “white guilt” and the “race card” for all it was worth – almost always in the whining way described here. This was a characteristic I observed after I came to this country in the 1970’s, and I found it odd but remarkable. I later came to know that the black radicals called these kind of people “Uncle Tom’s!” Of course at that time I did not know the cultural meaning of “an Uncle Tom” – being only familiar with”Uncle Tom’s Cabin” as a literary piece.

    • I did not know of that meaning of “uncle tom”. It shows what a cave I must live in, I suppose. I had always thought that “uncle tom” was a term of derision for percieved-to-be go-slow don’t-make-waves accomodationists. I had not known it to be used to describe upwardly mobile race-card-players.

      • I believe the context was always as a “licking white ass” – since their upward mobility depended upon playing upon white liberal guilt – so there was always an element of “brown nosing” — so it makes sense if you look upon the old slave division between the “house slaves” vs the “field slaves.”

        • I think I have a comment stuck in moderation! Could somebody release it?

      • See also “House Nigger”

        5. House nigger

        1. A black man in the White House, generally one exhibiting a toned-down version of African-American culture.

        2. Barack Obama after November 4,2008.
        Black guy: Aw yeah, Obama won. That’s mah niggah.
        White guy: Aw yeah, Obama won. That’s mah House nigger.

  9. Should we just call him “Pissy Galore”? :twisted:

  10. Some time ago Yves Smith wrote about Obama becoming really pissy when a genuine progressive challenged Obama’s progressiveness. She cited the case of Cornel West at whom Obama became really pissy. I wonder how much of that pissyness is due to Obama’s concern at having his cover blown as against how much of it may be due to unresolved psychological identity-orientation issues.

    Ah well . . . if he can be defeated in 2012, we won’t have to worry about questions like that. If enough think-that-way people call their Democratic Whatevers, will the Inner Democratic Party perform an emergency Candidate Transplant? I don’t know. Maybe I will call my
    Congressman and Senator about it. Shame on me for not already having done so? Perhaps . . .

    I hope newspaper stories like this are part of a drip feed campaign to begin dropping acid on the face of Obama’s image, leading to a crescendo of “get the fuck out, go the fuck home, do an LBJ” sentiment led and orchestrated through various media organs.

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