Political Punch reported this interesting bit of news over the weekend:
President Obama opened up a 30-minute documentary on childhood bullying for Cartoon Network this evening, continuing awareness initiatives he set into motion last year.
The minute-long introduction, which was pre-taped, featured the president speaking directly to the camera for the documentary titled “To SPEAK UP Against Bullying,” a 30-minute special broadcast that aired Sunday on Cartoon Network.
I don’t know what the Cartoon Network is thinking. Having this President be the spokesman for an anti-bullying campaign is like using Michael Moore as a spokesman for the healthy eating campaign. This President has earned the nick-name “Insulter-in-Chief” because of his willingness to use his office as a platform for attacks on his political opponents and their supporters.
Just last week, he labeled Republicans as “Flat Earthers” for resisting his hair-brained green energy schemes. Bullying is what this President does best, although his constant refrain of insults to Republicans is wearing thin, if his latest poll numbers are any indication.
Last Fall, Victor David Hanson compiled a list which he called “only a tiny sampling” of those who have been on the receiving end of the president’s disdain:
African Americans: “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’.”
Americans: Are “not a model for the world” and have a “tragic history.” Also, “we’re hardwired not to always think clearly when we’re scared,” and, more recently, we have gotten “a little soft” and lost our “competitive edge.”
Bankers: “Fat cats”
Border enforcement: Its overzealous adherents want “alligators and moats” on the border and would arrest children on their way to get ice cream.
The Cambridge, Mass., police: “Acted stupidly” and, like law-enforcement officers in general, racially profile
Corporate-jet owners: “Are you willing to compromise your kids’ safety so some corporate-jet owner can get a tax break?”
Democratic base: Must “shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up . . . if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.”
Doctors:Needlessly chop off the limbs of diabetics and take out tonsils to increase their own profits
Donald Trump: A “carnival barker”
Grandmother: “Typical white person”
Las Vegas: Where you are likely to “blow a bunch of cash when you’re trying to save for college”
Millionaires: They don’t pay their “fair share” and are synonymous with those who have 1,000 times more.
Nancy Reagan: Don’t “get into a Nancy Reagan thing about, you know, doing any séances.”
Rural Pennsylvanians: “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment.”
Sarah Palin: “You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.”
Special Olympics: Comparable to the president’s dismal bowling scores
Super Bowl: Where you go “on the taxpayer’s dime”
Supreme Court: Would “open the floodgates for special interests”
Supreme Court Justice Thomas: “I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don’t think that he, I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation.”
Tea Party: “The teabag, anti-government people”
At the American Thinker, Ed Lasky chronicled Obama’s unpresidential abuse of Republicans in depth:
He does not practice what he preaches, but then again, has he ever?
This attitude was most notably on display when Obama used the 2010 State of the Union address to chastise the members of the Supreme Court for their decision in the Citizens United case ( a decision that imperiled his own political prospects, as it has led to more fundraising targeting him personally). The assembled jurists do not have to attend the State of the Union speech; they attended as a sign of respect. How was that respect returned? Obama lashed out in a stinging personal rebuke, calling into question their intelligence and legal reasoning. The jurists have never responded, save for a reflexive “you’re wrong” wagging of the head by Justice Alito. Obama, constitutional lecturer or not, was wrong.
But there have been a litany of these types of personal attacks and ambushes. Lest we forget, Obama insulted Hillary Clinton during a 2008 debate by saying, “You’re likeable enough.” How gallant!
But it gets worse.
John McCain was trying to get a point across to president Obama regarding the process by which the health care bill was produced. Obama chose not to respond on the merits, but just to slap McCain down — letting him know his place — with the rejoinder “the election is over, John.” Surely McCain dealt with worse at the hands of the North Vietnamese, but why did Obama have to taunt him?
Obama revels in his victory, though, and instead of being gracious, he brandishes it with relish. Three days after his inauguration, when the nation was in the throes of financial panic, Congressman Eric Cantor brought a plan to the White House to help America. Obama dismissed it with the boast “Eric, I won.” One month later, at a “fiscal responsibility” (how ironic that looks almost three years and trillions of dollars later) summit, Obama singled out Cantor for particular opprobrium: “I’m going to keep on talking to Eric Cantor. Someday, sooner or later, he’s going to say, ‘Boy, Obama had a good idea.’”
Obama enjoys ambushing people. He invites them to events just to humiliate them in front of an audience.
President Obama invited freshman Republican Congressman Aaron Schock to fly on Air Force One with him for a visit to a Caterpillar plant in Schock’s district. Schock was thrilled to hitch a ride — who wouldn’t be? But it was a ruse. Obama was drumming up support for his stimulus bill and wondered out loud if Schock would measure up to the two men who had the seat before him.
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times gives us a flavor of this treatment:
Said Obama at the plant, “I want to thank Peoria’s own Ray LaHood, who is doing outstanding work as my Transportation secretary. You know, Ray comes from a long line of Republicans I love, starting with Bob Michel and — you know, they’re just — I think there’s a common-sense, Midwestern, can-do, bipartisan attitude that Ray represents. And I am so pleased that he’s in my Cabinet.
“Now, his successor, Congressman Schock — where is he? He’s back here. He’s right here. Stand up, Aaron. This is — Aaron’s still trying to make up his mind about our recovery package. … So, you know, he has a chance to be in the mold of Bob Michel and Ray LaHood.”
Schock is the youngest member of Congress. How courteous was it for the president to lure him into a joint appearance at the plant, merely to put him on the spot like that in front of the assembled employees (and voters) at the plant? Cordial in private, but arm-twisting in public. There is a name for someone like that, and it should not be “President.”
People should be wary of appearing at these plant visits by Obama. They are Obama’s happy hunting grounds. He meted out the same Schockian treatment to then-Congressman Pete Hoekstra of Michigan, who was running for governor at the time. Obama was attending the groundbreaking of yet another advanced car battery factory in Michigan — a Japanese-owned plant that received stimulus dollars. Hoekstra opposed the stimulus bill but was there for the event. Hoekstra was sitting in the front row. Obama saw an easy — and cheap — shot, and he took it.
Scott Johnson of Powerline picked up the story that somehow major media outlets missed (italics in original):
For reasons that remain mysterious to me, Obama seized the opportunity to attack Hoekstra:
There are some folks who want to go back — who think we should return to the policies that helped to lead to this recession,” Obama said later in his comments honoring a new advanced battery factory being built by the company LG Chem. “Some made the political calculation that it’s better to obstruct than lend a hand. They said no to the tax cuts, they said no to small business loans, they said no to clean energy projects. It doesn’t stop them from coming to ribbon cuttings — but that’s OK.
The president’s remarks were both classless and petty. Hoekstra aptly commented: “It demeans the office of the president. It’s disappointing. It is unpresidential.” Hoekstra added: “This is my home district. These people are paying the taxes that he’s handing out today. I’m here to respect the office of the president, and I don’t think he reciprocated.” Video of Obama’s attack and Hoekstra’s response is accessible here.
Hoekstra was respecting the office of the president. Were Obama to do the same, he might find that he can gain allies across the aisle — as did President Clinton.
Instead, Obama seems to delight in ridiculing Republicans in front of America.
Congressman Paul Ryan has earned the respect of millions of Americans for his hard work on the budget and for developing his plan for dealing with the fiscal and debt challenges facing the nation. Earlier this year, Ryan and a few other Republican leaders were specifically invited by Obama to attend one of his speeches. Ryan was given pride of place in the front row. Ryan said that he and others were hopeful that Obama was signaling a shift and a willingness to work with them in the spirit of bipartisanship that Obama preached in 2008. The congressman should have learned that hope was just a four-letter campaign slogan:
However, to Ryan’s amazement what he got from Obama, publicly, was not an olive branch at all but Obama poisoning the well! In front of the whole audience Obama lashed out specifically at Rep. Ryan! It was like watching a strict school teacher chastising a wayward school boy in front of the class.
“What came to my mind was: Why did he invite us?” Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) said in an interview Thursday. “It’s just a wasted opportunity.”
The situation was all the more perplexing because Obama has to work with these guys: Camp is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, responsible for trade, taxes and urgent legislation to raise the legal limit on government borrowing. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Tex.) chairs the House Republican Conference. And Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is House Budget Committee chairman and the author of the spending blueprint Obama lacerated as “deeply pessimistic” during his 44-minute address.
At a time when the parties risk economic catastrophe unless they can come together to raise the debt limit, Obama’s partisan tone made no sense, Republicans across Capitol Hill said Thursday. Even some Obama allies wondered whether the president had made a tactical error.
Ryan said he should have suspected that something was afoot when he did not see the White House budget director or the secretary of the treasurer at a speech billed as the rollout for Obama’s budget plan. (As has been true of so many anticipated Obama plans, what Obama introduced as his budget plan in this case was “vaporware.”) Whom did he see? David Plouffe, Obama’s senior political adviser.
The American Spectator’s Ben Stein described Obama’s demeanor at a fund-raising rally he happened to catch on CSPAN, Friday:
… he has accentuated this habit of cockily throwing his head back in a way that accentuates his unfortunate look of arrogance. I don’t think he is an arrogant person, but he has that look.
He also has some new thing going on where he pushes his tongue around inside his mouth to express disgust with Republicans. It is a sort of Eastern European mouth gesture that I rarely see among Gentiles, and I would even say I rarely see it among men. But it’s there.