Best of Steve: The Unseemly Pride of Barack Obama

October 30, 2008, 11:00 am; posted by
Filed under Articles, Featured, Steve  | 1 Comment

Originally published April 14, 2008.

The least attractive and most damaging characteristic President Bush has is his arrogance. So it’s a wonder to me that so many who have hated the results of his presidency have flocked to Barack Obama, who gives Bush’s Texas cockiness a hard-edged trebling.

This arrogance first became obvious when he became convinced — after a mere 27 months in the US Senate, which followed eight mostly unremarkable years in the Illinois state legislature — that his rhetorical skills and passion to “unify” somehow qualified him to bring his doctrinaire liberalism to the Oval Office. Since then, flashes of his pride and hubris have piled up, becoming more and more clear with every condescending explanation he gives of the latest “misinterpretation” of his words.

Now we find out he said, at a San Francisco fundraiser:

“You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Arrogant Barack here assumes that:

— A generation of small-town residents have remained helpless and unemployed because Presidents failed to put them to work.

— These residents dealt with this reality not by making the best of their situation, but by becoming bitter and frustrated.

— This bitter frustration explains their Neanderthal desire to cling to (among other things): gun rights, religion, racial prejudice, and hostility to free trade.

Now I could point out that Barack himself has exhibited anti-trade sentiment, while simultaneously assuring our allies that he doesn’t mean a word of it.

I could add that if any religion could be characterized as “bitter” or “frustrated,” it might be the religion of the guy who had his children baptized by a man who thundered that God should damn America, not bless it, who taught that the US government created HIV to kill black people. I might even mention that Barack’s close and continuing political association with that man, and many others like him, brings up legitimate charges that racism exists in Obama’s own heart.

But all that is just simple hypocrisy. We’ve come to expect it in our politicians.

What I want to point out instead is that this man really does believe those fainting, screaming crowds (“Yes, we can!”) prove his greatness. This man actually thinks that his election is the only event that can possibly save the union. This man truly expects that a president, as his wife has said, can and should “demand that [we] shed [our] cynicism,” “put down [our] divisions,” “come out of [our] isolation,” and “move out of [our] comfort zone.”

A man who would stand in front of some of his strongest supporters and unapologetically insult the core beliefs of the very people whose support he most desperately needs is a man who, deep down, believes that he is better than they are.

He is angry, he is radical, and he is almost impossibly arrogant. And the more he talks, the more we learn about the unreasonable fire that motivates the flowery rhetoric.


1 Comment to “Best of Steve: The Unseemly Pride of Barack Obama”

  1. Jesse on November 6th, 2008 12:57 pm

    Anyone who thinks Obama isn’t arrogant is either lying or out of touch with reality. I think it takes a certain amount of arrogance to think that out of the 200 million or so (maybe 150 million???) people that could become president, you are the best option. That’s a pretty arrogant idea.

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