President Obama met with Congressional Republicans yesterday with the expressed intent to listen and discuss policy differences. As it turns out, he put on his Professor Obama demeanor and sternly wielded his hickory stick within the one-room classroom full of students of the minority party. Early in his presidency, even back during the days when he stood before a podium adorned with an "Office of the President-Elect" seal, Mr. Obama reminded those in opposition that he'd won the election, and thus, silence and submission was appropriate decorum for dissenters so as not to muddle the boisterous cheering and adoration of his followers.
Much is being reported about the president's attitude yesterday during that conference with Republican House members. He quickly called the class to order and made sure his unruly, defiant students were all facing forward, both feet on the floor, pencils put away and all eyes on him. His photo op crew was there to capture every disdainful wave of his finger, every upward tilt of his head in superiority and every word of reprimand and condemnation. Class was in session and the GOP was about to be tutored in how to march in lockstep with the majority. Just as many Americans disapprovingly considered the media release of his midnight salute to fallen war heroes at Dover AFB to be some type of publicity stunt, his Head Schoolmaster routine yesterday in Baltimore is also being seen as little more than a campaign stump speech. He took it to the Republicans and he wanted his far leftie friends to know it.
During the question and answer period, Mr. Obama noted he is not an ideologue. The president has had us fooled on that one! After all, a majority of the electorate now considers the White House and Congress tone deaf to the will of the people. Democrat leadership has been deliberate in excluding not just Republican input, but that of independent thinkers and some in their own party. Meanwhile, across the nation letters are penned, emails sent and phone calls made to this Congress and White House, demanding transparency and adherence to the Constitution. Time and again, those voices are ignored. In spite of a vast majority of Americans that disagree with much of the proposed health care reform legislation, Nancy Pelosi put forth a visual on Thursday of her and her cohorts pole vaulting and sky diving if need be in order to pass a bill, targeted for the president's desk.
When the president called for ideas about health care reform during his State of the Union address, it is possible the CEO's of Safeway Food Stores and Whole Food Stores both were shaking their heads and thinking, "I tried to tell you how successful our company has been in providing quality health care to our associates at a manageable cost, but you and your Congressional majority refused to entertain any suggestions. The Far Left recommended boycotts of our stores and we were maligned and ridiculed." Any opposition voiced in the debate has resulted in about as much anger and personal attack as we've ever seen in modern day politics. We will not soon forget the spectacle of the comedic junior senator from Minnesota basically telling Sen. Lieberman to sit down and shut up on the Senate floor when he respectfully requested another minute of time to express the views of his constituents. Maybe that Saturday Night Live-type skit was the source of a good laugh in the Oval Office, but Americans were appalled. When citizens cried foul because the AARP, insurance and pharma companies had private, closed door meetings and emerged with big smiles of support for the reform bill, they were dismissed by the president as being "all wee-weed up". This was a new phrase in our political discourse and most didn't understand until Press Secy Gibbs graciously clarified for us by saying it is synonomous with bedwetters. Apparently, in this era of hope and change, a president can make such remarks without reproach, because after all, he won.
Health care reform is one of the president's premier pieces of legislation that he's determined to sign into law, forever engraving his name affectionately on the hearts of those in the progressive movement . The House bill created the first fire storm as citizens learned of cuts here, spending (and borrowing) there with lots of gray areas in between. In one response, the White House hosted a pathetic press conference in the Rose Garden on a fine autumn day, inviting several physicians that are also Obama supporters. We learned later, many in attendance were not doctors at all, but rather were devoted Obama fans/SEIU activists. The president spoke to the gathering of people, garbed in stereotypical white lab coats, provided courtesy of the American Taxpayer. The message was clear: "America, can't you see that your doctors support the president and Congress regarding the future of your care and access? It is time for the public to disengage about this matter and allow the federal government to take over health care delivery. Trust us, you''re going to love our plan. We don't trust you to make good decisions for yourselves and your families, so we are asking you to trust us to do it for you." The point of that particular photo op/campaign ad/indoctrination attempt was to make sure that the average American not only stopped demanding a 'nay' vote from their House representatives, but that they simply stopped questioning the process all together. No press coverage or photo op's were allowed for the 100,000 physicians that gathered from across the nation about the same time on the steps of the Capitol to voice their opinions. The White House made sure that group of physicians were denied white coats and a Rose Garden reception. They disagreed with him; their professional assessments were not valued. After all, he won.
The president lectured and scolded Republicans yesterday and his chastisement kicked off his new direction as we head toward the November elections. He and his Congress will now try to flip every complaint against him as being the fault of the GOP. He knows the country is bored and annoyed with his blame game toward George W. Bush, who remains typically silent when wrongly attacked. In Obama's America, he scorns Fox News and he sets his jaw and steels his stare at anyone that takes issue with something he says or proposes. Yes, he won in November, '08, but he is completely out of touch with middle class reality. Most Americans consider themselves conservatives, Fox News consistently has the highest ratings of all news networks. Conservative talk radio is exploding in popularity, while progressive Air America is now belly-up. Activists, tea party patriots, independents, Republicans and conservative Democrats are not going away quietly. House Republicans stood their ground yesterday in questioning the president.
Maybe the president should simply remind the country that he won.