I am no pinnacle of humility, and I've learned my fair share of hard lessons from the camps of conceit. But I'm not sure the former Chicago politician occupying the White House ever has been schooled with a primer on the perils of pride.
It's one thing (though still distasteful) to be boastful in a sports or fighting ring; it's quite another in the Oval Office. We were promised change, but it seems to me this White House's smug swagger and strut rival the great taunts and bluster of Muhammad Ali in his heyday. In fact, if I were handing out awards, President Barack Obama would win hands down the Oscar for overconfidence and arrogance.
Here are a few examples of his Oscar-worthy political performances:
Who can forget the State of the Union address back in January, when the president utterly disregarded and disrespected our military commanders and the U.S. Supreme Court? President Obama rebutted the entire Supreme Court in the justices' presence and before the whole nation, with a premeditated and prepared accusation (later proved incorrect). "The Supreme Court," he said, "reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests -- including foreign corporations -- to spend without limit in our elections."
And what about the looks on the faces of the military commanders during the State of the Union? My view on gays in the military aside, the president's smug demeanor in pushing the issue and the military leaders' stoic response prompted me to ask, "Is the State of the Union really the place for a commander in chief to cast in-your-face politics before his leading military personnel with all of America watching?"
Consider even the recent so-called health care summit. It might sound simple to some, but I believe it is symptomatic when members of Congress address the president as "Mr. President" and he calls on them only by their first names. The president went the entire six hours or so in this room full of Washington politicians and various notables addressing them by their first names rather than by the socially accepted and proper forms of address for senators and representatives. "John," "Paul," "Louise," "Marsha," etc. -- one may argue that these are examples of familiarity, but I believe they are of contempt.
In addition, to Sen. John McCain's genuine concern for ramming a pork-ridden health care bill through Congress by politics as usual, President Obama replied, "We're not campaigning anymore. The election is over."
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