From time to time, I’ll hear a political commentator (typically a conservative one) suggest that President Obama does not respect the news media. It seems like a pretty odd claim to make. After all, no other president has been protected and promoted by the news media the way Obama has. They’ve largely defended him against criticism, categorically supported his policies, and touted his brilliance and greatness at every opportunity. One can’t deny that they played a major role in getting him elected…Twice!
It stands to reason that Obama should feel forever indebted to the news media, but I tend to believe those conservative commentators are right. I don’t think he respects them.
If he respected them, he wouldn’t come across so visibly irritated on those few occasions when he’s actually asked a challenging question by a reporter. If he respected them, he would have spoken to them during the final weeks of the presidential campaign instead of to morning zoo deejays, the fawning ladies of The View, and David Letterman. If he respected them, he’d grant substantive access to more than just the same two or three softball questioners in the news media he typically talks to. If he respected them, he wouldn’t hold so very few press conferences after repeatedly pledging “openness” in his administration. If he respected them, he wouldn’t have the gall to push a fabricated story to cover-up the cause of four American murders in Libya, and just assume they wouldn’t bother trying to expose the truth.
I suppose the disrespect makes sense. I would imagine that it would be difficult to respect relative strangers who would lend you their unconditional support regardless of what you say or do to them. Under that same reasoning, I suspect he probably feels the same way about the American public as a whole.
Let’s face it… By any traditional standard, President Obama should not have won re-election. He has done insurmountable damage to this country through his policies, neglect, and divisive nature. The decisions he’s made during his presidency have rarely been in the interest of strengthening this nation or advancing the prosperity of its citizens. His presidency has instead been about securing a historical legacy as a man who righted the wrongs of the social injustices committed by our country in the past.
It’s that agenda that has superseded any legitimate concern over the economic welfare of our country and our long-term solvency for future generations of Americans. As far as the president is concerned, those are problems for someone else to have to deal with down the road. His priority is social engineering, not economic stewardship. The result of that mindset has been chronically-high unemployment, a stagnant economy, entitlement programs crumbling under their own weight, soaring healthcare costs, and an absolutely devastating national debt that will be hanging around the necks of our children for the rest of their lives.
It’s not that the president doesn’t recognize these problems. Of course he does. I just don’t think he respects Americans enough to take action. Think about it…If our president can do so many things wrong in his first term, fail miserably to achieve every predicted outcome he put forth at the beginning of his presidency, show no interest in addressing the biggest threats to our nation, and still be rewarded with re-election, how can he possibly respect us?
It’s like that classic quote often attributed to comedian Groucho Marx: “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.”
If we can be so easily duped into lending him continued support for his narrow, fruitless vision, at a substantial cost to ourselves, there’s no reason for him to value our best interests and the best interests of our children. Instead we’re only worthy of the politically-popular scraps he occasionally throws to us.
When you attribute that frame of mind to the president’s actions, many things suddenly start to make sense. It makes sense why he thinks so many of us aren’t capable of making it on our own, thus require the firm hand of government to manage our lives. It makes sense why he seems perfectly content to let the country fall off the fiscal cliff – adversely affecting nearly every American – for no other reason than to punish his political opponents. It makes sense why he doesn’t feel obligated to fulfill campaign promises, and why he’s so comfortable in his routine practice of contradicting his own rhetoric. It makes sense why he promotes pointless gimmick-policies as answers to serious problems. It makes sense why he never shows any qualms or shame in finding scapegoats to assign his failures to.
If the electorate refuses to demand respect, it’s simply not going to be given any by this president.