Obama Pouts

pout face

I made the mistake of watching the local news on Manchester, NH's WMUR last prevening. On came President Obama with a pious, pouty, petulant, partisan rant in response to the defeat of the Manchin-Toomey "background check" amendment to the "gun control" legislation under consideration in the US Senate. My feelings wavered between outrage, disgust, and embarrassment, maybe a few others.

First, the outrage: Obama yammered on for many minutes. Video at the WaPo goes for over 13 minutes. I don't know if WMUR stuck through the whole thing, because I clicked off about 8 minutes in. Gotta watch that blood pressure.

But seriously, WMUR. Are you going to give a Republican gun control opponent comparably equal time to rebut this heavily partisan speech? Or are you just going to keep airing unpaid ads for the Democratic Party?

My feelings of disgust were aimed at the President, who reminded me of a spoiled teenage girl who didn't get the exact prom dress she wanted. And I'm not alone. Jacob Sullum was also appalled ("Obama Responds to His Gun Control Defeat With Self-Righteous Solipsism"):

Obama does a fine job of empathizing with the parents of Adam Lanza's victims. But that is something any decent human being should be able to manage. Where he has trouble, despite his lip service to the idea of putting himself in the other guy's shoes, is in empathizing with his opponents. He not only says they are wrong, which is to be expected. He refuses to concede that people who disagree with him about gun control are acting in good faith, based on what they believe to be sound reasons—that they, like him, are doing what they think is right. His self-righteous solipsism is striking even for a politician.

Similar observations from Peter Wehner:

Mr. Obama’s effort at emotional blackmail has failed, and in bitterly lashing out at those who called him out on his demagoguery, he went some distance toward confirming that he is, in fact, a demagogue.

Both Wehner and Sullum seem to give too much weight to taking Obama's words at their face value, as if they're honestly felt. I have serious doubts about that.

I don't know if Obama is delusional enough to believe his own arguments; it's (unfortunately) much more likely that his posturing is a cynical ploy to gin up know-nothing outrage against the GOP for the 2014 elections.

Evidence: Gun control was, essentially, off the table for the 2012 elections. And now we're supposed to believe that it's suddenly the most important issue ever?

Nah. It's all about coldly leveraging people's (understandable) post-Newtown emotions into political power.

And that's (finally) why embarrassed: for the country that elected this demagogic phony.

But there's a silver lining: for all Obama's poutiness, the emotional blackmail didn't work. The country yawned. So there's also optimism.


Last Modified 2013-06-19 10:11 AM EST