Before I go on with how an Obama administration would deal with domestic issues, we need to REALLY look at another facet of the Carter administration that we’ll more than likely see should Obama make it to the White House--the issue of being flustered under duress, especially by surprise events.
We’ve seen a glimpse of this with the latest election news regarding “Joe the Plumber” who, by simply asking Obama a straight question about his proposed taxes, got a Freudian-slip explanation about Obama’s wanting to spread the wealth around (by the way, for the rabid media out to destroy Joe: Obama came onto Joe’s turf, not the other way around; Joe is not a ‘licensed plumber,” because the company he works for IS licensed, therefore, he doesn’t need one; and Biden, in his high-priced exclusive “neighborhood,” is the LAST person who will find a plumber making $250,000 living near him--more than likely, he or she would have to earn at least a cool million to reside near “Mr. Working Class Roots from Scranton”).
What’s even more telling is Obama and Co.’s attacks on Joe, when the plumber started getting more media attention that focused on The Great One’s plan to raise taxes. Obama attacking a common man? As Tom Bevin of RealClearPolitics noted, it put McCain in a great position to defend the self-same common man while America watched. A note to Senator Obama from one of your Illinois constituents: keep up the good work!
(A side note on the media’s response to their own coverage of Joe: was it just me, or did poor Charlie Gibson on ABC News look like he was whining and WISHING Joe’s “15 minutes of fame” would be over and done? Too bad he didn’t have the same attitude about Cindy Sheehan a few years back).
But this attack exposes an attitude that we really don’t need in the White House--a flappable one that says and does stupid things when surprised. I saw a bit of this when Obama gave a speech last month, and a group of protesters, “Blacks Against Obama,” interrupted him. Obama looked taken back by the protesters, then--after they quieted down at his request--took a parting shot at them by mockingly saying “goodbye” when they were escorted from the rally. Compare this to McCain (not known for always having an even temper), when the Code Pink idiots disrupted him at the Republican convention: he made a funny joke about ignoring the “ground noise and static,” then said people needed to stop shouting at each other, before proceeding with his speech and not addressing the Pinkies again.
Obama, to me, seems a little, well, thin-skinned. He was all aghast when President Bush, speaking before Israel’s lawmakers about the folly of appeasing terrorists and rogue states, reminded them of a U.S. senator who said he was sure he could have talked Hitler out of invading Poland if given the chance. You can almost see Obama whining: “How DARE President Bush say that about ME!” Never mind that there WAS a senator in 1939 who actually made that statement (who was a Republican to boot). Then there is the Obama campaign’s attempted police action to prosecute those in Missouri who might criticize him.
We got to see a good deal of this with President Carter. When Mexico’s president criticized Carter during a dinner speech, Carter’s response was to childishly make a joke about “Montezuma’s revenge.” His infamous 1979 “malaise speech” (which you can probably catch on YouTube) was one gigantic flustering diatribe about how America didn’t have “confidence” (that is, confidence in HIM. By the way, this speech STILL grates me, since I have to listen to parts of it when watching my favorite sports movie, Miracle. But then, I guess that‘s why they invented fast-forward).
American athletes wanting to ignore Carter’s boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics in response to the Soviet’s invading Afghanistan? I’ll have them arrested, he blusters. Ted Kennedy running against him for president? I’ll kick his hind quarters, he bellows (actually, Carter used the other word for that part of the anatomy). Carter’s flappable nature was stoked even more during the Iranian hostage crisis; I still remember his huffing through an announcement about cutting off all humanitarian aid to Iran. Even a Communist dolt who screamed at him during a speech (like I said, Leftists will be among the first to turn on you, Mr. Obama) was able to rattle him. No wonder Ronald Reagan clobbered him in their presidential debate!
So Obama’s response to Joe the Plumber’s honest question about his tax policy could well be but one key indicator of how the junior senator from Illinois would handle himself in the White House. Get ready for infantile outbursts, pining about hurt feelings and more “malaise speeches” about how America needs to trust their new political messiah. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Next: Justice! …for who?