'Baby' Obama seems to prefer adulation over taking responsibility

GRAND KREMLIN PALACE, MOSCOW. Signing of docum...Obama and Medvedev - Image via Wikipedia
When I was in fourth grade, what we called blamers -- kids who blamed everything on others, some inanimate object, their dog, or some private event -- were "babies," "sissies," or far more crass names. Some of us adults moved on from blaming others to distract attention from us or to keep ourselves from culpability. And some of us moved on from the juvenile thinking of the fourth grade.

With some amusement, but also in bemusement, I wonder: is President Obama caught in the juvenile fourth grade blame-game? He blames most problems under his responsibility, and his failures, on others. Who didn't know that Obama stepped into office in the midst of lots of problems? I suspect that the Obama camp is trying to get more than docile agreement from fans and liberals out of the blaming rhetoric, but I don't see how they could honestly expect anything but true-believer support. That they do this constant blaming, and that they seem to think it will serve them well, both mystify me. It's childish!

So should we call him "Baby" Barack Obama? I think that's hardly appropriate for the long-term, but for the sake of argument, let's try it on, see how it fits. (It's better than "Sissy" Obama.) The POTUS's, and others', blaming, of former Pres. G.W. Bush and the "failed policies" of the past -- in addition to BP, corporate customers of general aviation, banking CEOs, small town cops, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, conservatives, "tea baggers" (as he referred to Tea Party activists on at least one public occasion) and a host of others -- have increased the divide in the States. The blaming certainly has not reduced the nation's divide. That sourness, a plague on our political discourse, is further enhanced by the echoes from Obama's now-ironic vow to bring us together in a "post-partisan" age. Not at all arrogant, that presumption! (Yes, that is sarcasm.)

G.W. Bush was no champion of careful budgeting or small government, he is not a smooth talker nor the embodiment of a crafty personal narrative like Obama. But "W" had a crisp respect for his office, for people who saw things differently, and for his duties as POTUS and Commander-in-Chief. Not so sure how we fare, on those counts, with Obama.

Beyond the blaming, Obama seems as if he's working up to the point where he is actually being president. Some day. Oh, yeah, there's the speeches and the signing events, the political fundraising, and those arts evenings at the White House (haven't you watched them all on PBS, or been invited?). He is confident, he plays a great president for the cameras, he is a stubborn political presence, but where's the, uh, presidential-ness?

Those of us who willingly follow an historic track in the build to greatness of the United States of America can see what's wrong with Obama's blaming ways. The USA's greatness was affirmed with the victory of WW II and proven by the subsequent holding back of the godless, closed-off, aggressively expansionist, intimidating Soviet tyranny and our dominance as an economic engine. (That greatness has nothing to do with the dark spots, like Native American injustices, slavery, bias against Blacks in the "Old South," putting Japanese citizens in camps during WW II, or other travesties. Informed Americans take ownership of the mistakes, and the greatness, and don't gloat, at least not much. They know how great things are in the U.S., by comparison.)

The U.S.A. is supposed to be a country which is both rationally self-interested and respectfully world-aware. Being world-aware has nothing to do with genuflecting to others (physically, or figuratively through words or actions) while chastising this nation too much. Obama has even turned American-style civility on it's head, at times, with his "Apology Tour" and similar farces. He presumes that America needs a president who tells the world we've made mistakes. Who's in need of hearing that?! The people under the autocratic rule of Iran? Saudi Arabia? The anarchists in France, or Germany? Who needs to know we have made mistakes?! 

The ways of "Baby" Obama are failing America, at this point, in most Americans' opinions, thought only a slim majority of Americans currently agree (as of July 2010). With specific subjects, such as the economy, foreign affairs, etc., the margin grows much broader against him. I believe MORE Americans will see through the fog of Obama idolatry in time. Early November 2010 would be a nice point for people to have turned from fawning to comprehension, but 2012 will do. 

Obama's artful dodging -- of his primary job duties, when it comes down to it -- seems to be serving him just fine, in an ivory tower of power and protection. Or, it seems that he thinks it is serving him well. For someone who is all about telling the world, literally, that "America is arrogant" (look it up), he sure puts a face on that belief for many of us non-Democratic Party people. His arrogance and static confidence is strangely left widely unquestioned, as if it is granted, or as if he's given a pass for it. Is it reverse liberal political pandering, or is it political correctness because he's Black? I don't know, but I don't get it.

His actions tell a story of narcissism: lecturing fellow leaders, even on subjects for which he has no qualified experience, nor practical education, such as business or economics). His self-centered rhetoric is impossible to sit through without shaking my head: Remember when people were counting each time he said "I" in his speeches? His lack of ability to see the very broad reach of the office he holds, on so many occasions, and his clumsy results from selling his commonness to the average citizen, only emphasize his monarch-style overconfidence in his current and future greatness. He seems to think he's running a small community, maybe even a fancy camp site, not an economic, cultural and military giant. And he seems to think stale gestures to regular people make him respected by the even less naive among them, not as some academic with a chip on the shoulder.

We could use a smart, sincere, clever leader right now. We seem to have a lot of smart, clever, self-interested ones in charge, ones who have never run anything but campaigns (and that, only in name and reputation, as their campaigns are run by others who do those things for a living) and know how to spend but not budget other people's money. Obama is leading that amusing pack, as a man who takes his responsibility seriously, so long as he can blame everything on others. But that's not really accepting the role of POTUS, is it?

- jR, aka AirFarceOne (Twitter)
(updated & revised on Jul 22, 2010)
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