Obama the mean *UPDATED*

I’ve commented (at length) about what a fundamentally unkind man Obama is.  Today, Mr. Hopenchange revealed that mean streak yet again in a nasty remark he made about Jessica Simpson’s weight.  This man is not hopeful, he is not clever, he is not kind, and it’s becoming clear that he is not smart.  He is mean, condescending, and grim.

Even the fiercest Bush haters in my community, when pushed, agreed that he’d probably be a fun guy to hang out with at a barbeque.  I suspect that, as more of these nasty personal remarks from Obama ooze out, even his most devoted supporters will be hard-pressed to say they want to be in conversation with (or the target of a conversation with) Obama.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Helen for updating the record and pointing out that Obama’s remark was observational, not mean.  I still don’t get a “hail, fellow, well met!” vibe from the man, and think his past behavior bespeaks someone who is big on verbal (and finger) one-upmanship, but he gets a pass on this one.

I’m sensitive to this, by the way, because in my teens, I had a quick tongue and low self esteem, and could be very witty at other people’s expense.  I finally figured out that this was not how to win friends and influence people (I actually figured it out after reading the original 1930-something edition of Dale Carnegie’s truly wonderful How to Win Friends & Influence People).  Since then, while I always value wit, I have a low tolerance for mean-spirited verbal attacks on people who are not able to defend themselves, either because they’re in a one-down position, or because they lack the attackers verbal dexterity.

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  • Tonestaple

    I’m still trying to figure out in what rational universe Jessica Simpson has a “weight problem”. And I saw some picture on a site I am too embarassed to mention that she was wearing “mom jeans” or “grandma jeans” because they didn’t show her entire pelvic structure. I’d bet money that Miss Simpson is in better physical shape than Obama.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    RE: “I’ve commented (at length) about what a fundamentally unkind man Obama is. . . . Even the fiercest Bush haters in my community, when pushed, agreed that he’d probably be a fun guy to hang out with at a barbeque. ”

    Bookworm, all this proves is that you are more critical of Obama than “the fiercest Bush haters” were of Bush. Lighten up, and look for the good. :-)

  • BobK

    Helen,

    Bookworm is more critical than the fiercest Bush haters? I seem to have missed all her posts comparing President Obama to various primates and/or mass murderers. And the entries calling for impeachment or criminal prosecution. Oh, also the insinuations that President Obama is really out to steal our liberties and property simply because he is evil, Evil, EVIL INCARNATE.

    These are the type of comments regularly found on mainstream, left-leaning blogs (minus the profanity, and with reasonably correct spelling and grammar).

    Also, are you able to refute the substance of the post? Are there any instances you can point to highlighting our new president’s genuine pleasant personality (beyond the thrill-up-the-leg fawning, sycophantic media coverage)?

  • expat

    Helen,

    I think a lot of us have been looking. Personally, I haven’t found much.

  • Charles Martel

    I notice that Helen studiously avoided—as she always does—addressing Book’s specific example, namely, Obama’s nasty, cruel and thoughtless remark about Jessica Simpson.

    Perhaps Helen, who is a Christian, might chastise Obama for his insensitivity? I know that she has performed her Christian duty in telling all the “progressive” people that she hangs with to knock off the Bush hatred.

    Right, Helen?

    Right?

    ?

    PS: Helen, since you always look for the good in people, could you name three things about George W. Bush that you found to be good?

  • Charles Martel

    Book:

    Our resident drive-by artist aside, I think you’ve put your finger on the man. I think he’s caught in what is going to be an ever-deepening nightmare: external threats that he lacks the mettle or intellect to handle; increasing pressure from the fascist/socialist elements in his party to start delivering the goods; the realization among the duped that he really is Chance Gardner and hasn’t a clue.

    Worst of all, his mother-in-law is living with him in cramped quarters. That cannot be a pleasant thing to come home to at night.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Charles:

    1. George W. Bush appears to have a good relationship with his wife and daughters. I think this because, the twins told the Obama girls to ignore the press, that their father IS the man they know him to be.

    2. George W. Bush exercises regularly. He was photographed running. He appears to take his health seriously.

    3. George W. Bush made the presidential transition happen easily. He must care for the USA.

    But, Did Barack Obama take a dig at pop star Jessica Simpson?

    “A transcription error set the Internet abuzz Monday as viewers debated an off-hand presidential comment about the pop star.

    The remark came at the end of the President Obama’s interview with NBC Sunday, when interviewer Matt Lauer held up a copy of the latest US Magazine, which features first lady Michelle Obama along with daughters Sasha and Malia. On the left side of the cover was a picture of Simpson, whom the magazine said is in a “weight battle.”

    Lauer noted the magazine had replaced the president’s spot in the family photo with the Simpson headline.

    “You got replaced by Jessica Simpson,” Lauer said.

    “Yeah, who’s losing a weight battle apparently,” Obama said, according to the network’s interview transcript, sparking a firestorm online. “Yeah. Oh, well.”

    But the transcript misquoted the president who visibly only re-read the magazine’s headline that Lauer was holding up — “She’s in a ‘weight battle,’ apparently” — and did not say that Simpson was “losing” that fight.

    In the future, the president may opt for safer, less controversial subjects — like government-funded contraception, or the U.S. relationship with Iran.”

    see http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2009/02/02/obama-takes-a-dig-at-jessica-simpson/

    This is all one big rumor.

  • Zhombre

    I’ll have to agree with Helen on this one. Some flippant remark to Matt Lauer is thin evidence of meanness (Obama’s apparent lack of interest in the weather disaster in Kentucky might be better advanced to that argument). That the new President talks to Lauer to begin with and remarks upon a glossy magazine cover, to me, exemplifies the shallowness of current politics and media. US magazine is a chewing gum wrapper without the gum and I’d express my frank opinion of Matt Lauer but I’d come off as mean as you accuse of Obama of being.

  • Charles Martel

    In the future, the president may opt for safer, less controversial subjects — like government-funded contraception, or the U.S. relationship with Iran.”

    Point taken, Helen. If he didn’t say it the way it was reported, it should be corrected. (Don’t you find it interesting, though, that you didn’t lambaste the press, which is totally in the tank for Obama, for its “mistake?”)

    Your three good things about Dubyah are thin gruel, but at least you tried to look for SOME good in him, and I thank you for it.

    My comments to Book about Obama stand, though. As time goes on, we are going to see unveiled a man as bitter and petty as Jimmy Carter. I don’t relish it because we really do need a Truman or Reagan type at the helm right now.

    PS: I’m still more authentically less white than you.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Charles,

    I don’t think having a good relationship with one’s family is “thin gruel.”

    I don’t think caring for one’s body is “thin gruel.”

    I think a smooth transition from one administration to another is essential to the stability of our country. How is that ‘”thin gruel”?

    And I am perfectly willing to admit that you are “more authentically less white than [I am].”

    But to say Obama will be proven “a man as bitter and petty as Jimmy Carter” is to say Jimmy Carter is “bitter and petty,” which he is not.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Charles the Hammer – “PS: Helen, since you always look for the good in people, could you name three things about George W. Bush that you found to be good?”

    Here, Helen. Let me help you and see if you agree with any of these points:

    1) Pres. GW Bush allocated more humanitarian aid to Africa than all previous presidents combined.

    2) President GW Bush more-than doubled the number of public health clinics in America.

    3) President GW Bush engineered a huge boost in funding for public education during his term.

    4) President GW Bush introduced a pharmaceutical benefit plan for seniors, thereby fulfilling a campaign vow.

    5) President GW Bush doubled the research budget for the National Institute of Health.

    6) Created three very large marine conservation preserves in the Pacific.

    7) Promoted more African Americans to top cabinet positions than any previous President

    8) Liberated two countries from horribly repressive and viciously anti-American regimes and won the “decisive battle against the Crusaders” (using Al-Qaeda’s terminology), handing Al-Qaeda a decisive defeat that led to a precipitous decline in Al Qaeda’s reputation among Muslims world wide.

    9) Repaired and developed excellent relationships with India and Colombia. Helped bring back Colombia from total anarchy to a state of peace.

    What, you say…you never heard about these accomplishments? What? How could that be? It was all over the news…oh, wait a minute!

  • Deana

    Hi Helen –

    I’ve listened to the video and I am willing to give President Obama a pass on this one.

    However . . .

    Can you say with honesty from the depths of your heart that the vast majority of the left would have given President Bush a pass if he had said something like that?

    Do you not notice that he sometimes says and does things that look and/or sound mean or vicious OR are so open to interpretation that it makes one wonder whether he has any internal filter?

    For example:
    Twice during the campaign, he lifted his middle finger while talking about his political opponents. No one “just happens” to lift their middle finger without, at the very least, being aware that it can be misinterpreted.

    When Mrs. Clinton made some self-deprecating comment about her being likeable during the campaign, he didn’t even look at her and just made this very strange remark, “You are likeable enough,” as if she passed the hurdle, but just barely.

    I distinctly recall him mocking and belittling Joe Wurzelbacher. REGARDLESS of what you think of Wurzelbacher, who belittles a person who has a dream of opening a successful business?

    Helen – here is what really upsets me. NEVER, NOT ONCE, not on ONE SINGLE DAY in the entire eight years that George Bush was president, did I EVER hear or read ANYONE on the left say:

    “he must care for the USA.”

    Never, Helen. Never.

    I thank you for saying that now. But no one else on the left is saying that and no one will for a very, very long time, if ever.

    That man NEVER got a break. No one on the left EVER said, “Wow. I would not want to be responsible for keeping the nation safe.”

    Every day, for eight years, President Bush was evil, bloodthirsty, a fascist, a Nazi, and Hitler. He spent all of his waking minutes trying to figure out how to take our rights away. He was racist and didn’t care whether black people lived or died (regardless of the overwhelming success of his African healthcare program: PEPFAR). He was stupid, an idiot, and couldn’t talk. He was an embarrassment and deserved the movies, books, posters, jokes, and t-shirts that showed him being assassinated, beheaded, burned or some other awful thing.

    Helen, there was never a break from that. Never.

    And if someone on the left knew you had voted for him or even just agreed with some of the things he was doing, you also were evil, bloodthirsty, a fascist, a Nazi . . . and always, always stupid.

    Helen, I have lost track of the number of people with 1/4 of the number of degrees I have who insinuated that I was naïve, stupid, and “just didn’t know what I was talking about.”

    Now, all of a sudden, the left expects us to back off President Obama. We are told, “He’s only been in office for _______ (fill in the blank).” We are told that we are haters for remembering what he told us over and over during the campaign and nothing that within less than two weeks, he is doing the complete opposite.

    Helen, did you or your leftist friends think that after spending every second of every day over the last eight years cursing President Bush’s existence, mocking him, and assuring anyone who would listen that he was the worst president in the history of the U.S. (despite evidence to the contrary) that we would welcome President Obama with open arms and not note when he says and does things that contradict what he himself said he would do?

    Did you think that when he does silly things (like trying to enter the White House, his own home, through a window) that we wouldn’t make jokes that don’t place him in the kindest light? Do you think that we aren’t watching every little thing he does?

    Like I said, Helen, I am delighted to hear you say NOW that President Bush must care about our country. But millions of us have known that for eight years.

    Helen, I admit to wanting to treat Obama AND his supporters the way Bush and his supporters were treated every single day. I have the energy to do it, believe me. But Helen, I can’t stoop that low. It would make me an awful, hateful person and I don’t want to turn into what I see on much (but not all) of the left.

    You and your leftist friends have NO RIGHT to expect President Obama to be treated with kid gloves by conservatives and Republicans. You have NO RIGHT to expect us to politely look the other way when he says and does awkward things.

    But most importantly, you have NO RIGHT to expect us not to loudly and incessantly point out when he is doing things that will damage us economically, expose us to unnecessary risks, and provoke attacks from countries that aim to devastate us.

    And because he is doing exactly those things, you can expect to hear from us for a long, long time.

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    Deana, I must say, I pretty much agree with you.

  • Charles Martel

    Helen:

    I remember in 2007 when 14 members of the Carter Center resigned after he published his latest anti-Semitic diatribe, “Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid.” They accused him of distortions and lies that made his book’s arguments almost completely dubious.

    I don’t know how you defend that little Jew hater, a man who has kissed the asses of Castro and Chavez and some of the other world’s worst scum, including the savages who own the Gaza Strip.

    Here’s my question, Helen, and I ask it as man who is every much as Christian as you: How do you defend a man who defends and advocates for murderers?

    Also, Helen, thank you for acknowledging that I am less white than you. This means that in the event of a tie when you and I discuss racial matters, I win! :)

  • Tiresias

    Quite true, Jimmy Carter is not “bitter and petty.” He’s bitter, petty, stupid and dangerous.

    Regarding Obama, I also notice he’s thin-skinned as hell. Even Clinton only managed to bitch about Rush Limbaugh once in eight years; Obama’s already complained about him twice in twelve days – not to mention Sean Hannity, Mike Savage, and Bill O’Reilly.

  • Charles Martel

    Deana:

    Thank you for one of the most impassioned, best written defenses of Dubyah I’ve ever seen on this or any other site.

    Helen, good on you for acknowledging what Deana said.

  • Quisp

    Here’s an interesting article on Carter written in 1979 by James Fallows, Carter’s chief speechwriter for the first two years of the administration. Here’s a brief excerpt:

    But if he has the gift of virtue, there are other gifts he lacks.

    One is sophistication. It soon became clear, in ways I shall explain, that Carter and those closest to him to him took office in profound ignorance of their jobs. They were ignorant of the possibilities and the most likely pitfalls. They fell prey to predictable dangers and squandered precious time.

    The second is the ability to explain his goals and thereby to offer an object for loyalty larger than himself.

    The third, and most important, is the passion to convert himself from a good man into an effective one, to learn how to do the job. Carter often seemed more concerned with taking the correct position than with learning how to turn that position into results. He seethed with frustration when plans were rejected, but felt no compulsion to do better next time. He did not devour history for its lessons, surround himself with people who could do what he could not, or learn from others that fire was painful before he plunged his hand into the flame.

    Sound like anyone we know?

  • Danny Lemieux

    Interesting read, Quisp. Although there is much in the article with which I disagree (I do not see Carter as a good man), there are valuable insights that, sadly, seem all too apropos today.

    My best take-out has to be Fallow’s description of Carter as follows: “He was speaking with gusto because he was speaking about the subject that most inspired him: not what he proposed to do, but who he was.”

    This is moral vanity at its finest. Playing with one’s self image with the full gusto suggested by the “M” word. Fact is, truly good people don’t think of themselves as “good”. They know that this is a judgment that can only be rendered by others.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    An Atlanta lawyer, who knew Carter before he became politically-prominent, summed up the man as follows:

    “He used to stand at the back of the Rotary Club meetings, glaring at the rest of us because we weren’t as *righteous* as he was.”

  • nc

    Although this particular example Bookworm gives is not “mean”, it does display his adolescent and non-presidential side. He specifically said in the inaugural speech that “the time has come to set aside childish things”, but apparently it does not apply to him or his team.

    He does not seem to realize the smallest things can alienate a lot of Americans such as the hypocrisy of telling everyone that we should set our thermostats to 72 while he likes to be comfortable at a toasty 77. (http://michellemalkin.com/2009/01/29/obamas-thermostat-setting-he-likes-it-warm/)

    Like he said “words mattter”. It is just difficult to tell which words that Obama says REALLY matter.

    There are plenty of examples of his meanspiritedness to those that don’t agree with Obama – Joe the Plumber being the most obvious. Now remember why Joe was so viciously attacked? Because he pointed out the truth of Obama’s words – redistribution of wealth. Where are we going with this “stimulus” package? EXACTLY!

  • http://helenl.wordpress.com/ Helen Losse

    RE: “Also, Helen, thank you for acknowledging that I am less white than you. This means that in the event of a tie when you and I discuss racial matters, I win! :)”

    Oh no, Chuck-o! You aren’t black. :-)

    Too busy for more until tonight.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    I don’t know what Helen really agrees with here.

    As for Obama, he likes to be hip and cool and witty, except for that little fact that he can’t interject himself in conversations with any real class. For example, when Hillary was asked the likability question and she was dealing with it in her way, Obama jumped in. He didn’t initiate the topic or ask the question, just like he didn’t pick that specific magazine or topic, but he jumps in and he flops. He flops because he can’t do self-deprecation and he can’t make fun of himself. When he tries, or when he tries to compliment someone else, it comes across as crass and classless.

    Now, when Obama is manipulating people, seeing things from their perspective and making them think his ideas are their ideas, then he does good. But when off script and bereft of any propaganda main strategy, he pancakes.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ Ymarsakar

    This is all one big rumor.

    So how are you going to trust the media if you don’t believe everyone of their rumors, Helen?

  • Charles Martel

    Oh no, Chuck-o! You aren’t black.”

    And neither are you, your pastiness.

    I, on the other hand, am less white than you.

    I win!

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com David Foster

    There’s an old joke to the effect that “a newly-graduated MBA is like a guy who knows 117 different way to have sex..but doesn’t know any girls.”

    I think there’s a bit of this, metaphorically-speaking, in Obama..he just doesn’t have the experience in running things that would have given him tacit knowledge about things like inadvertantly using his power to wound others. Too much of his knowledge base is entirely verbal and theoretical.

    (I’m guessing that the woman who provided the first *real* sexual experience for the guy in the joke above didn’t find it terribly enjoyable…)

  • Tiresias

    Y – Obama likes to be hip, cool and witty, except for the little fact that he’s neither hip nor cool; and witty only to the extent that you find appointing Geithner, and trying to appoint Daschle and Killefer funny.

  • http://cdrsalamander.blogspot.com CDR Salamander

    As always, well put.

    BTW, you and I would have made and interesting (at least to each other) couple in our youth – I had a similar habit.

    I evolved when in my 20s when my empathy finally burned through my testosterone fueled narcissism.

    ….. I still have a little of the snark in me – but I save it for targets who both deserve it and can handle it.

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