Has there ever been a more ungracious man in the White House?

I have to admit that my political memory isn’t that long.  The first president I remember is Johnson, and I have only the vaguest recollection of him.  I know now that he was a sharp political operator, a vicious enemy and a complete fruit loop in his day to day conduct.  I start having more vivid memories when it comes to Nixon, who was a crook, as well as being, in many ways, a highly effective (in a good way) president.  The media presented Ford as a bumbler, and he impinged only minimally on my youthful consciousness.  Then there was Carter — ineffectual, dour and, as it turns out, incredibly antisemitic and self-involved.  Reagan — well, the media loathed him, but I never saw him behave awkwardly in public.  I’ve since learned to appreciate his vision, his good will to all men, and his capacious intelligence.  And so it goes.  From Reagan to the inarticulate Bush; to the charming, narcissistic, sexually obsessed, crooked Clinton; to the bonhominous, principled, vaguely inarticulate, viciously attacked Bush Jr., and now to Barack Obama.

Barack Obama was sold to us as “no drama Obama;” as the ultimate post-partisan President who would heal all wounds and fissures in the American body politic.  The last year has shown how great those lies were, with his hostility towards Israel and his Chicago-style politics re health care putting the last nails in those coffins full of lies. The man’s substance is crude, bullying and mean spirited.

But I want to pause here to address, not his substance, but his style.  Look back on that long list of Presidents from the 1960s onward.  All were flawed, many seriously, but each understood that, as President, he had a certain persona that he had to maintain.  No matter how dour, insane, vicious, hard-charging or inarticulate he was, each man understood that he had to act with dignity when he carried out the functions of his office.  Power politics were fine behind the scenes, but not one of these past presidents, when before the camera, ripped off his shirt and rolled in the mud.  That is, until Obama came along.

One of the things that always strikes me forcibly about Obama, and this is true despite his privileged education in Hawaii, in New York, and in Massachusetts, is how crude he is in his day to day communications.  Apparently you can raise someone in the Ivy League, but if he’s an unprincipled brawler and a bully, that crude-ness is always going to leak out.  And when you have someone like that in a power position, he is often even less gracious in victory than he is in defeat.

This is why, in the days following an amazing political victory (despite the fact that he didn’t sell the nation on his plan and had to bully his own party), the president, rather than extending olive branches, is engaging in the same taunts a back ally thug would use right before he kicks a downed opponent in the head (after having already shot that same opponent in the back).

When Republicans, who overwhelmingly represent the will of the people on health care, indicated that they will work to carry out the people’s goals regarding this monstrosity, Obama did not utter words that would calm the troubled waters in America’s political scene and bring disaffected people back into the fold.  Instead, our own Chicago thug in the White House uttered this taunt:

“My attitude is: Go for it,” Obama said. “If these congressmen in Washington want to come here in Iowa and tell small-business owners that they plan to take away their tax credits and essentially raise their taxes, be my guest.”

That’s not presidential.  That’s not no-drama.  That’s not post-partisan.  That’s ghetto thug.

And, just to keep his street creds intact, Obama again engaged in ungracious bating, this time at a book store:

After his speech in Iowa City today, President Obama made a short visit to Prairie Lights bookstore — a small local business in the community.

While perusing the bookshelves Mr. Obama had a little fun with the books of two Republican foes, both whose faces graced the covers.

Laughing, the president held up “No Apology,” by Mitt Romney, and “Courage and Consequence,” by Karl Rove,” in each hand.

“What do you think guys?” he asked the group of reporters with him of the hardback copies in each hand.

Ultimately the president did not purchase either book, choosing instead to buy a book for each of his daughters: “Journey to the River Sea,” by Eva Ibbotson, and “The Secret of Zoom,” by Lynne Jonell.

What a petty little man.  How ungracious.  Even the frequently over-the-top Johnson; the crooked Nixon; the dour Carter; the inarticulate Bush, Sr.; the sex mad, narcissistic Clinton; and the much ridiculed and attacked Bush Jr. would never have forgotten their role and sunk so low.  Apparently you can take the man out of the angry and ugly socialist streets, but you can take the angry and ugly socialist out of the man.

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  • Danny Lemieux

    Book, I believe that the word for which you were searching so diligently is “punk”.

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    Excellent word.  I’m a little depleted right now.  My daughter had oral surgery this morning (standard kid stuff, but still oral surgery) and is not a happy camper.  I, therefore, am a tired and  harassed camper.  Hard to blog and, when I do blog, hard to think in terms of rich and descriptive language.

  • http://elwin-ransomed.blogspot.com/ Elwin

    I, therefore, am a tired and  harassed camper.  Hard to blog and, when I do blog, hard to think in terms of rich and descriptive language.
    You’re doing better than me, sister. The words I keep coming up with are all 4 lettered, and they aren’t ‘punk’.  Heck, I’m not even supposed to know those words…  :-)
    But you’ve done a good job at remembering. I can slip back down memory lane  just a bit farther than you to barely remember JFK – barely.  He may have been morally bankrupt, but he was a saint compared to B.O.

  • Lulu11

    He is mentally ill. He has a Narcisstistic Personality Disorder. He believes he is above graciousness because he is sooo special. He is an immature child getting unbalanced with his power glee and aspirations. He WILL blow it in public. I am certain of it.
    And please add to this his unbelievable treatment of Israel and Netanyahu. I plan on calling a bunch of Congress Foreign Affairs people about that tomorrow.

  • Mike Devx

    Israel’s leaders behave like responsible adults, but how I would love to see Netanyahu stroke his nose with his middle finger while speaking of Obama.  Pulling an Obama, you know.  But he won’t descend to the level of our so-called President, our so-called Commander in Chief.
    And who would ever have thought that the USA would be in the position of almost guaranteeing Israel’s destruction?  Obama will not prevent Iran from obtaining full cruise-missile nuke capability designed to destroy Tel Aviv and in fact all of Israel. Nor will Obama attack Iran, and most crucially, I am convinced he will not allow Israel to overfly Iraq to attack Iran either; he will deliberately assault any Israeli attempt to do so, and would likely attack them if they try to do so via Saudi Arabian or Turkish airspace as well.
    It would be an act of profound evil.  But Obama is quite capable of it.
    I used to say that with Obama we might have another president to match the horrifying Carter.  But it is clear, by now, that Obama is worse even than Carter.  I never anticipated that such a thought could appear in my head, that such words could issue from my lips.  A president worse than Carter used to be practically unimaginable to me.
    The deliberate, astounding insult to Netanyahu is probably small potatoes compared to the more serious policy-based assaults on Israel by this Administration, I know.  But it reveals such a crassness, lack of grace, and lack of all Presidential decorum, that I just can’t stand it.  Not that I would ever invite Chavez, Achmadinejad or Kim Jong Il to the White House, but were I president and I did, I would be compelled to treat them with the proper dignity befitting any world leader to another.
    And as bad as sending the Churchill bust back to England was – in the matter of deliberate insults – this is worse, because it was a petulant snubbing in person.  Good god.


    Crass is one word that comes to mind among others.
    The more troublesome issue for me is his title.  He not only belittles his opponents with ‘street thuggery’ tactics, he does it while holding the position of POTUS.  Wearing the ‘blue’ like a gang member resembling the crypts or bloods.  He has diminished, degraded and diluted what was once the most cherished position in America.
    His very being is a page ripped from West Side Story …When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way from your first cigarette, til your last dyin’ breath.

  • spiff580

    An adolescent leader for the adolescent people who voted him in; the left in general is snarky and adolescent; he is the embodiment of that.  For those who are surprised by this, all the signs were there before the election.


  • suek

    “Nixon … who was a crook”
    You know…I’ve heard this.  My mother said the same thing. But I don’t know why.  Forget Watergate…I think that’s another whole story, but what made Nixon “a crook”?  Anybody know??
    Re: Obama.  He’s a muslim.  In his heart, if not in his actual practicing religion.  You can’t expect anything other than how he treats Israel and her representatives.  As for the Jews in his retinue…he’d throw them under the bus in a heartbeat – if he didn’t need them.  As long as they’re of use to him, they’re safe.
    Of course, due to narcissism, the same is probably true of anybody in his life.

  • elc

    I’ve been comforting myself with an imaginary video of the president, in a dignified motorcade, making his way through streets lined with hundreds of thousands of people, all of whom are silent, all of whom are stroking their noses with their middle fingers.

  • Oldflyer

    I can only repeat a theme that I have mentioned before.  I am confused.  I really do not know if he is so out of touch, so incompetent, such a buffoon, that he does not realize what he is doing.  Or is it all calculated?
    I cite the latest media meme of anger on the right and threats of violence.  Everything he does either  unconsciously, or deliberately, stokes anger and frustration.  Which is it, accidental or deliberate?  I wish I knew, because I believe the answer has serious  implications.  If he is deliberately stoking anger, and divisiveness,  then there must be some end-game in mind, and it would not be pretty.
    I await with somewhat detached interest the reaction of American Jews, as well as all Americans, to his despicable behavior toward Israel.  Detached, only in the sense that I have no immediate personal stake; but outraged, as an American and a basic human,  at the behavior that is exhibited in the name of my country.  And profoundly concerned  over the fate of a courageous and embattled society.  Again, I can only wonder if Obama has any sense of what he is setting in motion?  Does he think he is still playing Chicago hard-ball, with nothing more at stake than petty political advantage?

  • Oldflyer

    On the matter of Presidents we recall.  FDR was in office when I was born, and for the first 10 years of my life.  So, I guess I go back a little further.
    He was not loved as much in the South as he was in other parts of the country.  But, we were at war by the time I became at all conscious of the President, and united.  Truman did not arouse any strong feelings that I am aware of– until Korea turned into a stalemate.  History treated him more kindly than contemporary opinion.
    I liked Ike.  Times were difficult, but I always had confidence in our leader.  One story about Ike has always stood out in my mind, and it has relevance directly to the current President.  He very strongly believed that the President should never lie to the American people.  So, if a less than truthful story was necessary (The U2 shoot down comes to mind), someone else spoke.  If Ike spoke, you could take it to the bank.

  • gpc31

    Oldflyer:  I read your posts with the greatest of respect.

    Why does he do it?  Getting ready for a Reichstag fire.

  • gpc31

    Oh, yes.  And he is a muslim at heart and a marxist too boot.  His worldview is typical of the spoiled, preppy poseurs that I knew in college ca. 1980-1985.  If you want something deeper, go to http://www.firstthings.com, click “Blogs”, and read Spengler’s latest.

  • Gringo

    suek, there was the famous “I am not a crook” statement from Tricky. Tricky’s saying that resulted in many calling him a crook.  I view him as being underhanded in many ways in politics,but not a thief.  Crook-like in not always being ethical- but as others have pointed out, the same could have been said of JFK and LBJ. See Victor Lasky’s books.
    One of  the comments in the linked video alleges actual money issues with Tricky. I am not going to take the time to investigate. Life is too short.
    How many reflexive Nixon haters from the other side of the aisle remember that he created the EPA and Affirmative Action? If one were to say to them, we must erase the legacy of the Nixon years, and undo his work, how many would say “Yeah Yeah!” without knowing what he had actually done?
    While both Tricky and NObama exhibited nastiness towards political opponents, Tricky’s was of a defensive nature, and NObama’s is more of an offensive nature.

  • http://neomodernism.net Huan

    Obama is a fascist. A narcicist with power and the willingness to abuse.

  • suek

    >>there was the famous “I am not a crook” statement from Tricky. Tricky’s saying that resulted in many calling him a crook.>>
    So…do we have a link anywhere to Obama saying “I am not a socialist”?  or “I am not a muslim”?


    I was trying to recall why Nixon left a bad taste in my mouth and the break-in by the ‘plumbers’ and the 18 missing minutes comes to mind, but I was still a liberal in those days. Tricky Dicky had a ring to it – maybe we need to attach something to the Zero like – Obamalist.
    Nixon never seemed comfortable with the press or people, which left both feeling shut out generally. He also unlinked gold with the dollar, which in retrospect was not such a good idea although I understand that he didn’t want speculation on the dollar.  His ping pong diplomacy with China seemed like a good idea, but I am not sure that has worked out so well for us other than to make them buy bad debt, which they now use as political leverage.

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  • Danny Lemieux

    SADIE: What’s wrong with “Obamination”?
    Nixon was understandably bitter for having been driven out of office for purportedly spying on the opposition (it turned out that the Watergate break-in was pretty much a free-lance affair by Nixon underlings), as he had been the victim himself of such dirty tricks by the Johnson and JFK administrations. However, he left an incredible legacy of successes, even if we do not agree with all of them today ( Title 9, China opening, ending U.S. participation in the Vietnam War…a campaign promise; the Vietnam “Peace with Honor” Treaty…subsequently violated by N. Vietnam with Democrat connivance; ballistic missile control agreements; EPA; Clean Water Act; compensation to Native Americans;  a balanced budget …what a quaint concept that is, etc.), along with some real dogs (price controls, affirmative action). Even the French liked him.

  • jj

    No, I do not recall that there has ever been a more ungracious man.  But you, and the comments, do get me thinking about these birds.
    He’s the most ungracious, but on the other hand – there are no stars in my lifetime.  Which goes along with my oft-expressed view that in this country we do not – except on rare occasions and probably by accident – put the best of us, or anywhere near close to being the best of us, into public office.
    Harry Truman.  Truman is down in history amongst my family as a self-aggrandizing little twerp and a worthless liar.  He recounts the story of of meeting MacArthur on Guam during the Korean conflict in Merle Miller’s Plain Speaking, and makes quite a meal of it.  It’s all lies.  I know this because MacArthur’s side-kick was a two-star named Ryan, who’d been in charge of making sure the Pacific Theater all through WWII was properly supplied, and kept that job in  Korea.  MacArthur was a pompous horse’s ass, but his plane had landed and  his people were properly drawn up to render honors to the President when Truman’s plan arrived: he didn’t have to order MacArthur to land first, etc., etc., etc. the rest of the story.  In my life General Ryan was Uncle Bill, who was standing on the ground watching Truman’s plane land.  For the rest of his life he referred to Truman as a “machine crook and lousy little liar.”  Terribly venal little fellow – not all that bright.
    Eisenhower.  A known quantity in Europe during the war, where he was cordially despised by several people  to whom I was related who knew him and worked with him.  Yeah, he did spend the war in Kay Summersby’s bed, and kept her going by promising to dump ol’ Mamie.  Which he did not do, of course, and on his deathbed – on his deathbed, standing there looking God in the face!- his last words on this earth were: “I have always loved my wife.”    Mafiosi have always assumed a death-bed confession gets you off.  Where does a death-bed rank lie get you?
    JFK – nothing needs to be said.
    Ditto Johnson, pure crook and purest slob.  Look up “venal” ion the dictionary, there’s his picture.  Right beside Clinton’s.
    Nixon.  Psychologically bothered man, probably not by nature a “crook,” but when a piece of offal like Kennedy is allowed to steal an election from you and not only get clean away with it but end up as an aspirant for sainthood despite what everybody knows about him, well -perhaps it sours you, a bit.  The only genuine crookiness I know of was the enormity of the pay-off he received as the purchase price of Jimmy Hoffa’s ‘get out of jail’ card.  Big pay-off.  BIG.  HUGE.
    Ford.  A nice enough guy.  Very well paid to pardon Nixon.
    Carter.  No comment necessary.
    Reagan.  A very contradictory character, also a bit of a psychological mess.  Relationships with people – weird.  Relationships with family – weirder.  Much, much, much more complex, smarter, deeper and thoughtful then people supposed – which tells you how good an actor he really was.  Could react to changed conditions: famously lowered taxes, not-so-famously raised them again thrice thereafter.  A pragmatic dreamer, if there is such a thing.  Maybe there isn’t – maybe he was the only one.
    G.H.W. Bush.  Maybe the best of them all – a relatively normal guy.  Even a hero when young.  Unable to muster – and stick with – a cogent and singular world view.  Can’t – as a republican – make a solemn promise and routinely reverse yourself on issues large and small – “no new taxes” was only the one big one, there were a ton of others.  Believe in something, George.  Take a stand.  Stop blowing with the breeze.
    Clinton.  Completely venal, credibly a rapist – what a piece of s**t.
    G.W. Bush.  Had the idea about how one conducts oneself, but combined it with an unfortunate inability to either communicate or spot a change coming.  Not at all venal, I doubt if he ever coveted a dime, so he’s a goddam prince compared to 90% of them.
    I don’t think there’s been an actual “great man” in my life, and there certainly isn’t now.  And the one right before me, FDR, pfui.  I know far too much primary source stuff about him to be even momentarily impressed.


    Danny Lemieux
    My problem with ‘Obamination’ is that the word nation rests at the end of the word.  A concept that eludes the head DUMA.
    I have coined two new words today:
    DUMA-crat  {see link below]
    Obamalist [which to me implies name + socialist]
    p.s. good overview of Nixon

  • Oldflyer

    JJ, why don’t you put your hat in the ring?

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

    The crook was the FBI agent that didn’t get the promotion from Nixon he thought he deserved, who broke into the homes of Weather Underground members which invalidated the evidence against them, thus leading to the verdict of not guilty against Ayers and Bernandine. That was the crook: Deep Throat. The enablers and useful idiots were Bernstein and Co.
    You can thank liberal, Obama esque, education for the fact that Americans are ignorant of reality and history.

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

    “SADIE: What’s wrong with “Obamination””
    America is going down in flames and ruin, as the Left fantasizes, so they have to replace it with something. Instead of calling themselves Americans then, they are now Obamacans. Thus the Obamanation.

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

    “as he had been the victim himself of such dirty tricks by the Johnson and JFK administrations.”
    And the Joint Chiefs through the stenographer agent.
    After that mafioso guy got pushed out of the FBI, essentially everyone there operated like a domestic intelligence agent and spy because that’s how the Mafia Guy ran the FBI under FDR and so forth. The FBI was his home turf given the amount of years he had put in. His subordinates didn’t like Nixon because they didn’t accept constitutional or political authority. Unlike the military, they were not apolitical because their Mafia Boss wasn’t apolitical.

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

    “but you can take the angry and ugly socialist out of the man.”
    Like Book said, Obama is a bad boy.


    I understand why the use Obamination. The ugly and angry is very obvious. In fact, he’s a raging bull who is unleashing a life time of  loathing and  foisting it all upon us. When I referenced the Jets from West Side Story [post 6] I was thinking of the character Riff in the story or Riff Raff in the current version – West Wing Story.
    Obamination carries the day and DUMAcrat carries the presidency.

  • jj

    Limited interest, Oldflyer – in fact limited to pretty close to zero.  Look at the people you have to hang around with…



    I’ve been comforting myself with an imaginary video of the president, in a dignified motorcade, making his way through streets lined with hundreds of thousands of people, all of whom are silent, all of whom are stroking their noses with their middle fingers.
    What does it say about me …I’ve been imagining  the 10 plagues against the House of Pharoah.
    Must be that time of year or election cycle.

  • elc

    Oh, Sadie, I also like your scenario very much!  😀

  • http://connectthedots2006.blogspot.com ConnectTheDots

    Remember this photo of Obowmao showing his feet to the camera while he was speaking to Netanyahu on the phone last summer.  Showing the bottom of the feet is a muslim insult. Ask the FBI, they’ve been schooled in islamic sensitivity so as not to offend.
    This is a pattern of behavior toward Israel that perhaps suggests he is a muslim sympathiser, or perhaps truly a muslim.
    Remember taqiyya.

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