Opinion

America’s unpresidential president

Jedediah Bila Contributor

He’s just so darn presidential. You better know who I’m talking about . . . because if you don’t, I know whose ass to kick.

In a recent interview with NBC’s “Today” show, President Obama said this: “I don’t sit around talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick.” Scoot over, Gettysburg Address. There’s a new No. 1 speech in town.

Some have been oddly surprised by the president’s unpresidential approach. Here are a few possible reasons why they’re so shocked:

  1. They were asleep when Obama said this in July of 2009 with respect to the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr.: “Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts . . . But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly. . . ” (So what if he didn’t have the facts! What’s next, people? Are you going to insist that he read laws before publicly condemning them? You right-wing extremists!)
  2. They took their dog for a walk and missed Obama’s commentary in April of 2010 regarding Palin’s critique of his administration’s nuclear policy: “I really have no response to that. The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues.” (Translation: She’s no match for me. She may have run a state and been Chair of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, but did she vote “present” nearly 130 times as a state senator? I think not.)
  3. They were busy cooking and didn’t catch Obama saying this to John McCain at the health care summit in February of 2010: “Let me just make this point, John, because we’re not campaigning anymore. The election’s over.” (Translation: I won. You lost. Nani nani poo poo.)
  4. They were enjoying a film at the corner theatre and missed Obama saying this in August of 2009: “ . . . I don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them just to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess.” (In other words, hand over your money and shut the heck up.)
  5. They were hanging out at a local café and didn’t hear our president’s complete (and disturbing, in my opinion) mischaracterization of the new Arizona immigration law in April of 2010: “ . . . you can imagine if you are a Hispanic American in Arizona, your great, great grandparents may have been there before Arizona was even a state. But now suddenly if you don’t have your papers and you took your kid out to get ice cream, you’re going to be harassed . . . ” (Translation: I don’t have to read pertinent documents. I went to Harvard. Enough said.)

If you’ve been paying attention since day one, Obama’s tone with respect to the oil spill shouldn’t be in the least bit shocking. I just wish he wasn’t so busy playing the role of big man on campus. Maybe then he would’ve had time this year to hear the majority of Americans oppose his health care law and/or support Arizona’s immigration law. But hey, with golf and Bush-hating Paul McCartney to fit in, let’s cut him some slack.

As an entertaining side note, Obama was recently asked to respond to comments made by BP CEO Tony Hayward, including “I’d like my life back” and “ . . . everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact will be very, very modest.” Hayward’s comments were distasteful at best, but check out what Obama had to say in reply: “He wouldn’t be working for me after any of those statements.” Culture of Corruption author Michelle Malkin must have enjoyed a full-on fit of laughter after that one.

Mr. President, it’s not presidential to make bold public statements based on assumptions, without taking the time to do your research. It’s not presidential to essentially tell a whole bunch of Americans to sit down and shut up. It’s not presidential to condescend to a war hero and long-standing American Senator. And while we’re at it, it’s not any more presidential to repeatedly blast Fox News than it was to have joked during the 2008 presidential campaign that, “I’ll put Mr. Burgess up against Sean Hannity. He’ll tear him up.”

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I’d like my president to act like one. Save the ass-kicking for someone else.

Jedediah Bila is a conservative columnist and commentator living in New York City. For more information on Jedediah, please visit jedediahbila.com.