Not everyone was impressed with Obama during the ’08 campaign, and he’s done very little since then to change people’s minds. Now, after yesterday’s disastrous press conference, even his most faithful acolytes are taken aback. Conservatives are used to being harangued and lectured and demonized by this guy; for libs, it’s something new.
Obama was as visibly frustrated and angry as he’s perhaps ever been in public, and some folks are pointing out on Twitter that he seems more angry with the left than he is with Republicans. In fairness to Obama, though, he directed harsher rhetoric at Republicans, implicitly comparing them to hostage takers at one point, and his basic message was that he needs fellow Dems to understand the nature of the opposition and allow him the space to act accordingly.
That was by far Obama’s sternest publicly rebuke yet of his liberal critics, and his frustration with them — which seems to have built up over the past two years — was palpable.
It’s obvious that Obama is more personally stung by criticism from the left than from the right. His outburst about “purist” liberals was considerably more impassioned than his rather clinical description of Republican “hostage takers.” In one sense, this isn’t surprising: you expect the opposition to show no mercy and that hardens you to it. You really don’t expect it from your putative allies. But in another sense it is surprising: even if Obama thinks his progressive critics are off base, he must know by now how they’re going to react to compromises like yesterday’s tax cut deal. So why was he apparently so unprepared for this? Why deliberately make things worse with his base during a press conference?
The last question from the presser was from the Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman, who asked Obama to try to reassure those on the left about his “core values.” The president’s response, which was nearly eight minutes long, showed flashes of anger we’re not generally accustomed to seeing…
For quite some time, it’s been clear that the president feels as if he hasn’t gotten the credit he believes he deserves from his base. I think that frustration bubbled over this afternoon.
Obama only comes to life when his feelings are hurt. Then he gets that unnerving “You people are ingrates” look in his eye, like he did at the end of yesterday’s presser:
It would be nice if he got that worked up about protecting America, and not just his own ego.
By the way, here’s a question for all the lefties criticizing Obama this morning: Why are you racists?
P.S. Here’s the whole thing from the official White House YouTube channel. You’d think they would want to forget it ever happened…