That was quite a performance by President Obama, billed as a press conference with the White House Press Corps. It would really more aptly be described as a piece of performance art.
The man is lost and he has not a clue as to which path to take to the promised land of re-election in 2012. A man accustomed to getting his way, of winning, he did not come into the office of the presidency with an ability to re-group gracefully after a defeat. Setbacks are not coming to this man easily.
President Obama walked to the podium and started swinging. First, it was at his favorite punching bag, the Republicans. A prickly Obama, at times raising his voice, called Senate Republicans “hostage-takers” and “bomb-throwers” for opposing his agenda, and said critics on the Left who portray him as weak on core issues are “sanctimonious.”
This is from the same president who feigns a desire for bi-partisan solutions to our nation's problems. This is from a man who claims he is rising above politics and doing the business of the people.
Obama called out soon-to-be Speaker of the House Boehner as a person who will find it not as easy to govern the House as it is to "stand on the sidelines throwing bombs." Wow. How's that for reaching across the aisle? And odd since the House already passed their version of the tax code extension and the hold-up has been in the Senate.
This was Obama's way of proving he is still relevant after the shellacking he received on November 2. This was Obama's way of being in control and blustering as scolding both sides of the aisle.
The problem was, he sounded graceless and whiny. This is a man who accepts neither defeat nor victory gracefully. He goes from telling Republicans, "I won" to pointing fingers at reporters posing questions and declaring he has "many lines in the sand" of which he uses in negotiations.
Paging Dale Carnegie.
President Obama does not appreciate negative pieces his press coverage, either. For a man who claimed he didn't pay attention to critics, that he didn't watch polls to make his decisions, he sure can rattle off examples of not so favorable articles about his governance. During the Democratic bashing part of the program, he referred to the far left's displeasure that the public option was not included in the health care reform power grab rammed through last Christmas eve.
“This is the public option debate all over again,” Obama said of leftward criticism of the tax deal. “So I pass a signature piece of legislation . . . something Democrats have been fighting for for a hundred years,” but since it lacked a “public option” it was seen by liberals and progressives as “a sign of weakness.”
“If that is the standard . . . then let’s face it, we will never get anything done,” Obama said. “Sanctimonious” progressives “will have the satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people.”
“That can’t be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat. This is a big, diverse country,” Obama added, raising his voice. “Not everybody agrees with us. . . . The New York Times editorial page does not permeate across America.”
See, it is all about him, all the time. That crazy patchwork of legislation called health care reform is his legacy. He thinks quite highly of it and himself.