Column: Our Arrogant President
President Obama appears to have forgotten -- or ignored -- why we have elections. One reason is to stop, or slow down, an agenda the public doesn't like.
When polls began reflecting buyer's remorse about Mr. Obama in 2010, voters elected a Republican majority in the House of Representatives and might well have done the same in the Senate in 2012 were it not for some weak GOP candidates, especially in Nevada and Delaware.
President Obama acts as if elections other than his own don't matter. His attitude seems to be, "I have the power and the rest of government be damned." In another speech (does he talk in his sleep?) last week in Minneapolis, the president said of House Republicans, "They don't do anything except block me and call me names." Actually, Republicans have passed scores of bills, virtually all of which have died in the Senate, because Majority Leader Harry Reid refuses to bring them up for a vote, much less debate. It is Reid who is the real obstructionist.
Speaker John Boehner is threatening to file a lawsuit against the president for using his executive powers to bypass Congress. Critics, notably Neil Cavuto of Fox News, have accused the Republicans of engaging in a "stunt" that has no chance of succeeding.
Cavuto may be right, but not all stunts, if that's what this is, are without merit. While the courts might rule that Boehner lacks legal standing to sue the president, the lawsuit could serve as a teachable moment for the public, which polls show increasingly distrusts this president on matters both foreign and domestic.
Here's what a real stunt looks like. While in Minneapolis, President Obama met with two people he said had written him about their economic struggles. He ate a hamburger with a woman who said she is having difficulty paying her bills. Maybe the president picked up the check, helping her out with one meal. Other than that, how did he improve the woman's circumstances? Cutting taxes, lowering government spending and reducing the size of the federal bureaucracy would improve the economy so that the struggling woman -- and many like her -- might be able to find a better job with higher pay, or secure a raise in the job she already has.
This president believes in his policies even when they are not working.
As the late Pete Seeger sang about Lyndon Johnson and the Vietnam War, so it might also be said of President Obama and the record of his administration: "We were knee deep in the Big Muddy, and the big fool said to push on."
The list of policy failures, corruption and probable misdeeds is long and growing longer. The website White House Dossier lists two dozen scandals linked to the Obama administration and while all might not rise to the level we have come to associate with legitimate political malfeasance, the list is an indictment of a president who sold himself as being nobler than ordinary politicians, not to mention most Americans. He was seen and sees himself as the great deliverer, perched far above the rest of us. Instead, his incompetence has been exposed, leading to the conclusion among growing numbers of us that he is in over his head and harming the country in ways that could last for generations.
The list of Obama's broken promises is longer than his failures. Some have been compiled on Politifact.com.
The definitions of "arrogance" from dictionary.com accurately describe the president's attitude: "1. Offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride. 2. Having or showing an exaggerated opinion of one's own importance, merit, ability, etc; conceited..."
Synonyms for arrogance also apply: "presumptuous, haughty, imperious, brazen, proud."
If this fall's election gives Republicans a Senate majority, as seems likely, will the president's arrogant behavior change? Not likely. Humility is not a trait found in Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals."
(Cal Thomas' latest book is "What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America" is available in bookstores now. Readers may email Cal Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.)