The latest example of President Obama’s defining character traits — supercilious narcissism blended with hyper-partisanship — came in a Monday night performance at DNC fundraising event in New York during which he skewered Republican presidential hopefuls who claim they will be stronger against Russian President Vladimir Putin than Obama himself has been, but “it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators.”
“If they can’t handle those guys,” Obama added helpfully, “then I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you.”
Project much, Mister President?
The lame message was good for a laugh and, to give credit where it’s due, Obama’s delivery as a comedian is better than his once-vaunted communication skills as president — although he spends too much time laughing at his own jokes, which may explain why so few narcissists become stand-up comics.
As with most of Obama’s political pronouncements, it was a lie; not just a lie but one so obvious as to unintentionally highlight the very failings that Obama was trying to deny in himself.
Just how did the Republican candidates not “handle” the CNBC moderators?
Not only did they publicly shame the CNBC trio in a way that did real harm to the network’s reputation, such as it is, for journalistic integrity, but they also caused the Republican National Committee to “suspend” NBC News’ participation in a later debate. If that’s not enough, the candidates are demanding — and likely receiving — changes in the structure of future debates such as guaranteeing the inclusion of time for opening and closing statements.
The candidates took the reins of the debate rules-setting process largely from the hands of the RNC, which in turn fired its chief debate negotiator in order to keep what control they can. A few candidates enlisted election attorney Ben Ginsberg to go around the RNC, directly to media organizations that intend to sponsor and moderate a debate, asking questions that “will be used by each campaign to determine whether its candidate will participate in your debate.”
Not every Republican candidate is on board with this approach and it is not clear that a threat of boycotting a debate is credible, or even that it’s a wise strategy — which is why several candidates now appear to be abandoning the project.
But the idea that the Republican candidates on stage in Boulder did not “handle” the partisan and unprepared CNBC moderators is laughably false. Short of walking up to them and slapping them in the face, it’s hard to imagine their having been handled any more effectively than they were.
Indeed, the three candidates perceived as the biggest winners that memorable Wednesday evening were Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Chris Christie, roughly in that order, which roughly matches the order of the intensity of their chastising of the moderators and, more broadly, of the “mainstream media” that CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick, and especially John Harwood so sadly typified.
It is a remarkable statement about the ongoing triumph of Barack Obama’s ego over his judgment that, through a malicious laugh, he launched an attack on Republicans that effectively magnified the difference between himself and a potential real leader, such as any of the current Republican candidates, regarding effective negotiation with competitors or enemies.
What has Barack Obama done to slow the expansionist mania of Vladimir Putin? Indeed, starting with walking back from his own Syrian red line and continuing with allowing the unhindered annexation of the Crimea, what has this president done other than encourage Putin?
This was long in the making: Recall Obama’s open-mic assurances to Putin puppet and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that “after my [re]election, I’ll have more flexibility.” It may not have been treason, but it was a step down that path and, at minimum, an invitation to global Russian aggression — an invitation that Vladimir Putin gladly accepted.
It’s not simply that Barack Obama has not inspired peace; he has inspired war. We can only hope that a now-more-likely war with Iran does not result in a now-more-likely mushroom cloud.
It is no wonder that — and I doubt you’ve heard this from the “mainstream media” — the former head of the committee that awards the Nobel Prize for Peace regrets their decision to give the honor to Obama, saying in a new book that the committee “thought it would strengthen Obama and it didn’t have this effect.”
You don’t say.
Yet this very same Barack Obama now derides Republican presidential candidates as unlikely to be stronger against Putin (and others) than he’s been?
To any rational person, the president’s snide comments reflect badly on him, which is to say they reflect, as a mirror should, his true self.
The end of this malignant narcissist’s presidency can’t come soon enough, to be replaced, we must hope, by any one of the strong and competent Republicans whom Obama saw fit to denigrate with falsehoods, albeit falsehoods that usefully enlighten about their speaker.
In the meantime, Barack Obama jabs and jokes, finding mirth in his obvious failure.
We know, even if he doesn’t, that America finds none of this funny.
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