Before he moved on to other things, I used to indulge in an occasional late night viewing of Craig Ferguson. For those who missed it, he was the previous host of the “Late Late Show.” Oh, how he could make me laugh. There were routines where he actually solicited tears. Then there are the other times. Frequently, he was simply inappropriate to the point of embarrassment. His skits about Prince Charles, for example, were often too insulting to watch. Even Prince Charles deserves a little more respect than Craig Ferguson would allow him. (Although, when you look at Craig’s Scottish beginnings, you can sort of understand his viewpoint.)
On occasion, some of my more liberal friends remind us that we owe the office of the President of the United States more respect than some conservatives are willing to give President Obama. Indeed, they have a point. Like Craig Ferguson and Prince Charles, we need to abstain from outright mockery that could be attached to the office itself. We the citizens of the United States have a compelling need to honor the office of the President even if we disagree with the current administration. But if we, the plebeians have such an obligation, what of the President? Does the honor due the office also place an obligation on the incumbent? Well, it absolutely should.
That is why Presidents like Jimmy Carter who upheld the office with dignity and class deserve a respect which outpaces his actual performance with our economy. Jimmy Carter was Presidential. It is also why Bill Clinton, even though we saw prosperity under his watch lost our respect. He left a stain on the office of the President that will last a generation.
I think this explains the exasperation I am feeling this morning.
Less than a week after the GOP candidates for President were inappropriately mocked and openly ridiculed by the CNBC moderators, President Obama did an interview with NBC in which he lampooned the GOP’s presidential candidates. Speaking of their response to the obviously biased and inappropriate moderation of the debate, President Obama stated;
“And then it turns out, they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators “If you can’t handle those guys, I don’t think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you.”
Absolutely an inappropriate comment from the President of the United States.
For those who have been propagandized to the point of not being able to see the issue here, let me explain. First the statement contains a veiled lie. They did handle the CNBC moderators. In fact they did so with finesse and finality. In a showdown that exposed CNBC for their biased and ill-founded bigotry, the candidates obliterated their clueless hosts and showed them to be ill prepared and unworthy. President Obama’s comment is a lie and lying is not Presidential.
Next, the President in granting the interview to NBC at this time, and in his comments on this issue, he gave complicit approval of the way the moderators acted; and they were very inappropriate. The President failed to uphold the decorum of the office when he affirmed CNBC’s atrocious behavior.
Finally, President Obama chose a very childish way in which to voice his opinion. Had he simply said “I don’t think the candidates are up to the requirements of the office,” he would have been fine. A simple statement of a presidential opinion expressed in a way that upholds the office. But, to be snarky and engage in these little “bitchy” games, is beneath the dignity of the office.
So today I am exasperated. Is it too much to ask for a President to act presidential? Evidently. After seven years, the young civil rights lawyer and community organizer who became President is still stuck in his Black Liberation Theology. He continues to believe that the rights of citizens in this country are gifted by the government, or “the tribe,” rather than being endowed by our creator as set forth in the foundation of our nation. But equally disconcerting, President Barack Obama, still does not understand what it means to be presidential.
Like Craig Ferguson, this President is often too embarrassing to watch.
Samuel Waen Jensen