Green Room

What Obama’s Brush with the Tea Party Reveals About Him

posted at 11:02 am on August 16, 2011 by

Allahpundit provided coverage this morning of Obama’s brush with the Iowa Tea Party. I wanted to offer a few insights into the president’s response to Ryan Rhodes, the Tea Party member who asked Obama to react to Joe Biden’s calling the Tea Party “terrorists.”

At first Obama dodged the question, citing protocol (“I asked everybody [with a question] to raise their hand”), then answered. “I absolutely agree that everybody needs to try to tone down the rhetoric,” he said, adding smarmily:

Now, in fairness, since I’ve been called a socialist who wasn’t born in this country, who is destroying America and taking away its freedoms because I passed a health care bill, I’m all for lowering the rhetoric.

The comment misses the mark on so many levels that it’s hard to know where to begin. First and foremost is the fact that every president is a target of criticism. It goes with the territory—by virtue not only of the job’s high visibility but of the president’s unique role as steward over the lives and fates of 300 million people. Maybe at times the criticism is over the top (such as when the left branded George W. Bush as Hitler), but the right to dissent is a privilege enjoyed by the citizens of a democratic society. For the leadership to engage in (or in Obama’s case sanction) this same sort of behavior diminishes his high office and makes him look petty.

What’s more, being called a socialist is hardly on a par with being called a terrorist. The term socialism may seem like a dirty word to a “centrist” like Obama, but it is a bonafide political ideology, not to mention a label proudly worn by at least one member of the U.S. Senate (and coincidentally a man who votes almost unfailingly with Obama’s congressional caucus). As far as I know, there are no self-described terrorists in Congress.


Lastly, as for the claim that Obama was not born in the United States, the birther controversy, like the truther controversy, is history. Everyone has moved on from it—except apparently for Obama.

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I could not agree more. Ryan and Stacey were just being Americans. We have always be able to question power here. Ryan and Stacey did not call him a socialist who wasn’t born in this country, who is destroying America and taking away its freedoms because I passed a health care bill.
The President looked weak and whiny. His policies are socialist, if he does not want to be labeled socialist he needs to change his direction. He reveals that he knows America does not want to be socialist and must deny he is. I respect Bernie for his honesty, this President does not deserve our respect. He tries to hide who he fundamentally is and anyone who calls him on it gets attacked. The mask must stay on….at least awhile more.

IowaWoman on August 16, 2011 at 11:25 AM

I had the same thought as you, HP. How can the President possibly think that “socialist” is on the same level as “terrorist”?

Maybe we’ve got it all wrong… they’re using “terrorist” in the nicest, unicorn-y, rainbow-y sort of way. /s

Neo-con Artist on August 16, 2011 at 11:30 AM

Well it seems bho went on this listening(campaigning) bus tour to hear what people had to say about how America is coming along. If an American citizen wants to ask bho or any president a question, I would think he/she should answer said question if they don’t like the question or not.
bho has had almost zero hard questions from people and to see how he handled it is telling?

letget on August 16, 2011 at 11:41 AM

socialism may seem like a dirty word to a “centrist” like Obama

Obama’s polices and goals are uncontestably on the left, if not the far left. Only his retoric weakly plays with a centralist position in hopes that some will believe him to be so. His actions, and those that advise and guide him, speak largely otherwise.

Lastly, as for the claim that Obama was not born in the United States, the birther controversy, like the truther controversy, is history. Everyone has moved on from it—except apparently for Obama.

Obama and his handlers thought that releasing a long form certification of live birth would put an end to the question. Had the document been a legitmate document; one that had consistent formating, letter styles and letter size through out, as a typewritten document would have, consistent alignment of document to text, movealble text that had not been rotated before being positioned just for starters, that might have been the case. As it stands the document is without explination for otherwise, a forgery. See for additional commentments of dozen of unquestionalbly experts who have examined the document.

Recently the Health Department of Hawaii was served a legal court authorised supena to allow the examination of the Obama CLB. They could not or would not do so. Their action is now subject to a hearing to show cause and produce the document if they fail to do so.

The controvesy is far from dead and potentially a felony charge if it is found the released CLB is a forgery. With something so serious as a possible felony, even one that they might manage to successfully defend against, one would think they would prove the case that it is not a forgery before it even became a serious question. If they could.

There is also a question on the social security number that he is using and how he obtained it, if it is legitmate.

Just for laughs, as the Department Health of Hawaii found so funny, they made up three fake birth certificates for Obama. One for Kenya and one for each of the hospitals and released them. Perhaps just coincidence, they look an awful like the one they now claim to be legitimate.

Franklyn on August 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Obama does not like to be questioned. He most definitely does not like to be criticized — for anything — and isn’t used to it. Every time he carps about “political games” and “arguments” and “it’s Congress/Bush’s fault”, he’s telling the country, “I won, I’m President, and you should do whatever I say.”

You think he merely looks petty? I say Barack Obama is the smallest man the office of President has ever held.

RebeccaH on August 16, 2011 at 2:35 PM

“Lastly, as for the claim that Obama was not born in the United States, the birther controversy, like the truther controversy, is history. Everyone has moved on from it—except apparently for Obama.”

Nope, it ain’t over till it’s over and the fat lady sings or it’s deja vu all over again. (Yogi Berra etc.)

VBMax on August 16, 2011 at 7:48 PM

the birther controversy, like the truther controversy, is history

Don’t be so sure.

disa on August 16, 2011 at 9:35 PM

The release of the “Birth Certificate” actually started the controversy for me.

His dodging/weaving when questioned directly is the rookie version of the political art he aspires to.

Saying, “Poor me, look at what I have endured!” shows his true character.

trl on August 16, 2011 at 11:55 PM

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