Is “mommy issues” even a known attack line against Trump? I’ve had to sift through an endless volume of stories about him in writing about politics over the past three years but can’t remember that particular criticism being raised once. And pretty much every criticism that can remotely plausibly be made against Trump has been made. Many, many times.
Also, why would Obama target Trump for having hang-ups about his parents when his biggest claim to fame before becoming a national figure was writing a book about his own daddy issues? It’d be begging for a tu quoque.
While employing the stern “we” used for toddlers in time-out, Obama said that our country’s problems with agriculture, education, sustainable energy, and more were not hard problems to fix, but: “the reason we don’t do it is because we are still confused, blind, shrouded with hate, anger, racism, mommy issues,” he said, per The Atlantic…
While plenty of people have taken aim at Trump with jabs at his “small hands,” hair, and other easy targets, Obama stayed highbrow with his comments about the Republican candidate in 2016. He simply warned then that Trump was “temperamentally unfit” for the job. But now it’s 2018, the midterms are over, Democrats took the House, and Trump is still president. It seems Obama is letting loose a little.
It’s almost giving Obama too much credit to believe he was talking about Trump specifically. The man’s ego is so much bigger than that. After watching the clip below, I agree with Ann Althouse:
The Daily Mail assumes Obama was specifically talking about Trump and attempts to delve into Trump’s possible “mommy issues.” I think Obama might be talking more generally about the problem of the human psyche. “Mommy issues” came last on a list he constructed on the spot, so I think it was just one more idea about things that complicate human psychology. But I think the author of “Dreams From My Father” has at least as many “mommy issues” as the next guy.
Yeah. He’s not claiming that climate change can’t be solved because one man who happens to be power is a captive of his own weird, primitive, “blind,” hateful mind. He’s saying that all climate change opponents are that way. And not just climate change opponents. Name a political issue and President Spock probably suspects, secretly or not so secretly, that his opponents just haven’t advanced yet to the same stage of enlightenment that he has. You’re “blinded” by your anger whereas he, as a creature of pure light, has put that aside and can see the problem clearly. The “mommy issues” comment is a comment on the frailty of the human mind generally. Which he, heroically, has risen above.
Contrast his point here with the famous bitter-clinger comments from 2008. He was talking there about working-class people in states like Pennsylvania, many of whom would go on to vote for him that year, feeling disillusioned about the lack of economic growth in their communities. (They must have still been disillusioned after eight years of Obama because many of them voted for Trump in 2016.) “And it’s not surprising,” he said, “then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.” In both cases he has trouble imagining good-faith disagreement with his own political views, a common ailment nowadays but not often diagnosed in Obama by his media fans. If you think there’s too much immigration (or if you’re, uh, religious) then it’s because you’re “bitter.” If you’re skeptical about man-made climate change or the urgency of addressing it, you’re “angry.”
But there’s a key difference too. In 2008 O was at least willing to assume a sympathetic motive among his antagonists. If you lived in a community that had been economically depressed for decades, who’d fault you for being “bitter”? In 2018 Obama seems to be past that. If you’re on the other side now, you’re “shrouded in hate.” Progress, I believe they call it.
Anyway, the smoking gun here that he’s not talking specifically about Trump is that you would never focus on POTUS’s mother if you were intent on psychoanalyzing him from the standpoint of parental hang-ups. Daddy, not mommy, is the figure who looms over Trump.