Some people need a House to fall on them in order to see the light.
Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) appeared to be in a state of shock following his attempt at negotiating with the president during “Fiscal Cliff” talks. But, if he and other Republicans think that now that taxes have been raised on the wealthy, they can move on to spending cuts, they still aren’t getting it.
The Speaker expressed surprise during an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore, when the president said, “We don’t have a spending problem.” Boehner indicated he also had to recover from astonishment when Obama reportedly told him that the country’s massive deficits are derived from health care. At yet another moment, the Speaker, after conceding on $800 billion in new taxes, said he asked President Obama, “What am I getting?” Obama reportedly responded, “You don’t get anything for it. I’m taking that anyway.”
Despite these hostile and arrogant responses from the president, Boehner gave his analysis of the problem as: “He’s so ideological himself, and he’s unwilling to take on the left wing of his own party.”
Aptly titled, “The Education of John Boehner,” Moore’s article illustrates a stunned Speaker who still can’t believe what is happening in same-old Washington, and who still is expecting, and hoping, that Barack Obama will finally decide to be a president who will lead this country back to greatness.
Boehner blames the president’s failure to lead on his “ideology.” What the Speaker is missing, however, is that Obama cannot be a “real” president, not so much because of his ideology, but because of his character, and it is a character that is not going to change, will not allow “working together,” and is devoted to making Obama look good, and nothing else.
Since he took office, the president has been described as thin-skinned, egotistical, arrogant, narcissistic, petulant, and, yes, all of these things are the reason why John Boehner can’t sit down and talk to this president about what matters to this country. Individuals who share these character qualities can make one’s life very difficult if you happen to live with them, and they can ruin your country if they happen to be your president.
Neera Tanden, a former aide to Barack Obama, commented on the president’s personality style in a piece in New York magazine that highlighted the relationship between Obama and Bill Clinton.
“People say the reason Obama wouldn’t call Clinton is because he doesn’t like him,” Tanden said. “The truth is, Obama doesn’t call anyone, and he’s not close to almost anyone. It’s stunning that he’s in politics, because he really doesn’t like people. My analogy is that it’s like becoming Bill Gates without liking computers.”
Obama’s character traits have been on display for four years now. His arrogance was exhibited during the televised “Healthcare Summit” when he scolded Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), saying “We’re not campaigning anymore. The election’s over.”
During the same meeting, House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) sealed his fate with the deeply resentful president when he outshone Obama with his preparedness and budgetary genius.
It is important to keep in mind that individuals with the kind of character tendencies Obama exhibits actually harbor negative self-images and attempt to counter them by derogating and blaming others. They cannot tolerate the envy they experience when faced with others with high abilities who are successful. At every available turn, they will use the powers they have to mock and humiliate those who threaten them with perceived superiority.
This type of behavior was easily seen in Bret Baier’s Fox News interview with the president just prior to the ObamaCare vote. While many perceived Obama as thin-skinned, hypersensitive, and condescending during the interview, the liberal media covered for the president by claiming Baier “interrupted” him too often.
More petulance was on display during the last set of debt ceiling talks. When House Majority Leader Eric Cantor reportedly would not acquiesce to the president’s demands to raise taxes, Obama ultimately responded by abruptly storming out of the room.
Maturity is not on the list of attributes for those with these character traits. In his book, The Price of Politics, Bob Woodward wrote about Obama’s strategy to divide Speaker Boehner and Cantor during the debt talks. Woodward reported: “You know Cantor’s trying to get your job, the president told Boehner. He’s trying to screw you.” In this example, Obama uses his now trademark divisiveness – an immature, though effective, mechanism, to gain traction.
As might be expected, individuals with these characteristics tend to withdraw from relationships. They frequently cannot cope with problems and conflicts, and so resort to controlling and domineering strategies that they view as self-enhancing. If problems become intense, they often disappear from the scene completely. In Obama’s case, a multitude of vacations and golf outings, even during crises, get him out of the fray while surrogates do the dirty work.
It is true that individuals who frequently display arrogance, petulance, and narcissism often have fantasies of grandeur, exhibit a sense of entitlement, self-centeredness, and a tendency to exploit others for their own personal gain. What is also true, however, is that these same individuals are often charming and gregarious, seeking superficial relationships and situations that will allow the maximum amount of flattery and positive feedback. If being the first black, most liberal President of the United States doesn’t do that for Barack Obama, it’s hard to know what will.
Despite his negative character patterns, Obama is surrounded by an adoring media, and many apparent “low information voters,” who are only interested in face-value data – just perfect to keep up his image. Actually, the office of President offers Obama the greatest insulation of all. Whatever critics might say, he can respond, and he does so quite often, “I’m the president.”
John Boehner, and, perhaps some Republicans, may continue to be shocked by the things this president will do and say. But, the president is not going to change. The best thing Republicans can do is insist on public meetings with him, because it is in public that Obama is at his weakest, and generally resorts to his arrogant, petulant coping strategies that demonstrate his lack of maturity and his primary goal of making himself look good.
Transparency is not only the right thing to do for the American people. It is the best way for Republicans to reveal the real Barack Obama.