There are two basic reasons that President Barack Obama's political enemies treat him with such disdain and contempt. One is their awareness of his absolute dread of being labeled "an angry Black male."
He is so fearful of this that he has developed an aura of being Mr. Super Cool who can't be goaded into expressing anger, even righteous anger, over the distortions and outright lies hurled at him with impunity by those who are out to destroy him politically.
They gleefully defame, mock, denigrate, taunt and ridicule him; they question his honesty, his name, his citizenship, his competence, his racial identity, everything. And Mr. Super Cool doesn't respond. Or if he does respond, he comes off sounding like a Harvard professor responding to students who haven't properly researched a term paper. Someone must have told Obama years ago that, "Whatever you do, Barack, don't come off sounding like an angry Black male. That will upset White folks and tick them off." It is a pathetic sight to see him so passively accepting such calculated, vitriolic, race-influenced abuse.
A second reason his political enemies treat Obama with such scorn is their conclusion that he has no core beliefs, no bottom line below which he will not go. They are convinced that if they push, push, push, he will eventually cave in. So why should they bother negotiating or compromising with someone who has no bottom line on major policy issues, reasons his political enemies. The so-called debate over healthcare reform provides a graphic demonstration of how correctly they have analyzed Obama.
A by-product of their success is that numerous members of Obama's own party, seeing how effectively he can be bullied, have absolutely no intention of hurting their political careers by going out on a political limb for him when they know he will eventually succumb to the tenaciousness of his opponents.
If President Obama believes, for whatever reason, that he can't respond in kind to his political enemies, he better hurry up and get a James Carville-like political pit bull who will go "in yo' face" with his detractors.
His enemies provide several openings for such a response. For example, there is the "we gotta fight wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and anywhere else anyone dare not do as we say," contingent, most of these were draft dodgers during the Vietnam War. Then there are those who bellow about the government being too incompetent to oversee health reform; meanwhile they are covered by government-run health insurance programs. Another contingent that squawks about government spending under Obama, yet that rarely said a mumbling word about government spending when a member of their party was president for eight years and left behind an over trillion dollar budget deficit. Then there are those who oppose "Big Government" when it attempts to block economic exploitation, yet urges that same "Big Government" to regulate people's private lives. A skillful, ruthless pit bull-like operative could have a field day busting the political chops of these hypocrites.
I wrote this the morning before President Obama's State of the Union address. Nothing I saw or heard that evening compelled me to change any of the above.
Journalist/Lecturer A. Peter Bailey, a former associate editor of Ebony, has contributed freelance articles to numerous publications. He can be reached at [email protected]