**Posted by Phineas
By now I’m sure you’ve all heard about how President Barack Obama –Chief of State, Chief Executive, and Commander in Chief of the United States of America– got upset in a meeting with House Majority Leader Cantor and stormed out in a huff, because he wasn’t getting his way. But do take note of the highlighted portion:
The Majority Leader recounted that toward the end of the discussions President Obama instructed negotiators to “get in the mode” because a final decision would have to be made by Friday. Cantor said he told the president that the two sides remain so far apart at this point that he doubted they could get to $2.5 trillion in cuts (to match the debt increase requested by the administration, enough to get through the 2012 election) given the time available. President Obama has said he will not sign any increase to the debt ceiling less than that amount, and Cantor had previously insisted that the House would vote no more than one time to increase the debt limit. Cantor said he was willing to abandon his position in order to allow some kind of short-term measure to increase the debt limit and reassure credit markets while negotiations continue, and asked the president if he would be willing to consider this option.
At this point, Cantor explained, the president became “very agitated” and said he had “sat here long enough,” that “Ronald Reagan wouldn’t sit here like this” and “something’s got to give.” Obama then told Republicans they either needed to compromise on their insistence on a dollar for dollar ratio of spending cuts to debt increase or agree to a “grand bargain” including massive tax increases. Before walking out of the room, Cantor said, the president told him: “Eric, don’t call my bluff. I’m going to the American people with this.” He then “shoved back” and said “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Don’t call my bluff?” Isn’t that telling Cantor that, y’know, you’re bluffing?
More seriously, this says something about the character of the man in the Oval Office. Remember how, way back in 2007-08, we were told of his world class temperament, how he was “No-Drama Obama?” Or, more recently, how he’s claimed to be the “adult in the room?”
Sounds like someone doesn’t want to eat his peas.
In an update to the article, Andrew Stiles presents the Democrats side of the story, claiming that the Republicans were just “spinning.” But I wonder…
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Obama get huffy and petulant when challenged. Remember this interview in Texas? Or the archetypal “Why can’t I just eat my waffle” moment? Or this moment of glory for Captain Cool from the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009:
According to rumors in the Bella Center, US President Barack Obama at about 11 PM, had impatiently asked to speak with Wen Jiabao in order to advance the discussion. But Obama had to wait. Wen, who, it was rumored, had rarely left his hotel room, could not be found. Finally, the US delegation located him in a room set aside for negotiations. A visibly furious Obama, according to reports, stormed into the room. “Are you now ready to talk with me, Premier Wen?” he was reported to have shouted. “Are you now ready? Premier Wen, are you now ready to talk with me?” What a scene for a US president.
Far from having a world-class temperament, it appears he has a world-class temper and has trouble controlling it.
It’s hard to avoid concluding that, in the most basic sense of the word, Obama is “immature.” That is, untested, undeveloped, and lacking in experiences that would give him the emotional and character tools needed to handle the challenges of his job.
Remember, prior to becoming president, he had never held an executive job or other post with command responsibility in his life. Even as a state legislator, he mostly voted “present,” thus not taking responsibility. In the board positions he filled, his job was to hand out other people’s money, but he was never held to account for the results of that spending and he never had to make tough choices about spending priorities.
This is a man who, in my estimation, skated by until now on his charm, good looks, and the need of White leftists and liberals to assuage their guilt. For the first time in his life and in a time of crisis, Barack Obama is being held responsible for his poor decisions; for the first time in his life, he isn’t being allowed to vote “present;” and, for the first time in his life, he is being told “no.” He doesn’t like it, not a bit.
And so he throws a tantrum.
For all his faults, George W. Bush as president took responsibility for his duties and his actions. He really was the “adult in the room.”
Now, with Barack Obama, we instead have a sulking man-child.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)