Sarah Says: POTUS is Like “An Overgrown Little Boy”

It’s time to Break It Down!

To be more precise, this is the direct quote the former (underscore unsuccessful) Vice Presidential candidate used recently to describe the President:

“An impatient president doesn’t just get to trample our Constitution and ignore Congress just because he doesn’t get exactly what he wants every time he wants it,” Palin said. “It’s like an overgrown little boy who’s just acting kind of spoiled. And moms, we don’t put up with that, do we?”

I’ve grown accustomed, over the years, to taking most comments made by the partial-term Alaska Governor with a grain or two, or twenty, of salt. She has a knack for creatively influencing media coverage with the best of them. Of course, she is most effective when operating in the friendly (to her) confines of the Fox News studio.

Alas, I confess, when she chimes in, or rather endorses the oft-repeated GOP meme of Obama as infant, I am more than a little troubled. This past Saturday at U.S. Representative Steve King’s (Republican – Iowa) Iowa Freedom Summit, Mrs. Palin joined a number of other Republican voices in promulgating the next new attempt to minimize the stature and significance of the Leader of the Free World.

Infantilizing rhetoric such as the quote above is becoming a GOP norm with this President. A few examples include:

  • A few years ago, U.S. Representative Joe Walsh, Republican – Illinois, characterized President Obama as being “like a teenage boy.” Representative Walsh went on to add, “House Republicans effectively played the role of Obama’s parents.”
  • Rush Limbaugh has referred to President Obama as “the little black man-child,” and further compared him to “a little boy” that women voters “want to protect.”
  • The Wall Street Journal ran a piece last year in which a former Bush/Cheney administration official accused President Obama and his team of being “self-obsessed teenagers.” All total, the piece referred to President Obama and his team as “teenagers” six times in nine paragraphs.

Republicans have systematically skewered Democratic Presidents going at least as far back as Presidents Carter and Clinton. In those cases, however, the pattern did not include the insinuation that the President was less than adult. Frankly, all the certain to be deniers notwithstanding, it strikes me as just a sneakily backhanded way to malign and otherwise disparage a black man, who just happens to be Commander-in-Chief, by calling him “boy.” It is a slur. Not so vile and repugnant as the infamous N-word, but a racial slur, nonetheless.

All this reviewing of the GOP mind set regarding the President leads me to an interesting idea. Mrs. Palin has exuberantly told us what she thinks of our President. In turn, I wonder, what do you, gentle readers, think of the imperious Sarah Palin? Let’s transform this post into our very own plebiscite. That’s right; I am inviting you the readers of this post to weigh in and share your thoughts on Mrs. Palin. Feel free to make your opinion known, be it brief or exhaustive.

In my own view, if one were comparing and/or contrasting President Obama to any of the characters referenced above who assessed, shall we say, his “level of maturity,” versus theirs, objective observers would almost certainly find unanimously, that President Obama is the “adult in the room.”

“Sarah Says: POTUS is Like “An Overgrown Little Boy!”” What do you say? Comments are welcome; let me know by responding in the Blog Comment Section.

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State of the Union: Designated Survivor

It’s time to Break It Down!

The State of the Union Address…that moment each year, but especially during non-General Election years, when the President of the United States addresses the entire nation in Prime Time. Following last night’s address, President Obama’s penultimate, Republicans offered a rebuttal. Then, Cable News networks and a plethora of print and digital media parsed the speech and enthusiastically told us where and why the President failed or succeeded in setting a tone and laying a course FORWARD! Therefore, I’ll skip the opportunity to pile on what the “experts” have already told you.

That is not what this brief post is about. Rather, it centers on an obscure, but time-honored tradition (dating back to the Cold War years), of identifying a State of the Union Designated Survivor (SOTUDS). This year, that individual is Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

I was both interested and intrigued by President Obama’s selection this year because Secretary Foxx is a North Carolina native, a Charlottean, and former Mayor of North Carolina’s Queen City. To be sure, there is no circumstance imaginable under which we hope Mr. Foxx, or anyone else in this position would be required to ascend to and assume the responsibilities of the Presidency. Consider it a prudent, if not necessary precaution. But should the unthinkable have occurred and the Capitol and all in it have been destroyed in some kind of disastrous attack, Secretary Foxx would assume the reins of authority of the most powerful nation on earth.

You may not know it, but the SOTUDS is accorded many of the protections and protocols of the President…for one night. Those amenities included full Secret Service Protection, and a military aide carrying a briefcase with the codes to launch nuclear weapons. The position has often been held by a Cabinet Member, and must be someone Constitutionally eligible to become President. This caveat means some Administration officials, e.g., Sally Jewell, the British-born Secretary of the Interior, are not permitted to hold the position.

While it’s admittedly a cool gig, with little likelihood of turning into an immediate new long term job opportunity, complete with almost unfathomable responsibilities for the position’s occupant, it does come with what many of the highest Federal officials might consider a prime perk; the chance to engage in the pomp and circumstance of the State of the Union.

As a side bar note, it is frequently reported that a number of members of Congress spend hours, some arriving at the Capitol Building as early as 8 or 9 a.m. on the morning of the President’s address, just to get preferential aisle seats. Of course, members of the Administration would not likely take such extreme action. The point, however, is for many in political Washington, the President’s Cabinet included; the State of the Union Address is a proverbial hot ticket item. One which Secretary Fox missed it.

On the off chance the unpredictable, unimaginable, indefensible should have happened last night, Secretary Foxx would have instantaneously transformed from being the man behind many men and women to “the man!” Not surprisingly, it did not happen. So fear not citizens; no Independence Day (the movie), no foreign invasion, and no natural disaster exploding, or otherwise destroying our beloved and majestic Capitol last night. Alas, Secretary Foxx will have to wait his turn and perhaps actually run for the nation’s highest office, in order to become the first North Carolinian since Andrew Johnson, and the second African American to occupy the White House.

Now, I return you to your regular programming, which may include a cornucopia of talking heads extolling, decrying, or simply parsing the President’s comments. Weigh them for yourself; judge them according to your own standards and measures. Have at it. Meanwhile, my shout of the day goes to “State of the Union: Designated Survivor”…Secretary Anthony Foxx!

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British Prime Minister: Fox Pundit “A Complete Idiot!”

It’s time to Break It Down!

American Conservatives seem to actively seek out opportunities to try and insert a wedge between President Obama and our allies. No, it’s not just the American voters. They often start conversations with anecdotes about how the President has deferred to our enemies, and dissed our friends. The current meme revolves around the President not going to Paris last weekend to attend the Unity Rally.

Of course, had he attended, critics would have insisted it was just a glorified photo-op. But that’s beside the point. In fact President Obama has actually conceded, the Administration should have been represented. At least his humility is in tact.

It’s harder to reach that conclusion about some of the Conservatives. One such hardliner, Steven Emerson, a supposed “Internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security,” recently said on Fox News, “In Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”

Now that is a bold and bodacious claim in its own right. But Mr. Emerson did not stop there. He further stated, in “parts of London, there are actual religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to religious Muslim attire.”

London, of course, is the Capital and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, with a population of over nine million people; Birmingham is the second largest city, with over one million residents. For a Conservative, there is a certain irony that Mr. Emerson’s takes such liberal license when purportedly dispensing facts. In this case, his commentary went viral, and resulted in a deluge of Twitter mockery employing the hashtag #foxnewsfacts.

In response to the wave of protest and dissent, including that of British Prime Minister, David Cameron (More on the Prime Minister’s reaction momentarily) Mr. Emerson recanted. Well, sort of. He said, “I am issuing an apology and correction on my website immediately, for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham.” And with that, he did apologize. He simply didn’t take the story down on his website. SMH!

Back to David Cameron, who had this to say: “When I heard this, frankly, I choked on my porridge and I thought it must be April Fool’s Day,” adding, “This guy is clearly a complete idiot.”

In a different interview, Gisela Stuart, who represents Birmingham in the House of Commons, added, “I checked whether this was some kind of early April Fool spoof, and then I thought he was talking about Birmingham, Alabama. But then I realized he was just utterly and completely wrong.”

The reality is Birmingham’s Muslim population is 22%. Not 100%, or 80%, or even 50%. There are plenty of non-Muslims who live in, and go to, the city every day. There is also no such thing as “Muslim religious police” – in London, Birmingham, or any other part of the UK – beating anyone. Go figure.

When you are considered an “Internationally recognized expert on terrorism and national security,” you likely have numerous opportunities to weigh in on the subject. It appears Mr. Emerson has had his share. In that regard, paraphrasing Country Music singer Vern Gosdin, “This Was Not His First Rodeo.”

In 1995, Mr. Emerson had this to say: “Oklahoma City, I can tell you, is probably considered one of the largest centers of Islamic radical activity outside the Middle East.” He made this bold assertion just after the Oklahoma City Bombing…and just before anti-government radical Timothy McVeigh was arrested for it. Oops!

Even in a world with no more elections, President Obama, faced with Birthers, bellyachers, and would be blockers, on a daily basis, is unlikely to characterize any of his detractors in such direct, even if accurate, terms. Alas, here is one instance in which a bona fide ally has communicated with unequivocal candor the lack of intellectual heft and veracity associated this specific conservative’s argument and logic. British Prime Minister: Fox Pundit “A Complete Idiot!” If you’ll allow me to channel President Obama for a moment, I imagine he is at least thinking, “Long live David Cameron.”

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The GOP Has Taken Over Congress: Are You Ready for This?

It’s Time to Break It Down!

Yesterday, as dictated by the U.S. Constitution, Congress convened at noon. On the Senate floor, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky automatically ascended to Majority Leaded, based on a vote by rank-and-file members late last year. On the other side of the Capitol, there was slightly more suspense as a group of hard core Right Wing members acted on their vow to oppose Representative John Boehner from Ohio.

I’ll spare you the gritty details. Twenty-four members voted for a candidate other than Mr. Boehner. The Speaker won on the first ballot, collecting 216 votes. And they are off.

Over the past 6 years, the GOP has made pretty much every effort to circle the wagons and oppose President Obama at every front. Now that, for the first time during Mr. Obama’s tenure, he will face opposition from a majority of Republicans in both Houses of Congress, there are reasons to believe that the GOP will intensify their efforts. A significant basis for such reasoning stems from the prognoses offered by prominent members of the Republican Party. Senator McConnell has promised to forge ahead with legislation to force approval of the TransCanada Corps Keystone XL pipeline. Many Democrats, including the President see this project as a threat to the environment. Supporters, mostly Republicans argue the project will create jobs and increase North American energy security.

Another item Republicans vow to challenge is funding for Homeland Security. Republicans have threatened to compartmentalize and parcel out funding for the agency in an effort to limit resources aimed at facilitating the President’s Executive Order on immigration, as well as the President’s actions to normalize relations with Cuba. One-way of looking at the matter is, New Year, same goal…stop Obama. However, now, the loyal opposition, which is probably a misnomer, is buttressed by having secured a majority in both Houses of Congress.

There is general agreement that the President’s initiatives and policies are frequently a target of fierce opposition by Republicans. However, the basis for the opposition is widely debated. As a rule, Republicans insist they simply disagree with the President’s policies. They add his initiatives are too liberal, cost too much money, are too restrictive of the private sector, limit job creation, and slow the economy. In fact, this narrative was at the top of the news cycle as Democrats got their proverbial clocks cleaned during the midyear elections in 2014.This often specious line of reasoning persists, despite the facts on the ground.

Which facts are those, you may ask? I’m glad you asked!

The pertinent facts relative to this specific discussion are:

January 2009………………………………………November 2014

(When President Obama Took Office)

7,949…………………The Dow Jones Index……………..17,390

7.8%…………………..Unemployment…………………….. 5.9%

-5.4%………………….GDP Growth………………………….4.6%

9.8%…………………..Deficit GDP %………………………. 2.8%

37.7……………………Consumer Confidence……………..94.5

Also under President Obama’s leadership, the economy has added private sector jobs for 57 straight months. During this span, 10.9 million private sector jobs have been created. – See more at:

Many of the President’s supporters have the temerity to assert that at least some of the visceral anger surrounding the debate on President Obama and is policies has a racial component. Actually, that is the claim to which many of the President’s critics default. In point of counterfactual order, I am compelled to note that one of the most ardent members of the President’s opposition, Rush Limbaugh, makes the claim that Mr. Obama has gotten a break…because he is black. He contended just this week, “It’s Much Easier To Throw In With The First African American President Than To Oppose Him,” or else you “Might Face Allegations Of Racism.”

In other words, the people who experience racism, and deign to speak about it, are the racists. What a stroke of journalistic brilliance that is! But it’s not just conservative journalists…and radio entertainers, who have interesting views and associations relative to this matter.

Recently, there was a flap about a speaking engagement Representative Steve Scalise, of Louisiana, who when he was a State Representative spoke to a racist organization founded by David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard. The group, called EURO, is short for European-­American Unity and Rights Organization. When the speech came to light last week, Representative Scalise denied he knew the group’s leanings, or the meaning of the event.

This was his story, despite the fact that at the time, Mr. Duke was one of the most prominent residents of his state, and his association with the Klan, well known, if not legendary. All of this has substantial significance because, among other things, he is the new House Majority Whip. The apparent affinity of the GOP with the ideals of racializing politics has been an active reality since Mr. Nixon rolled out the “Southern strategy” in 1968. The concept was designed to leverage the racial resentment of whites over federally mandated integration into an electoral majority. The rest, as they say is history.

Even some conservatives question the viability of Mr. Scalise’s see no evil protestation. Erick Erickson, a prominent conservative blogger tweeted: How Do You Show Up at a David Duke Event and Not Know What It Is?”

Speaker Boehner was placed in the unenviable position of defending his new Whip. He characterized Mr. Scalise’s speaking to white supremacists as “an error in judgment,” and he noted Scalise was “right to acknowledge it was wrong and inappropriate.” Despite his faux pas, Speaker Boehner called Scalise “a man of high integrity and good character.” Other friends and supporters chimed in with evidence of how demonstrably non-racist the gentleman from Louisiana truly is. After all, he was an early supporter of Governor Bobby Jindal, the Republican Governor of Louisiana, and an Indian American. Check. He coached in a predominantly black New Orleans basketball league. Check. He voted against the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. OK, nobody is perfect.

American demographics are changing. If the GOP is to thrive and survive, it will need to be agile, innovative, and flexible. It will ultimately need to devise effective strategies to appeal to a diverse array of citizens. However, all things considered, one way not to attract African American and Latino voters — in fact, one way to repel them, along with the votes of some whites as well — is to continue to act in ways that demonstrate the party is still happy to welcome the support of unrepentant racists and anti-Semites.

It is altogether conceivable that the Republican Party will say clearly that anyone associated with David Duke, his organizations, or any racist association should find somebody else for whom to vote…someday. But apparently, if the Scalise saga is any indication, that day has yet to come. So, “The GOP Has Taken Over Congress: Are You Ready for This?”

I’m done; holla back!

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