Someone named Karen Travers over at ABC News blogged that the White House press corps is feeling spurned by Barack Obama these days. It seems the bone she has to pick is that while the President loves to give speeches he hasn’t had a full one-on-one press conference since July 2009.
It’s an understandable gripe. Obama has never quite honed the art of the succinct response – the clever JFK-like quip, the Reagan-esque ability to fend off a Helen Thomas zinger (back when Helen could conjugate verbs).
The President’s last attempt at a real-deal press foray was back in July 2009, when he called the Cambridge cops stupid and then spent a week fending off the media frenzy, culminating in the now historic “Beer Summit.”
No, BHO’s comfort zone is speaking to arena rock venues where he can jut his chin and bask in the adoration of crowds, yelling, “Il Duce! Il Duce! Il Duce!” or the lecture venue where we all learn something we can take away and teach others.
Last night’s State of the Union was the latter with a tinge of the former thrown in for good measure. Last night everybody learned something. How to tick off the Supreme Court and alienate at least one justice.
This morning the headlines neglected “Il Obama’s” dissing of the Court for its decision against McCain-Feingold, and attacked Justice Samuel Alito for his reaction. But did you see the reaction on liberal Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsberg’s face? The woman was in complete shock!
Why? Because in her wildest nightmare Justice Ginsberg never dreamed of a day when she would be a guest in Congress while a President of the United States insulted and humiliated she and her colleagues. Scolded them like a tenth-grade civics class. Not one member of the Court, liberal or conservative, was comfortable in that room.
Okay, I understand that we’ve relaxed the rules. We don’t have to wear a tie when we show up at work or go to church anymore. Brad Pitt or someone sets our luncheon protocols now. I understand that it’s all right not to hold a door open for a woman in public. I understand that simple good manners are no longer considered necessary. And if nothing else Barack Obama is a precedent breaker. His decision to try the 9-11 terrorists in federal court broke 236 years of precedent in U.S. treatment of its enemies in time of war.
But is nothing sacred?
Our traditions, precedents and protocols are important, particularly when the President is engaging in one of the most honored traditions in the history of the nation.
The Birthers have been fierce in their insistence that the Obama is not an American citizen, but I believe they have missed the weightier argument. The President is a U.S. citizen by accident of birth only. He doesn’t share the values or traditions of mainstream Americans.
The White House is standing behind his words today, and I would expect no less. He has the right to say what he pleases. But he is not a gentleman and he is un-American in the only way that really matters. In his heart.