Stand still and let him hit you!

Seriously. Jonathan Capehart:

Obama’s fight — for respect


Still, the hard-core move by Obama to address the nation before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 7 — the same night as a Republican presidential debate — resonated with me and more than a few others around the country because of what it symbolized. A willingness by the president to fight. But when House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) issued his honey-coated push back over the date, I and others said (ok, demanded) the president should deliver his speech on the day of his choosing. For me, this was not a demand rooted in politics. It was rooted in weariness at the ongoing lack of respect for the presidency and this president.

As Jim Downie pointed out in his excellent post last night, Boehner’s rejection of Obama’s joint-session request is unprecedented. Mind you, this isn’t the first time this speaker thumbed his nose at this president. During one of the most dramatic moments of the debt-ceiling talks, Obama called Boehner twice to follow up on a conversation about additional revenue in the grand bargain they’d been negotiating in secret. He was told the speaker was unavailable. And then there was Boehner’s offensive response on “Meet The Press” to questions about the persistent lie that Obama was a closet Muslim who wasn’t born in the United States. “As the speaker of the House, as the leader,” he was asked by moderator David Gregory, “Do you not think it’s your responsibility to stand up to that kind of ignorance?”

It’s not my job to tell the American people what to think. Our job in Washington is to listen to the American people. Having said that, the state of Hawaii has said that he was born there. That’s good enough for me. The president says he’s a Christian. I accept him at his word.

When George W. Bush was president, harsh things were said all the time by congressional Democrats and their leaders. Some even crossed the line.Yet, while there was disdain for the man in the Oval Office, respect for the office itself was never in doubt. I seriously worry that it’s in doubt now among some Republicans. Each petty slight by Boehner is one more chip away at respect for the presidency.


When Obama tries to preempt the GOP debate Capehart thinks that’s a good thing. When the Congressional Republicans refuse to be pushed around, they are disrespecting the President.

As for Boehner’s answer on Meet the Press, it reminds me of the fauxrage over Hillary’s answer on 60 Minutes about whether Obama was a Muslim:

The fact is, if you look at Clinton’s exchange with Kroft in its entirety, which lasted less than one minute, I count eight separate times in which she either plainly denied the false claim that Obama was Muslim, labeled that suggestion to be a smear, or expressed sympathy for Obama having to deal with the Muslim innuendo. Eight times:

CLINTON: Of course not. I mean, that’s–you know, there is not basis for that. You know, I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn’t any reason to doubt that.

KROFT: And you said you’d take Senator Obama at his word that he’s not a Muslim.

CLINTON: Right. Right.

KROFT: You don’t believe that he’s a Muslim or implying? Right.

CLINTON: No. No. Why would I? No, there is nothing to base that on, as far as I know.

KROFT: It’s just scurrilous —

CLINTON: Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors. I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time.

Want to complain that Clinton’s answers contained too many qualifiers, while at the same time acknowledging her initial response? That’s fair game. And that’s what New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof did on March 9, when he noted, “When Mrs. Clinton was asked in a television interview a week ago whether Mr. Obama is a Muslim, she denied it firmly — but then added, most unfortunately, ‘as far as I know.’ ”

But to set aside Clinton’s denials and suggest that “as far as I know” captured her entire response is patently dishonest. Yet that’s exactly what many media players did.

Why do Obama supporters and the media (but I repeat myself) find it necessary to be so dishonest?


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47 Responses to Stand still and let him hit you!

  1. 1539days says:

    That’s some good crazy right there.

    First of all, respect does have to be earned. You do not earn respect because you spent the most money and wom the White House. The Democrats in Congress showed him respect. They passed the crap he wanted. The voters showed their opinion on that legislation in 2010. The Republicans showed Obama the respect he earned for two years beforehand.

    I’d like to know where these pundits think “respecting the office” of the president ends. Does it mean capitulating to all of his whims? Does it mean praising him for killing figureheads? Did anyone ask a Democrat is Bush was a Christian? Did they ever ask if Clinton was one?

  2. 1539days says:

    To continue:

    The media wants to put it on record that Obama is a Christian because Obama pays little to no lip service to it. Really, being a Christian is a personal thing. I don’t think he’s even found a new church since the Rev. Wright. Citizenship is a legal matter. Asking a politician if they think Obama was born in this country is stupid. Either he was or he wasn’t and wishing will not make it so.

    The speech schedule was not a fight for anything. It was picking a fight. It’s another example of not caring if he wastes other people’s time and money. Boehner showed Obama the same respect shown to him.

    • Mary says:

      Amen! And Obama deserves the very same kind of respect shown to George W. Bush when he was president.

      You don’t have to like Dubya, to show respect to the office of the president. Or, if you demand freedom of speech to diss Dubya, ya gotta be willing to respect the other side’s right to same.

      Capeheart is a weenie little hypocritical asshat. F’in grow up, Johanthan.

  3. WMCB says:

    So after all this ridiculous buildup over the next Greatest Speech on Jobs Evah, it seems that Obama is going to be coy, and keep his real plan close to the vest, to be teased out over the campaign season.

    Because, ya know, he’s all about decisive action, not words and bamboozling. What a dick.

    Oh. My. God.: Obama’s Joint Speech To Congress Will Only Be Part of His Plan

    This is “lowering expectations,” of course. Having raised them so high, Obama now finds himself in the uncomfortable position of having demanded a dramatic national stage… and having not much at all to say.

    So how does he get out of this jam? Well, he’s claiming the Great Big Speech he made such a jackass fuss over is just one of a series of Great Big Speeches. And so he can console disappointed listeners with the claim, “But all my best stuff is coming later.”

    Right. Save the really good stuff for an impromptu meet and greet at a Harris Teeter in Virginia. A nationally televised speech before a joint session of Congress is naturally where you’d want to to just talk about your weaker ideas.

    Aides say Thursday’s speech will be part of a bigger plan the White House will roll out throughout the fall with the president hitting the road for speeches and town hall appearances. Aides have already confirmed that Obama will be traveling to California, Colorado, and Washington state for one three-day swing later this month that will include economic events as well as some fundraising.

    Obama is a lame duck president. He’s just killing time and avoiding decisions until he can hit the road and do the only thing he actually enjoys or has any skills at, which is delivering “inspiring” empty speeches to his choir of Obots and media sycophants. He really believes that he’s going to recapture the magic, run as a Washington “outsider”, and promise the moon after 4 years of doing Jack Shit and running the country into the ground.

    • votermom says:

      The 3rd comment over there sums it up:

      To find out more call this toll free number, now!

      (Have your credit card ready.)

      • WMCB says:

        I liked this one:

        Subscribe now to my new monthly series, Great Speeches On Creating Jobs In The Economy And Shit, and I’ll throw in an iPod preloaded with Michelle’s stirring patriotic monologue, America, A Country I Sometimes Feel Like I Could Rule Over Without Too Much Embarassment.

    • WMCB says:

      I’m still laughing over the massive stupidity of this. Bambi whined and whinged and stomped his feet that he NEEDED the Big Important Stage of a joint session to say Big Important Things!!!, and now his aides are spreading the word that the speech is not really going to outline The Plan, it’s just going to be some kind of vague prelude to…….. some other vague ideas he has that will be shared at a later date?

      • WMCB says:

        I know I’m repeating myself, but it’s just mind-boggling. It’s important enough that you HAD to call a Joint Session of the effing United States Effing Congress to present it, but now they want to claim it’s not really that big a deal, and not really a plan plan, just some ideas….??

        Then why did you need a joint session? Do they really expect the public to buy this crap??? When he’s made it so obvious that the only reason he “needed” a joint session was as a nice backdrop and scenery for his campaign kickoff closeup?

        I got news for Obama. Jessica Tandy did a much better Blanche Dubois. And as much as the public loved the role, we’d not have elected Blanche president.

  4. myiq2xu says:

    James Freeman:

    Much of the media has been running with the claim that a president’s request to speak to Congress has never been rejected until this week. Various Capitol Hill “historians” have been quoted saying that House Speaker John Boehner took unprecedented action when he cited the difficulty of hosting President Obama on the president’s requested date of Sept. 7. We’re not so sure.

    The truth is that you don’t have to go back that far in the nation’s history to find a similar circumstance. And unlike the current speaker, who quickly agreed to host the president on the following day, Sept. 8, a previous holder of the gavel refused to grant the White House request, regardless of the date and time.

    The June 24, 1986, edition of The Wall Street Journal featured a story headlined, “President’s Bid to Address the House On Nicaragua Is Rejected by Speaker.” That’s right, no quibbling over the date and time, just a flat-out rejection. In that case, President Ronald Reagan wanted to address the House before its critical vote on funding for the anti-communist “Contra” rebels in Nicaragua. Then-Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neil said that he was willing to host a Reagan speech if it was expanded to include the Senate in a joint session, or he would allow the President to speak to the House alone if the President would also agree to take questions from lawmakers. Otherwise, there would be no Reagan speech in the House chamber. Reagan already had the votes to prevail in the Senate, and Mr. O’Neil wanted to avoid having the spotlight turned on the House, which would make him and his colleagues accountable to the public if Contra aid were rejected.

    Both Speaker O’Neil then and Speaker Boehner this week were on very solid Constitutional ground. The president has no more right to take over the proceedings in the House, or to invite himself in, than does the speaker have the right to commandeer the president’s time and attention within the White House. On this point, the meaning of a separate Article I and Article II in the Constitution couldn’t be clearer.

  5. WMCB says:

    BTW, the Obots and media running around screaming “UNPRECEDENTED!!” about Boehner’s objection to the date and asking the President to choose another day?

    It’s not unprecedented at all. Tip O’Neill refused to let Reagan address the House on Nicaragua. He didn’t just change the date, he FLATLY REFUSED.

    The June 24, 1986, edition of The Wall Street Journal featured a story headlined, “President’s Bid to Address the House On Nicaragua Is Rejected by Speaker.” That’s right, no quibbling over the date and time, just a flat-out rejection. In that case, President Ronald Reagan wanted to address the House before its critical vote on funding for the anti-communist “Contra” rebels in Nicaragua.

    Now, one can quibble that this was just the House, not a Joint Session. But that hardly upholds their “unprecedented disrespect, must be because he’s black” argument, does it?

  6. soupcity says:

    The only way this speech would live up to it’s hype is if he said, “I have a party to go to, Michelle’s waiting” and handed the podium over to one of the Clintons.

  7. votermom says:

    This comment over at HotAir made me lol.

    If Bill Clinton was the honorary first black president, then Obama is the honorary first zombie president. “Speeeeeeeeeeeech! Speeeeeeeeeeeech! Speeeeeeeeech!!” Seriously, he has such a one-track mind, it is hard to think there is anything else going on there.

    Speeches and townhalls? Has not this president spent enough time with messaging? Does he not understand that he was elected to lead and not communicate, cajole, or convince? Does he even need a press secretary with that much podium time telling the country what to think?

    For those who are worried about the Republican primary challengers, I want you to turn on QVC right now and look at whatever item they may be selling. I am telling you, the way things are now, THAT item can beat Obama in the election.

    Magic 8 Ball for President!

    StubbleSpark on September 2, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Right now QVC is selling birkenstocks (I checked). I would vote for those.

  8. DandyTiger says:

    Good follow up regarding the Fed raid on Gibson guitars:

    • DandyTiger says:

      From that article:

      There are no laws on the books in the U.S. prohibiting the use of Indian or Madagascar rosewood and ebony. That didn’t stop the industrious John M. Rayfield, a special agent at the Fish and Wildlife service, from concluding that Gibson’s use of these woods violated Indian law. The law he cites in his affidavit, “W.E.F. 23.08.2010 Government of India, Ministry of Commerce and Industry,” has nothing to do with overharvesting, illegal logging, or anything else related to the environment. Rather, it specifies labor content levels for wood thicker than 6 millimeters that is exported from India. In other words, Gibson stands accused of using U.S. instead of Indian labor to produce its guitars. Had the company imported a finished guitar from India, using the same rosewood and ebony, it would have been in compliance with Lacey. Importing semi-finished component parts caused the violation. In practice, the Indian authorities have a different interpretation of their law: For decades they have allowed the export of millions of fingerboard blanks without challenge.

  9. yttik says:

    Respect really does have to be earned. I suppose you can earn something similar to respect by acting like a total jerk, but that’s the kind of respect you show your enemies, your worthy opponents. Obama can’t even seem to earn that kind, where people at least give you a wide berth.

    Really, I don’t know what was worse, demanding that congress host his speech without asking, or capitulating when he was confronted. That’s like trying to be a jerk and a weenie at the same time and admitting you haven’t got a clue about how to be either one.

  10. imustprotest says:

    Just announced today: Obama withdraws EPA ozone standards

    • imustprotest says:

      from the link:

      “The Obama administration is caving to big polluters at the expense of protecting the air we breathe,” League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski said in a statement. “This is a huge win for corporate polluters and huge loss for public health.”

      An EPA representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

      • 1539days says:

        You notice how every time he does something that would piss off the left now, they’re calling it “caving?” I’m sure any liberal thing he’s done is a bold decision. He chose to do all this crap in the end.

  11. imustprotest says:

    Also from politico. Silence is golden. Obama makes no statement about today’s jobs report and instead heads for Camp David.

  12. fif says:

    This is the same old tired “Leave Bawack aloooone!” crap. He’s always the victim (instead of a hapless loser who is in way over his head). They just can’t admit it–no matter how ineffectual he is and how low his poll numbers go. Denial is really something to witness. And then he throws in that ridiculous caveat about Bush. I couldn’t stand Bush, but to suggest that he was lampooned and disrespected on a continual basis is just a lie. And we all know what the dog whistle is (pssst…it’s the color of his skin…that’s the REAL issue).

    Snore. I can’t wait until he is no longer president. Unfortunately, we might be looking at (gulp) President Perry. Thanks for nothing Dems!

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