Another tingle probably went up Chris Matthews’ leg this past week when he heard Obama “come out” with an open endorsement of gay marriage. Obama’s statement may or may not be a change in his position on the issue, but one aspect of his announcement is especially troubling.
Media elites predictably think this will be a big boost to Obama’s campaign. In fact, the left-wing media have gone into orgasmic elation over Obama’s “courageous” act of leadership. Pardon me, but courageous is not the adjective needed to describe Obama’s craven pursuit of gay activists’ campaign dollars.
When Republicans venture into issues like gay marriage and abortion, the liberal media always deride it as “divisive” or “distracting.” Yet, strangely, when it’s Obama breaking new ground, it’s always “bold and courageous.”
Let’s forget about the fact that Obama was forced into this act of “heroism” by the loose lips of his vice president and the embarrassing tap dance of his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, as he tried to “explain” the president’s opinion on the subject. Regardless of the circumstances, Obama chose to expand on his views and openly endorse gay marriage.
Whether or not this is truly a new or “evolved” position or simply the first public admission of a view he has held for many years is beside the point. Nor is the timing of the statement the main feature we ought to focus on.
Instead, for the moment let’s look beyond the gay marriage issue itself and the political fallout of the statement as a campaign event. Let’s look at how Obama chose to state his changed view on this matter. There is a revealing part of Obama’s statement that hardly anyone in the media have picked up on.
There was something Obama said while explaining his “evolving,” or better yet, revolving attitude on gay marriage that gives a rare insight into just who Barack Husain Obama really is.
At one point Obama says, “When I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage – at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.”
Really? Those soldiers are out there fighting “ON MY BEHALF”? Good Lord! Doesn’t anyone in the media know how to spell the word egomaniac? Shouldn’t we wonder about the state of mind of a person who would use the word “my” instead our “our” or “the nation’s” when describing the sacrifice of men and women in the armed forces?
This was not some slip of the tongue. Such egocentrism in major policy statements has become a pattern for Obama – not only a pattern of speech, but a pattern of behavior. Obama’s obsession with putting “me” at the center of everything has become one of the hallmarks of his presidency.
No one should be too surprised by Obama’s cynical use of the military as a prop for announcing a change in his policy toward gay marriage. Other presidents, Republicans and Democrats, have sometimes used an audience of soldiers or a military installation as backdrops for political statements. But this is different. Obama believes they are out there fighting not for the country, not for their homes and families, but for him.
We can’t help but recall his attempt at taking all the credit for the Navy SEALs’ killing of Osama bin Laden. He used the word “I” over a dozen times in describing the planning and execution of the joint CIA-military project to locate and then kill bin Laden. He deliberately put himself at the center of the successful enterprise, both in the news conference when it happened and again last week on the anniversary of the event. Can anyone imagine Eisenhower doing that in describing the successful D-Day landing in Normandy? We now know that Eisenhower had prepared a letter of resignation to be used if the Normandy invasion failed. Can anyone imagine Obama doing that?
Yes, all presidents have large egos, as do most individuals in politics and successful people in many professions. However, Obama’s excessive and compulsive use of the first-person pronoun is becoming something of a national joke. And like his habit of bowing before foreign kings and emperors, it has become a national embarrassment.
But it is more than a personality quirk you can either like or dislike. Isn’t it fair to call it by its right name – a character trait – and one that can be fateful for his presidency and for the nation? Ask yourself what kind of political leader promotes this kind of personality cult, where all wisdom and social benefits flow from the courage, insights or ideas of one man. There is a name for that brand of political leadership: it’s called a dictatorship.
If you think I am exaggerating the significance of this Obama penchant for self-aggrandizement, consider how different the course of the 1960s would have been if John F. Kennedy had launched his presidency with this theme in his inaugural address: “Ask not what your country can do for you, and ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what you can do for me!”