Free Markets, Free People

Obama’s Freudian slip

Last week on Univision while during an interview aimed at Hispanics, President Obama referred to Republicans as “enemies”.  As you might imagine, that raised a bit of a stir on the right side of things. 

Said Obama:

‘We’re gonna punish our enemies, and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us’ — if they don’t see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election — then I think it’s going to be harder. And that’s why I think it’s so important that people focus on voting on November 2nd."

Knowing he was going to take heat over the word used and before House minority leader John Boehner could deliver a well deserved scolding, Obama attempted to defuse the situation.

“Now the Republicans are saying that I’m calling them enemies,” Obama said during a get-out-the-vote to The Michael Baisden Show. “What I’m saying is you’re an opponent of this particular provision, comprehensive immigration reform, which is something very different.”

Well actually, no, it’s not.  It is certainly a rather poor attempt at damage control, but it is clear in a interview in which Obama was attempting to rally that particular base constituency during an election season that the object of the “enemies” remark was the GOP.    And, the use of the word “enemies” was purposeful and calculated.  It was meant to convey a message that the opposing party was an "enemy" of that which Hispanics wanted and it was important that they understand that message and act on in Nov. 2nd.

This wasn’t some unscripted slip of the tongue or poorly phrased appeal as he’s trying to spin it now. It was exactly how the post-partisan president views the political landscape and the other party.

Now the "smartest man in the room" is attempting this transparent and rather weak counter to his "enemies" remark.

I on the other hand have no problem attaching the word “enemy” to those on the left who would take my liberty and trash my rights.  Same for those on the right with the same inclinations. 

The fact that Obama used the word, however, is telling.  It is another indicator to me that he has no intention of doing what Bill Clinton did when he and the Democrats lost the House in 1994.  Obama is an inflexible ideologue who will go down with his leaky ship rather than do what is necessary to work across the isle.  The “enemies” remark does more than any other to finally pop the “post-partisan” bubble of nonsense he spun on the campaign trail.  And while I’m sure he’ll attempt to pin the failure of bi-partisanship on the right, it is clear, at least to me after watching the last 2 years, that there never was any serious desire or attempt on the part of the administration to make bi-partisanship work.

As it turns out – that’s fine with me.  But let’s put the claim that it is something desired by this president and administration to rest once and for all.



24 Responses to Obama’s Freudian slip

  • We’re gonna punish our enemies, and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.

    And if they bring a knife, we’ll bring a gun.  If they put one of our’s in the hospital, we’ll put one of their’s in the MORGUE!  THAT’S the Chicago Way!

  • There has been a lot written about how smart Obama is, but the more I see him, the less evidence of that there is.  it is telling he has never released anything about his performance in school or with the Annenberg Challenge.  There is little record of accomplishment in the Illinois government or in the US Senate.  In fact, all we have to show that vaunted intelligence is a series of speeches, most of which, if you read them, turned out to be “content free”.
    Off topic.  Scott Erb has not been around for a while.  I am hoping he will return tomorrow and tell us why his estimate of about 25 House seats being lost by the Democrats was right or wrong.  In the meantime, Betsy has a movie about becoming a political science [person:
    It seemed particularly appropriate.

    • I looked up Erb’s “25 seats” comment:

      The tea party folk are a tiny faction of the GOP, and if the Democrats can make them seem bigger than they are, it’ll really hurt the divided GOP.   Time will tell — I’ve got a decent (albeit imperfect) track record on such predictions.  I’m sticking with a loss of 25.  I’ll book mark this page and offer a gracious “you were right and I was wrong” if it turns out that the GOP wins the House.

      Erb’s style reminds me much of Obama’s — spouting entirely partisan canards and often mistaken nonsense with the calm self-assurance that he is, for the most part, the only rational, fair and intelligent person in the room.

      And like Obama, I can’t remember Erb admitting that he was wrong, though I might have missed an instance.

  • Was the speech Obama gave from a prompter, or was he speaking extemporaneously?
    And if the latter, why does he even still do that?  Every time that he does that, he says something that bites him in the ass.  Every. Single. Time.

    • It was an interview.

      • Oh, well I can see how he couldn’t begin to opt to not do one of those…

        • Sure he could.  All he needs to do is arrange it ahead of time with the media outlet:

          “OK, this is what we’ll do.  The first option is to ask your question.  The president will keep a neutral expression on his face while the staff writes his answer and puts it onto the TOTUS.  You’ll just have to edit out all the long pauses when you go to air the video.  The better option if that you’ll submit all of your questions in writing and in sequence ahead of time so we can come up with good answers and program them into the TOTUS.  This will avoid the long pauses and make the interview look more natural and less scripted.  The final option is to record the interview and we’ll go back and use CGI to edit anything that the president says that is embarrassing could be twisted by those Republican hatemongers on Fox. 

          “Now, some of the staff actually like this last idea.  In fact, we’re playing around with altering the president’s voice a little.  You know: make it a little deeper, more authoritative, and actually emotional but still calm and reassuring.  We’ve also developed a pretty neat SPFX package so it looks as though he has a halo at some points, but his eyes flash when we want him to look really strong and heroic.  We’re also playing with different looks depending on the expected audience when the video will air.  For example, he’ll appear in a suit during prime time.  For clips airing during the afternoon when women tend to be the larger audience, we’re thinking of a more rugged but casual look with a hint of five o’clock shadow.  We’ve lightened his skin for the networks, but made it much darker for BET.

          “What do you guys think?  What will sell best to those unwashed schlubs?”

          Brian Williams (among others) would go for this in a heartbeat.

  • Eff you, Mr. President  (sorry for the salty language)

    You’re the next bum we throw out of office.

    Enjoy being a 1-termer.

  • “Now the Republicans are saying that I’m calling them enemies” – Jesus. At least say “I misspoke” or something. Nope. In fact, Pres. Obama, you advised your supporters to punish their enemies…care to explain who that is  if its not the Republicans?
    He even manages to twist his walk-back into sounding mean-spirited. It was a quote, Mr. President, not something “some people say” or “there are those that” – you actually said those words.

    • “Enemies”
      Right, he didn’t mean Republicans…He meant the people who want to keep the illegals from sneaking across the border into the United States….you know…Americans.

  • “Obama is an inflexible ideologue who will go down with his leaky ship rather than do what is necessary to work across the isle. ”
    Is that a joke on the Dem congressman who thought Guam could sink? Aisle or Isle? heh.
    OK, spelling aside, we are going to see if he is an ideologue or a pol pretty soon.
    Ideologue: He can fight out the next two years, but if the numbers keep against him, will he run for re-election or will he flee? He better hope for a dumb GOP Congress and a friendly media.  That may in fact happen, but the MSM ain’t what it used to be.
    Pol: the pol would instinctively re-trench and offer the voters something. Bush II even did this after 2006. The key would be to offer the GOP Congress something they will be tempted to obstruct and look bad, or vote for, and make Obama look good, ala Clinton – if the MSM and memes go their way.
    I think its way to early to say Obama is all ideologue and no pol. Why? He’s used to the media cocoon. He’s like Arafat who would say one thing in Arabic and another in English. Obama is shaking his head right now that the Univison “enemy” quote is out there.  I suspect we will see him to continue to be a partisan, but his team will come up with stuff to try to achieve the triangulation. We all know Obama loves to delegate.
    The rats who jump ship will be the key metric for analysis. If the triangulators can’t convince him they will leave.

    • Ideologue – I’m waiting for his temper tantrum, it’s a year behind my prediction, and if this election doesn’t do it, nothing will.

      • Temper tantrum?  I’m waiting for a full-blow meltdown.  In fact, I’m surprised that it hasn’t happened already.  Remember the talk during the primaries about the 3:00am phone call, and speculation that he wasn’t ready to take it?  I think that the phone is about to ring.

        • I don’t know – think he can degrade the brand name of President of the United States any further?
          Bowing to foreign leaders (and at least one American one), television guest spots, ‘Dude” on the Jon Stewart show, and today calling every talk show he could think of to get his message out about how his agenda will wither if we (stupidly of course) vote Democrats out office…
          To paraphrase Michelle, it’s the first time I’ve ever been so embarrassed by my President.

  • I am more concerned than offended to be called the enemy when The One can only refer to Islamic militants or jihadists as participants in an Overseas Contingent Operation.

  • I wasn’t annoyed by any of this, to be honest.  Neither the original statement (Sarah Palin was criticized for using crosshairs when she was “targeting” Democrat districts) nor the reaction (Palin was subject to the same silly criticism over it).  The President’s response is a bit surprising, though.  He could have simply said “sorry, just substitute ‘opponents’ for ‘enemies’ because that’s what I meant.”  Or he could have embraced the wording with a wink, and try to mock his detractors for overreacting.
    Instead, his comment comes off as “when I used the words ‘punish YOUR enemies’ I was really speaking to the provision!”  Right, this was some weird introspective moment when you pulled the legislation aside for a bit of a pep talk.  I wonder if his imaginary friend was part of the discussion as well?  It’s bad enough he has a renowned gaffe machine as his VP, now he seems to be actively trying to top him.

  • Obama not only said what he MEANT to say, he said what he THINKS.
    Was there ever really any doubt among those with a brain?  (Which excludes virtually all Obama voters, who MAY have a brain, but certainly had whatever they had in neutral…)

  • comprehensive immigration reform

    So is Obama going to throw “Big Labor” under the bus ? It was “Big Labor”‘s demand that the guest worker visa provisions be “sunset”ed that killed “comprehensive immigration reform” during the last round of legislation in the Senate during Bush 43.

  • Just saw a piece on Fox where some major DNC donors want Obama to commit to running in 2012 in the next seven weeks.  Dick Morris, the guy who saved Clinton, says Obama has a big problem.  He either cuts spending and makes the Bush tax cuts permanent, or he raises taxes and kills off our economic recovery.
    Morris thinks Obama is all ideology and believes he will be challenged in his own party by the disaffected left – Kucinich or Feingold – before Hillary jumps into the race.  Personally, I think Hillary has lost her opportunity.  Taking Secretary of State ties her to the Obama team.  She’s damaged goods.

    • I agree with you concerning Hilary up to a point.  She could seperate fom him if it were tied to an issue – an issue where she could split from Obama, resign and walk away and then turn on him.  That issue could be Israel? Iran?

  • People forget that this lying excuse for a man also had this to say seconds after the “enemies” remark:

    “And that’s why this election coming up is so important because we essentially have to say that those who are politicizing the issue, who are supportive of the Arizona law, who talk only about border security but aren’t willing to talk about the other aspects of this, who don’t support the Dream Act, who are out there engaging in rhetoric that is divisive and damaging that — those aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values.”

    Yeah, he meant enemies.

    Well, he wants ’em, he’ll get ’em


    • “those aren’t the kinds of folks who represent our core American values.”
      There, fixed that for the little bugger…
      “who are out there engaging in rhetoric that is divisive and damaging”
      We hereby award him another Nobel prize in the “Irony Challenged” division!

  • Another argument from bad faith. Accusing your opponent of “politicizing” the issue is either the first or last refuge of a scoundrel. Aren’t 99.99% of the issues at the national level political? This argument assumes there is some metaphysically and morally perfect solution and “our” side has it. This is just another example of how our political leaders are incapable of treating the pubic like adults.