The first thing I have to wonder is where Obama was during the George W. Bush era if he thinks the criticism he’s getting now is bad. In Iowa yesterday, Obama complained that he took more criticism than Abe Lincoln. A presidential scholar says that is laughingly absurd. Actually Alvin Felzenberg said it “is hysterical … that is really laughable in many respects.”
Why? Because what was said about Lincoln by the opposition is still unprintable today.
But as mentioned, the tone and rhetoric deployed against Obama doesn’t begin to reach the vitriolic level that was leveled at Bush 43. And certainly not Lincoln.
The exchange in which the comment came out was during a little town hall pity party:
“The Congress doesn’t seem to be a good partner. You said so yourself, they’re more interested in seeing you lose than [seeing] the country win,” the questioner lamented.
“Democracy is always a messy business in a big country like this,” Obama responded. “When you listen to what the federalists said about the anti-federalists … those guys were tough. Lincoln, they used to talk about him almost as bad as they talk about me.”
Obama’s always been sensitive to criticism. To the point of assuming the Presidency, he’d heard little of it, having essentially spent his life teaching, doing community organization and running for office. Suddenly, he’s in charge and under fire. And, given his record – something until this point he’s never had – the criticism is both warranted and mostly on-target.
Obama’s sensitivity to criticism is bound up with his progressive ideology, which sees political disputes as best resolved by experts, said Michael Franc, vice president for government studies at the Heritage Foundation. Obama believes “he has discovered the truth and if you disagree with him, it’s not only against the country, its unpatriotic and anti-Obama,” Franc suggested.
Eric Dezenhall, a former communications aide to President Ronald Reagan, went ever further in an interview with The Daily Caller: Obama’s complaint, he said, “is more grandiose than narcissistic … It’s equating any form of push-back with some sort of giant historical crime.”
Thus the comparison with Lincoln who was president during an incredibly tough era, even compared to this one. And while he won’t say it, it seems clear that Obama and his supporters do indeed think that criticizing him is “against the country…unpatriotic and anti-Obama. This is a guy who walked into office having done nothing and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. As was clear, he felt it was his due. Now after almost 3 years and an obviously failing presidency, he’s beginning to whine about criticism and acting as if it is unwarranted.
One thing is for sure, given the economic, fiscal and unemployment situation in this country, the criticism isn’t going to lessen. He signed up for the big-boy job and now he has it. Let’s see if he can actually manage to act like a big-boy and quit whining about criticism.