I consider myself to be a civil and fun-loving human being. However, there are a couple of personality traits which make me, for lack of a better term, angry.
- Being disingenuous
President Barack Obama had both on full display in Monday's press conference, the final one of his initial term
I'm going to dispense with what appeared to be the President's utter disconnection with reality, especially when he spoke of a "productive" first term or how he fancied himself as having ideas (or even a clue) on deficit reduction.
With a looming battle between the President and the House Republicans over the debt ceiling, the continual straw man being put forth is how America risks "default" if the aforementioned debt ceiling (the maximum amount of debt our country can hold) is not raised.
Mr. Obama offered up that chanting point once again on Monday (emphasis mine).
If congressional Republicans refuse to pay America’s bills on time, Social Security checks and veterans’ benefits will be delayed. We might not be able to pay our troops, or honor our contracts with small business owners. Food inspectors, air traffic controllers, specialists who track down loose nuclear material wouldn’t get their paychecks.
That's disingenuous at best, and a flat out lie at worst. The fact of the matter is even if we reach that "debt ceiling" but don't raise it, we avoid default as long as interest payments on the debt are being made (which comprises only 6% of total spending). In terms of tax revenue, we still bring in enough money to fund 60-70% of all Federal spending which Congress, who actually appropriates the money, would then have to prioritize. Does anybody honestly believe that Congress wouldn't make Social Security, veterans' benefits, national defense and interest on the debt the top priorities? But, again, the President rarely diverts from campaign mode, so the appeals to low information voters are still a vital part of any speech.
Eventually, the subject turned to victim disarmament "gun control", something that has been top priority on the Obama administration's agenda since the tragic shooting at a Newtown, CT elementary school last month (Remember, never let a good crisis go to waste).
In the aftermath, many law abiding gun owners were concerned about their legally owned firearms, especially when it's been suggested by some politicians that gun confiscation may be an option.
Here's where the condescension reared its ugly head as the President flippantly dismissed such concerns.
....Obama on Monday hit opponents of gun control for "ginning up fear" among Americans who might otherwise support some measure of reform.
"Those who oppose any common-sense gun control or gun safety measures have a pretty effective way of ginning up fear on the part of gun owners that the federal government is about to take all your guns away," Obama said during a press conference in the White House. He added, "There's probably an economic aspect to that. Its obviously good for business."
One could almost get a sense that he was going to go the "bitter clingers" route with that rhetoric.
But do you know what likely ginned up fear, Mr. President? It was YOUR OWN VICE PRESIDENT who came out and stated that your administration would bypass Congress and issue Executive Orders to create "gun control" statutes. Lest we forget, the Obama administration has a history of not following laws they don't like, especially when the President doesn't have a rubber stamp Congress to assist him in changing/overturning legislation. Hence instructing the Justice Department to no longer defend the law "Defense of Marriage Act" or issuing an E.O. to usurp certain laws regarding illegal immigration.
Next week, President Obama will be sworn in for his second term. Given he has a political mandate due to his not having to face the voters again, I don't imagine he'll dial back those seemingly inherent personality traits.
God help us.
Cross-Posted at The Brad Carlson blog. Comments welcome.