Using the Special Olympics as a way of making fun of how poorly and inadequately he was at bowling revealed more about the truth about Obama's character than any of his prefabricated Styrofoam speeches that the mass media tends to fawn over. Despite all his attempts at damage control and all his apologies it revealed what tens of millions saw from day one -- a shallow, self centered candidate with not much talent for anything except self promotion; a candidate who really had no ideas and no direction other than his own personal political ambitions. And it showed that night on Leno.
It wasn't the first time that Obama made comments putting down a group of people he felt superior to. There were his infamous comments about the bitter people in Pennsylvania who turn to guns and religion out of their feelings of bitterness. And there were others. There was his message to the Canadian government telling them to ignore what he tells the people of Ohio about NAFTA, that it's all political posturing, (obviously having no respect for them or their needs), there was his complete disrespect for the voters of Florida and Michigan, making speeches about how "voices must be heard" and then doing everything in his power to keep over one million voters in those states from having their voices heard because they voted against him in a landslide. And then there was the little flap over his referring to a female journalist as "sweetie"( Ed. note: thanks for the correction)
It was painful trying to watch Paul Begala make excuses for Obama the next day. Yes it was a mistake, Begala said, and Obama did the right thing by apologizing quickly. But since it wasn't the first time he has made disparaging off the cuff comments about a particular class of people, it can't be called a mistake. A political mistake yes, but part of a personal pattern.
Even though Obama's comment was carried extensively by the news media, their analysis and comment was itself fairly superficial. Even now the press is having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that Obama was obviously lying about his "outrage" over the AIG bonuses when he not only knew about them but on recommendation from Geithner, actually okayed the order to put in the loophole that allowed it. Then was "shocked, shocked, to find gambling going on in the back room".
President of the United States or not, the truth is that based on what we have seen of Obama he will never, on his best day, ever approach the kind of courage, depth of spirit, integrity, or intestinal fortitude and character possessed by the athletes who has participate in the Special Olympics. These are people who just about everyone admires for their qualities of character , courage and determination, what they are able to accomplish and what they have overcome to accomplish it.
There are African Americans in Congress who understand what it takes to acheive something when the deck is stacked against them. For them, to hear the first President with African ancestry make jokes about the abilities of Special Olympic athletes as a symbol of inadequacy and self deprecating humor must have made people like John Lewis, Maxine Waters, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice and Clarence Thomas cringe. Along with everyone else.
What came out of Obama's mouth would not come out of the mouths of 99% of the people in this country. Comparing his lousy bowling score to Special Olympics athletes would never have occurred to George Bush no matter how incompetent and disastrous he was as a President. The same is true for Clinton, Bush 41, Reagan, Carter, anyone in Congress or anyone at all, except for the most crass, empty and uninspired. It doesn't just reveal a crack in Obama's character it reveals one of the many fissures that are there but was consistently ignored by the press.
But it isn't something that should come as a surprise from someone who, by his own admission, has a history of throwing a lot of balls in the gutter.
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