I wonder if, when you just get to the center of Obama, what you find is an angry guy.
It pops up in so many ways – ways we haven’t seen with previous presidents since . . . well, since you know who. Nixon.
It doesn’t take a German psychoanalyst to know that someone like Obama, whose father abandoned him and whose mother was gone for years at a time, might have something to be upset about.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that this man, who presented himself as the King of Cool and the Apostle of Hope in 2008, is really not all that nice.
But it’s amazing how enduring the goodly images Obama created for himself are. You’d think the former senator from Illinois sprouted up out of a cornfield instead of the putrid muck of Chicago politics.
Obama reveals himself all the time in his treatment of opponents, whether offering them backhanded compliments for their “sincere” belief in greed and fleecing others, or campaigning against them as “enemies” in need of punishment for wanting to place immigrants in Gulags, keep the masses from getting a proper education, let patients die in the waiting room because they can’t make the co-pay, and so forth.
In the past couple of weeks we’ve seen the anger press through the surface into sharp relief.
When Obama concluded his remarks on Trayvon Martin, I was stunned. What I found inexplicable is that the president of the United States could find the system, of which he is guardian, so unjust that he would suggest if George Zimmerman had been black and killed a white man he would have been convicted. And that Obama could have such a sense of outrage about race relations that he would participate in the destruction of Zimmerman – who has been placed forever in the pantheon of civil rights antagonists along with Bull Connor and George Wallace – by embracing Trayvon Martin, even though there is no evidence Zimmerman did worse than try to keep from being killed.
Where’s the compassion for a man who was judged innocent? Where’s the recognition of Obama’s role as president of all of us?
And think for a moment about how Obama is framing his economic speeches. The core of what he’s trying to do, he said at Knox College in Illinois Wednesday, is not to make the economy better or create jobs. It’s to eliminate inequality.
So in many ways, the trends that I spoke about here in 2005 — eight years ago — the trend of a winner-take-all economy where a few are doing better and better and better, while everybody else just treads water — those trends have been made worse by the recession. And that’s a problem.
This growing inequality not just of result, inequality of opportunity — this growing inequality is not just morally wrong, it’s bad economics. Because when middle-class families have less to spend, guess what, businesses have fewer consumers . . .
And that’s why reversing these trends has to be Washington’s highest priority. (Applause.) It has to be Washington’s highest priority. (Applause.) It’s certainly my highest priority. (Applause.)
He throws in “inequality of opportunity,” but what Obama is really angry about is inequality of result. He’s mad that some people have more than others. That we’re not spreading the wealth around enough. That people are getting ahead even though you didn’t build that. Because at a certain point, you’ve earned enough money.
It’s the politics of resentment, touted by someone who harbors resentment. It’s at bottom the philosophy of, gimme what you got, you rich bastard.
It’s anger. And, as it expressed itself in the speech Wednesday, it wants payback.