Barack Obama was standing next to Joe Biden in the Rose Garden this past Wednesday when the Biden announced that he would not be seeking the Democratic nomination for president. Apparently Obama’s mind was on something else when the vice president shared his view that the Republicans aren’t Democrats’ “enemy.” Either that, or Obama respectfully (make that disrespectfully) disagrees.
He has been treating the opposition party as his mortal foe since prior to his first campaign for the Oval Office in 2007. And his antipathy for the GOP has only grown more rabid. In the run-up to the 2010 midterms (in which, in Obama’s words after the fact, his team took a “shellacking”) he haughtily declared that Republicans “can come for the ride” on the road to his fundamental transformation of America “but they gotta sit in back.”
In a separate speech around the same time, he was more pointed in his feelings toward Republicans, urging Latino voters to “punish our enemies” and “reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.”
His latest zinger came as recently as yesterday, when he rhetorically asked a roomful of Democratic women why Republicans are so grumpy. He went on to favor them with his impression of Grumpy Cat, the nickname for a house cat who has become an internet sensation because he looks as though he is pouting.
Two observations are in order. First is the inescapable irony of a man who has been captured repeatedly thrusting his lower lip out like a petulant child affecting a pout.
Second and more poignant is Obama’s refusal to accept the reality that his adoration of big government is not shared by the vast majority of Americans, 72% of whom told Gallup pollsters in late 2013 that big government was the greatest threat to the U.S. in the future. What is more, Obama’s own favorability ratings have remained south of 50% since June of 2013, and despite his faith in the economic recovery he engineered, the average American household has watched its income shrink by nearly 6% since he took office.