Friday, July 4, 2014

What Do I Really Think about President Obama?

The question came from out of the blue from a fellow physician. What do I really think about President Obama?

The question came just after I read Peggy Noonan’s appraisal in the July 3 Wall Street Journal “Daydream and Nightmare.” Her conclusion? Obama is weird and strange, waiting for history to judge his greatness. As a former Ronald Reagan speechwriter, Noonan may not be the most objective judge.

Nevertheless, Obama’s greatness is presently in question. In this week’s Quinipiac poll, the public says he is the worst president since World War II.

I would not go that far. I agree with Obama, who has said, “Let history be my judge.”

As a physician, I frankly do not think he likes physicians. He does not believe we are important cogs in his health reform machine. I get the feeling he believes other health professionals could easily replace us, and if the doctor shortage persists, good riddance. We make too much money anyway and suck too much power out of Washington.

He does seem to care much about the middle class either. Let their premiums increase. Let them pay for the poor and the uninsured. Let them carry the redistribution load. Let their taxes rise to match my ideas. If the economy stalls, so be it.

On the other hand and on the positive side, the President is a very important symbolic figure, especially for minorities who can clearly see how far a black can rise in our society and for the affluent liberal elite who see him as someone who can erase inequality and make government all powerful, especially when they, the elite, are in charge.

The only problem with his being black is that he has become untouchable - a lighting rod to be used to criticize critics as “racists” or politically incorrect tea-party “extremists.” He cannot be deemed as someone not up to the job, incompetent or detached and disengaged from governance. With President Obama, there is too much PC (Political Correctness). Let us judge him on his merits, not his color, on his results, not his rhetoric.

I find him self-righteous, dismissive of Republicans as less than ordinary mortals and too wrapped up in himself and his grandiose ideas to share or consult with fellow Democrats. With him, nothing is negotiable. He regards the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court as enemies , rather than as co-equal branches of government. He seems to think of himself as the smartest man in the room and on the planet with the others being misguided and dead wrong. His dismissive attitude takes the form of ridicule, scorn, sneers, mockery, and taunts, unbecoming of a President but no doubt satisfying to him. He is giving narcissism a bad name.

But as a human being, Obama has his positives. He is a handsome figure, superb speaker, a fine father, and an engaging personality. He gets along beautifully with fellow celebrities and the culturally and entertainment elite.

Besides, give the President credit, he has climbed to the top the “greasy pole” of politics, as Benjamin Disraeli put it. He is political animal with great political skills, whether those skills will place him on the historical greasy pole remains for historians to judge.

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