Friday, March 22, 2013

The p-word President

1. Precocious: unusually advanced or mature in development, especially mental development.

The Economist goes into some detail:
At today's speech to the UN's General Assembly, I noticed a few new ones. He spoke of the climate conference in "Copen-hah-gen". This pronunciation is basically over-educated faux-authenticity; Danes overwhelmingly say "Copen-hay-gen" in English. (They say something very different in Danish. "KĂžbenhavn" is pronounced roughly like "kerp-in-hown".) Mr Obama's slip may result from overgeneralising of the rule that "ah is the best way to pronounce a's in foreign names." Pahkistan is better than Packistan, I-rahq is tonier than I-rack (and much more so than Eye-rack), and the same goes for I-rahn, I-ran, and Eye-ran. But the rule doesn't work for Copen-hah-gen.
2. Pugnacious: inclined to quarrel or fight readily; quarrelsome; belligerent; combative.

The Wall Street Journal reminds us:
Mobster wisdom tells us never to bring a knife to a gun fight. But what does political wisdom say about bringing a gun to a knife fight?

That’s exactly what Barack Obama said he would do to counter Republican attacks “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.”
3. Petty: characterized by an undue concern for trivial matters, esp. in a small-minded or spiteful way.

It's hard to pick just one; there are so many examples to choose from. But who can forget this:

4. Petulant: childishly sulky or bad-tempered.

Again, the examples are just so plentiful. There were the Presidential Debates, of course. The American Spectator details many more from his first term here. But the icing on the petulance cake had to be the shutting down of White House tours after Obama failed to get what he wanted from Congress.

5. Pandering: catering to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploit their weaknesses.

Some choice examples from the Weekly Standard:
The Obama administration’s imposition of a rule requiring health insurance policies to provide free birth control pills and free sterilization thrilled liberals, especially feminists. His blocking of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas made the environmental lobby happy.

By an executive order of dubious constitutionality, Obama changed immigration law to allow roughly one million illegal immigrants to remain in the country free from arrest and deportation—an unabashed effort to increase the Hispanic vote. His attorney general, Eric Holder, has noisily criticized voter ID laws as thinly veiled attempts to prevent African Americans from voting.

Two weeks ago, the administration announced another policy shift to please liberals. By bureaucratic directive, it decreed states could abandon the requirement that welfare recipients seek work. Intentionally or not, this gutted the welfare reform law of 1996, the most significant achievement of Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Besides Hispanics and African Americans, Obama has wooed gays by announcing his support for same-sex marriage. This also had the intent of unleashing a flood of campaign contributions from wealthy gays, just as the Keystone decision was expected to spark donations from environmentalists.
6. Partisan: a fervent, sometimes militant supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.

To be fair, most politicians are partisan. But few Presidents have been as openly partisan as Obama. From tsk-tsking the Supreme Court in a State of the Union Address to attacking private citizens and media outlets that dare to question him to basically blaming Republicans for everything under the Sun, Obama has been a serious partisan.

7. Presidential: befitting a president, especially the office of the President of the United States.

Well...Obama apparently plays a mean round of golf.

Cheers, all.


  1. Give it a rest, Rob.

    He's partisan in a hyperpartisan era. And he's far, far better than the other options that were available to us.

  2. The last may be true, particularly in '08. But he is--by far--the most petty President in my lifetime. Can't help it if you don't agree.