|Chicago Tribune (Larry Dowing, Reuters /October 25, 2013)|
From the beginning of his Presidency, Obama has been snippy, petty, and condescending towards his political opponents, towards officials who dare to disagree with him, and--worst of all--towards everyday American citizens...Remember some of his greatest (worst) moments from that first term? Chiding Supreme Court Justices during a State of the Union Address, trying to intimidate the same when Obamacare came before the Court, singling out private citizens like Rush Limbaugh in remarks, mocking the first wave of the Tea Party movement, and on and on and on, Obama set a very low benchmark for civility, for class and decorum. Of course, his sycophants in the media and his legions of fanboys tried to justify all of this behavior. Really, they applauded it without a second thought. Why? Because in their minds, Obama was the victim, was getting far worse treatment from those he treated with disdain and contempt (I've never been clear about their argument with regard to the Court, but then neither have they).
In contrast, I look at Reagan and Carter and see men who--regardless of how one sees their actual performance in office--carried themselves with the dignity the office demands, the dignity we should expect from out Chief Executive. I think George W. Bush behaved admirably in this regard as well, though I know there is a large segment of the population who rejoices in labeling him a fool, in mocking his conduct. Still, I think people would be hard-pressed to point out specific instances where Bush acted less-than-Presidentially.
As I am so often pointing out, however, such people have no sense of history. Both Carter and Reagan caught all kinds of flak while in the Oval Office. George W. Bush caught even more. Yet all three managed to hold themselves above the pettiness. At best, they'd simply refuse to go down to such a level. At worst, they'd allow others in their administrations to return fire when it came to mudslinging. They did this because they--all of them--understood their roles and respected the office of the Presidency, knew that whomever held it should, above all else, do so with dignity.