Oh man, what a week. My thoughts on the debate were pretty much in line with every other two-legged creature roaming the Earth, and my reaction to the blame-game in the aftermath of the Romney victory still brings a smile to my face. Who didn’t enjoy watching Chris Matthews meltdown? I got to accurately call Barack Obama “the nation’s first ‘participation trophy’ President” and point out how he’s “conducted his presidency in bubble-wrap.”
But it wasn’t all fun. The unemployment numbers came out Friday and the rate dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent. Although that sounds like progress, it didn’t happen because people actually found jobs – only 114,000 did so in September, which isn’t enough to keep up with population growth. It was because the Bureau of Labor Statistics “found” jobs that were created months ago. As the Associated Press put it, “The revisions show employers added 146,000 jobs per month from July through September, up from 67,000 in the previous three months.”
The number of actual people in the workforce is pathetic, the economy is “growing” at a slower rate than it did last year, and nothing involving real math indicates the economy is improving in any genuine way.
Reality hasn’t stopped President Obama from touting the new mythical unemployment rate like he’d personally discovered the cure for cancer. He said, “We’ve made too much progress to return to the policies that led to the crisis in the first place.”
I get that the president is running for re-election and will spin anything he can to his advantage. That’s politics. But the president’s lies are beyond normal political spin; they border on pathology. No concerned leader would revel in the pain caused by the economy he has done so little to help.
I’ve had that thought for a while, and it reminds me of a recent conversation. A friend asked if I thought President Obama was a sociopath. It sounds crazy, which is what I thought upon hearing it. And he’s probably not. But a lot of what he does and says really made my friend wonder.
Dictionary.com defines a sociopath as “a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.” Neither of us thinks the president is a psychopath, or that he’s particularly anti-social – though do we know anything about his friends? As far as criminal goes, Fast and Furious, his associations with Tony Rezkoand Bill Ayers (the only friends of his we know of), and his ignoring the oath he swore to the Constitution to do what he can’t or won’t get through Congress could fall into that area. But I’m not even really talking about that.
It’s the last bit, the “lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience” part that stuck in his craw – and mine, once I thought about it.
The president seems to like the idea of being president much more than he likes to actually do the job.
A look at his daily schedule over his term shows light days, often starting at 10 a.m. Only recently have they included his Presidential Daily Briefing on national security on a regular basis, and that was only after he was criticized for not taking them. (Here’s his schedule, scroll around and look at it.)
A light schedule could be attributed to a lot of things, but for a president who has played more golf in three years (100 times) than most people will play in a lifetime it makes you wonder if he even likes doing the job.
Admittedly, an active recreational life doesn’t constitute a lack of moral compass. But his indifference and dispassion for world events that don’t make him look good kind of do.
When Ambassador Chris Stevens was murdered in Libya, the president’s remarks to the media could not have been more disconnected. His Rose Garden statement was stoic, as if he was just going through the motions. There was no sense he actually cared. You could say he was being somber, but he read it more as someone acting somber than actually feeling it. And where was the anger, the righteous indignation in the face of the murder of an American diplomat? It didn’t exist.
But it’s not just the stoicism. By the time the President spoke on the murder he knew it was a planned terrorist attack, yet he blamed an Internet video. He and his administration continued to blame that video for two weeks, knowing it wasn’t true. He also made these statements knowing full-well that he had been warned of possible attacks and was asked repeatedly by Ambassador Stevens for additional security, only to ignore those pleas.
So maybe the President was feeling guilt, which would be better than nothing, but it wouldn’t explain the knowing lies.
A sociopath will do anything to avoid blame, including shifting any possible accusation anywhere they can – like a video. Again, not proof, just a thought.
On the campaign trail, a place the president actually loves to be, he revels in the attention but accepts no responsibility for any of the negative consequences of his actions. He shifts blame to his predecessor for Fast and Furious, which led to hundreds of murders, even though he knows that is a lie. He routinely lies about his opponent wanting to raise taxes on the middle class and says he never will do this even though he has repeatedly.
But lying isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s old hat for him.
In 2007, he indicated to an audience at historically black Hampton University the federal governmentdiscriminated against black people in New Orleans after Katrina because of their skin color. He cited the Stafford Act, which requires local governments to contribute 10 percent to rebuilding devastated communities, but is routinely waived…when white people suffer was the implication. It was a shocking claim made more shocking by the fact it was a lie and, as a sitting senator, he knew it was a lie. But the audience didn’t, and he knew that too.
The shameful, race-baiting remarks were not in the prepared text upon which all reporting of the event I could find was done. So lazy journalism enabled him to get away with that lie. Until yesterday.
Although all these events do show a “lack of moral responsibility and social conscience,” I told my friend I didn’t think the president is a sociopath. Egomaniac? Definitely. Narcissist? Without a doubt. But what I think he is, at his core, is an agenda-driven liberal with the charm of an actor working off a good script who will do anything he has to implement his agenda and couldn’t care less about restriction on his power or the people over whom he “rules.” He does what he wants and anyone or anything in his way be damned.
In other words, he’s a progressive.
Derek Hunter is Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. You can also stalk his thoughts 140 characters at a time on Twitter.