I knew it was official when I received an e-mail from Glenn Beck denouncing Obama’s “war for oil” in Libya. It’s like déjà vu in Wonderland --- the same, but all turned around.
All of the sudden the same Republican hawks who were complaining that Obama was not taking military action to protect the people of Libya are now complaining that he took action without sufficiently asking their permission first.
I’m not weighing in here on whether the military action required congressional approval or oversight. My point is, Obama could have brought a resolution to Congress on a silver platter, and Republicans would be all over the news complaining it should have been gold.
They just hate him.
Through some combination of lingering racial animus, resentment that he’s the most inspiring political leader in a generation, and downright jealously that he controls the nuclear launch codes, the Republican leadership plainly hates Barack Obama. Yes, liberals didn’t like George W. Bush and conservatives didn’t like Bill Clinton either, but they at least showed both the common decency of respecting the office of president and, for instance, not repeatedly suggesting the president is a foreign-born infidel.
But Obama, for his part, isn’t helping. As a onetime community organizer, he apparently believes the adage that, in politics that “there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies.” Wrong. Big oil is the permanent enemy of environmentalists. Scott Walker is the permanent enemy of organized labor. Charlie Sheen is the permanent enemy of all that is decent and moral. And the Republican Party is the permanent enemy of President Barack Obama.
It’s time for President Obama to stop worrying if Republicans like him. In fact, it’s time for him to stop worrying about being liked, period. His pattern of trying to be all things to all parties has led to policies and actions that, while they look bipartisan on paper, ultimately end up pissing off both his base and the opposition. Give up the ghost, dude!
Leadership is not about winning a popularity contest. It’s about having the courage of your convictions to do what is right and just and, by explaining your actions and beliefs, hope others will share your vision. Barack Obama did an excellent job of leading during the election. In fact, he led the entire Democratic base away from its presumptive nominee and into his camp. But I’ve come to worry that while Barack Obama had strong convictions about his candidacy for president, he does not have strong convictions when it comes to establishing a universal health-care system, remedying global warming, or creating a fiscally solvent and just economy. Leading in an election is very much about being liked. Leading while in office is about being willing to make enemies.
Republicans get that. That’s why they have designated Barack Obama as their mortal, permanent enemy. The sooner Obama realizes this, the sooner he’ll stop trying to win over the GOP and, instead, worry about actually winning the future.