Peek-a-Boo, Mr. President. We see you.

Back in October of 2009 I asked, Does Obama Know Who We Are?

Obama is an American President who is not particularly American in character or disposition. He seems not to really understand Americans, or their way, which is a way peculiar to the rest of the word, at once shallow and heroic, capable of great materialism and breathtaking self-sacrifice. [...] The American mind is a duality of sorts. A country founded by displaced nobles and built by the strongest and most resourceful commoners from around the globe, America’s can-do attitude is one that doesn’t mind looking out for the little guy, as long as his own share is a fair one, and his options are open. The American mind is constantly dreaming; even her most newly-arrived immigrants dream, because until very recently all dreams were pronounced “welcome,” and the greatest restrictions were the ones you put upon yourself, or allowed others to put upon you. The dreaming made us exceptional; the dreams made us indispensable.

But does Obama understand those dreams? If he does not, then in truth he does not understand the people he undertook to govern. He appears to have decided that “governing” could be accomplished with an endless campaign, meant to entertain a nation enthralled with hucksterism and side-shows; that notion betrays, in meaningful measure, a disdain for the people who placed their trust in him, with their vote.

If anyone doubted that Obama has no idea who Americans are, their doubt had to be dissolved this weekend, when he attempted to minimize the accomplishments of ordinary Americans by essentially claiming that any dreams we have dared to dream, and successes we have made of ourselves through toil, sweat and sacrifice, ought rightly be credited to the government.

I don’t think Obama understands
that when he attacked Americans who take pride in their work and for whom “work” and “ambition” means something beyond the material — because it draws on itself from a place of personal dreaming and individual energy — he shot a most disrespectful and destructive arrow, and it hit a place in the American psyche wherein resides whole notions of identity and dignity. In a couple of sentences, he blithely devalued the whole “can-do, American” idea of working hard toward “something better”, something beyond the tax bills and essential utilities. Possibly he doesn’t understand it because he has never worked for a small business, has never drawn a paycheck from the private sector, and has always surrounded himself with those who disdain it, who think they know more about farming than the man who farms, more about establishing a business and creating jobs than the woman who has done it. Just before his “you didn’t build that”, remarks, post-American Obama paid lip-service to past-American dreaming, past-American can-doing by mentioning the moon — toward which we can no longer travel from our own launch pads — and Hoover Dam, an endeavor which this president (with a breathtaking lack of irony or self-awareness) and his environmentalist stormtroopers would never allow to be undertaken.

Whether he intended to or not, what Obama did last weekend was look at the American people and sneer, “you’re nothing. You’ve built nothing, accomplished nothing, invented nothing, cured nothing, solved nothing, fixed nothing, except as the government has permitted.”

The president who thinks Americans are nothing wants them to re-elect him, so he can continue to tell them to put their rights and their dreams away, because the government has dreams enough; to stop thinking there is anything “special” about themselves because it’s the government that is “special”. He is telling Americans to quit believing that anything resides within them that has not been put there by the government, that there is anything they can actually do, that the government will not do better.

The message from Obama has always been the suppressive message of Homer Hickam’s grim, utilitarian, hope-deficient father, in October Skies. It is a dreary one that says “stop dreaming, stop imagining, stop thinking about the future, because the future is not yours to define”.

Yeah. Just get down there in the mines, and do your job. Don’t look at the expanse of sky and think it holds a tantalizing promise of infinite possibility. Because infinite possibilities are impossible in this place. Don’t hold out for your own ideas, because they mean nothing, here.

Homer Hickam dared to disagree, and dared to disobey, and dared to dream.

Because that’s at the heart of who Americans are.

That’s who Americans are, Mr. Obama. Now you know.

And now, we know who you are, too, because even with all the hiding behind teleprompters and with the help of a resolutely incurious press, even with the withholding of school records and detailed medical reports, your narcissism can’t resist self-revelation; your inflated ego demands that you demonstrate your disdain.

Back in 2009 I wrote:

The Office of the Presidency can either make a man great, or break him, but it will not allow him to coast and remain undefined.

But a lack of definition is what Obama has cultivated throughout adult life. From what little we know of his college days to his Inaugural speech, others have defined Obama for him, going mostly by what they saw – which was usually a reflection of themselves. [In] theforced definition of the American Presidency … there is nowhere to hide; there are no further personae to be invented and presented.

Peek-a-boo, Mr. President. We see you.

Even Homer Hickam’s father, though, eventually came around. I don’t think Obama has that sort of generosity in him, because it is a generosity rooted in love.

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About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Jennifer

    With all of this as obvious as the sun in the sky, it scares the crap out of me that so many people are still championing this tyrantking. How can it be that even now, people do not see through him, or even see him for what he really is? That’s what’s so frightening. It can’t be overstated that this is election is a critical, “hinge” moment in history.

  • Manny

    It’s really amazing that Obama is even competitve in this election. You would think that he he would be in the thirty-something percent. The man just doesn’t think like an American. Nor does he really understand Americans. He keeps up the nonsense he’s a moderate. He is about as far left a candidate as we’ve ever had, and ever thought possible to be elected. Add this to the reasons to vote him out. Did you notice he insists on the HHS mandate:

  • Mark Gordon

    Frankly, this is a bit unhinged. But seriously, why does piece like this appear on the other side of the “Catholic” portal at Patheos? Because it’s written by a Catholic? Or because the author assumes that right-wing Republican politics equal “Catholic?”

    [Really, Mark? It appears on a "Catholic" portal b/c my blog has always been about politics and religion, and I am a Catholic and the Managing Editor of the portal. Do I assume that "Catholic" means "right wing Republican?" I hope not, since I am an independent classical liberal, myself and I have hired writers who cross the whole spectrum from liberal to conservative. What a disappointing comment from you. Or, am I to think that writers with religious perspectives have no right to have political opinions? I know some people think that's true. If you're one of them, I'm sorry to know it. Seems to me you are entitled to your opinions, so I do think I'm entitled to mine. -admin]

  • Brian English

    It really is frightening that this election is competitive. What afre people thinking about? Are half the people in this country really going to walk into a voting booth and say to themselves, “Yeah, I think this guy should lead the country for four more years”?

  • Lawrence S. Cunningham

    I rather enjoy reading the Anchoress but it is so sad to see her identify herself with the Limbaughs, Sununus, and Bachmanns of the world who cast doubt on the president’s American character. As more than one commentator points out, such a tack has a slight whiff of racism about it. Far better to criticize policy than to indulge in such analysis – analysis that is often rooted in malice. As a penance, read Matthew 7:1.

    [I don't listen to Limbaugh, have not seen Bachmann's name cross my transom since she left the presidential race and have only the vaguest idea of what the Sununu reference is about. My observations re Obama are my own gleanings. The racism charge is not only a bullying tactic, but it is one usually flung out there by people who are themselves race-fixated, which I am not. It did not occur to me at any point while writing this that the president was African American. Only that he was exhibiting a complete misunderstanding of most Americans' sense of themselves. So, to sum up, you'll assume the very worst of me (racism and malice) and then assign me a penance? No, I don't think so. I'll take my penances from my priest. And you could ponder what it says about you when you are willing to engage in "analysis" and assign a charge of racism where none exists or can even be demonstrated. I think it says "bully, possibly racist bully" but I would never presume to say for certain; I'll just throw it out there as a suggestion in a similarly passive-aggressive manner. -admin]

  • exhelodrvr

    I don’t think the President knows who he is, let alone who we are.

  • Oregon Catholic

    I dislike Obama and his politics and rarely agree with him. But in this case there is a kernal of truth that often gets ignored when those who are more conservative talk about business and taxes. And that is the advantage that our gov creates for business and the tax obligation of those who make a profit utilizing the public infrastructure. It’s much easier to be successful in business when you can get your goods to consumers utilizing tax funded roads and railways or publically maintained ports. Or your customers can access your products and services via publically funded infrastructure. I can’t think of many businesses that don’t rely heavily on public utilities and they all rely on police and fire and the courts, etc. to protect their assets. All business is to some extent reliant on the government for their ability to be successful. I think that’s pretty much what Obama meant – that no one gets successful in isolation.

    [No one gets successful in isolation, but the truth is the REASON the infrastructure exists is b/c a) people with ambition were in need of it and b) the tax revenues were there to support it because c) the job creators were creating jobs (and profits) from which to pay taxes. The infrastructure did not come first. It came with or after. And while it might be nice to give O the benefit of a doubt, he said himself that part of his role as president is "to tell a story..." and it's a story of American abilities, greatness, dreams. He may have managed to tell that story in his last campaign, as a candidate. As a president he has been nothing but an "eat your peas" scold, and this "you didn't build that" moment was extremely revealing. He can't tell the story, b/c he has nothing good to say. -admin]

  • Old Line State Dad

    Slight whiff of racism? So what you are saying Lawrence is that Anchoress would be perfectly fine with this President and was he has, or has not done, if he were white.

    If the President fails to win reelection, does that mean all those who voted for him in 2008 and changed their minds this year suddenly remembered their inner Bull Connors?

  • Dad of Six

    Lawrence S. Cunningham says:

    “As more than one commentator points out, such a tack has a slight whiff of racism about it.”

    Ah yes, the American cardinal sin, to be a “racist”. If you vote against President Obama, you’re a “racist”. If you vote against him because he thinks children surviving botched abortions should receive no care (voted for that 3 times), you’re a “racist”. If you vote against him because of his regulations against the use of coal, you’re a “racist”. If you vote against him because he plays to much golf and he and the family take too many expensive vacations, you’re a “racist”.

    I agree with your main point Anchoress, he does not understand America. A Fourth of July celebration in North Branch, Michigan would be as foreign to him as as a Tanabata festival in Sendai, Japan.

    But then what do I know…I am a “racist”.

    One thing you could say about Bill Clinton, I think he had least “liked” this country, if not actually loved it like every other President we’ve had. President Obama has contempt for the United States, and it shows all of the time.

  • Teresa

    It is interesting that when there is no defense left for this President, his supporters start throwing around the race card again. This will be done throughout the election season but I frankly don’t care any more. The President is an empty suit and his handlers simply cannot hide it anymore. His dislike of his country is becoming evident to more and more people. It was evident to me in 2008 but too many voters believed in the hopey/changy thing.

  • Brian English

    “As more than one commentator points out, such a tack has a slight whiff of racism about it.”

    But of course. Any criticism of Obama, who has such an outstanding record that no one has any real reason to challenge his words or actions, is racism. Typical.

    Since Elizabeth Warren was criticized for saying the same thing (literally–Obama is picking up habits from Joe Biden) how is the criticism of Obama racism? (No one seriously considers Warren a Native American)

  • Brian English

    “All business is to some extent reliant on the government for their ability to be successful. I think that’s pretty much what Obama meant – that no one gets successful in isolation.”

    So businesses don’t pay taxes? Their owners and employees don’t pay taxes? Government exists to benefit taxpayers. Taxpayers don’t exist to benefit the government. Too many in Washington have forgotten that.

  • Rand Careaga

    Speaking here as one who has held American citizenship for longer than the President or, for that matter, our gracious hostess, I personally find Obama deficient neither in American character nor in understanding Americans, and when it comes to which candidate has greater empathy with the little fella…well, you may be assured that this is a conversation I and many people of like mind will be delighted to have during the next few months.

    [Of course, Rand, no surprise there, but when you ask me to seriously consider that Obama has "greater empathy for the little fella" (you don't mean to sound that condescending, right?). If he really had such vast regard for the "little fella" he would have taken the stimulus money and invested it -- not in unions or the "green technology" companies like Solyndra and others, all owned by his donors or bundlers and all failing or already failed, because neither the technology nor the market interest is there, yet -- but in actual, genuine rebuilding and repair of (gasp) the very infrastructure he is touting as an essential element of success; the "shovel ready jobs" of yore! And not just for roads and bridges, but to update our already overburdened electrical grid which -- if Obama had any genuine foresight, he would know needs to be attended to, grown and stabilized BEFORE electric cars go mainstream. But instead of doing that -- instead of creating jobs that could give people a sense of worth and purpose, and the money to pay taxes AND stimulate the economy -- he (and his party) gave the money to his pals, and told the "little fella" that if he just made sure he picked up his unemployment check and his foodstamps it would be the best economic stimulant, even though -- as even the NY Times admitted in 2006 tax revenue from wage earners who are actually working can soar to new heights. And then, last weekend, he jeered at the very people who have the spirit that built America -- from the folks who cleared fields and built log cabins without any damned infrastructure at all, to the folks still trying to innovate, today. He belittled them and their sense of themselves, to score a few cheap points in the class warfare game. Guess what, Rand? Most of those ppl he belittled ARE the "little fella" just trying to run a business and be his own boss and maybe hire a couple people and take his family on vacation once a year. Obama has "more empathy for the little fella...?" Please. If he does, his policies do not reflect it, nor does the disdain he shows them. I frankly don't think he's that smart, because I don't have an ivy degree, but even I know that if you want to stimulate the economy, you don't do it by throwing money at technologies that are undeveloped and cannot even be supported. I appreciate you not sinking so low as to call me a racist for having this very different opinion from yours, and for never having done so. I've always said you were a gent!-admin]

  • Oregon Catholic

    I think there are plenty of businesses that don’t pay anywhere near an equitable share in taxes of what they get in advantage from gov. infrastructure. I would go so far as to say that the progressive tax structure we used to have was a good reflection of that understanding.

    I agree with the admin response to my post – I just think many business people never stop and think about how much they benefit from the general tax fund and gov oversight of the ‘peace’ from enemies both within and without our country. No one does it alone.

  • Dcn. Scott

    I turned away from the Democrat party after many years and as a result of the HHS decision and its dismissive stance toward my faith community. But I must say, dear Anchoress, I’m confused sometimes why I turn to your blog for a Cathlolic perspective. What does your rant against Obama have to do with Catholic values or a Catholic perspective? I can get political rants in many places. I’m increasingly disappointed in your choice of topics, irrespective of whether or not I agree with what you have to say.

    Just sayin…

    [Have had this blog for seven years and at no time have I ever said that it's only about Catholicism or the world from a Catholic perspective. In fact, my original design had the words: Religion, Politics, Baseball; the important stuff. The blog is about whatever I feel like writing about, and always has been. You're "increasingly disappointed" with my choice of topics? You mean, saints, books, nuns, theology, cultural foibles and politics (just taking a look at my recent postings)? So...then you must be increasingly disappointed that I choose to write about the stuff I've always written about and (if my earlier archives are to be trusted) with a much milder tone than before. Just sayin'... -admin]

  • BarbS

    Anchored, I wish I had your eloquence in how you responded to some of the comments above, especially the one hinting that your disdain for the statements of our POTUS is because of racism. I got into a Facebook war the other day with some friends of a friend who pulled that card on me and I sputtered and raged, but could not come close to your superb argument.

    Thinking of Homer Hickam and his Father and the atrocious comments from Obama reminded me of this Reagan quote I saw the other day. It is part of a speech he gave in 1984. It sent chills down my spine and points out the stark differences between the two men. I know which path I want to follow.

    “The difference between the path toward greater freedom or bigger government is the difference between success and failure; between opportunity and coercion; between faith in a glorious future and fear of mediocrity and despair; between respecting people as adults, each with a spark of greatness, and treating them as helpless children to be forever dependent; between a drab, materialistic world where Big Brother rules by promises to special interest groups, and a world of adventure where everyday people set their sights on impossible dreams, distant stars, and the Kingdom of God. We have the true message of hope for America.”

  • BarbS

    Last comment – obviously meant Anchoress, not Anchored. Auto spell check is a demon. :-)

  • Left Coast Conservative

    Dear Anchoress – having volunteered with the local government, worked with several family businesses, worked for the government and been self employeed (that’s a lot in a half century!), I must say that I was quite suprised at the clarity with which our president spoke. He is incorrect in his statements – as are most of the people who have commented positively on his behalf. Government hasn’t created the success of any of the family businesses – and, their policies has actually hindered their success. The businesses have been so small that a gsa contract would have been challenging at best – but not having the contract locked us out of many projects and cost the taxpayers more money.
    Government regulations have created more work and burdened the taxpayer with higher costs. How many pools are closing this year, across the country, because of the new lift requirement? How many communities have had to spend scarce resources for equipment that they didn’t need but the government required them to have it?
    Our company is very frustrated with this administration and our frustration is reflected in the slow down in the business cycle that is unique to our industry. There is no faith in the government and people are waiting with ‘bated breath, wondering what is coming next. An ill wind is blowing . . .

  • Rand Careaga

    Thank you, admin, for that last. Although I don’t often dip into the comments here, I have always striven to be civil. We all do well to remember that there are literally tens of millions of US citizens who will vote in November for a candidate whose success vast numbers of our confederates (I here employ the term without reference to US history) regard as a harbinger of the apocalypse.

    I don’t condescend to the little fella: I are one. Solid working-class credentials (oh dear, maybe parasite-class credentials–I can recall leaving for school in late 1965 and passing the empty spot on the curb where the Repo Fairy had paid a visit), and worked my own way through college beginning in 1970 back when that was still possible, and I don’t claim I did that on my own. Hell, no. When I hit the University of California in 1970, with no support from home, I was able to pay my way through a school year on dishwasher’s wages. That was because I went to school in a system established and maintained by the people of California for the greater good. I can’t compete, Anchoress, with your formative years horrors (and believe me, I am duly grateful for that), but I think I can match you on points of economic deprivation in my adolescence.

    The whole “you didn’t build this” meme has been cited out of context. Let’s not bother to argue about this: it doesn’t have legs. Feel free to taunt me about the quote in a month if you still disagree. You see it as “jeering.” Again, I am an American and don’t see it that way. Am I stupid, do you suppose? Wicked? Misinformed? Time will tell, I suppose. I think that just this moment time does not favor the Mormchurian Candidate.

    [See, now why would you do that, Rand? I never align myself with "parasite" rhetoric, because -- as I have written before, and you know it -- I believe sometimes people do need a hand and hand up and it's JUST and RIGHT that tax monies be used for that purpose. You completely ignore the substance of my response to you (which addressed the substance of yours) and play that "values voter" crap with me, when I am not a values voter and never use that phrasology for the very good reason that it does not reflect my thinking. But in doing this you caricature me, and unfairly, I think, as something akin to a far-right extremist. I am not taking the remarks out of context; I watched the entire unedited video of the speech and I saw a guy who played to the cheap seats with yes, jeering and sneering. Whether I will reconsider in a month, I don't know. I doubt it. You know, Rand, I've said it before: if the man had governed as the same guy who campaigned in '08, he'd be barreling to re-election with a 20 pt lead and he'd be unstoppable. But he has not been that guy. I know you disagree, and you're entitled to your opinion. I still find him to be more Homer's dad than Homer. To all our detriment. -admin]

  • Rand Careaga

    BTW, that offer for Poetry of the Nineties is still open.

  • Steven Harper

    “[Y]ou’re nothing. You’ve built nothing, accomplished nothing, invented nothing, cured nothing, solved nothing, fixed nothing, except as the government has permitted.” Really, Anchoress? Your claim is not supported by what he actually said, so you clearly have an agenda. Barack Obama’s life validates what you do claim to be America’s essence, its “can do” spirit. Your words are an attack on a man who is the head of a wonderful family, while he was the child of a single mother. Your words ignore the history of the United States on so many levels. Entrepeneurs and inventors did not build this country. It was the slaves, the exploited workers, the immigrants who also labored mightily, who built this country. I challenge you to read your words at Cure D’Ars parish in Denver, CO. And share them with Vincent Rougeau, Dean of the Law School at Boston College. Let some Catholics of color decide if your characterization of President Obama is accurate. The Tea Party Catholics, the birther Catholics, the anti-illegals Catholics, the voucher Catholics… This audience will concur with you readily. But this Catholic hears a different message from yours in President Obama’s words, since I first heard them in “Dreams From My Father” and including the full text of the speech many have reduced to one line. And this Catholic has never forgotten: “Each human person has inviolable dignity.” It’s is what I heard President Obama say at Notre Dame when he was awarded an honorary doctorate there in 2009. So, after you’ve shared this blog with those Catholics of color, write about what they think about your words. I’ll do the same. We’ll compare notes.

    [I have never for a moment said a word about Obama's parentage, or his own marriage or parenthood; they're completely irrelevant and I am puzzled why you bring them up. Again, you bring up race, not me. It's irrelevant, as I am sure my "catholics of color" friends would agree, except I don't think of them, that way, and I'm pretty sure most of them agree with me. All "people of color" don't think monolithically, you know. As to your assertion that my post would be approved by "tea party catholics, birther catholics, anti-illegal catholics, voucher catholics" that would surprise me since most of them don't like me much and are always telling me I'm wrong on all of those issues. You clearly don't read me and have made a lot of assumptions based on this single post, and yet you have a problem with me expressing my thoughts re a man I have listened to for years, and even once tried to like (heaven's even Rand will tell you, when he was running for President, I was saying I wanted to do the BBQ/Beer thing w/ him and his wife -- whose initiatives and wardrobe, btw, I mostly praise). As to his Notre Dame speech, he also said he utterly respected and aimed to protect conscience. He didn't mean that either. I have never understood how he could reconcile "each human person has inviolable dignity" with the fact that he finds no inviolable dignity in a human being born alive during an attempted abortion and believes they should be refused any medical assistance. If you need to share this post with your "catholics of color" friends be my guest. I imagine they'll wonder why you keep bringing up race. I'm wondering, myself. -admin]

  • Rand Careaga

    No caricature was intended. I regret that I was taxed with “‘values voter crap’” without having had the pleasure of using “values voter” in my own post. No hard feelings. I think that you are disposed to view O’s actions and statements through a prism that invariably casts these in an extremely unfavorable light. I can understand this: I felt much the same during the Cheney Shogunate. Notwithstanding our exchanges, and notwithstanding my disappointments of the last four years (almost all of which congrue with continuation of Cheney-era policies), I wake up each morning to reassemble the world in my consciousness, recall that the Dauphin is no longer in residence (note today’s newsbite: “You know, I was famous and I was powerful, but I have no desire for fame and power anymore.”) and assign the O-man, whose presidency so dismays you, with about 250 gold stars just for being there instead. And you don’t have to like my take on this, but you should keep in mind that tens of millions of Americans in good standing are neither deluded, ignorant nor cynical, and are firm against a Romney presidency.

  • Mark Edward Noonan

    The road was not built so that two cities can be built at either end of it – the road was built because the two cities were already there and communications between them needed to be improved. That is what Obama doesn’t understand – that a government-funded road can come in handy is not in dispute but to think that the only reason commerce goes on the road is because government decided we needed a road there is absurd. There’s a road going in to Ione, Nevada – probably pretty similar in quality to that which was there in 1905, the year Las Vegas, Nevada was incorporated as a city. Both places in 1905 were just starting out and had some good prospects – Obama’s view is that the reason Ione failed and Las Vegas succeeded is because government built a better road. The reality is that the better road was built to Las Vegas because Las Vegas succeeded – no amount of good roads to Ione would have changed the fact that it failed.

  • Will

    I do not find the President deficient in American character or understanding Americans.
    Neither do I get the impression of a lack of infinite possibilities or dreams. Infinite possibilities include concern for our physical environment.

  • Gail Finke

    What Obama meant? He meant this, which is the first paragraph in the Encyclopedia Britannica for the heading “socialism”: “socialism, social and economic doctrine that calls for public rather than private ownership or control of property and natural resources. According to the socialist view, individuals do not live or work in isolation but live in cooperation with one another. Furthermore, everything that people produce is in some sense a social product, and everyone who contributes to the production of a good is entitled to a share in it. Society as a whole, therefore, should own or at least control property for the benefit of all its members.” Does that make the meaning of the President’s remarks any clearer????
    Capitalism as a system works well ONLY when you have good men and women capitalists. That’s why religion, ethics, and common sense are important to inculcate. So yes, you are sometimes going to have nasty capitalists who take advantage of workers, and who are greedy, and who lay people off while they get golden parachutes. But the system itself is still the best. We need to demand that our leaders (civic and business) be better, fairer, more just people. We need to be better, fairer, more just people ourselves. But socialism will NOT deliver those things. Europe: QED.

  • conservativemama

    I have felt from the start of this administration that Obama was not an American. Not a birth thing, that’s not me. He doesn’t feel it, doesn’t get it, what it means, what a gift it is to be an American. I wasn’t born in this country, I came as a baby, but I feel it in my bones. I am an American.

    I too believe that Obama had an unguarded moment and we saw behind the facade that he and the MSM work so hard to uphold. When he made his remarks I thought about my father who traveled the world in his work. He found himself in third world countries during the 60s and 70s, traveling in airplanes that sometimes had engine trouble, or a door would fly open. Our neighbor, a D-Day vet once remarked that it didn’t matter how late my it was the night before when my father returned home from somewhere in the world, he was at work the next day at 7am. And because he worked he ran his plant for 3 shifts a day. Because he worked so hard, and sacrificed time with us, dozens of families in our town had fathers with good jobs. And I’m not even addressing how fair, how ahead of his time he was with his treatment of his African-American employees.

    And then there’s my father-in-law, truly a self-made man. A man who has earned much success in his life and who has been very generous to family and friends. A man who has worked so hard for so long.

    And I could go on. Individuals and their dreams built this country. If they could have done it in their own countries they would have. But they came here to pursue their American dreams. It happened here, in this system, in this country that he wants to fundamentally transform.

  • Rich Fader

    Scorching. And completely deserved, I might add.

    But perhaps the best comment on this situation was Jon Lovitz’ tweet, with a picture of the president displaying his diploma and medal, with the macro caption: “Nobel Peace Prize? You didn’t earn that. Somebody else made that happen.” It’s deadly, because it’s true.

  • Marcus Aurelius

    We Reagan Democrats were shocked to see a democrat in the White House laugh about shovel ready jobs-not so shovel ready. The language police who boisterously cry racism seem not to realize they are a self appointed, self righteous lot whose tactic is right out of the communist playbook-stifle any resistance. This is my first discovery of Anchoress, and it is refreshing.

  • http://Pathos Wild Bill

    Barrack the Great was the first major party canidate I voted for since Jerry Ford. It was a hold your nose deal. At least this time I see a couple of minor party canidates who look interesting. However when Barrack and Willard ROmney are compared to each other I see exactly why we have such a close race. What it comes down to is that our political system no longer belongs to the people! All of the things that The Prez has done that so upset the Catholic Church come from the people who support him the most and he has pretty much written off anyone else. Wereas Mr Romney is doing and saying whatever he has to get what he thinks is the core voter in today’s Republican Party. If by some miracle he is elected I would doubt you would see much difference between him and Obama except maybe on money issues no matter what he says!

  • Patricia

    To everyone who considers this excellent and totally true post to be “racist” guess what? Thanks to the dems of the like of Obama, the meaning of “racist” has now been relgated to ” people in disagreement, usually with the extreme left who don’t have an argument against truth.” Even worst, it got its “new meaning” under the most devisive president in US History.

    Like everything else, “We are all racists now” since we all, at some level, disagree with each other. The right might not use the term, but the word has been so misued, it certainly qualifies for the new word list at the end of the year. It will be yet another shameful part of the Obama legacy.

    Interesting how this could happen in probably the least racist country in the world. For the little that still does remain, thanks to the left “crying fire in a crowed theater”, when no fire existed, few if any will hear their cry. It will be yet another shameful chapter in Obama’s legacy.

  • DeLynn

    Excellent post, Anchoress. It is my sincere hope and prayer that those who at this point are still blinded to who exactly our president is, may now understand. He certainly told us in no uncertain terms—if only we will listen.

    The government has done nothing to help my husband build his business. What the government has done, and continues to do, is interfere and make things much more difficult. He tries to care for patients whose only means of paying is Medicaid. The government does everything it can to not pay him for his work—the hoops that need to be jumped through are ridiculous.

    Thank you for your wonderful writing.

  • Lawrence S. Cunningham

    I must admit to a bit of what the old moral theologians call morose delectation at the number of times the Anchoress has responded with bold print in self justification to some of the posts . It reinforces my point that there is something terribly wrong about charging the president of this country with not being sufficiently American. Morose delectation, however, is a sin and for that I am mildly repentant.

    [I always try to respond to folks when I have time. When I don't, I don't.

  • YouGoAnchoress

    I just reread your post in search of some of the aforementioned racist bits. I’m still looking … It seems to me that Obama’s supporters cannot craft an argument without bringing up (1) the race card, (2) Rush Limbaugh, and (3) the wackiness of Mormons. I think people are finally starting to see through this hollow rhetoric. At least I hope so. We will find out in November, please God.

  • Elizabeth Scalia

    You know, Rand, I can tell you this much with certainty…four years after Obama leaves office, I will not still taking note of him, or blaming him or snarking about him or allowing his pronouncements to disturb me. I don’t hate the guy, and my disregard for him does not own me.

  • Brian English

    “I think there are plenty of businesses that don’t pay anywhere near an equitable share in taxes of what they get in advantage from gov. infrastructure.”

    You mean like GE, which is run by Jeff Immelt, the Czar of Obama’s Jobs Council?

  • Brian English

    “Government hasn’t created the success of any of the family businesses – and, their policies has actually hindered their success. ”

    The widespread belief that the Democrats, as the party of Big Government, are the enemies of Big Business, is an absolute fraud. Big Business loves Big Government. Big Business can afford the lobbyists, lawyers and accountants who can handle the taxes, legislation and regulations that are strangling family and other small to medium businesses.

  • Brian English

    “If by some miracle he is elected I would doubt you would see much difference between him and Obama except maybe on money issues no matter what he says!”

    Seriously? You really believe that Romney would continue to pursue the HHS mandate if he gets elected? You really believe he would pursue Obama’s general attack on conscience rights? You really believe he would appoint Supreme Court Justices like Kagan and Sotomayor?

    Why do you think that Romney wants to be a one-term President? He would be faced with a revolt in Congress if he behaved the way you predict, and there are several excellent GOP candidates who could challenge him in the primary for 2016.

  • Bertha

    I concur with the gist of this post by Anchoress and because I do, I can easily be dismissed as racist, or a Tea Party Catholic, birther Catholic, anti-illegals Catholic, or voucher Catholic. What has happened to our ability to freely share thoughtful ideas and engage in reasonable scrutiny? Why does disagreement have to wander into off-topic accusations and slide into personal attacks?

    One of the reasons I became a regular with this blog is because the comments are usually insightful, thoughtful, and helpful. I love a good debate, discussion, and enjoy having my ideas challenged. We Catholics are encouraged to engage in political discussion, the Magisterium does it all the time, and I appreciate that Anchoress is willing to delve into that reality.

  • Peggy Coffey

    Anchoress, I say a prayer for you when you have to answer these comments. You have been most gracious to these people, calling you a racist, right wing nut etc. I would not be so kind.

  • rosie

    As someone who is trying to “build”, er, get a non-profit off the ground, one that aims at helping the “little guy”, in this case inner-city kids by teaching computer programming concepts( a 21st century skill), I admire what the president had to say about building something “together”. I am building something with the help of teachers, corporations, and my local community. Those who take offense from his words should read what The Anchoress posted only days ago by Joanne McPortland…”That belief of mine is in no way intended to oppress you, coerce you, belittle your beliefs, or even convince you of the rightness of mine.”
    Let’s not be so sensitive…especially when the President meant we should “work together”.
    If you’d like to help me, visit AnimoEd on facebook
    and take a look at some programming lessons…feedback is most welcomed.
    Many Thanks and God Bless,

  • Steve 1950

    Elizabeth is on fire today. If she and I weren’t already married I’d send her flowers, give her chocolates, and ask to take her out to the movies.

  • ahem

    It is amazing to see how great a percentage of the American public no longer recognizes a Marxist when they see one—thirty years of socialist indoctrination at the university level will do that to you. When I was 20, they were easy to identify and almost universally ridiculed for their naivete and greed. We had just won a war against socialism and knew its deadly and heartless deficiencies. Parents would roll their eyes and pray their kids grew out of it. Most of them did. No one took it seriously.

    I attended university from ’68-’72, back in the days when American students enjoyed a considerable amount more intellectual freedom than they do now. There were no hate speech laws or free speech zones; one was free to express an opinion. I am from a generation fortunate enough to have received a “liberal” education when the term meant exposure to varying, often opposing, viewpoints. Alas, that has not been the case for many years.

    Racism? When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. The fact that a cry of ‘racism’ is the first and only defense you are prepared to make of Obama’s policies should give you a strong clue that you are on the ropes intellectually: the Left has reached the end of the road in its long march through the institutions, and you lost. In 1984, Syme says, in a discussion about removing superfluous and confusing words from use: “Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten. ”

    The word ‘racism’ is such a word; it is the one-word argument that defends all anti-collectivist arguments, the garlic necklace that holds off all who are guilty of standing up for the individual, the magic word that expresses every conceivable form of political crimethink—just as Orwell foretold.

    It obviates the need to discuss–or, indeed, to be acquainted with–history or economics or political philosophy; it obviates the need for evaluating a politician on the ‘content of his character, and not the color of his skin,’ as Someone Famous once said. If you honestly forget for a moment, Mr Obama’s color–which is 50% white–you are left with a man who has been educated along very narrowly-circumscribed lines, who has had little of what might truly be called a ‘liberal’ education, who lives in a nihilistic and racist dream world where humans are fundamentally selfish and evil—especially whitey—and who believes that infants have no inherent worth. In addition, every word that comes out his mouth is a lie, including a, an, and the.

    If you were to close your eyes and imagine that Obama were 100% white, and evaluate his ideas under the harsh glare of objective analysis, you might actually come to the conclusion, as many of us have already, that his ideas are, and always have been, deadly in practice. Look around at all the misery he has caused, and continues to cause, because of his marxist beliefs: high unemployment, onerous taxes, loss of personal freedom, the expansion of the state, the destruction of the Constitution. He has relegated Congress to an afterthought, set up an unaccountable shadow government, and has abandoned America’s long-time allies. Are these the ideas you’re defending?


    It is a fallacy to assume that an idea is virtuous simply because of its expressed intent. (I have high ideals; therefore, I am blameless!) Lenin, Mao and Castro expressed high ideals, too. It is a fallacy to assume that, just because a man is ‘black’, he must necessarily hold the moral high ground. I would have imagined the existence of Al Sharpton would have disabused you of that notion.

    ‘Racism’ as a portmanteau argument against every idea you have been trained, like Pavlov’s dog, to dislike is nonsense.

    Elizabeth: You don’t have to defend yourself from everyone who misinterprets you. Those who are thoughtful will know who you are.

  • tnxplant

    Obama’s words have certainly touched a nerve among many. He appears to try to carry the Biblical concept of the early church community where everyone shared freely all they had with one another into the political realm of government bureaucracy.

    There the analogy breaks down completely. The United States federal government is not the Church. And the infrastructure is not built by “the government”; it is built by individual workers employed with taxpayer money, much of which comes from the earnings of those who started their own businesses or work for them.

    To call disagreement with his words “racism” simply points out the lack of a reasoned rebuttal to the opinion expressed here and lowers the level of discussion.

  • From Minnesota

    Thank you for writing this. Your analysis sums him up pretty accurately.