Don’t Hate Obama

Posted on September 6, 2011 by

Barack Obama may have failed. 

He may lack judgment, courage or principles. 

But he is not immoral, indecent or malicious. 

This Huff Po piece by Michael Brenner is over-the-top.  Beyond criticism, it’s character assassination. 

Brenner, professor of international affairs at the University of  Pittsburgh, accuses Obama of a “betrayal” which will “resonate in history” and has “unmoored the Democratic Party from its foundation”.

Pretty harsh stuff but Brenner’s just getting warmed up:

Most striking is a behavior pattern that resembles closely the narcissistic syndrome – even if he [Obama] is not a clinical narcissist. A narcissist has no convictions other than a total dedication to his own gratification. That gives him the freedom to maneuver without inhibition or conscience with the revered self as the only reference point….Narcissists believe everything they say – at the moment they say it.

Brenner presumes to understand and then explain the president’s character disorder. 

I’m worried that this kind of talk will resonate among bitterly disappointed progressives.  This is extraordinarily dangerous.  We can’t let our frustration turn into active hostility and contempt for this president. 

While criticism from the left is fair game, demonization is not

It’s true that Barack Obama may have been unprepared or ill-equipped to take on republicans determined to destroy him at any cost. 

And we’re understandably angry.  

But we have to manage our feelings and control ourselves.

Comments (13)


  1. Charlie King says:

    In an honest attempt to give Obama all the flexability to succeed by not critizing him, everyone was initially holding back. However we seem to have only delayed and in fact made worse the problems we all now see. We should not demonize anyone, but we owe it to our cause to voice our criticism. Obama is an example of how it only gets worse if we don’t.

  2. Bruce says:

    Well said, Lou. I’m reminded of the 1968 election, when liberals failed to vote for Hubert Humphrey because of his association with President Johnson and his involvement in the Vietnam War. By a slim margin of about half a million votes, that gave us Nixon, Watergate and the Rehnquist Court. Or 2000, when progressives voted for Ralph Nader, tipping the election to W. by an even slimmer margin and the resultant disaster that followed, including a Supreme Court now heavily weighted to the right. Unfortunately, the energy coming from the progressive camp is anemic, and unless the economy rebounds, or by some miracle Obama’s job program gets through, I fear that history will repeat itself.

  3. Here’s the dilemma, Lou: I voted for Obama precisely because he assured us of his “judgment, courage and principles.” Turns out that was just a whole lot of hot air. He isn’t up to the leadership demands of the job… at best, a terrible misjudgment by him of his capabilities.

    We do neither Mr. Obama nor the country any favors by continuing to pretend that the emperor is wearing a fine suit of clothes (judgment, courage, principles), when he is wearing only a few tatters.

  4. Greg II says:

    I think we do ourselves a great disservice by denying the fact that this President has faced a demonic furor from the Right, the likes of which has not ever been seen by any President. Ever. And rather than criticizing him for not fighting the fight that you want him to fight, why aren’t we fighting with him. It is so easy to go to the polls, vote and sit back and make complaints when things don’t go the way you think they should Put the damn remote down and become an activist, not against your President but against the people who have their boots on the necks of all workers in America.

  5. lyn goldfarb says:

    Well said. and Greg, I agree, we need to fight to be the force on the outside that fight with him to make the changes we want and pushes him more to the left.

  6. Rod Bradley says:

    Yes, we need to fight, but in fact I fear the President is not with the progressives, in fact is doing everything he can to undermine and quell the progressive voice.

    I agree, we don’t need to demonize him, and his elitist arrogance is pretty darn annoying. But those who say we need to fight with him, are delusional. He fights and stands for nothing. He stands for nothing. This was obvious to me (who worked and voted for him) when he went to Oslo and did an Orwellian speech on War is Peace.

  7. Rey says:

    Here’s the thing I think you are missing Lou…we elected this President to take a swing for us…that’s all. Success or Failure is not the issue with most of the people i speak with that voted for him…it’s the seeming inability to at least swing for the freaking fences…we did not put him at bat to come in and lay down bunts. We all knew his opponents would come hard at him and we did not expect him to win every struggle or issue on our (those who voted for him) behalf…but we did expect him to at least act like he heard us, understood us, and shared the values that the majority of us Americans hold in common. It’s the principal that matters; the question is will he truly represent our desires and visions within the walls of our govermental institutions? So far the the little Magic 8 ball keeps screaming its consistent answer of “HELL NO!!!”.

  8. Gavin says:

    To piggyback on Greg II’s comments, you have a speaker of the house who has publicly vowed and #1 mission is to get Obama out of office. Given Republician maority in house and slim Democratic majority in the senate, I am not sure if any one in Obama’s position can govern to the level or institute the changes we voted for.

    • Betty Madden says:

      I want what Mr. Roosevelt advocated for America,
      “The Economic Bill of Rights.”
      √ Education
      √ Medical Care
      √ Housing
      √ Employment with a living wage
      √ Freedom from unfair competition & Monopoly
      √ Social Security Retirement
      I will work hard to get this message through to President Obama and I will work hard reminding him of my goal and demand he work for the American people to make it a reality. He never said, as President, he could do what was needed but that together with us we can achieve our goals to get it done. “Obama 2012″
      P.S. Let’s take a lesson from the Tea Party. Stick to the goals set out. Meet weekly in small groups & get the message out to the voters.

  9. Nick Eldredge says:

    With a few exceptions, and after cleaning up the occasional “may have”, the essential message of this blog and commentary is:

    1) Barack Obama has failed. He lacks judgment, courage or principles. 

    2) He has a behavior pattern that resembles closely the narcissistic syndrome. And a narcissist has no convictions other than a total dedication to his own gratification.

    3) Barack Obama was (and is) unprepared or ill-equipped to take on the Republicans.

    4) Obama assured us of his “judgment, courage and principles.” But it turns out that was just a whole lot of hot air. He isn’t up to the leadership demands of the job.

    5) The President is not with the progressives, in fact is doing everything he can to undermine and quell the progressive voice.

    6) We don’t need to demonize Obama but his elitist arrogance is pretty darn annoying. Plus, he fights and stands for nothing.

    7) Furthermore, there’s no point in continuing to pretend that the Emperor Obama is wearing a fine suit of clothes, e.g., judgment, courage, principles, when he is wearing only a few tatters.

    8) The (ultimate) question is, will he truly represent our desires and visions within the walls of our governmental institutions? The little Magic 8 ball keeps screaming “HELL NO!!!”.

    Mitch, John, Eric, Rick, Mit, Michelle and even Rush couldn’t have said it better.

    Which is not to say that the above-quoted brother and sister liberal-progressives have become conservative jerks, just that the relentless Republican siege of negative judgment on Barack Obama has infiltrated their perception of what the hell is going on in the brutal, bloody political Gettysburg of today’s Washington D.C.
    Our country has absolutely amazing potential. But right now it is dazed, deeply hurting and very afraid. And the ruthless Republican propaganda machine is taking full advantage of a very desperate and dangerous situation. If we can’t see what they’re doing, if we can’t counteract it, who the hell will?

  10. sarah says:

    Look God hates assholes and idiots too! Obama isn’t the exception. When you’re a dumba_s as he is, God notices. Everyday the ghetto boy thinks he speaks with the burning bush, but the bush is saying to him…you’re a dumba_s boy! Even the mirror on the wall when he asks ‘whose the best one of all’ calls him a dumba_s boy. This is what we get from those idiot democrats putting Ghetto in the White House! He’s ruining our country, #1 in 2008 and now #5 in the world with zero net job growth and sliding down everyday. Mark my words this time next year we’ll have 12-15% unemployment in this country because of this clown’s policies and lack of leadership! Dumba_s democrats! That’s why they have a jackass for their representative image.

  11. Phil says:

    Obama has turned out to be a bit like the caesar salad at your local pizza joint. Palatable but disappointing. I don’t know that I’d order it again.

  12. redteddy says:

    Its not demonizing to tell the truth. He has betrayed his base and seems to not understand his mandate. I don’t think Obama was ill equipped nor ill-prepared, he spoke out against lobbyists and then went ahead and brought them into his administration almost immediately after taking office. He has taken up Republican agendas and worked for the interests of the financial sector at the expense of the american people. He’s a disgrace and its not too far fetched to call it a betrayal. I won’t go so far as to try and analyze the mind-set of the president by using terms such as ‘narcissistic’, I don’t really care what goes on in his head, I only care about what he does.

Leave a Reply