Disrespecting the presidency
by Kevin Foley
Columnist
April 05, 2013 12:00 AM | 1224 views | 13 13 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Along with their petty ideas, Republican leaders in the House and Senate love to engage in petty behavior.

These are the same people who have done nothing to help President Obama lift the nation out of the economic morass their party left behind after eight disastrous Bush years. In fact, they’ve stood in President Obama’s way at every turn, reckoning if they preserved the miserable status quo Republicans would win elections.

They should have been disabused of that notion after the thumping they received in November. They lost the presidency along with Senate and House seats, so you’d think conservative leaders would begin to understand there aren’t enough buyers for what they’re selling.

You’d think they’d moderate their views and behavior.

Since taking office, Obama has tried mightily to compromise with congressional Republicans. Virtually every one of his overtures has been scornfully slapped away by House and Senate leaders who decided early on Obama was on his own.

John Boehner now says he’s done negotiating with the president. Think about that. With America’s troops in harm’s way, the House Speaker, third in line to the presidency, is refusing to discuss the nation’s business with the lawfully elected president of the United States.

And it’s gotten uglier, more personal, and, yes, even pettier, such is the bitterness and resentment among Republicans.

Invited to the White House for a screening of the movie “Lincoln,” Boehner, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and other leading Republicans refused to join the president. When he telephoned both leaders on election night, Obama was told they were asleep.

At the White House Christmas party, Boehner declined to have his photo taken with the president. The Speaker of the House has also turned down invitations to every state dinner Obama has held.

When Obama wanted to host a bipartisan leadership meeting, Republicans said they were too busy. When the president asked to address a joint session of Congress in 2011, Boehner said he would have to wait.

Of course, Michelle Obama has been subjected to nasty personal attacks like no first lady before. And when you thought they couldn’t sink any lower, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) went after the Obama children for taking a vacation in the Bahamas.

When the president invites you to the White House, you go. When the president requests something reasonable, you grant it. When the president calls, you answer the phone. You respect boundaries and you leave the president’s wife and children alone.

It’s not just common decency, it’s showing respect for the office, if not the man.

We, the people, bestow the majesty of the presidency on very few people. This is why Obama and nearly all of his predecessors are humbled by it. Presidents also know they only have a short time to lead this great country and they can’t do it alone. It requires a team of rivals, to borrow the title of Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book by the same name.

So it is disgraceful that Republican leaders have refused to play their prescribed role in the American experiment. It’s immoral because it beggars the sacrifice of all those who gave their lives for the principles America represents.

Their disrespect renders our democratic process meaningless.

This isn’t what the Founding Fathers envisioned. They counted on mutual respect and agreeable disagreement among our elected leaders. Knowing nobody gets everything they want all the time, they sought compromise. There would be no America today but for compromise.

In their petulant disrespect of President Obama, conservatives in Congress reveal their contempt for the 65 million Americans who voted for Obama, for the service men and women he commands and for our Constitution.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(13)
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Luek
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April 09, 2013
Poor, poor Barry and Michelle. They have tried so darn hard to save America's soul but those nasty old white male Republicans have stood in their way to success. I am just going to move into Heartbreak Hotel until things get better. May be there a heck of a long time though. One would think that after 4plus years of Barry's jacking around there would be no more US troops in the Mideast and the economy would blossom. And it would have too if only that small handful of archaic white male gun crazed Republicans would let it. But poor, poor Barry he tries so hard to do good but falls FLAT !
CobbCoGuy
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April 07, 2013
Conservative friends, perhaps Mr. Foley is right; we should back off. I mean, it's no secret that Mr. Obama is quite sensitive to criticism.

There, there, Barack; it'll be ok.

Can somebody get him a juice box?
Bob Johson
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April 06, 2013
Kevin this makes 5 in a row. Come on your better than this. Instead of just trying to make us mad come up with something worth reading. The clock is ticking, I am sure the MDJ is saying "Lets give him one more before we fire him"
CobbCoGuy
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April 06, 2013
See Claire Gordon, April 5, 2013, on AOL...

"The March jobs numbers, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday, were so dismal that Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of PRESIDENT OBAMA'S [caps added] Council of Economic Advisers, called them "a punch to the gut."

Read the entire article, folks.

THIS...is one of many things we should be discussing.
CobbCoGuy
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April 06, 2013
...as if Democrats showed respect for Bush and the Office of the President during Bush's administration.

Instead of real issues, most of you're recent commentaries have been about personalities - Paul Ryan, Michelle Bachmann, Benjamin Carson, and Oleg Ivutin whoever that is (note that you received zero comments on that one). These are distractions.

We can only infer that things aren't going well for the Democrats.
Nettie Helen Stemm
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April 05, 2013
Where was your righteous indignation when Bush was receiving the lind of non-cooperation you are blaming the GOP for? That was different,. right?

You people spent 8 years, except for a small window of good will immediately following the

9-11 tragedy, fighting everything Bush tried to do,as well as spouitng the oft repeated nonsense that "Bush stole the election" and was "not my President".

The window of cooperation in approving the Iraqi war, wherein conservatives and liberals joined to give their approval, is now swept under the rug by folks like you who want to lay all the blame on Bush. Those who do that are the same kinds of fools as those who called WWI, "Mr. Wilson's War" and WWII, "Mr Roosevelt's War."

By the way, Kevin. Nobody is disrespecting the Presidency. There are at lot of people, however, disrepsecting the socialistic fool who holds the office, through disingeneuous means, along with the "65 million" fools who voted for him, some of them numerous times, by their own admission.
East Cobb Senior
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April 05, 2013
Foley, as a previous commenter remarked you are nothing more than a Liberal “Lemming” hypocrite who cannot think for yourself and who continually skews history to suit whatever fallacious argument and lie you’re trying to perpetrate on your readers. Let’s examine the context and content of several of your asinine and idiotic statements. “Republican leaders” refuse invitations to the White House to work out compromises with Obama. There were such meetings at the White House and each time Republicans attempted to reach a consensus with this Charlatan in the Oval Office, he “moved the Goal Post”. And, when “His Majesty” Obama realized that the Republicans wouldn’t just roll over and play dead, HE, not they cut off contact. To Obama “compromise” is defined simply as “my way or the highway”. That statement about “reasonable” requests and the Congress or Supreme Court “grants it” says just about everything anyone needs to know about how you think and Obama’s interpretation of how our Constitution works is blasphemous and DOWNRIGHT SCARY.

Now for your inaccurate statement that Michele Obama has been subjected to nasty personal attacks like no other first lady. I suppose, as a Liberal Lemming, you consider, just as your “King” or “Messiah” in the White House does, any attack on a Republican or conservative, whether personal or not is justified or warranted. Here again, your convenient liberal bias memory and re-write of history fails to mention that Nancy Reagan was continually vilified and personally attacked by your fellow Liberal Lemming Democrats the entire time she was First Lady. And as for the Obama daughters, again your continued ignorance is evident when you omit the many personal attacks on the Bush daughters.

Obama and his lemming minions continue to either humiliate or demonize any Republican or conservative they see as critical or in disagreement with their policies or agenda. Is it any wonder they keep their distance? Although his rhetoric may be eloquent, as most “street organizers” are, his results are pathetic at best. This blame game, do nothing Imperial and egotistical President has yet to EARN any respect for the office he holds. And, until Obama demonstrates some “humility”, which appears to be an alien concept to him, and an understanding of his position as a co-equal in the three branches of government and not a singular dictatorial monarch, he will not enjoy the respect of the office.

Nancy Hodges
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April 05, 2013
Thank you Kevin Foley for the article on Disrespecting the President. I wholeheartedly agree with you on this.
Glenda in West Cobb
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April 17, 2013
To the Senior in East Cobb, can't believe you are so disrespectable, but then again this is Cobb County and as you have in signed your CoverName -Senior in East Cobb, you are probably and OLD WHITE PERSON, so I'm not surprised. You are just sooo upset because he is Black, Proud and very, very intelligent, not like the last President we had that was proud of his C average in College. President Obama WON 2 elections by substantial margins, so wake up, we suffered 8 yrs with President Bush and see what it got us. Your Republicans don't care about you Senior in East Cobb, only if you are rich if not what is your problem. Respectfully, Glenda in West Cobb.
FROM TEXAS
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April 05, 2013
Czar Obama hasn’t performed any of his homework like a budget has played the race card along with Chris Mathews! That’s why that station isn’t watched in our house; the only reason we do watch is to get updated on the latest commy socialist moments that their pushing. For a gun control freak Obama sure is pulling out the high capacity magazines you know the F/22, B/2 and the missile defense system against North Korea. Why can't Obama, Dennis Rodman and Jim Carrey go over there and fix this you know have beer and sign Kumbaya. I guess he’s now showing some of that military power that he travelled around the world and apologized for. In the Orient he is commonly referred to as a Lady boy the same problem Jiving Jimmy Carter had in the 1970’s.
Bumstead
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April 05, 2013
IDIOT!
Illuminator!
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April 05, 2013
This article is an April Fools joke, right? How can anyone hold Obama up as a model of what is rght with the country when he has run up trillion dollar deficts as far as the eye can see. Can enslaved our children and grandchildren for centuries and squandered the future for the sake of being reelected.

And, he has done this by convincing the youth and the moochers who have never earned a days pay to keep him in office. Why work when we can print money, tax the rich and no one has a care in the world. Its clown reporters like this that sway these target groups while chastising the working people. Why does a liberal always want to reward the lazy and punish the productive?
Samuel Adams
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April 05, 2013
Leaders must EARN respect, Kev, not DEMAND it. Obama thinks he's king and so do you, his minion. Free men don't worship at the feet or bow to people who are their equals, and especially they do not blindly follow hollow men, with no apparent qualifications except that low information voters and a twisted liberal press corps BARELY squeaked him into an office for which he was not qualified.

Don't get your fur all out of whack for Obama or Michelle. They're living in luxury, holding special concerts with big (dumb) rap stars entertaining them and their teenagers and entourages. Obama is playing golf and taking vacations while taking credit for anything good and hiding anything bad. His failed presidency -- everyone is worse off than they were before -- is being propped up by the media, who refuses to hold him responsible. The office will survive, but with considerable tarnish. And any excitement about the first half black president is overshadowed by his squandering of leadership there as well. He's done nothing to lift anything, nothing to inspire men to be better, color notwithstanding. His Marxism rewards failure and penalizes success.
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