Thank you John Dickerson at Slate.com for giving some much-needed perspective on this crazy meme that the media and their Republican puppet masters have wrought on us cable news junkies. You know, the one that says the Barack Obama isn’t angry enough, not emotional enough. And then the leap they’ve been successfully making to date that it points to a lack of leadership. Personally, I think passing a health care bill, no matter how much it is flawed, showed tremendous leadership. People in the media who have never been elected or governed or led for that matter, seem to think they have a right to paint this president as lacking leadership, as if real leaders come out in front of the cameras and blow a fuse, go ballistic and show some emotion. When the reality is that American presidents have rarely, if ever, showed any real anger in public. John Dickerson at Slate.com weighs in on this…(emphasis mine)
While no one has yet discovered a way to plug the BP oil leak, each day does bring the discovery of yet another fundamental character defect that explains President Obama’s helplessness. He’s not emotional enough. He lacks crisis experience. He is insufficiently creative. With the leak likely to last into the summer, before long it will be blamed on Obama’s bad penmanship or his skinny legs.
The one question we’ll always be able to ask, fortunately, is whether the president is sufficiently angry. In the daily temperature reading that has become the White House press briefing, spokesman Robert Gibbs once again addressed the president’s temper. “Our point is not to feign, through method acting, anger at what environmental and economic damage has been wrought by this disaster. That wasn’t going to fill a hole. That wasn’t going to put money in the bank account of a shrimper that’s not fishing. That’s not going to help a hotel worker or a hotel owner on a beach in Florida.”
Here’s the thing about presidential anger. It’s never seen in public—not just from our first smooth jazz president, but from any president. If presidents show anger in public, they risk looking out of control, which in moments of crisis is the exact opposite of what people want.
This perspective seems to have eluded ANY of the talking heads that appear on my TV. The idea that he isn’t angry enough about the spill started with one of the pinhead media people, a right-winger no doubt. It was then picked up and ran with by many others, usually couched in “some say the president isn’t angry enough” statements. Who these “some” are never makes an appearance. It soon morphs into “The American people don’t think he’s angry enough” and then that gets repeated ad nauseum, drumming that line into the masses heads. After they’ve done that long enough, they take a poll and ask a question like “Do you think the president is angry enough about the oil spill?” The media then pretends like they weren’t the ones pushing that meme, it’s the America people that believe this.
Now I bet if you did a poll, completely separate from any questions about the oil spill and asked people, “would you rather your president was calm and in control or angry and pounding his fist on the table?” What do you suppose would be the result? Of course it would be calm and in control. But of course if you couch that question between two questions about oil gushing from a pipe in the gulf, you will get vastly different results. I love the fact that my president doesn’t lose control and let his emotions get the better of him, that IS EXACTLY WHAT I DO NOT WANT HIM TO DO! We all know that if President Obama had come out from day one and yelled and screamed, taken control of BP, put all the responsibility on the federal government….well you know what the right-wing noise machine would have done with that. In the political environment we live in, there is no winning, there is no agreed upon reality, there is no truth – only differing points of view and it doesn’t really matter what the president does or doesn’t do, the right-wing and the firebaggers will find fault with it. And if they can’t find anything factual, they’ll just make shit up like he isn’t angry enough. To me that says they can’t find anything else to criticize him about.
Stay cool, President Obama, don’t believe the right-wing, they are trying to trap you into being the “angry black man.”