Once upon a time, there was an expectation that the President of the United States — “the leader of the free world,” as we used to call him — would exhibit certain reasonable behaviors in public. After all, the liberating Constitution this man represented was viewed as a symbol of hope by the world’s freedom-yearning masses.
People of good will can disagree as to when such expected presidential decorum began to decline, but there can be little doubt that Barack Obama has completed the transition.
In the past five years, this man’s public actions have made it clear that he detests the ideals for which this country stands. Incredibly, one of the two autobiographies he published before he had accomplished anything was called “Dreams from my father” — a telling memoir that memorialized the beliefs of a drunken, loutish, Communist father who abandoned young Barack early in childhood.
As president, Obama has bowed before Saudi sheiks and Chinese Communists. One of his first deeds after moving into the White House was to return a bust of Winston Churchill presented in a show of solidarity by the Brits and which had adorned the Oval Office since shortly after 9/11.
He and his family have enjoyed lavish, multi-million dollar vacations and, as of this writing, he has played 151 rounds of golf.
As the dead bodies of his own countrymen lay in the ashes of a ruined consulate in Libya, he flew across the continent to attend an elegant campaign fundraiser with his sycophantic Hollywood benefactors, leaving his U.N. Ambassador to perpetuate the lie that “spontaneous protests caused by an anti-Muslim video” were to blame for the deaths of those four brave Americans.
He has naively attempted to negotiate with Iranian dictators over issues of nuclear weapons, while snubbing our only real ally in the region — Israel.
Then, three months ago, the White House press office put out a photograph of Obama, standing at the desk in the Oval Office talking on the telephone. There was my president, in a posed photo for all the world to see, with the sole of his left shoe on the top of the Oval Office desk.
Ronald Reagan reportedly was so respectful of his official surroundings that he would not even remove his suit coat in the Oval Office, but, in fairness, others have not been so deferential. Photos exist of former Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush talking on the phone with their feet perched casually on that iconic old desk. And none of us alive at the time will ever forget what happened in that office on Bill Clinton’s watch.
But this photo was different. First, it was not the casual, kicked-back, cross-legged pose of his predecessors. Rather, Obama’s pose was one with his foot, sole-down, on the edge of the desk.
This is an intelligent, educated man. He knows the history of that desk. It was crafted in 1880 with wood from a sunken British ship and presented as a gift from England’s Queen Victoria. Can there be any doubt that Obama respects what it stands for about as much as he did that bust of Churchill?
Furthermore, the man’s early years were spent in Islamic schools. He knows that in the Muslim world there is nothing more degrading than touching someone or something with the sole of one’s shoe. Remember the 2003 images of newly liberated Iraqis pounding on posters of Saddam Hussein with their shoes? Remember the Iraqi man who threw his shoes at George Bush? That man could have been throwing feces at Bush that day and it would not have been more disrespectful in his world.
Imagine the reaction that reverberated across the Muslim world when the photo of Obama was released. What message do you suppose that image conveyed?
Finally, in his most recent act of public contempt for the office he holds, while attending the funeral of Nelson Mandela, Obama made a point of engaging in a warm, smiling handshake with Raul Castro, brother of Fidel and now tyrant-in-chief of that enslaved island.
There is a cynical saying in the halls of power: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” This president continues to confirm that his motto is “The enemy of America is my friend.”
©2013 by Doug Patton, Doug describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. For more info contact Cari Dawson Bartley at email@example.com. Readers are encouraged to email Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.