President Obama wants to get a trade deal passed. He needs Democrats to do it. But, Milbank laments, Obama’s blowing it. “Let’s suppose you are trying to bring a friend around to your point of view,” Milbank writes. “Would you tell her she’s emotional, illogical, outdated, and not very smart? Would you complain that he’s being dishonest, fabricating falsehoods and denying reality with his knee-jerk response?” “Such a method of a persuasion is likelier to get you a black eye than a convert,” Milbank notes. “Yet this is how President Obama treats his fellow Democrats on trade . . .”
Yes, well, true enough. But lost on Milbank is the fact that this is precisely how Obama treats everyone who disagrees with him. When Obama — who ran for office touting his ability to work with Republicans and vowing to cure the partisan dysfunction in Washington — treated Republicans in a far ruder and shabbier way, Milbank celebrated.
Again, this was all quintessential Obama then, and it’s quintessential Obama now. All that has changed is that he’s doing the exact same thing to Democrats, and it’s making them sad. Specifically, he’s accused Senator Elizabeth Warren of not having her facts straight. He says she’s just a politician following her partisan self-interest.
But here’s the hilarious part: Liberals can’t take it. The president of NOW, Terry O’Neill, accused Obama of being sexist. O’Neill sniped that Obama’s “clear subtext is that the little lady just doesn’t know what she’s talking about.” She added, “I think it was disrespectful.”
Both O’Neill and Senator Sherrod Brown also sniff sexism in the fact that Obama referred to Warren as “Elizabeth.” “I think referring to her as first name, when he might not have done that for a male senator, perhaps?” Brown mused with his typical syntactical ineptness.
Of course, in that White House health-care summit and in nearly every other public meeting with Republican senators and congressmen, he referred to them all by their first names.
The great irony is that when Republicans complain about Obama’s haughtiness and arrogance, liberals accuse them of being racist. I hope I don’t miss that phase of this spat while I’m off making the popcorn.