May 31, 2010

Arrogant President Insults Oklahoma

[This Marlin Oil advertorial appears in the June 2, 2010 edition of The City Sentinel.]

Other than avowed partisans, most of us could normally be feeling sorry for the president of the United States about right now. But this presidency is not following a normal trajectory. Even many Democrats are longing for the 2012 elections, when there will be a chance to replace one of the worst chief executives in American history.

An anemic 16 percent of Americans approve of Barack Obama’s handling of the Gulf deep well oil spill. His overall approval ratings are almost as bad as those George W. Bush had by the middle of his second term in office.

His efforts at a costly “second stimulus” fell apart last week – due to the defections of key moderate Democrats who no longer want their political ankles hooked to the anvil of the Obama presidency. He avoided the normal Memorial Day honors to American war dead in Washington. He negotiated with military leaders phaseout of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies – then undercut them by violating the process they expected.

This president is remarkably and deliberately tone-deaf, and unsympathetic in politics. That makes it easier to feel less than sympathetic to him.

One recent illustration of this is announcement of his intention to appoint a Washington, D.C. lawyer to the judicial position on the Tenth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. That job has always been been held by an Oklahoman.

The present occupant is Judge Robert Henry, the governor's cousin and a respected Oklahoman who is about to become president of Oklahoma City University. A former Democrat legislator and state attorney general, Judge Henry is moderate with some liberalism, and even a few conservative sprinkles, in his record. Even those who disagree with him respect him.

There are good Democrats who would make a fine appeals court judge. But in Obama’s mind, apparently none of them live or work in Oklahoma.

The point here is simply to note that Obama’s decision to bypass the state should be considered exactly what it is – an insult to Oklahoma. This is another example of the out-of-touch arrogance and disdain that is becoming characteristic of a disastrously poor presidency.

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