Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stereotyping - It's Okay Now

I've been meaning to get around to this for awhile now, as it's been tickling the back of my mind for days:

First Obama tells GOP leaders to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.

Then he dings them for watching and/or appearing on Fox News.

Then, of course, there was the "bitter, religous, gun-owners" crack during the elections.

Is it just me, or does Obama have a real stereotypical view of people in Middle-America and on the Right? Wouldn't a black person and the "first post-racial candidate" know better than to trade in stereotypes?

It bothers me more than a little that he seems to make such sweeping generalizations about people. Just because one is a Republican doesn't mean they all listen to Rush or watch Fox News, and it's rather offensive for him to suggest that. You'd think if he were serious about ending partisanship and opening up a dialogue he wouldn't start with a pointless dig--if not insult.

Or, to put it bluntly, Mr. President, don't bite the hand you claim you want to shake.

Now add to all that his "I won" crack. Even if in jest, it was poor form. And largely irrelevant. As someone pointed out, he was talking to other elected representatives--all of which could say the same thing. They won their respective elections or they wouldn't be there. Sure, they can't claim to have won "the big one", but they still merit some respect, lest Obama be guilty of implying their individual constituencies don't matter.

What I see here is a disturbing trend toward arrogance. He seems to be going through the motions of reaching across the aisle, but it seems to be to deliver a slap rather than a handshake. If he's not careful in two years he's going to wish he'd shown a little more magnanimity and respect.

As it is, his first report card on how he's doing at building bridges came back tonight: a big red "F".

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