President Obama is angry, and rightfully so. He's endured two years of meticulous Republican opposition to virtually every measure put forth, even when he -- dare I say -- compromised. Setting aside campaign promises of a public healthcare option and a closing of Guantanamo Bay, the President has abandoned many of his platforms only to face continual filibustering, abuse and contempt from the right. So this past Tuesday during a press conference on the proposed tax cut deal, he let loose -- except the anger was directed to those that have been in his corner since day one. It was, in effect, like the overworked and underpaid worker who comes home and beats his wife and kids instead of standing up to his tyrant boss.
September 2009 marked the beginning of the end of Obama's hold on his own principles, the desires of all those who overwhelmingly voted for change and the notion of respect for the coveted office of the Presidency. There was no capitulation on ideas, nor was there a reversal of any major campaign promise. Instead, it was a brief utterance from a Republican elected official in the House Chambers that virtually sealed this President's fate. It was two words that still reverberate around political corners till this day; it was the inexcusable and outlandish outburst of South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson. During a national address on healthcare, our President was momentarily interrupted by the words: "You Lie." And he has been unable to regain control since.
Failing to exert his authority during that pivotal moment, President Obama fell victim to vultures that were only ready, willing and able to find his weakness. And they soon enough did -- his inability to stand up to White opposition rooted in bigotry. Until that definitive instant, our Commander-in-Chief never faced such blatant insolence and hostility. Prior to Joe Wilson's scathing remarks, Obama only had to negotiate and engage in intellectual discourse with his opponents. This was in essence the first time he was face-to-face with individuals who devalued the notion of a Black President so much so that they deemed it appropriate to openly degrade and embarrass him in front of the nation.
As a biracial child growing up in a White household and later attending Ivy league schools, Obama was always perceived as the exception out of a race of people that are still struggling to shatter inaccurate stereotypes and achieve equality in a society that is far from post-racial. And though he grew up outside of the mainland, the President fully immersed himself in the struggles of African Americans and disenfranchised groups as evidenced by his work as a community organizer and advocate. Whole-heartedly embracing and identifying with his Black side, Obama married a Black woman, attended a Black Church and understood the importance of uplifting a segment of the population that has been methodically oppressed.
In the process of developing his identity, Obama also unfortunately acquired the notion of displaced anger - directing one's frustration at someone or something that is safe or convenient, as opposed to the actual source of one's anger. And sadly, we have seen this pattern manifest itself over and over again. Consistently accusing the 'professional left' of being sanctimonious, President Obama has not only abandoned the very base that created a grassroots movement of victory that ushered him to the White House, but he has chosen to continually attack them when they have shown nothing but support - even in the face of reversals in campaign promises. Instead of directly challenging those that are systematically placing roadblocks in every direction of his path, President Obama is regrettably channeling his frustration on those that want nothing more than to see him succeed.
The sooner our President recognizes this reality, the sooner he will be able to break the shackles from the remnants of mental slavery that still unfortunately subconsciously determine our actions -- even when those actions originate from the highest office in the land.