Two Barack Obamas

The Telegraph has an article today on Barack Obama, Rush Limbaugh, and the Republicans in Congress (see here).

There are two Barack Obamas. One I love, the other I can hardly stomach. One acknowledges different points of view, keeps his cool, has humility, and brings people together. The other is arrogant, condescending, and talks down to others.

Lately, we got to see the second Barack Obama, if what the Telegraph says is true. Remember the Barack Obama who arrogantly claimed “people don’t read their Bibles,” then proceeded to mangle the Bible? He seems to have made a reappearance.

He reportedly said that he doesn’t care about Republican input, since he won the election. He also told Republicans that they shouldn’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, for that keeps things from getting done.

President Obama has a right to act this way. His party won the election, and there’s no law that says he must like the provocative voices of the other side. But he puts himself on a higher plane when he advertises himself as someone who will bring people together and usher in a new era of bipartisanship. Right now, he’s acting like the liberal stereotype of George W. Bush, assuming that he doesn’t need the other side, and marginalizing voices that dissent from his ideology.

I can understand that Rush Limbaugh can be pretty annoying to Democrats, since it seems like Rush monitors and critiques their every move! But that doesn’t mean Republicans are wrong to listen to him. We can learn a lot from our critics!

President Obama, this is the real world now. Not everyone is enamored with your charisma. Not everyone thinks that disagreement with you is a “childish thing.” When you spend taxpayer money on institutions that perform abortions, people will get offended and speak out. When your economic stimulus plan spends a bunch on contraceptives, critics will argue that perhaps the money should be spent more wisely.

Come to think of it, I think every President has two sides. George W. Bush was cranky and opinionated in the first two 2004 Presidential debates, but he was charming and witty in the last. Bill Clinton could acknowledge and in some cases implement conservative ideas, as well as acknowledge the value of Rush Limbaugh in the political process. But he also accused conservative talk radio of causing the Oklahoma City bombing.

I guess these last few weeks set the tone for how I’ll react to the Obama Administration. Some days I’ll love it, other days I’ll hate it.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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