September 10th, 2012

Obama and the Ryan-insult excuse: all you ever needed to know about Obama…

…and his devious weasel ways can be found here.

I’ve previously discussed Obama’s excuse for insulting Paul Ryan to his face:

Obama seems to like to dress people down publicly; humiliating someone and watching him/her squirm (or try to suppress the squirm) is another way to assert power over another person and to feel superior oneself…I don’t actually believe Obama didn’t know about Ryan’s attendance [at the speech where Obama insulted him].

But at the time I wrote that, I was unaware that Ryan was sitting in the front row for the speech in question. That means that Obama has had to do some pretty tricky dancing in order to avoid admitting the fact that of course he knew Ryan was there when he made the speech. Let’s take a look at how he did it:

I’ll go ahead and say it—I think that I was not aware when I gave that speech that Jack [sic] Ryan was going to be sitting right there. And so I did feel, in retrospect, had I known—we literally didn’t know he was going to be there until—or I didn’t know, until I arrived. I might have modified some of it so that we would leave more negotiations open, because I do think that they felt like we were trying to embarrass him. We made a mistake.

As Ann Althouse points out, the first red flag is the word “think” in the phrase “I think that I was not aware.” It’s a very odd construction under the circumstances; people don’t speak like that unless they’re trying to fool the listener, or unless they’re remarkably inattentive to their own thought processes. He thinks he was not aware? Obama was either aware or not aware, and he’s the only one who would know it, outside his inner circle. If it was an aide who invited Ryan to attend the speech (as previously alleged), and Obama was not informed beforehand, then that’s something he should remember and not just “think” he remembers. It should have been a huge shock when he saw Ryan sitting there.

But it goes way beyond that. The reference to Jack Ryan instead of Paul Ryan is telling in the Freudian sense. I’m no Freudian, but that’s quite a slip; Jack Ryan is the guy Obama was running against in Illinois whose seamy divorce records were conveniently unsealed (either independently, or as a result of some string-pulling by Obama allies).

Obama says he was unaware of Ryan’s presence “when I gave that speech.” But even if Obama was unaware of Ryan’s presence before he took the podium, if Ryan was sitting in the front row, Obama became aware “when he gave that speech.” And if he was unaware under such circumstances, then he is extraordinarily and pathologically out of it.

Obama then contradicts himself and says first that “we” didn’t know beforehand (that would probably include his staff, unless he’s using the royal we). Then he catches himself, perhaps because he recalls that in the Woodward book the author says that Ryan was specifically invited to the speech by Obama staffers. So Obama corrects himself and says “I” didn’t know—“until I arrived.”

So, which is it, Barack? Did you not know when you gave the speech, or did you become aware when you arrived?

Obama then goes on to add what I think is his most curious statement of all: he acts as though he had no power whatsoever to change his speech once he saw Ryan sitting there. Perhaps he’s correct. After all, his reliance on prepared remarks and the teleprompter is legendary. Even had he wanted to temper his remarks (which I do not for a moment believe), are we really to understand that he had no ability to ad lib and override his own speechmakers, and was forced to insult a man sitting in front of him because Obama is a preprogrammed robot who cannot adjust to circumstances?

Now, that’s quite an admission.

You may have noted that I have a higher-than-usual degree of anger about this particular incident, even though it’s really a very small one in the scheme of things. Don’t a lot of politicians do this sort of thing? Yes. But Obama does it more blatantly, more arrogantly, and more consistently, with an incredibly inappropriate air of his own self-righteousness—and in large part he gets away with it.

28 Responses to “Obama and the Ryan-insult excuse: all you ever needed to know about Obama…”

  1. davisbr Says:

    Polarization …it’s not just a geophysical conceptual artifact of climate change by deluded warmists.

  2. Gringo Says:

    Obama then goes on to add what I think is his most curious statement of all: he acts as though he had no power whatsoever to change his speech once he saw Ryan sitting there.

    That is the big point. Straight from the POTUS’s mouth:

    I do think that they felt like we were trying to embarrass him.

    And it would be possible to infer that insulting a person in the front row is NOT trying to embarrass that person in the front row?

    The chutzpah of the POTUS is incredible.

  3. roc scssrs Says:

    I heard Ryan refer to this incident once in an interview, when he was speaking in general about the President’s famous ability to “reach across the aisle.” He knows he was set up but probably doesn’t want to act personally insulted, lest it backfire like it did for Gingrich when Clinton made him sit in the back of the plane. But he remembers, and I hope behind that Midwestern-nice demeanor he’s as angry about it as you are, Neo!

  4. NeoConScum Says:

    Obama won’t hesitate for a moment to LIE to cover-his-a**. A punk, a lilly liver, a moral coward.

    And, in less than 2-months, a presidential loser.

  5. Dustoffmom Says:

    I could be wrong here but isn’t Jack Ryan the ‘hero’ in so many of Tom Clancy’s novels? That’s what first came into my mind when he referred to ‘Jack’ vs Paul Ryan. And I really thought that was a very odd twist indeed…..Clancy’s big mostly anti-government guy.

  6. Lizzy Says:

    Most politicians may do this, but most PRESIDENTS don’t.

    What’s so striking about his “I didn’t know Ryan would be there” excuse is, so what? He’s essentially saying that he’s OK with ripping Ryan in public, effectively poisoning the budget negotiations, as long as Ryan isn’t present to hear it firsthand. Did it not occur to him that it was petty and detrimental to his supposed goals, regardless of Ryan’s presence?

  7. Bob from Virginia Says:

    Ok explain to me again how someone with no moral compass, experience, clearly emotionally disturbed, devoid of character and a complete idiot in everything except campaigning becomes president, or did I just describe the perquisites for becoming President?

  8. DirtyJobsGuy Says:

    Lizzy’s right. No leader in any organization would do this. Department Chair at a University, Managing partner at a law firm, Mayor, Chief of Police, etc. NO One with any experience would do this.

    Reminds me of Senator Jim Webb soon to be ex-senator of Virgina. Secretary of the Navy under Bush he got pissed off at his bosses, switched parties, voted against every Bush thing he could, then burned out.

  9. texexec Says:

    Obama is a jerk. Period.

  10. ErisGuy Says:

    The insults and contempt directed at his opponents,the American flag and pledge, the people of America show the compleat triumph of his ideas. He embodies the mores of a new nation, conceived in Socialism and born in Hollywood and Academia.

  11. parker Says:

    “But Obama does it more blatantly, more arrogantly, and more consistently, with an incredibly inappropriate air of his own self-righteousness… ”

    😉 Well, he is the most arrogant, self-absorbed, self-righteous, and most blatant liar in the room the moment he walks through the door.

  12. Qae Says:

    I think this is also what I find most confusing about the current state of the presidential race – people cannot be supporting Obama for his record, so it has to be his other, more personal qualities they find worthy. But again and again, we have lurid, very public examples of what a petty and false character he is, and his supporters never seem to notice.

    With Clinton, the same attitude on the part of his base was at least comprehensible – in the case of Obama, I just don’t get it.

  13. kaba Says:

    So now Obama is throwing the teleprompter under the bus?

    I think I’m beginning to detect a trend here.

  14. Curtis Says:

    Just the first minute of this is filled with so much hubris and contempt . . .

  15. Papa Dan Says:

    It’s the cult of personality that surrounds him-from Hollywood and musicians to sports stars all the way to the adoring media. Sort of like Al Capone and John Gotti.

  16. Curtis Says:

    Obama’s devious weasel ways extend against all Americans:

  17. DonS Says:

    I can’t imagine Bush–either one–acting this way. Or Reagan, or Ford.

    Also, it is more of a shift towards political intimidation, as opposed to debate. But then, is it possible for Obama to actually debate Ryan? Without lies, I mean . . .

  18. Sparkey Says:

    “I think that I was not aware.”

    I guess it all depends on what the meaning of “think” is.

  19. DonS Says:

    Also, this seems very . . . rules for radicals.

    And that playbook is a playbook to win by destroying, not be means of an argument with merit.

    Ryan’s arguments have the most merit in this election cycle, Obama’s reply is Alinsky style.

  20. Ed Bonderenka Says:

    Obama acts unstable.
    Obama is a house built on sand.
    What storm will it take?

  21. beverly Says:

    They (the marxists) make a point of treating their enemies as sub-humans.

    Remember Orwell’s keen insight into the role humiliation, breaking the dissident’s spirit, plays in their dirty games?

    Add Hussein’s megalomania, and away you go.

  22. CV Says:

    Remember the refrain, “Bush lied, people died”?

    Now the narrative on Ryan, launched immediately after he spoke at the GOP convention, is that Ryan is a lyin liar.

    Accusing your political opponent of lying is clearly part of the MO on the left.

    The irony is, it’s clear that Obama is completely comfortable with lying and does it on a regular basis. His denial of his attempt to humiliate Ryan in that speech is just one of a long line of examples. As a previous commenter remarked, isn’t this par for the course for Rules for Radicals devotees and those formed with Marxist principles?

    Just can’t stand the guy. His supposedly high “likeability” ratings continue to baffle.

  23. Questionman Says:

    You racists really love playing holier than thou!

    I expect that you go for guys that lie, are rich and think simpletons are going to vote Ryan Rommney into the White House. Oh I forgot you do believe everthing that tea baggers say (It’s not a party, it’s Carl Rowe and Fix News’ view of a far right agenda.) Barack Obama is not a Communist, a fascist, a Muslim, a Marxist, a Progressive or even a socialist. Hard to believe the only jewish man with a thinking brain is the guy who created the Power Rangers!

    Pretty much the only people who think President Obama is a failure are the guys who think George W. Bush was a success.

    Does it make you sick that a majority of NON-White Americans AREN’T racist and bigoted as you?
    Please cut the bullcrap. it’s obvious you are a racist. It’s obvious you are a bigot, it’s obvious you are an extremist. It’s obvious you hate people who aren’t white or Chrisitan. Stop denying that fact!

    Is Barack Obama a traitor to America? No

    Is Barack Obama a usurper? No

    Those in office know he is legit. There have been many reputable non-partisan fact checkers to debunk all that you have said. He has proven time and time again that he is legally able to be President, and last I checked, being White is NOT a requirement!

    Obama is not a traitor. He is working for the best interests of America as he sees it. You will find a very well organized campaign by some billionaires to affect the perception and fear of Obama. I can say I don’t agree with all of his choices but I also don’t have all the information that Obama has either.

    Is Obama an usurper…this would indicate that he is not a valid candidate or has used force somehow to gain office. I don’t see it that way. I could make a better case for Bush W being an invalid candidate but based on his skill set.

    Is Obama a fraud…no, he is the President and he has appeared to me as Presidential. I would have been more likely to blow my top at the insults and issues that were sent to him to distract the people from more serious issues.

    Is Obama destroying America…no. He is working for a middle class America and if you are uber rich then maybe you will not get as good a deal but those that make great sums on the infrastructure of America should be giving more. Many of the rich are also saying this directly. There are a few billionaires that want more and more money and power, almost an addiction. These B’s and sons of B’s are working the propaganda machine to make people work against their own best interests.

    Is Obama a Muslim…he says no. He says he is a Christian. Until we started wars based on lies we didn’t care so much. Now we are thinking that we are in some kind of holy war. In a free country it would not or should not matter what religion a person is and what should matter is the character of the person. This is why Romney, a Mormon, is able to move towards the Presidency. His beliefs that he will be given a planet to rule in the next life are odd but if he did a good job then he should be judged on his actions.

    I’ve had enough of this hateful BS. You wanna know Why Jewish people stilll support Obama? Becaue they are NOT racists, bigots, extremist idiot. they DON’T hate having a black man as President. Like Haim Saban, creator of the successful series Power Rangers, he ACTUALLY pays attention to what Obama is doing, not the racist right’s disgusting, pathetic misintreption, but what Obama is ACTUALLY doing! Most Americans, and probably the large majority of North American Jews fully understand the concept that an American president should sort of generally consider the interests of American citizens as slightly more important than the desire of a bellicose government of a foreign power to use the US to pursue its policy objectives – especially when there is very likely nothing to be gained from it. People living in ideologic echo chambers are usually the very last to know – but theatrics aside unconditional support for Israel has been waning for several years – and people like Mr Adelson despite huge donations aren’t helping to reverse the trend nor is Mr Netanyahu. A vote for Obama is a vote for America. Not for some money-hungry satellite state 10,000 miles away

    I can’t imagine right wingers have enough brains to know what a “narcissist” is.

    He may have recently apologized for it, but the gaffe was about a year and a half ago. He wasn’t insultingly “forgetting” the Republican VP candidate’s name. He was confusing the name of one of the 441 members of the U.S. House of Representatives with the name of the guy he ran against 7 years previously.

  24. neo-neocon Says:

    I’m leaving up Questionman’s comment in its entirety because it is such an extraordinarily fine example of a certain strain of “thought” on the “progressive” left.

    Whenever people such as Questionman comes here to spew their invective, I wonder whether they realize what a sad caricature they have become.

  25. njcommuter Says:

    I don’t like Obama and will criticize him until the cows come home, and until they go out again. But I won’t blame him for the Paul Ryan/Jack Ryan error, since when I hear Paul Ryan speak, I often think I am hearing Jack Ryan.

    Am I alone in hearing Clancy’s hero in Paul Ryan’s direct, plain speech and convincing argument?

  26. Indigo Red Says:

    It doesn’t matter one iota if Obama did or didn’t know Ryan was sitting in the audience. This isn’t the 19th century. Obama’s remarks were being recorded and he knew he could be seen insulting Ryan at any time in the future.

  27. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”

    This is by no means the only example of President Obama playing the bully. Remember when he mock-threatened to have a University president audited by the IRS?

    So here we have a man who does not miss an opportunity to humiliate his personal enemies. (I had to qualify that; on the international scene, he apparently believes he has no enemies.) He never takes personal responsibility for his mistakes. He avoids responsibility altogether whenever he can, and in general acts like a teenager with Dad’s credit card, determined to have as much fun as he can until the ride’s over. He lies for personal and political advantage, and does so with a straight face and no apparent sense of remorse.

    Well, with all that weighing him down, at least he can run on his record. Oh, wait…

  28. luagha Says:

    A friend of mine always refers to Paul Ryan as ‘Andrew Ryan’ who is a famous videogame character with serious Objectivist/Ayn Randian overtones from the ‘System Shock’ series.

    It fits very well with Paul Ryan’s giving out of copies of Atlas Shrugged to his interns and such.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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