Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Obama the Petulant

According to a press report, “President Barack Obama abruptly walked out of a stormy debt-limit meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday, a dramatic setback to the already shaky negotiations.’ ‘ He shoved back and said, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow’ and walked out,’ House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) told reporters in the Capitol after the meeting.”

The president’s reported agitation, his lecturing tone, and his threats aren’t terribly surprising. Last week, I wrote about the president’s narcissism, of which petulance is a kind of second cousin. When an individual of almost limitless self-regard doesn’t get his way — when a man who was dubbed by his aides as the “Black Jesus” during the 2008 campaign encounters resistance rather than compliance – he is not likely to handle it well. And when you combine this with the fact that Obama’s policies are failing on almost every front and the soaring hopes of 2008 crashed and burned long ago, then storming out of meetings with members of the other party is predictable.

The stress of the presidency seems to be bringing out some of the worst qualities in Obama. Just wait until the campaign.