During President Barack Obama’s historic rise from state Senator to the highest office in the land, he has endured relentless disrespect from his various critics on both sides of the aisle. However, nothing from the pundits and other talking heads have come close to crossing the line on the level of elected officials who represent both the GOP and the burgeoning Tea Party. Jim Boehner, Eric Cantor, and other high-ranking Republicans have all seized on a plan of attacking Obama with seemingly xenophobic flair.
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From Rep. Joe Wilson’s now infamous “You Lie!” outburst (watch above) to fellow Republic Congressman Doug Lamborn’s “tar baby” remarks last summer, Obama has had to deflect some of the GOP’s harshest barbs, exhibiting a grace that has caused some critics to complain that he should meet the fire head on. The latest line stepping from a GOP elected official happened this week, and the images captured froze a moment that won’t soon be forgotten.
On Wednesday, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (pictured) was snapped in an Associated Press photo with her finger in the face of Obama, who had his right hand on her left elbow as she seemed to be yelling at him once he landed in the governor’s state. Although speculation surrounding the confrontation swirled about, Brewer addressed the perceived argument in a press conference (report courtesy of USA Today) last night.
I must say, I was not hostile, I was trying to be very, very gracious, said Brewer of the moment between she and Obama.
Brewer claimed that upon meeting the President on the tarmac, Obama switched the subject to her memoir, “Scorpions for Breakfast,” where she described him as “patronizing” after a 2010 White House meeting. Of the photograph, Brewer again showed slick politician savvy by answering a direct question of whether she was disrespectful to the President in that moment:
I probably have better photographs of me than that, said Brewer. But I hope will take it into context that I was talking and I talk with my hands.
Talking with one’s hands is one thing, pointing your finger in the face and yelling at the President of the United States is another matter all together.
Obama isn’t the first president to endure such a blitz from an opposing party: Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton both suffered under the hot glare of critical analysis.
The particular way President Obama has been handled, though, points to racism as the bottom line.
In an election year still shaping itself for an epic November showdown between Obama and whoever the GOP nominee shall be, Republican officials and conservative pundits are surely sharpening their pens and words in attempt to maim the President’s name and perhaps rattle his formidable shell.
Still, the likes of Brewer, Wilson, and Lamborn should be taken to task for their behavior and outright racism. Even though the President has helmed the assassination of Osama bin Laden, forced insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, coordinated the rescue of two Navy Seal hostages, reformed student loans, and rehabilitated the American auto industry, I would argue that President Obama is indeed one of the most disrespected — if not the most disrespected– president of this country.