A Moment of Arrogance
In all the analysis and spin in the media about Tuesday night's debate, one item seems to have escaped scrutiny--- but it struck me at the moment that Obama said it as a statement of such remarkable arrogance and hubris that I had to check the transcript today to make sure he'd actually said what I'd heard.
When queried about the lack of security at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, Obama responded:
"Well, let me first of all talk about our diplomats, because they serve all around the world and do an incredible job in a very dangerous situation."
"Our" diplomats. That's the perfunctory throwaway line. What followed was truly astonishing:
"And these aren't just representatives of the United States, they are my representatives. I send them there, oftentimes into harm's way."
Whoa! Wait a second! "These aren't 'just' representatives of the United States?"
"They are my representatives. I send them there" -- as if that's the more important, bigger deal? America's Ambassadors represent the country -- not the man. Article II of the Constitution says that the President "by and with" -- with, mind you! -- "the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors..."
Little things can sometimes mean a lot, and throwaway lines spoken while a candidate is fumbling around for an answer can reveal something about his true mindset. Obama has always regarded himself as bigger and more important than "just" the United States -- as a global figure who cannot simply represent parochial, ignorant Americans who falsely believe that they are somehow "exceptional." He touted himself in 2008 as a "citizen of the world." He gave a campaign speech in Berlin. He has bowed and scraped before foreign leaders, and apologized to the Iranians for actions taken during the Eisenhower administration in 1953 -- before he was even born. And he whispered to Russian leader Dimitri Medvedev that "after the election" -- you know, after he's hoodwinked all the stupid American rubes "clinging to their guns and religion" -- he'll have more "flexibility" in dealing with the Russians.
Examples of Obama's arrogance and inflated sense of self-importance could fill a book. Referring to the dead ambassador as not "just" a representative of his country, but "my" representative is another one to add to the list.