The simple yet profound wisdom of the movie character Forrest Gump -- "stupid is as stupid does" -- has entered the Democratic race for the nomination. This time, though, the lesson is: arrogance is as arrogance does.
Thanks to American Thinker's Rick Moran and his analysis of a video from an LA Times blog, even better displayed in another camera angle posted by the Baltimore Sun, it's clear that Senator Obama delivered a common obscene gesture in Senator Clinton's direction as he spoke to a crowd of his loyal followers in North Carolina the day after the Philadelphia debate. He shot Hillary the bird, only slightly surreptitiously. Visit the links above to see it happen.
Obama's explanation of how the debate questions represented "Washington" playing "gotcha politics" is telling by itself. Whining does not become anyone who aspires to be the President of the United States of America, as Obama likes to voice the complete title of the job he wants. And his assurances that he was unfazed by the perceived attacks he received from the ABC moderators resemble the braggadocio of the boxer who climbs up from the canvas on a nine count, nose bleeding with one eye swollen shut, saying "Hey, he never laid a glove on me." We could read Obama's body language in the debate. We saw him take heavy leather. So what is this video all about, and what does it tell us about Barack Obama?
At its basest level, it displays his immaturity. Why in the world would a U.S. Senator use an obscene gesture to send a marginally subtle message to his inter-party opponent in a nomination campaign? That's just not smart. He will, if challenged on it, deliver an incredible denial alleging that such an interpretation is itself another effort of gotcha politics. But that will hang by a shred of cloth, at most. Only children below middle school (hopefully) and the visually impaired can miss his intention. This is the act of one who would be President that displays a remarkable level of immaturity.
It was also act of arrogance. As Forest Gump would say, "Arrogance is as arrogance does." This was Obama arrogance on display. His followers saw it, too, and they cheered. That is nearly as disturbing. This guy is not running for a seat on the City Council of a small town. In mine, and most small towns, giving the bird to an opponent would seal defeat in a close election. The obvious fact that his followers liked what he did, and that he enjoyed them liking it, should give us sober pause. Collectively, those in that audience also lack humility.
It was an act of self-defeating stupidity for a politician at his level. If you're a Hillary Clinton supporter and you see this, what impact does it have on you? The best coached athletic teams will not run up the score on their opponents at the end of the game when they're ahead. Why? Two reasons: they respect their opponent, and they know a humiliated opponent will be motivated to seek revenge. In a voting public evenly divided between the two major political parties, Obama as the nominee will need support from all of Hillary's backers. If you're one of them, will you forget the "finger" moment? Not likely. His was the behavior of a divider, not the uniter he claims to be.
Lastly, it was an act of someone who is being seduced by the adulation of those he has seduced. The questions he objects to pertain to his character. We care more about that, as Americans, than the inside-the-Beltway wonkishness of programs and policies that he says we want to hear about. The literate among us have gotten those points already, thank you. Besides, most of what candidates promise never see reality after they get elected anyway. After a point reached relatively soon, we're more interested in knowing the person than their platform.
Obama has been lulled into a sense of invincibility by his cheering, fainting, fawning crowds. Until the CBS debate, that adulation was being propelled by the MSM. But for some reason, Charlie and George decided to join Tim's brief moment in that shining light of the journalistic maturity he displayed in a previous debate, and they actually asked tough questions! It shocked us. But Obama - he was offended. This is the same man who wants to sit down with our adversaries and reason with them?
Here are things Obama clearly does not know. Never ridicule your opponent -- not before, during or after the contest. Never assume the contest is over until there is absolutely no possible way for your opponent to take the lead in the remaining time. If you win, treat the defeated with utmost respect, regardless of how well they played the game. Perhaps this is old fashioned sportsmanship in the era of ball spikes and trash talk. But it did govern the way we dealt with the losers of World War II and it worked well in that venue. It works in politics, too. By his offensive behavior toward Hillary Clinton, Obama offended her followers. That's not good for him.
Obama easily walked into the U.S. Senate after his opponent was sabotaged by sexually bizarre sealed court records of his dovorce being ropened at the behest of the Chicago Tribune. Obama's eleventh hour opponent, Alan Keyes, is an articulate and honorable man who never had a prayer of winning that election. Keyes was political cannon fodder.
Consequently, Obama is in the first real fist fight of his short political career and he's getting arrogant because he's running against the former First Lady of an impeached President.
He should be on guard.
Pride goeth before the fall.