Some weeks ago, when detractors of Mitt Romney brought up an incident in which he purportedly bullied a kid who looked “different” (which was assumed to mean gay), supporters volleyed back with a passage from “Dreams of My Father” – demonstrating once again how few had actually read the book – In which he recounted shoving Coretta, a middle school girl because his classmates had teased them about being boyfriend and girlfriend.
I would hardly be one to criticize either man for this sort of thing. At summer camp, I beat up Herbert Spataccini. I remember little of Herbert, other than he was a bit plump, and word a striped tee shirt as most of did in the 50s when I looked down as I straddled him.
Why did I do it? Because I could, and like the President, I was embarrassed; in my case because I had already been shoved around quite a bit, and wanted to pass some on. Herbert Spataccini is an unusual name, but unfortunately, the internet hasn’t found him for me. I look now and then. It would be nice to apologize.
I don’t know if Mr. Obama has made any effort to locate Coretta – if she isn’t a composite – but it is clear that he has always had a proclivity to bully, from undermining long time progressive Illinois Senator Alice Palmer, essentially stealing her seat through intimidation by lawyer, to ramming thorough His healthcare “reform” that the majority of the American people did not,and do not want, and his consistently belligerent stance towards any who question him.
President Obama is a bully, and it runs in the family.
Early on in “Dreams,” he recounts this family anecdote about his father “recounting the
time that my father almost threw a man off the Pali Lookout because of a pipe…” as they showed an out of towner the sights.
Obama’s mother laughingly speaks of the Senor Obama’s terrible driving, which ultimately killed him. She had given the President’s father a pipe of which he was very fond. His grandfather continues. The visitor, a newly arrived African student asked to try the pipe, drew on it and fell into a fit of coughing, dropping the pipe, which fell over the railing, coming to rest a hundred feet below.
Barack Sr. waited until the man was through coughing then directed him to retrieve the pipe. He sensibly offered to buy a replacement instead, at which point his host insisted, then in the face of further refusal, picked the poor young man up and dangled him over the cliff.
Obama writes:“I imagine myself looking up at my father, dark against the brilliant sun, the transgressor’s arms flailing about as he’s held aloft. A fearsome vision of justice.”
What is fearsome is that the President could possibly construe this horrifying tale as being any way related to a concept of justice. Of course, in the view of the severe narcissist, this would be justice for any who did not acknowledge his superiority.
The rest of us would call it an incidence of troubling and dangerous bullying.
“Anyway, after a couple of minutes, Obama’s grandfather continues, “ your dad set the man back down on his feet, patted him on the back, and suggested, calm as you please, that they all go get themselves a beer.
And there we have it, the original Beer Summit, and the behavior is the same. The President used his authority to intervene in a matter than was none of his concern, other than his connection to Professor Gates, so as to intimidate the Cambridge Police.
Realizing he had overstepped, he apologized and called it a “teachable moment.” As with his father, the silk glove to the mailed fist was beer and conviviality.
The anecdote concludes with Obama’s father saying to his mother, “Relax, Anna,” he said, I only wanted to teach the chap a lesson about the proper care of other people’s property.”
Another teachable moment. What it teaches us is that collectivists, and their narcissist vanguard, value their own property and privileges, but no one else’s, and are prepared to use both force and guile to achieve their ends.
Like father, like son.