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September 21, 2023

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President receives criticism for trivial mistakes, issues outside of his control

My feelings about President Obama have waxed and waned with some regularity over the course of his time as POTUS [President of the United States.]

Many of us bought the “Hope and Change” slogan hook, line and sinker, but even knowing that he would have shortcomings and make mistakes as a leader, I was still happy to vote for him.

President Obama’s detractors made their disdain for him known long before he was elected for the first time in 2008 and the partisan, obstructionist congress led by Mitch McConnell and John Boehner has made it their mission to discredit and impede any kind of legislation that would give either the Democrats or President Obama credit.

But sadly, in 2014, this is all but expected.

Even in the most divisive years of the Bush administration, never has such a spiteful, petty effort been made to thwart the POTUS.

And nothing embodies this childish spirit of bitterness more than the most current example of the “Latté Salute” scandal [and honestly, calling this a “scandal” is a gross exaggeration].

For those unfamiliar, President Obama recently got out of his presidential helicopter and hastily returned the salute of the two marines standing at attention somewhat sloppily, latté in hand.

Perhaps he was trying to secretly proselytize for the Supreme Cult of Starbucks with a bit of edgy subterfuge, or maybe [and I know I’m going out on a limb here] he’s just a man with a very pressing schedule and he knows [being the Commander in Chief] that it is against military regulation to return a salute out of uniform.

All joking aside, in some ways the wildly inappropriate reaction to this event surprises me and in some ways it doesn’t.

It doesn’t surprise me that President Obama’s detractors have reached a new all-time low and are ostensibly trying to refine pettiness to an art form, but what does surprise me in a sense is just how low this new all-time low is.

All world leaders operate under a magnifying glass.

If Obama meets with civil rights leaders, gives a speech about gun control, or even breaks with his typically serious demeanor to tell a joke, someone will have a problem with it.

As much as that makes me roll my eyes, I accepted long ago that this is a simple inevitability when leaders are judged with such scrutiny.

But when people start to take issue with the President playing a game of golf at the wrong time, or having a latté on the go or taking a vacation, I draw a hard line.

The same people who demanded complete acquiescence and blind allegiance to presidential authority when George W. Bush was president are now the same people claiming “Barack Obama isn’t my president” and, predictably, the same people who will take any reason, no matter how obscure or insignificant it may be, to hate President Obama.

This sort of opportunistic, pointless hatred of the President serves absolutely no purpose and for those who think President Obama’s latté debacle is really a debacle at all; Obama could be Jesus himself and he still wouldn’t be good enough.

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