Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mr. President, we’re here today because you obviously have a serious issue with your anger.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m the best anger manager that you’ll ever meet.”

That’s the problem, sir. When the American people get angry, they’d like to know that you’re feeling what they’re feeling. They’d like to see you lose your temper once in a while. Staying cool and unflappable during a crisis is fine, but sometimes overmanaging anger can be just as unhealthy as undermanaging it.

“Of course I get angry. I get darn angry.”

And how might we know when that’s happening, Mr. President?

“When I say things like, ‘Hey, I’m just as angry as everybody else.'”

Clearly we’ve got some work to do. Let’s pretend this is a nationally televised press conference. I’m going to say a phrase as an anger prompt, and I’d like you to react spontaneously, emotionally, straight from the gut.

“Fine. Fire away.”

The first prompt is: Government shutdown.

“Reckless. Partisan. Blackmail. Unacceptable –”

Sir, with all due respect, dour disapproval isn’t the same thing as anger. The shutdown instigated by the House of Representatives caused more than $20 billion in damage to the country’s economy. Didn’t you see the growth figures from last quarter?

“Yes, very disappointing. The whole thing was disappointing and unnecessary.”

Disgraceful is the word you’re looking for, Mr. President. Disgraceful and pathetic. The American people were highly ticked off by the shutdown and it would have been heartening for you to act ticked off, too.

“You mean like throw an ashtray at Boehner? Or flip the finger at Ted Cruz? Let’s be clear, doctor, that’s just not me.”

All right. Here’s another anger prompt: NSA spying scandal.

“Well, let me reiterate that I didn’t know our intelligence agencies have been tapping the phones of important allies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Apparently this practice has been going on for decades.”

But doesn’t it make you mad as a hornet that you weren’t in the loop? I mean, you’re the commander-in-frigging-chief of the most powerful democracy on the planet!

“I’ve strongly expressed my concerns to all those involved.”

Your “concerns”? This is sort of a big deal, sir. Did you ever think about firing somebody for not telling you this stuff, so you wouldn’t have to read it first in the newspapers?

“Hey, I’m just as angry as everybody else.”

  • infadelicious

    Gee, i dunno……..he looks pretty angry here………

  • Dominick Vila

    President Obama can control his emotions, and does not overreact, but that doesn’t mean he is not upset. The ACA Federal website problems, the fact that he was kept in the dark, and the fact that those in his administration who are expected to review his speeches before they are delivered or are expected to assess the accuracy of impromptu statements, dropped the ball and contributed to political damage that could have been prevented or minimized. It will be interesting to see how he handles these things. I expect resignations influenced by “family matters”.

    • montanabill

      Surely you must know better about his being ‘kept in the dark’. You can trace this back to 2010 and know that he knew the truth then. He is controlling his emotions simply because he knows he has been deceiving the American people, over just about everything he claims he was ‘in the dark’ about.

  • infadelicious

    it’s sad the way some of you actually think obama was “kept in the dark”: about any of the crap that been hitting the fan. really? If so, then maybe he knows how the American public feels, being told “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, PERIOD!” kept in the dark? = pass the bill to see what’s in the bill…… how long are you sheeple going to let him vote “present” and not be accountable?

    • Dominick Vila

      How did you feel when President Reagan claimed he knew nothing about Iran-Contra and an obscure Marine Lt. Col. became responsible for a major foreign policy blunder? How did you feel when Bush II delegated responsibility to attend the daily national security briefings and then acted as if he knew nothing about an imminent terrorist attack on U.S. soil?
      The point regarding President Obama’s statements about people being able to keep their insurance coverage, if they wished, is that someone in the administration, especially at the HHS or Nancy Pelosi, should have alerted him about a clause in the ACA legislation that stipulates minimum insurance coverage standards which could, and do, impact existing substandard insurance policies.

      • infadelicious

        I get tired of hearing the same old questions of deflection, how did you feel when so and so did blah blah blah,. I noticed you didn’t mention Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter and any of their bungling foreign policies and /or knowledge of terrorists and plots- we can go back and forth with previous presidents and their failures. Those people are gone and this president promised 5 long yrs ago to clean up the mess! All we have are excuses for his failures, like Oh, it would have been $117 trillion in debt if obama wasn’t here and it would have been a million and four people killed in Benghazi instead of just four. thanks God he saved us. And where has his 5 years of focusing on jobs like a laser beam gotten us? oh right, all those jobs he “created or saved”.. Come on! you wouldn’t let a Bush or a Reagan get away with that pure bs! Can we talk about the present? HIs lack of knowledge is an ongoing problem with Obama, why is he never informed? If he didn’t know about the ACA clause, why not? who should have told him and why haven’t they been fired? why is noone ever accountable in this admin? Why is nothing this president’s fault? And why does the government get to decide what is substandard for those who actually chose the policies according to what they wanted to pay and what their needs are?

        • TZToronto

          Substandard means that your insurance will cover just about nothing you might need. It may meet the standards in the state in which you live, but that doesn’t mean it’s any good. In a lot of cases, it’s window dressing and definitely not worth whatever minimum premium you’re paying,. Getting rid of “substandard” health insurance means that, finally, you’ll be able to go to a doctor for an annual check-up. Your prescriptions (well, some of them, anyway) will be covered, at least in part. And your deductibles won’t bankrupt you. One reason that some people will see their premiums go up is that their new insurance will finally have some value and not be just another way for insurers to make money while giving nothing in return.

          • infadelicious

            I am well aware of what substandard means . Those people chose those policies based on what they wanted coverage for and what they were willing to pay. Now they will pay more and not get the value because they are covering things they did not want to cover. Forced to buy a product they do not want to buy. The insurance business is a business so why shouldnt they make money? Why demonize them? Answer : So that Obama s ACA doesn’t get blamed for the cancellations.

        • tdm3624

          The reason people bring up Reagan is to point out the hypocrisy that conservatives have; expecting Obama to know everything when they didn’t expect Reagan to know everything. Liberals do the same thing too. I remember it well during the Bush years.

        • Dominick Vila

          If I was a Republican I would also refuse to consider what past presidents have done, their shortcomings, and their record.
          Insinuating that President Obama should be held to a different standard, and that he should be infallible, is vintage Republican political strategy: turn political opponents into demons by insinuating that the problems he faced were benign, that his accomplishments were trivial, and that the challenges he faced were far from being unprecedented and were all avoidable.
          Clinton accomplished more during his 8 years in office than most Republican politicians have in their lifetimes. Carter could have been a great president, had it not been for his strong religious convictions which contributed to his reluctance to act decisively. His post presidential record should serve as a model for other presidents to follow.
          You have a knack to deflect attention from some of your indefensible positions by claiming that others are doing precisely what you do consistently. Yes, President Obama blew it when he said that nobody would have to cancel or change their existing insurance policies because of the Affordable Care Act. I believe he was unaware of the clause that forces the replacement of those substandard policies with better ACA policies, because I believe no politician would purposely make a statement that would inevitably backfire if they knew the truth. The difference is that his statement will not cost lives, and that those affected will ultimately end up with better policies than what they had, at the same or a better price.

          • infadelicious

            Please don’t tell me I have a knack to deflect attention from some of my indefensible positions as you turn most of your “reply” to me into a deflection palooza away from the original post which was about obama not knowing about anything that hits the fan and why noone is ever responsible for anything in his admin. Yes, sebilius has played the goat in this latest fiasco, but there is no penalty for her after she received an unlimited budget and 3 years to get it done. It’s not just the ACA story -which I also had several questions about and those questions were lost under your love fest for past dem presidents. I believe obama knew he was “misleading greatly-(lying)” when making his famous “you can keep your plan’ tour. I agree to disagree with you on that, but why is it up to the gov’t to decide what is a better policy for me? What will they be deciding for me next? And don’t accuse the republicans of demonizing opponents -both sides do that, and the dems have now taken to demonizing legal industries like health insurance because obama gets caught looking stupid after telling people they can keep their plan. Americans plans are being cancelled, plans they selected based on what they wanted to pay and what they wanted coverage for and obama had to find a scapegoat for that. And i KNOW you don’t want to talk about policies and screw ups this admin is responsible for that cost American lives. Pull all the past republican presidents and their records up that you want. Pointing to last year’s crap doesn’t make this year’s crap smell any better. That is called deflection. The end does not justify the means. What will they decide we are all too stupid to do for ourselves next?

          • sigrid28

            There’s a good answer to your question, “why is it up to the gov’t to decide what is a better policy for me?” I want to first stipulate that it is NOT up to the government to decide what policy is better FOR YOU.

            Let’s say an insurance policy is a car. It so happens the government determines that all cars on the market meet certain minimal standards: working seat belts would be one such requirement. It follows, therefore, that any car you (or anyone) buys would meet these standards. But the government does not tell you which car–or policy–to buy. Local police might give you a ticket for not using your car’s seat belt, but the government does not force you to wear one.

            Likewise, the ACA made minimal standards for health insurance policies. Whatever you buy should be available even if you have a pre-condition, like diabetes. Whatever you buy, should pay the medical expenses it says it will pay when you are ill–or someone in your family is–and your family will not have to go bankrupt even though you paid health insurance premiums. These basic requirements are now in place for policies available through the ACA marketplace or through a private company of your own choosing–or your employer’s choosing–like before.

            Before these basic requirements were set up by the ACA, people whose health insurance was cut off when they got sick then showed up in the ER, where taxpayers cover the costs. So the government has an interest in making sure health insurance policies work as they are intended to, in order to cut down the drain on taxes required to cover uninsured people who end up in the ER. No one is making you do ANYTHING. It is still true: you can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

          • infadelicious


      • markdouglas

        Dominick wrote the smartest thing Ive seen in one of these comment section, he should write a column for someone

        • infadelicious

          Yes, Dominick writes well thought out comments, even actually seeming to consider both sides of an argument , but he then has to end it with a dig at the conservatives lest his leftie buddies get upset with him. EVen in his post above he had to resort to the old deflection of “oh yeah, well what about” …….and then dig up past Republican presidents who I may or may not even like, to defend:? the current president’ s behavior. Pointing to another pile of crap does not make the pile of crap in front of us smell any better. In the end he is still an apologist for a president who will not take responsibility for anything. He writes what you all want to hear and I am sure he also believes what he writes. He rarely says anything to those who disagree with him and when he does, and they ask questions, he dismisses them or just doesn’t answer except maybe by downvoting. He shouldn’t bother asking someone their opinion if he doesn’t want to hear it. He has better things to do I am sure. shalom

  • elw

    It might surprise this author to know that it is a sign of maturity and intelligence to channel anger into fixing the source of it instead of acting out with inappropriate behaviors or words. I personally, would not want a President who did other wise. After all, what he does and says reflects on the over 300 million people who live in this Country as well as their health and wellbeing. Every President of the Country has made mistakes and have said things that could have been expressed better, and those amongst them who have “lost their cool” are not well thought of historically. I personally would much rather have a President like our current one, then another Nixon. One more thing, the problems with website are relatively minor when it comes to the big picture; and just because the Radicalize Right chooses to see it otherwise does not make it so. In the long run it will be their reaction to the problems with the Website that will be seen as overreach and the President’s that will end up with praise. He is a smart, intelligent man, way too smart to follow your advice.

    • sigrid28

      There would be a problem if the president were not in touch with his anger and just felt sad. That way lies classical depression. He’s angry and redirects his fury into action that speaks louder than words AND a few choice words: a completely healthy response. Let’s not forget, he’s out there everyday talking, talking, talking about the ACA rollout. His anger management reminds me of Colin Powell or even Abraham Lincoln, who could redirect anger into biting humor and who had to manage a much greater propensity for depression.

      If you want a guy who explodes the way your neighbor does when his lawn mower breaks down, look to Chris Christie; Barack Obama is not your guy. I appreciate the way in which the president is determined to make the absolute most of his presidency he can. He fought hard for it, it is an accomplishment on a worldwide scale, and he is richly enjoying a success that is stressful as hell, but has the complexity and variety that extremely gifted people sometimes seek out to test and satisfy enormous talent and intelligence.

      • elw

        I agree, I think President Obama is far too smart of a man to ever “just lose it.” He has a record of taking the high road, a habit the Right would benefit from if they were not so short sighted. I am fully confident that by this time next year people will barely remember the rocky start of the Exchange, but they will remember the shut-down and the misinformation spread by the Right that confused and scared them.

  • ObozoMustGo

    oh my…. the dialogue of 2 idiots… Carl Hiaasen and Obozo… doesn’t get any more painful than that!
    FACT: Obozo KNOWINGLY LIED without qualification for 3+ years about “if you like your plan and your doctor, you can keep them” when he knew BEFORE HAND that what he was saying was a complete falsehood. He lied to the American people for his own egotistical, political reasons so he could get reelected. He used all of you like a bunch of useful idiots. He peed on you all and told you it was raining for his own good. And everyone of you know it. Yet many of you still defend him. You’re a bunch of disgusting and vile morons.
    Have a nice day!

    “Obozo LIED. Healthcare in America DIED!” – someone recently said it.

    • infadelicious

      Obozo Peed on them and told them its raining? Finally we know what that tingle was Chrissy Matthews felt running down his leg

    • Lafollette

      Anybody who believes that “Obozo” is witty repartee isn’t smart enough to dress himself.