The Big Lug-In-Chief

If you want a rundown on everything the President said last night that wasn't so, go here. I simply notice that the President does not seem to understand the meaning of the word, "President."

1. He addressed the nation for the sole purpose of denouncing Republicans. The President, qua President, is supposed to represent all the people. Yes, he's also the symbolic head of his party, but he should save the partisan attacks for Party venues like fundraisers and conventions. A speech to the nation is supposed to be given on behalf of the entire nation, in the name of the entire nation, and appeal to the entire nation. There is no right to attack the GOP from the White House (a principle to which he paid lip-service, even while violating it with impunity). If he cares to resign and run the DNC, let him be my guest, but that display last night was unworthy of the office and made him --and the nation itself-- look small. (Steve Hayward calls it possibly the most squalid presidential speech ever, though not without competition.)

2. Nobody needs the President to be involved in these negotiations at all, as Boehner's rebuttal makes clear. The House has a bill, the Senate will probably pass it, why is this Big Lug involved? The power of the purse belongs to Congress, and it's Congress' job to pass a budget, which he can then either sign or veto. He's the Chief Executive, not a legislator, as Mr. W. sighs every night lately.

Moreover, Obama is actively obstructing the process and seems to be out of his league. He had a deal with the GOP, and then backtracked on his agreement. He played heavy-handed on Friday with his press conference. He rejected the bi-partisan Reid-Boehner-McConnell offer yesterday.

May I respectfully suggest the President go play golf for a few days?

Update: I got distracted and forgot my main point! 3. On a regular basis the President reveals that he does not understand the difference between governing a people and ruling them. He conceives himself as our ruler, not as one who governs us by our consent. Witness little remarks like these before La Raza the other day:
Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you.
Yes, he immediately added "But that's not how the system works," but small comfort in that if you ask me. That's the kind of thing you might sigh to your wife, but not ever express in public unless you have seriously misconceived your role. We're supposed to all understand that power is dangerous and to be wielded conservatively, and want to be restrained. Frustration is one thing; indulging yourself in a lot of Walter Mittying about if you ruled the world is beneath the President of the United States and reveals an inner impulse the exact opposite of Lincoln's "as I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master, that is my idea of democracy."

Bill Kristol noted the same thing in last night's address. Commenting on these lines of the President

Now, what makes today’s stalemate so dangerous is that it has been tied to something known as the debt ceiling – a term that most people outside of Washington have probably never heard of before.
Understand – raising the debt ceiling does not allow Congress to spend more money. It simply gives our country the ability to pay the bills that Congress has already racked up.
 Kristol remarks:
These “people outside of Washington” are not little children being lectured on an obscure subject by a worldly adult. These people outside Washington are ... citizens. Judging by the polls, most of us have opinions about whether, and under what conditions, the debt ceiling should be raised. We don’t seem to be as ignorant as Obama thinks we are of the term or concept of a debt ceiling. But the president assumes we’ve never bothered our pretty little heads about such a thing.
Obama thinks he's here to rule over us little people, not to preside over the government of free and equal citzens. That's what I mean when I say he doesn't understand the meaning of the word, "President."