The sore winner of 2012

Michael Goodwin:
A Favorite apocryphal tale goes like this: A New Jersey town where 90 percent of the residents are Irish and 10 percent Jewish had an election. The Irish candidate got 90 percent of the vote, and the Jewish candidate got 10 percent, whereupon the Irish victor celebrated by lamenting the clannishness of the Jews.

Sore winners have always been with us, but they are especially grating when they include the president of the United States.

“It makes me so sad,” a self-employed woman I know said during Monday’s inauguration. “It’s so amazing and wonderful that America elected a black man, but I can’t enjoy it. He’s not talking to me.”

I share her dismay at the partisan, joyless event, but she is wrong in one respect. Barack Obama was talking to her. He was scolding her about America’s imperfections and warning her that the liberal train will roll over her if she doesn’t get on board.

To hear Obama, you would think he was anointed by unanimous consent. The more than 63 million people who voted for someone else were cited only as obstacles to his vision. Apparently, his victory makes all other views illegitimate.

The banana-republic approach was one of many demoralizing flaws in a speech that fell short of the grand occasion. In tone and content, it struck me more as an omen of trouble than a celebration of our democracy.

The speech was full of Obama oddities, from straw men easily demolished to hazy promises wrapped in juvenile phrasings. Consider this doozy assertion to justify big government: “No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future.”

And here’s a line noteworthy for its dissonance: “A nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American, that is what this moment requires.”

Sweetheart, get me rewrite!

While a certain license comes with the job, being president does not confer the right to deny reality. Passing references to the debt and deficit were just that, as though these are trivialities instead of mortal threats.
It is not surprising to me that Obama is such a sore winner.  Despite all his success he is still angry.  Despite all the privileges he has been afforded he is still angry.  Despite running one of the more divisive campaigns in my memory he seems unwilling to  make up.  You would think he were the subject of the most negative campaign in recent memory instead of his opponent.

The speech was terrible.  It would talk a calculator to total all the straw men he tried to burn.  The next four years are going to be difficult for him and us.


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