My son-in-law, Travis, had what I like to call a “reality attack” while attempting to discipline his two-year-old daughter Pearl. Pearl, like most little girls, holds her Daddy’s heart in the palm of her hand. Like most toddlers, she is a formidable force of boundless energy and relentless willpower.
As the young scamp ran past her father, as fast as her chubby legs could carry her towards a coveted but forbidden trinket, her Daddy called out with a stern voice, “Pearl! Don’t touch that! Don’t touch it or I’ll…I’ll…” his voice faded as the reality of the situation began to dawn on him, “Or I’ll say don’t touch that again!”
Overhearing the exchange, my daughter Sarah laughed at the poor man. To which he replied, “Well, I’m tired of lying to her! She knows I won’t get up.”
President Obama’s last speech about the Christmas terrorist, reminded me of that new father, furrowing his brow and trying to leverage power with mere words. The difference is, when Travis heard himself, he knew he wouldn’t back it up, and didn’t lie about it.
“Executive ability? This president was not a governor he’s not a mayor, he’s not used to cashing the checks—signing them, he’s not used to being there when there is a four-alarm fire downtown…”
“What [Obama] should have been thinking back to was the other Bush who came out on September 12th with that foghorn, cause that’s the Bush who actually captivated the American people. He showed the passion, he was right there and every American stood by him.”
In the background, Matthews interjects, “I liked that guy.”
Just before Matthews slipped back into his usual diatribe on Bush and Cheney, he briefly acknowledged that what Bush showed after 911, was leadership; a vital quality that this president is sorely lacking.
Matthews bemoaned the fact that the president looked weak by always coming out with “too little too late” and considered (maybe for the first time) that this president is not executive material. Still there is no real signs that Matthews gets how dangerous that is for all of us.
Even a child can recognize empty threats, and will continue to push authority– just to find its limits.