July 14, 2014
I, me, my admits to being an imperial president
By Carol Brown
With no pressure on him to be re-elected, all bets are off. Or as Obama put it during a speech on Thursday, “I don't have to run for office again, so I can just let her rip.”
Executive powers unleashed.
Obama’s statement about letting things rip was book-ended by two curious sentences. Preceding his comment he said, “I’m just telling the truth now.”
I suppose lying comes so naturally that should a flicker of truth rise to the surface, he feels the need to announce ahead of time. Of course, announcing that he is about to speak the truth doesn’t mean he will, but I found it odd that he would say such a thing.
The statement that immediately followed his “let her rip” comment was a barrel of laughs. “And I want to assure you, I’m not really that partisan of a guy.”
His speech was jam packed with all sorts of goodies. In addition to his imperial proclamations, the speech was yet another that contained a dizzying number of references to himself.
Not counting instances when he quoted a letter from a citizen or cited dialogue from a movie, President Barack Obama used the first person singular--including the pronouns "I" and "me" and the adjective "my"--199 times in a speech he delivered Thursday vowing to use unilateral executive action to achieve his policy goals that Congress would not enact through the normal, constitutional legislative process. (snip)
The White House presented Obama’s speech, which the president delivered at Austin’s Paramount Theatre, as “Remarks by the President on the Economy.” The remarks, the White House reports, ran 40 minutes, and the full transcript (including annotations for “laughter” and “applause”) is more than 5,500 words.
By contrast, President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettyburg (sic) Address was only 272 words--and did not include any form of the first person singular.
In President Obama’s speech, he used a first person singular, on average, every 12 seconds. At that rate, had Obama spoken for just 15 more minutes, he would have used the first person singular more than 272 times in one speech—exceeding all the words in the Gettysburg Address.
Obama, being who he is, ended the speech with a threat. On the face of it, it didn’t sound like a threat. But it was.
“I can't stand by with partisan gridlock that's the result of cynical political games that threaten the hard work of millions of Americans,” said Obama. “I’m not just going to stand by and say, okay, that's--I guess that's the way it is. Whenever and wherever I have the power, the legal authority to help families like yours, even if Congress is not doing anything, I will take that opportunity.”
Please, Obama, don’t do anything you think will “help families” like mine. Because your idea of helping is like the old adage: “Hi, we’re the government and we’re here to help.”
Cease and desist.