UPDATED (scroll down)
This makes me feel ashamed. I don’t like Obama but he is my President after all. I tend to feel angry with the mainstream media for not reporting this stuff (NPR thought the Leno interview was newsworthy, yet they didn’t mention Obama’s gaffe this morning), but I actually can understand the impulse to wish this would just disappear. I still hear the enduring faith of Obama supporters and I figured that maybe at least that positivity serves a purpose. But now I have even lost that consolation. The comment reveals something about him that is ugly and undeveloped. He is not just a rookie, not just an arrogant rookie, but a dangerously arrogant rookie. The arrogant don’t learn from mistakes, and that is dangerous for us.
Here is what he said:
Towards the end of his approximately 40-minute appearance, the president talked about how he’s gotten better at bowling and has been practicing in the White House bowling alley.
He bowled a 129, the president said.
“That’s very good, Mr. President,” Leno said sarcastically.
It’s “like the Special Olympics or something,” the president said.
When asked about the remark, the White House had no comment.
I don’t expect an apology. He may even try to spin this in his favor like he spun his association with Reverend Wright in his famous race speech during the election.
So he did apologize. But there is something insincere in that apology. He said through his spokesperson that he took inspiration from the athletes in Special Olympics. If that were really true, and Special Olympics had touched his heart at some point, he would have had a natural brake and avoided such a comment. So I don’t believe him. I don’t fault him for not being inspired by the Special Olympics. I have never been involved with them either and though at an intellectual level I can say it is inspiring, it hasn’t touched my heart. As a therapist I have been impacted at a heart level by the courage and resourcefulness of mentally challenged clients, so that has helped me devel0p some sensitivity. I think he is being disingenuous with his claim of inspiration. In other words – he’s lying to cover up his foible.
He ought to have just owned up to his own ignorance and perhaps commited to rectifying it somehow.
I think this might end up being a blessing in disguise for the handicapped and Special Olympics and get people to reevaluate their attitudes.