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Obama: Too cool for school

These are not happy days inside the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Whatever blaze of change that carried President Barack Obama into the White House two years ago has burnt itself out. We have returned to the great American tradition of pessimistic curmudgeonry. Democrats have fallen into bad habits again in their futile attempt to reason with the most unreasonable of Republicans. And Republicans are now having to deal with an insurrection of tea partiers that are crazier than they are.

Watching this sideshow in horror are liberals, who are witnessing a broken two-party system that their president promised to fix as a loud group of faux-history buffs, led by Beck & Palin Inc., argue that we should govern this country as if it still consisted of only 13 states with a frontier that reached 50 miles inland. Talk about longing for the good old days.

Yet as conservative attacks get more outlandish by the day, Obama seems cooler than cool. You’ll see no tirade coming from him in response to the sheer stupidity and racism of the quarter of the country thinking he is Muslim. Nor will you see him lose his calm when former Republican Speaker of the House and possible presidential candidate Newt Gingrich states that the president — who was raised in the United States by his white mother and grandparents — exhibits “Kenyan, anticolonial behavior.” Instead of calling out Gingrich for being a bigoted political failure who capitalizes on sheer ignorance, Obama is mute.

And when Obama isn’t at the White House pretending he didn’t hear the latest conservative charge against him, he seems to be on vacation. Obama has spent about 70 days on “vacation” or at Camp David thus far in his presidency. That number is tiny compared to Bush, who at this point during his first term had spent about 225 days at Camp David or the Texas ranch he bought shortly before running for president. Although the president is never really on vacation as his staff shadows him everywhere, it’s not the ideal image to project when millions are out of work.  Obama’s recent decision to redecorate the Oval Office only adds to the label that he is out of touch. Although the remodel gave the room a bit of beige pizzazz and was completely paid for by the nonprofit White House Historical Association, the decision to do that now of all times makes my eye twitch.

Many voted for Obama because they wanted a cooler head in the White House. But what the hell is wrong with this man? Conservatives spit in his mouth, and he opens wide, saying, “Thank you.”

Republicans have morphed into the oafish bullies on the school playground and Obama into the smart kid who was taught better than to act like an ignoramus. But if playground politics can teach us anything, it’s that those brutes are usually too stupid to notice when you choose to silently take the high road.

Please, Mr. President, do something. Anything. Make some noise. Stick your leg out and make them trip over their own feet. Stop giving them ammunition and acting like you’re a lame duck as your party — and the hope you promised voters — creeps closer and closer to annihilation this November. We may have rebuked Bush’s arrogant, Republican-branded swagger in 2008, but dammit, we need a man. We need a president.

Or perhaps another vacation.

Justin Snow is a senior history major. He can be reached at snow@umdbk.com.

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