Growing tired of the omnitopical presidency

Our bitter, aggravated politics has many fathers, from gerrymandering to genuine, deep and abiding differences of opinion about how to move the country forward. But here’s another problem with our politics I’ve noticed lately: We can’t escape it.

I don’t mean the 24-7 frequency of our news media — in the age of Twitter, it’s really 60-60-24-7 — although that bears part of the blame. Rather, I’m talking about the increasing tendency of our politicians, especially our presidents and those who would be president, to pop up everywhere else, too: on Oprah and The View, on Leno and Letterman, during SportsCenter and the Super Bowl and the Final Four.

A friend’s mother calls this “inmaface.” As in, you can do things with which I disagree, just don’t do them “inmaface.” When it’s harder and harder to enjoy the apolitical without the intrusion of the politicos, they’re inmaface.

I think political handlers think this is a way to soften their man’s (or woman’s) image, to make him seem more human, to lessen the polarization toward him. And maybe there’s something to it: Barack Obama, who has taken the omnitopical, borderline-celebrity presidency to a new level, remains more well-liked than his approval ratings would suggest.

Maybe that’s because he complains about the vagaries of the Bowl Championship Series and fills out March Madness brackets — hey, just like me! I wonder, though, if there won’t be diminishing returns to flooding the airwaves this way.

When I watched Obama talk about his daughters and basketball during halftime of the men’s college title game Monday, I was struck again that, for all my and other conservatives’ complaints about his policies, Obama seems like a genuinely good father and family man.

But when he picked his Final Four? Heck, I barely want to watch Dick Vitale pick the Final Four, much less a president with more important things to do and think about. I’d rather hear Obama talk about what he’d do to stop Washington’s red ink. Or, better yet, what he plans to tell Vladimir Putin once his “last election” is over and he has more “flexibility.”

Before the week was up, he was at it again, opining through his press secretary that the Augusta National Golf Club ought to begin admitting female members. And, lest you think my complaints are only about Obama: His Republican opponent from 2008, John McCain, and his presumptive opponent this fall, Mitt Romney, made sure to air the same belief.

Personally, I couldn’t care less what Augusta National does — and have a hard time believing that it says anything meaningful about equality for a woman or two to join a private club for the 1 percent of the 1 percent of the 1 percent. So why do Obama and McCain and Romney have to chime in?

In their defense, often it’s because they’re asked about these topics by my colleagues in the media. And maybe Romney, for instance, would have declined to answer about a private club’s choices if he felt confident it wouldn’t become the latest skirmish in the GOP’s alleged “war on women.” (Promisingly, he declined to prognosticate about March Madness.)

But then, the possibility a non-answer about women joining a country club would become political fodder speaks to our bitter polarization.

We’re electing a president, not a pundit-of-all-trades. The job is demanding and — just as important — it has limits. Maybe, just maybe, we’d have higher opinions of those who would hold that job if they kept their opinions within those limits.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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285 comments Add your comment

gm

April 6th, 2012
6:11 pm

Its is so sad Kyle to finally have a young vibrant President who knows whats going on in the real world, and not having some stiff like the last President who had no clue whats going on with the common man.
Kyle, welcome to the world of the 21st century where the President can run the country and still keep up on current events.

Road Scholar

April 6th, 2012
6:47 pm

gm: Right on!

Kyle: Boo Hoo!

Wade Hampton

April 6th, 2012
6:48 pm

A collectivized, planned economy seeks to productively employ all adults with the goal of maximizing the wealth, including leisure time, available to all.
.

For Marxists, the special oppression of women originates in class society itself and can only be rooted out through the destruction of private property in the means of production. The entry of women into the proletariat opens the way to liberation: their position at the point of production gives them the social power, along with their male co-workers, to change the capitalist system and lay the basis for women’s social independence from the confines of the institution of the family. Marxism differs from feminism centrally over the question of the main division in society: feminists hold that it is men vs. women; for Marxists, it is class, that is, exploiter vs. exploited. A working woman has more in common with her male co-workers than with a female boss, and the emancipation of women is the task of the working class as a whole.

The Marxist view of the family as the main source of the oppression of women dates from The German Ideology, where Marx and Engels first formulated the concept that the family was not an immutable, timeless institution, but a social relation subject to historical change. In the classic Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State (1884), Engels (working with the material available at the time) traced the origin of the institution of the family and the state to the division of society into classes. With the rise of a social surplus beyond basic subsistence, a leisured, ruling class could develop based on a private appropriation of that surplus, thus moving human society away from the primitive egalitarianism of the Stone Age. The centrality of the family flowed from its role in the inheritance of property, which required women’s sexual monogamy and social subordination. Engels termed this “the world historical defeat of the female sex.”
.
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Ron Paul ………..pretty much………just wants to leave everyone alone.

MarkV

April 6th, 2012
6:54 pm

gm said all that needs to be said about this subject.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
7:52 pm

We have entered the age of the American Idol President; one where the officeholder believes he has to be seen as “popular” due to his or her activities instead of his policies, and where the people the officeholder is trying to reach have the attention span of a gnat and room temperature IQ’s.

Historians will look back at this time frame in American history and conclude unanimously – this began the end of the United States of America.

Hillbilly D

April 6th, 2012
7:55 pm

Rather, I’m talking about the increasing tendency of our politicians, especially our presidents and those who would be president, to pop up everywhere else, too: on Oprah and The View, on Leno and Letterman, during SportsCenter and the Super Bowl and the Final Four.

There was a time when politicians, left and right, would’ve considered going on a talk show beneath the dignity of the office.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
8:02 pm

“There was a time when politicians, left and right, would’ve considered going on a talk show beneath the dignity of the office.”

Amen, Hillbilly D! To me, the last President who had any real respect for the dignity of the office was Ronald Reagan.

Rafe Hollister

April 6th, 2012
8:03 pm

Hillbilly is correct, it is called respect for the office. It is like class, some people have it, others not so much. Reagan would not enter the oval office without his jacket on, GWB would not answer bomb throwers, saying it was beneath the office of the president. Others like Clinton and Oblamer do not seem to have the same reverence for the office.

Rafe Hollister

April 6th, 2012
8:05 pm

Tiberius, disagree, both Bushes were very respectful of the office.

Tiberius - Your lightning rod of hate!

April 6th, 2012
8:12 pm

I’ll give you Bush 41, Rafe, but while Bush 43 was better, he didn’t meet either his father’s or Reagan’s standards imho.

Linda

April 6th, 2012
8:14 pm

Kyle, what kind of Easter egg hunt will you be taking your kids to this weekend?
* a Democrat, progressive, socialist-style hunt where the kids are guaranteed an equal number of eggs, regardless of whether or not they even show up or hunt, a govt.-sponsored event that costs $250,000 per child, parents hovering over the entire grassy area in case there’s a child that stumbles & needs govt. assistance or violates political correctness rules, children not being allowed to eat candy or eggs, children not allowed to know that Easter is connected to the resurrection of Jesus Christ OR
* a Republican, conservative-style hunt where the kids are allowed to be kids, get to keep the eggs they find, are encouraged to share their eggs without coercion, paid for by the participants for nominal costs?
Happy Easter! Don’t place all your eggs in one basket & keep your diapers separate from your eggs.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

April 6th, 2012
8:28 pm

I’m pretty sure that basketball is about as far as obozo’s intellect goes, just sayin…

Rafe Hollister

April 6th, 2012
8:29 pm

Tiberius, we have to agree to disagree here. While I didn’t think much of 43 as a President, I was amazed at how respectful he was, often at his own peril. When Hairy the Reid or Nanci Pelosi screamed at him daily, and Al Gore, said he betrayed his country, and Hillary laid on the war for oil criticisms and most of the Dems talked about Bush/Cheney’s war crimes, he respectfully did not respond. He said he had too much respect for the office to respond. Clinton or Obama, like the man-childs they are, use the tit for tat method to respond every time.

Bush’s lack of response/engagement resulted in many of these bogus charges sticking in the minds of the uninformed.

Sheila

April 6th, 2012
8:30 pm

Obama is just telling people that no matter what your problem is, government is the solution. He is casting aside all pretense and embracing a statist vision for America that will grind our liberty into oblivion

@@

April 6th, 2012
8:40 pm

Obama’s lookin’ for balls in all the wrong places.

Omnitopical? Isn’t there an ointment for that?

schnirt

Hillbilly D

April 6th, 2012
8:45 pm

Is it possible to go off topic when the topic is omnitopical?

@@

I’ve heard Blue Star Ointment works good.

@@

April 6th, 2012
9:06 pm

Hillbilly:

I’m thinkin’ Monistat would cure what inflates him.

Linda

April 6th, 2012
9:20 pm

If Obama is running his household budget the same way he’s running the country’s budget, when he’s ousted, he & his family will be able to afford to live in an outhouse, specifically a one holer, on land that is rent-free. Maybe the EPA, his favorite agency, would be willing to donate land adjacent to their parking lot, with extension cords run as needed & energy paid for by “skyrocketing” costs, as he envisioned.

Dusty

April 6th, 2012
9:21 pm

@@ & HillBilly get the blue ribbon blog award! They’re the best.
———————

gm gets a new pair of glasses. So President Obama omnitravels to learn about the common man!

OH yes, and in places like Martha’s Vineyard and the best hotels in Hawaii. I myself would love to study “the common man” in those locations. I’m sure there is a lot to learn.

Yawn.....

April 6th, 2012
9:30 pm

I hear the White House has plans to have the next Mega Millions Lotto drawing at the Oval Office. Barry the Bozo will be drawing the little white balls himself and then direct the winner to the IRS office so the gub’mint can get its fair 70% shake

Linda

April 6th, 2012
9:32 pm

The US credit rating, never before downgraded in the history of our country until Obama took office, was downgraded for a second time today, for Obama’s spending & the debt. It will get worse, much worse.

zeke

April 6th, 2012
9:33 pm

Vibrant young President that knows what is going on in the real world?? Man, I don’t know what you are either drinking or smoking, but, IT MUST BE SOME AWFULLY POWERFUL STUFF!! WHERE CAN I GET SOME??

The current moron in the white house has no clue about the real world. Never been in it! Never held a real job! No real life experience! JUST ANOTHER VILE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER SET ABOUT TO CHANGE OR DESTROY THE CONSTITUTION BECAUSE IT LIMITS WHAT THE GOVERNMENT CAN DO TO US! WE MUST BE RID OF HIM AND HIS BUFFOONS IN NOVEMBER AT THE LATEST! CAN WE IMPEACH HIM FOR VIOLATING HIS OATH OF OFFICE TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION FROM ALL ENEMIES BOTH FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC?????????? IT APPEARS HE IS THE ENEMY OF THE CONSTITUTION!!!!!!!!!!

Linda

April 6th, 2012
9:50 pm

zeke@9:33, start with the dentist’s office.
Well said. A true patriot. Common sense all around.

hryder

April 6th, 2012
9:53 pm

Obama fooled most of the voters when elected. He is now attempting to be re-elected by being all things to all people. Truely a logical impossiblity. Thinking rational people watch what a person does in comparison with what they say. When Obama is viewed this way he rarely does what he claims he will do and only nonthinking irrational people would claim otherwise. When one reads most newspapers, views network TV news programs, or hears liberal radio indications are that his actions are congruent with his words and the really sad thing is that these rose colored viewing reporters are actually legally permitted to be deemed sane enough to be registered voters. Please think before you vote and then, VOTE OUT ALL ELECTED INCUMBENT OFFICE HOLDERS IN NOVEMBER!

JF McNamara

April 6th, 2012
10:01 pm

This is the dumbest article I’ve read from you in a while. You must be running out of things to complain about. If he gets asked a question, what is he supposed to do? Not answer? You would then complain that he is dodging questions.

You don’t like him. we get it. You write three articles a week that bash him in some way, but at least most of those have to do with his policies. This is just a personal attack.

You don’t like him because he’s too outgoing and likes basketball? You don’t like him because he has an opinion on Augusta national? He in no way tried to enact policies. It lowers your opinion of the office because he gives his opinion? If he weren’t outgoing, you’d complain he was too serious or boring.

Give me a break. If he were a Republican, you would be fawning all over him and calling him the new Reagan. You know why? Because he is in terms of policy and personality. He’s a charismatic RINO/DINO moderate who has helped pull us out of a real tough economy.

Ayn Rant

April 6th, 2012
10:04 pm

At last, Kyle, you are on the verge of acknowledging the destructiveness and pointlessness of partisan politics. You are close to recognizing the obvious: that President Obama is an intelligent, personable man who has patiently endured the obstruction of his political foes to guide us, within the limited scope of actions available to him, toward a slow steady recovery from the Great Recession.

How about going one step farther? Condemn the “tea party” folks for what they are: hate-filled Americans who are galled by the notion of black people living in the White House. Condemn the Republican politicians who cater to the lowest elements of our society, to divide our nation into red and blue states by exploiting the naivety and ignorance of the underprivileged and uneducated.

Then, take the ultimate step: abandon the outdated prejudices and political dogma you inherited in the last century from your parents and community, and put the interests of your children and your nation above your hatred of people you know only by the labels you have given them!

Linda

April 6th, 2012
10:07 pm

hryder@9:53, You must have had really super parents. Right on, man or woman.

@@

April 6th, 2012
10:09 pm

Obama said under Ryan’s budget plan, “hundreds of national parks will close.”

Does he know there are only 58?

He has a habit of overinflating everything.

Dusty

April 6th, 2012
10:15 pm

Yawn @ 9:30

I think you have the basis of an idea for a new change. Plan a lottery for taxes instead of the IRS.way. Paying taxes would be more fun with the possibility of a prize.

Obama could call this one Lotsa Love Lottery for All Americans. Buy for America! Land of the lucky! Even independents would love it.

Yawn.....

April 6th, 2012
10:18 pm

@JF McNamara…..and I’m sure you complained about Bookman writing 10 columns a week bashing the then-President GW Bush

@@…same guy who said that US had 57 states

@Ayn Rant…..we conservatives will condemn the “tea partiers” if you condemn the “hate filled” shake down artists like Al Sharpton and Jessie “Hymietown” Jackson and Bill Maher…

Linda

April 6th, 2012
10:20 pm

Ayn@10;04, I take personal offense to your comments regarding the Tea Party. You are a liar. You know that the Tea Party has no racial ties, that it is simply a humane group that is for nothing more & nothing less than a group against fed. govt. spending beyond our means.
The Tea Party is more concerned about blacks than the black leadership thugs
You are a work of art. May you find peace & forgiveness in this Easter celebration.

Yawn.....

April 6th, 2012
10:21 pm

Dusty….but wouldn’t that be against Obama’s policy of “soaking the rich”??

Everyone knows that the vast majority of lottery players are the uneducated poor….

Yawn.....

April 6th, 2012
10:24 pm

Linda, I’m sure in Ayn’s world….Easter does not exist……it’s probably called the “vernal multicultural celebration of seasonal change”

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

April 6th, 2012
10:36 pm

Road Scholar: The record number of folks on welfare and who have given up on finding a job: Boo Hoo!
——————————

Fixed.

Your Idiot Klown Obozo has driven American workers into the ditch after inheriting a recovery.

Michael H. Smith

April 6th, 2012
10:38 pm

Our bitter, aggravated politics has many fathers, from gerrymandering to genuine, deep and abiding differences of opinion about how to move the country forward. But here’s another problem with our politics I’ve noticed lately: We can’t escape it.

The deep and abiding differences amongst us are more than “opinions” Mr. Wingfield. These differences go to the very heart of what is at stake in this present political contest. What kind of government shall we have: A Constitutional Republic or a Socialist Democracy? What manner of economic system shall we employ: Capitalism or Marxism? What shall be the role of government be in our lives: One of Federalism with limits that protects individual liberties or one of Fascism without limits that denies individual freedoms?

Unfortunately, I’m afraid this “inmaface” helps create an intentional political illusion, a blurring, meant to distract from the above mentioned, very sharp, very distinct contrast. Misters, Romney and “obumer”(sic) are no where near alike as Rick Santorum would like to make GOP voters believe.

Romney is a hard core Capitalistic, obumer(sic) is a hard core Marxist. Romney would have us return to a Republic, obumer(sic) would have us be nothing less than a Socialist Democracy.

No matter how inundated or saturated we become of these two candidates over the coming months ahead the differences in who they are and what they want America to become is truly diametric, Mr Wingfield.

Dusty

April 6th, 2012
10:41 pm

J F McNamara and Ayn Rant

You just don’t get it or don’t want to. We do not want a “charismatic RINO/DINO moderate” laden with debt who wants to hobnob with the crowd but vacations with the rich.

We just want a sensible, intelligent man with character and experience and some sense of conservation. That would do it. Obama fails to be all of that.. After three years, it is obvious.

Dusty

April 6th, 2012
10:46 pm

Yawn. now now

In the lottery tax system the rich would have to pay the prizes. Aintcha got no imagination!!

Republicans Agree Its OK If Obama Built The White House - But How Dare He Live In The White House

April 6th, 2012
10:47 pm

“Maybe, just maybe, we’d have higher opinions of those who would hold that job if they kept their opinions within those limits. ”

***************************************************************************************

Maybe, just maybe, we’d have higher opinions of REPUBLICANS if they kept their opinions TO

THEMSELVES.

Republicans Believe Its OK If Obama Built The White House - But How Dare He Live In The White House

April 6th, 2012
10:58 pm

@Dusty

April 6th, 2012
10:41 pm
J F McNamara and Ayn Rant

You just don’t get it or don’t want to. We do not want a “charismatic RINO/DINO moderate” laden with debt who wants to hobnob with the crowd but vacations with the rich.

We just want a sensible, intelligent man with character and experience and some sense of conservation. That would do it. Obama fails to be all of that.. After three years, it is obvious.

*****************************************************************************************************

“We just want a sensible, intelligent man with character and experience”.

hmmmmm

That excludes::

Romney
Gringrich
Santorum
Paul
Bachmann
Cain
Ryan
McConnel
Boehner
Cantor
Limbaugh
Hannity
O’Reilly
Trump
McCain
Rubio
McDaniels
Barber
Brown
Chambliss
DeMint
Hatch
Isakson

on and on and on and on………………………………………. :)

Republicans Believe Its OK If Obama Built The White House - But How Dare He Live In The White House

April 6th, 2012
11:01 pm

@Lil’ Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

April 6th, 2012
10:36 pm
Road Scholar: The record number of folks on welfare and who have given up on finding a job: Boo Hoo!
——————————

Fixed.

Your Idiot Klown Obozo has driven American workers into the ditch after inheriting a recovery.

******************************************************************************

And President Obama is going to DRIVE Republicans into the DITCH in NOVEMBER with the

HELP OF WHITE WOMEN. :) .

Republicans Believe Its OK If Obama Built The White House - But How Dare He Live In The White House

April 6th, 2012
11:03 pm

@@@

April 6th, 2012
10:09 pm
Obama said under Ryan’s budget plan, “hundreds of national parks will close.”

Does he know there are only 58?

He has a habit of overinflating everything.

***********************************************************

And YOU people have a HABIT INFLATING your HATRED. :)

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

April 6th, 2012
11:06 pm

Obozo’s labor participation rate:

2009: 65.7%
2010: 64.8%
2011: 64.2%
2012: 63.7%

And it only cost us $800 billion.

Ol' Timer

April 6th, 2012
11:10 pm

I usually don’t read Wingfield, but did tonight including the blog. As I read the blog I was reminded of what someone said, “Not all conservatives are stupid, but most stupid people are conservative.”

Many of the folks on this blog should have their voter registration card revolked.

liberal trash

April 6th, 2012
11:15 pm

Nothing like a stupid Ol’ Timer wondering fool.

Lil' Barry Bailout (Unexpectedly Revised Downward)

April 6th, 2012
11:19 pm

most stupid people are conservative
——————-

Most welfare hounds vote Democrat.

Conservatives work for a living. The welfare hounds probably think that’s “stupid” too.

Dusty

April 6th, 2012
11:24 pm

Well, look who dropped in on this conservative opinion blog ..OL CAPITAL LETTER MAN, the blind liberal.

Why don’t you deflate your hatred instead of spreading it around here? It is not hatred by anyone that makes Obama a poor president. It is his actions and decisions. He is not an outstanding president as we discover only too often. No amount of shouting on your part will change that.

G’nite. Getting late..

@@

April 6th, 2012
11:34 pm

Obama built the White House:

Obama was born in 1961. Construction on the WH began in 1792…was completed in 1800. Time traveler too?

And YOU people have a HABIT INFLATING your HATRED.

I agree with Kyle. Obama seems like a genuinely good father and family man.

In my opinion, there’s no greater compliment to be paid a man.

A founding father, he ain’t.

He SUX at being a leader.

Ward

April 7th, 2012
1:39 am

Obama’s brackets would’ve been perfect if it weren’t for all that stuff he inherited from George Bush.

Blame Bush 2012!

Joel Edge

April 7th, 2012
6:02 am

“Obama seems like a genuinely good father and family man.”
Now if he was worth something as a president.

Road Scholar

April 7th, 2012
6:05 am

Kyle as can be seen above with so many attacks on President Obama, and his supporters, what do you expect him to do? Stand back and let this tide of BS override his approach to get things done. Some complain about his “rich” vacations; can you say Kennibumport (sp)? And it’s hard to get good security at the trailer parks other propose to cut his costs. Hawaii? HE WAS BORN IN HAWAII!

Without responding that he isn’t the “devil” , a position of many here on this blog, how do you expect him to get out his message? Speeches? Oh yeah, the teleprompter thingee! Fools can’t get past the anger!