Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) called President Obama “idiotic” this week. This continued, and uncharacteristic disrespect for the presidency is unfortunate. Most likely he was playing to the Tea Party base, but it is still unacceptable. Not only did Walsh call Obama idiotic, he further showed his disrespect for the presidency by announcing he is going to skip the president’s job speech on September 8th.
According to the Northwest Herald, Walsh said, “How idiotic is this president? I don’t want to be disrespectful, but he’s going to bring forth a jobs plan next week. Think about that for a minute. He’s been in office for three years. He’s destroyed job creation systematically for three years.” The Republican congressman said this during a meeting with voters. Even if you agree with Walsh about Obama’s performance, there is absolutely no reason to be disrespectful.
In addition to calling President Obama idiotic, Walsh said he is not going to attend the president’s speech. “I don’t see the point of being a prop for another of the president’s speeches asking for more failed stimulus spending and more subsidies for his pet projects,” Walsh said. The congressman thinks the president needs to speak with more people before giving his speech. “The president needs to stop the speeches, get out of his office and away from all the White House academics, and start talking to real people out there. They’re the ones who are going to create the jobs, not White House paper-pushers and bureaucrats.” Perhaps Walsh didn’t get the Republican talking points about criticizing the president for his tour bus travel, when he was speaking with citizens about job creation.
After getting flax for his idiotic statement, Walsh issued an apology. While speaking with Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Walsh said, “That was absolutely stepping over the line and I apologized. He’s not an idiot, he is the president of the free world.” He continued, “What I meant to say, and I didn’t say it very artfully, is the notion of him using his office to call a joint session of Congress to just repackage a few old jobs ideasÂ—that to me is idiotic.”
It is unfortunate some members of Congress believe this president is not worthy of respect the office and position requires. This is just another attempt by the GOP to label Obama as different, not one of the people, or unworthy. It is fine to disagree with him. It’s fine to not like him. It is fine to question his policies and ideas. It is not fine to disrespect him or the office of the president.
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