After his meetings with Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, concluded, President Obama held a press conference (March 6, 2012) where he seemed irritable and ill-tempered at Republican presidential candidates whom he claimed were talking with “a lot of bluster” about war with Iran, and were only able to do so because they didn’t bear the terrible burden of responsibility that comes with being commander-in-chief. 

He said that if they believed the US should go to war with Iran, “they should say so”.  But isn’t that exactly the charge to which he is responding?  That they said so?

How childish.

Why would the leader of the most powerful nation on earth condescend to answer critics that he fully well knows are acting childish in order to petulantly engage them on their own level?

It doesn’t matter in the least what Romney, Santorum or Gingrich would do about Iran right now.  None of the three have even made it to the nomination.  The president claims they are just playing politics rather than substantively engaging the Iran issue.  Well, duh.  What matters is what Obama thinks should be done.  And he’s not telling, except in very broad-brush outlines.

If someone tries to claim they are rising above childishness, or politics or whatever muck in which the rest of debate is mired, rest assured, it is nothing more than a strategy to more effectively wrestle in the muck.  Real adults don’t respond to childish criticisms.  They just ignore them.  It is rather unseemly to see a president that thinks no more of himself than to engage and dispute an irrelevant point of view. 

But it’s clear where this is heading.  Obama attacks Republicans for playing politics with war, claiming they couldn’t possibly understand the burden of responsibilities to the troops and the nation he bears in making a momentous decision to commit them to war, which exalts (he hopes) his purposes above the slimy political muck in which his opponents are thrashing about, and then just as it looks as though he may lose the presidential election (late summer?), orders the troops to war. 

Petulance, an unreasonable irritability or ill-tempered-ness, is a sign of weakness, especially in a President, and is not a pretty sight.