Serena Williams Rants While “Fox and Friends” Raves

A thumbs down on Serena's meltdown (and the media's phony outrage).

Serena Williams went off on the chair umpire at the U.S. Open after she had a point taken away from her during her match against Samantha Stosur.

In the end, Stosur’s powerful shots and steadiness allowed her to beat Williams 6-2, 6-3 in a surprisingly lopsided upset for her first Grand Slam title. Stosur left the court as the U.S. Open champion; Williams’ night ended with her facing possible disciplinary action.

A sampling of what Williams said to chair umpire Eva Asderaki:
• “You’re out of control.”
• “You’re a hater, and you’re just unattractive inside.”
• “Really, don’t even look at me.”

Asked at her news conference whether she regretted any of her words, the 13-time Grand Slam champion rolled her eyes and replied: “I don’t even remember what I said. It was just so intense out there. … I guess I’ll see it on YouTube.”

Here ya go, Serena.

Williams was fined $2000 for her outburst as she lost not only her cool, but her title to Stosur.

Chris Chase, author of the Busted Racket blog at Yahoo! sneered at the paltry fine.

For verbally abusing a chair umpire and making a mockery of tennis on its grandest stage, Serena Williams earned a paltry $2,000 fine from gutless U.S. Open officials afraid to rein in the despicable behavior of the game’s biggest star.

She will receive no tournament ban and her probation, which had been in effect since her infamous 2009 outburst at the U.S. Open, has been lifted. To call this a slap on the wrist would be overstating it. The fine was more like an imperceptible shake of the head.

Consider: Serena took home $1.4 million from the U.S. Open, a total which includes the prize money she won for being a finalist and her bonus for winning the U.S. Open hard court series. The $2,000 fine represents 0.14 percent of her total haul.

Way to send a message that such behavior isn’t to be tolerated, USTA. You wonder why Serena keeps humiliating lines officials who make $250 per day? Because your cowardly organization looks the other way every time she does it.

But Fox & Friends upped the ante when host Gretchen Carlson wondered if Wiliams’ hissy fit masked a “racist undertone” and was the expression of a member of the “entitlement generation.”

Friends don't let friends watch "Fox and Friends"

Carlson said after watching Williams’ tirade, “This is what’s wrong with our society today,” she said. “That’s the entitlement generation right there.”

“If you’re not a responsible parent, to constantly say ‘no, you need to take your own personal responsibility,’ you end up saying things like that,” she said. “…And a ‘hater,’ I mean was that a racial undertone? I don’t quite get that.”

The point is not to excuse Serena Williams’ bad behavior, but to point out how the idiots at Fox are trying to turn one athlete’s momentary meltdown into a major racial incident.  Fox feeds off of these stories to whip up a fear and resentment of Blacks or have we forgotten about the whole thing about Common performing at a White House poetry slam.

Letting Fox & Friends off the hook only encourages to continue playing the role of racial arsonists,  Chase has a slightly better argument regarding the USTA’s minimal punishment of Williams, but tennis has loved its bad boys when the acting out was being done by John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Ille “Nasty” Nastase.

Some public displays of rage are okay in tennis as The Crunk Feminist Collective observed, “…the USTA loves angry heckling players—as long as they are white men. Early in the tournament, there was a video and interview tribute to Jimmy Connors, a player legendary for his angry outbursts on the court. In the tribute they devoted extended time to showing one of the more famous of these outbursts, in a celebratory manner. White anger is entertaining; Black anger must be contained.”

If a Black person shows anger or dissatisfaction, they are called out based upon their race, not what set them off.  Only fools watch Fox, but for those clamoring for President Obama to publicly go ballistic, take note.

For the edification of the clueless Carlson, Urban Dictionary defines a “hater” as: A person that simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person.

There’s no situation the brilliant minds working at Fox News can’t spin into a major crisis. A public figure melting down in front of the camera? Gee…that’s never happened before.

"Serena, don't let the haters beat you down. Been there, done that, sista."

The Semi-Obligatory 9/11 Rememberance

These are my semi-obligatory words about 9/11 some ten years after the fact.  There will be millions, maybe billions of words written about the events of September 11, 2001.   Stack them on top of each other and they would reach higher than the fallen Twin Towers.

My 9/11 story is this. The night before we had seen Sade in concert. She would not tour again until ten years later. She was even better than the last time and that’s about it for what’s better now than it was then. 

I was washing dishes and listening to Howard Stern. Someone called in and said a plane had hit the World Trade Center. They thought it might have been a small plane like a Cessna. One of Howard’s crew remarked, “that’s a lot of smoke coming out of there.” 

I turned on the Today Show. Saw the second plane hit. Wondered where my wife was. She was out on an errand and none of us owned a cell phone. I watched one tower fall and then the other. My kids were at school and at noon it was announced they would be released early. 

I went to pick them up. They had been watching the events on television too. My wife finally came home. We watched television until late at night when we finally couldn’t watch anymore. 

What more was there to see? 

We felt sickened, sad and scared all at once. My daughter had recently turned seven. Before my daughter would go to sleep, she asked me if the terrorists were going to kill us all. I told her they weren’t. I wasn’t sure of it, but what else could I tell her? How much crap does a seven year-old girl need on her mind? 

Seven-year-old girls should go their entires lives without ever knowing what a terrorist is. 

Before we went to bed, my wife cried and I cried and we turned off the lights and turned on the security alarm. It’s good to hold on to the illusion of security when none really exists. 

The next day the sun rose in the morning just like it had that beautiful Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001 and just like it has everday since. 

We put a flag out on our porch and it stayed there for the next two years. There were a lot of flags on a lot of porches after 9/11. Don’t seem to see as many anymore. 

That probably means something. 

We went back to New York City last year for the first time in 11 years. I still love New York. Only now more than ever.

That’s enough for me with the reminiscening.  

I’ve seen enough angles of plans cutting into buildings like knives through butter.   Seen enough horrified faces pointing up at the sky.   Seen enough victims jump to their deaths, towers collapsing and presidents reading “My Pet Goat” while the world goes mad.

Do I really need to see it again?  Do anyone need another, “Where Were You When the Towers Fell?” recollection.. I was home and I watched it all day.  I saw it all unfold in real time.  

I don’t need to remember,  I never forgot.

Obama’s Jobs Plan: Save His Own First.

Obama stands tall on jobs, but will the Republicans go along?

My better half and I watched and while she liked it better than I (light on details, but heavy on the message, “you should pass this bill”), it was easily Obama’s best speech since his remarks after the Tucson shooting spree.

I give it a “B.”  It’s got a good beat (“pass this bill” dammit!) and you could dance to it.  As my buddy Denise Clay said all Obama needed to do after putting the Republicans on notice would be to drop the mic on the floor and walk out.

At the very least it is a reminder Obama is very good when he sets aside his natural aloofness and shows a bit of passion. He should do it more often. It humanizes him.

I’ve already notified my Congressional representatives to step up and heed the president’s call. I know they won’t because doing anything to help Obama’s odds of remaining in the White House is not in their long-term game plans, but it’s worth making the effort.

It was a good speech, but what he says is secondary to what he does to get his proposal through a Congress whose idea of a jobs program is for Obama to lose his.

As regards the Republicans, they had yet another debate at the Ronald Reagan Library.   It was a fitting setting and yet another reminder not one of these lightweights could scrape a cow pie off of Reagan’s boots.

Winner: Rick Perry I guess. He didn’t shoot anyone, though he acted as if he was ready to bitch slap Ron Paul at one point.

It is creepy how much applause Perry got for saying executing 234 people doesn’t trouble him. I’m sure they were all bad people who had it coming  (sarcasm fully intended), but what is it about these obnoxious Bible-thumpers that makes them SO eager to kill people?

Loser: Ronald Reagan. Looking down on these eight dopes in designer colostomy bags bumbling about for who is best qualified to take the country back to the Dark Ages, the Great Communicator has to be wondering WTF is up with the Republican Party if these bottom-feeders are the best the GOP can barf up.

Eight reasons to vote for Obama.

Eventually, someone will emerge, President Obama will have an real opponent and we’ll be off and running.

In 2012, the issue won’t be Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, Rev. Wright, or any of that crap leftover from 2008. It will be on the president’s job performance and how Americans feel about their own job and economic situation. If they think Obama has better ideas than his Republican challenger, he’ll win. If they don’t, he’ll lose.

Obama knows that. His supporters may often wonder what he believes in and what he will fight for, but even his most committed opponents can’t deny one thing about him: Obama is one HELL of a campaigner.

He took on two better known and more experienced candidates in Hillary Clinton and John McCain and beat ’em both. Does anyone really think Rick Perry and Mitt Romney are in that weight class?

All of the top-tier Republican candidates has major liabilities. Romney is running as the preemptive favorite, but he isn’t well-liked by the base or GOP insiders, the Tea Party doesn’t trust him and the differences between Obamacare and Romneycare aren’t big enough for him to put much distance between his plan and the president’s.

Perry has great hair, the kind of politics that play well in a primary, but won’t translate well to pivoting back to the center in a general election. His economic policies are murky and his record on social issues are the kind that give liberals screaming nightmares. That may not matter if he can sell his “Texas created 40 percent of the nation’s new jobs” line to enough Independents. I have sincere doubts though once Perry starts taking fire for his record as the nation’s longest serving governor his hair is going to stay so unmussed.

Perry’s fatal flaw is he’s another Texas governor and the last one of those America tried pretty much trashed the joint before he finally cleared out.

Bachmann can’t turn off the crazy long enough to beat Romney or Perry in a primary.  If she doesn’t win Iowa she’s over and out. Plus, she’s a lightweight. For all her bluster, she hasn’t accomplished dick in the House. For all his uselessness, Tim Pawlenty did make that case rather clear.

The rest of the field barely deserves serious consideration though the Ron Paul Pack keeps hope alive, but his issues are gaining more traction than the candidate. Jon Hunstman makes nice-sounding noises of moderation, but he’s going nowhere except back to Utah.   Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain are just different examples of the same kind right-wing tool.

This is why the GOP establishment keeps sucking up to Paul Ryan or Chris Christie hoping they’ll ride to their rescue. They see the flaws of their current field far better than I.

Obama is beatable. But it won’t be easily done and not at all by most of his current challengers. This thing is more his to lose than it is for the other guys to win.  To be the man you first have to beat the man and Obama is not going to make it easy for any challenger to take the belt.

Rick vs. Ron: Not discussing where to go to dinner.

The Fine Art of Defriending A Fake Friend

Sometimes it’s not who you know.  It’s who you don’t want to be bothered with anymore.

I had to defriend someone today.  I wish I regretted it.  I don’t.  What I wish is I’d done it sooner.  I’d rather have 1000 real enemies instead of one fake friend.  At least my enemies are sincere.  Fake friends waste your time and suck your joy.

One of the things I’ve learned is negative people only bring negativity to your world. The young man I cut loose (and doesn’t need to called out by name) was someone I actually as a reporter years ago. I tried to be civil and decent with him, but I got tired of his bitching and ugly ego. Life’s too short to deal with assholes.

People change.  Sometimes you realize you don’t like what they’ve changed into.   I know this guy.  I hired him.  Laughed with him.  Pounded beers with him.  Attended his wedding.   We had good times together.

But even a friend has sides of their personality you never see and don’t know anything about.  If you did you might never had become friends in the first place.

Eventually, you come to a realization, “Did one of us change, because I don’t KNOW this person and don’t much want to.”   What this guy turned out to be was a Rush Limbaugh listening, Glenn Beck believing, Fox News fanatic who hates Obama, Democrats, progressives and anyone who feels differently.

I accepted everything but the last part.  I’m okay with someone being a conservative.  Zealots who are aggressive and nasty about it make for bad company.   You can roll with the punches for a while, but the constantly adversarial relationship gets wearisome.  After a while all you want is these people out of your face so you can have a little peace when you’re networking socially.

That’s when it’s time to move ’em out and cut ’em loose.

I’ve had to do that several times, but the older I get the less I worry about it. I figure those folks are going about the business of their lives and I can only follow suit.

It’s like Malcolm X said, “I believe in the brotherhood of man, all men, but I don’t believe in brotherhood with anybody who doesn’t want brotherhood with me. I believe in treating people right, but I’m not going to waste my time trying to treat somebody right who doesn’t know how to return the treatment.”

This was someone I consider an actual friend.   Yet time has a way of forcing your fundamental differences to the forefront.

The last straw was when he called me “stupid” once too often.  There’s a limit to how much abuse I’ll take from anybody. I don’t care if you THINK I’m stupid, but if you SAY, I’m stupid, that’s when you become dead to me.  Sometimes you just got to cut a motherfucker off at the ankles.

This was someone I consider an actual friend.   Yet time has a way of forcing your fundamental differences to the forefront.

Firing a Facebook friend is ridiculously easy.  Once you make the decision to x someone out of your circle of life it’s almost a surgical procedure.  You go to their profile page, click “unfriend” and you’re done.  No arguments.  No screaming and cursing.  One minute you have a window into another person’s world and the next it’s slammed shut and boarded up.   It’s a clean escape and the only way to get back in is if you allow them back in.

Which isn’t going to happen.  The law of diminishing returns kicks in and relationships that become screaming matches with ugly words delivered in upper case are pure poison.   The number of friends I have in the virtual world outnumbers by far the ones I have in the real world and I rank and sort them accordingly.   Some folks I get a laugh from, others I exchange information back and forth with and a few whom I go toe-to-toe with.  Or is that keyboard to keyboard?

Underlying both up-close and far away has to be a mutual respect.   My former friend regarded debate as agreeing with him and being accepting of the other side’s opinion as a threat to his own. I’ve never understood these cyber gladiators who place so much emphasis on “winning” a debate online.  Discussions can get heated and there are some people you want to throw a few rhetorical round-house to, but win a debate?   Why that is so important to people I have no idea and if I ever do it’ll be time to turn off the computer and actually read a book.

I don’t dwell overly long on what’s in my rear view mirror.  Enough folks come and go in your life that if you spent all your time obsessing about the ones you had to forcibly evict from it you would have no time for anything else.

In due course, I expect my ex-friend to stop cursing my name.  In cyberspace nobody can hear you scream and that’s a good thing.

Besides, I got two new friend requests today.  When one door closes…

Backstabbers are shiftless, shady, jealous kind of people.

Ron Paul On Race: Even Worse Than You Thought

I like Ron Paul's campaign and I think it's good for America and the political process in this country that he is running for president. -- David Duke

When you’re a political person and you’re engaged in the social network you often find yourself sparring with others whose own beliefs clash with yours.  That’s the back drop of how I found myself going heads up with a rabid Ron Paul supporter.

Things got real, real quick.  Paulinistas are passionate defenders of their boy.   I work with some and they make for great debates, but sometimes I think they’re living in a separate reality same as Paul.

You have to admire any politician who tells you exactly what he thinks and doesn’t care what you think about it. I watched Paul at a debate in 2008 that was sponsored by Tavis Smiley at a Black university. All the big guns skipped the debate (Romney, McCain, Giuliani) leaving it to Paul and non-entitites like Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback and Duncan Hunter.

Paul stole the show. The audience applauded loudly when Paul said he would end the War on Drugs, but booed just as loudly when he said a President Paul would have nothing to do with the genocide in Darfur. Give Paul credit: he doesn’t tailor his message to please a specific crowd.

But he’s still unelectable. I will always regard his opposition to the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a deal breaker.

As a rule, libertarians have an unhealthy tendency to apply their principles without due regard to America’s history of state-enforced slavery, apartheid, and sexism, or to the many ways in which the legacy of these insidious practices persists to this day. Paul represents this tendency at his worst. The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Paul has argued, led to “a massive violation of the rights of private property and contract, which are the bedrocks of free society.”

It’s hard to interpret Paul’s position on this matter in a kind light. During the last campaign season, James Kirchick revealed in the pages of this publication that in the late 1980s and early 1990s Paul had published newsletters under his name containing rank bigotry against African Americans and gays. Paul claimed he did not write the columns in question or even know about them. Whether you believe that or not, the newsletter scandal highlighted Paul’s longstanding ties with figures, such as Lew Rockwell, with a history of catering to racist and nativist sentiments for political gain.

"Can you believe I get away with saying this crazy stuff?"

When you’re the publisher it’s pretty much a given that the positions expressed in your publication reflect your positions.

It’s disingenuous for Paul and his supporters to claim, “hey, he didn’t write these racist things. He can’t be blamed for it.”

Doesn’t work that way. A publisher is responsible for the content that goes into the publication. If the editor is pushing material that runs contrary to the publisher’s beliefs that’s an editor that needs to be fired.

Ron Paul didn’t do that. He didn’t run any retractions. He didn’t apologize for the racist drivel that ran in his newsletter.

PAULINISTA:  What amazes me is the same people who said he was crazy in 2008 for his anti-war, economic and Drug War views, who claim he’s unelectable today, who claim he can never recover from his loose association with a racist, are ignoring a very recent similar example.

I think people are mostly pissed that he’s actually manned up and refuses to throw his version of Rev. Wright under the bus by naming him. But we do know some things about the author of those rants.

We know that Ron Paul didn’t set in a pew every Sunday for 20 years nodding sagely at the wisdom of the rants of the author of those articles.

We know that Ron Paul has never claimed the author of those newsletter articles was “a close spiritual adviser for over 20 years.

Trying to make Ron Paul taller by cutting down Barack Obama isn’t the best way to sell Ron Paul.   When you can come up with a series of racist and homophobic articles that Barack Obama gave his tacit approval to when he was the editor of the Harvard Law Review, maybe you’ll have a point. Right now, you don’t.

It isn’t “manning up” by refusing to distance yourself from a racist buddy. What it says is even if Paul doesn’t hold those views personally he’s comfortable with those who do. That’s not the kind of person that should be appointing Cabinet members and nominees to the federal judiciary.

You can’t claim to be free of racism and protecting racists within your inner circle. Jeremiah Wright has had zero presence in the Obama Administration. Where would Paul place his bigoted buddies? Running the Justice Department Civil Rights division?

PAULINISTA: I go more on his voting record, the fact that there are no racist comments anywhere directly attributable to him, and statements like that from Austin NAACP President Nelson Linder, who’s known Paul for 20 years and said the charges were unfounded, or Wolf Blitzer, who expresses his open disbelief based on his knowledge of Dr. Paul in the interview I linked. Or maybe the word of Steward Rhodes, a Hispanic former staffer, is worth noting.

I’ll go on Paul’s voting record too and according to the NAACP scorecard he has accrued a mixed record of only 39% on civil rights issues such as affirmative action, which Paul opposes.

Does anyone still think a “some of my best friends are..” line of argument works? A Black guy in Austin nobody outside of Austin has ever heard of and a former Hispanic staffer think Paul is a swell guy and everyone is supposed to forget about his voting record, racist newsletters and say, “Ron Paul must be an okay dude. Two minorities say so.”

According to the NAACP’s most recent civil rights legislative report card for the 112th Congress (2009 – 2010), Ron Paul compiled an impressive 8 percent voting record on issues of interest to the nation’s oldest civil rights organization.

Maybe they should have called up Mr. Linder to see if he could put in a good word for his old buddy of 20 years. It might have inched that number up to 10 percent.

PAULINISTA: It’s also worth noting that in the many books that Ron Paul has written the only time he talks about blacks is to praise MLK, Rosa Parks and to condemn economic policies that he thinks are adversely affecting blacks. His oratory on the War on Drugs always emphasizes the over-prosecution of minorities as one of the big sins of the War.

Overall, hardly the record of a Strom Thurmond, Al Gore Senior, George Wallace, or Robert Byrd, just to note a few.

It’s also worth noting Paul has made it clear he would have voted the same way as Thurmond, Gore and Byrd did to oppose the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Just as Paul voted against the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday (though he did choose the holiday as an occasion for one of his “money bomb” fundraisers).

Just as Paul voted against awarding Rosa Parks a Congressional Gold Medal. He did offer to kick in $100 to pay for one. What a big-hearted guy!

Beyond Paul’s support on ending the War on Drugs (and people of color) there’s little to support the suggestion he’s the right man on race. His platitudes to King and Parks are rendered empty by his votes against them. Calling out the opposition of dead Democratic Senators from the South to the 1964 Civil Rights Act might play better if Paul and his idiot son weren’t endorsing the same historially indefensible position (because property rights supersede civil rights).

Taking “responsibility” for racist and homophobic material submitted in your own newsletter isn’t responsible while you continue to refuse to distance yourself from the racists responsible.

Ron Paul is no Barack Obama when it comes to disavowing a friend who espouses repugnant thoughts and spews hateful words.

That’s the problem.  When you strip away the rhetoric, the rubber doesn’t meet the road with Paul and his supposed color-blindness. It’s more like color blinders.

There are some things Ron Paul thinks are great ways to spend money. He says Abraham Lincoln was wrong to have waged the Civil War with the South and there was a better way to free the slaves. The government should have bought the slaves instead.

That is such a fascinatingly deranged perspective I could watch that clip all day long and wonder, “Just how crazy is this old man?”

PAULINISTA:  His voting record is consistent as well. Article 1 Section 8 guides his votes, and there’s a whole crapload of stuff that everybody wants that’s not in there. He votes against handouts for corporations as readily as he votes against any handout.

That’s why he’s named Dr. No.

I can agree with you on that. He says “no” to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He says “no” to affirmative action. He says “no” to U.S. involvement in trying to prevent the genocide in the Sudan. He says “no” to a woman’s reproductive rights. He says “no” to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

“No” to stem cell research. “No” to modifying bankruptcy laws to avoid mortgage foreclosures. “No” to gender-equal pay. “No” to allowing shareholders to vote on executive compensation. “No” on $84 million in grants to Black and Hispanic colleges. “No” to enforcement of anti-gay hate laws.

He even said “NO” to establishing a nationwide AMBER alert system for missing children.

Paul does say “yes” to some things. He says “yes” to guns as his A+ rating from the NRA indicates and “yes” to taking away a woman’s right to an abortion.

That’s your “Dr. No” and you can keep him.

 PAULINISTA: You can keep the pretty boy with the peerless pedigree and the condescending smile every time someone asks him when we’re gonna stop killing our children in the streets over herbs, or innocent civilians in foreign lands over oil, and who thinks the Patriot Act is just groovy and every president should have the power to assassinate American citizens.

I’ll go for the political pariah who actually proposes to change those things.

Because some Americans can see that the Barack Obama of tomorrow is the Barack Obama of yesterday… and so, in large part, are Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Sarah Palin.

Yeah, the political pariah wants to change things alright. The problem is he wants to change things back to when restaurant owners could refuse service to a customer because they had the wrong skin color or to when women had to risk their lives to end an unplanned pregnancy or gays stayed nice and quiet locked in a closet or to a time when America walled itself off from the world in paranoid isolationism.

As his recent crazy talk about FEMA as Hurricane Irene approached indicates, you are absolutely right: Ron Paul wants to change America. He wants to change it back to 1900.

Ron Paul's Black support. Singular, not plural.

Can Obama Get Off the Mat?

Obama said knock you out....but when?

A funny thing happened on the way to President Obama’s big jobs address given to a joint session of Congress.  Like so many things in this Chief Executive’s life even the relatively routine matter of getting the speech scheduled at a time of the president’s choosing became a major controversy.

The Tuesday Obama wanted to give his speech fell on the same night the Republican presidential challengers were scheduled to gather for a debate.   This sparked cries that the president was trying to big foot the Republicans so Speaker John Boehner asked the president to move his speech to Thursday instead.   The White House conceded to Boehner’s request and immediately the howls when up how Obama had caved to the Republicans–again.

But it also brought to light a different issue.  How little the GOP seems to respect this particular president.

When she was House speaker, Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California verbally tormented President George W. Bush. (Ms. Pelosi’s description of Mr. Bush as “an incompetent leader” comes to mind.) Dick Armey, a Republican former lawmaker from Texas and now a Tea Party leader, referred derisively to Bill Clinton as “your president” when speaking to Democrats. President Ronald Reagan sparred often with Democrats on the Hill.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, said this year that his first goal was to see Mr. Obama defeated.

“The closest we have come to this was Tom DeLay’s hatred for Clinton when he demanded impeachment of him,” said Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative research group. “But that was one guy or a handful. Now it is much more widespread, and the toxicity is, and culture is different now.”

Mr. Ornstein pointed to the fight over the payroll tax cut sought by the Obama administration — one that many Congressional Republicans supported in 2009 but oppose now — as an example of Republicans’ opposing Mr. Obama even when they had agreed with him on a policy.

Mr. Obama has had his own contributing role. Often when he has met with Republicans he has taken a scolding tone that irks them. Even some of his fellow Democrats viewed his attempt to schedule an address on job creation before a joint session of Congress next Wednesday — the same night as a major Republican presidential debate — as clumsy if not downright rude. It then became embarrassing when Mr. Obama capitulated and changed the date to Thursday at 7 p.m., as Mr. Boehner wanted.

But the dynamic, which Democrats largely blame Republicans for, has irked many of them, especially on the Hill. “I think it is unprecedented of a leader in the Senate of either party to say the most important goal he has is to make the current president a one-term,” said Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California. “That is about respect, that is about priorities and it is just wrong.”

Julian E. Zelizer, a political scientist at Princeton, said that when it comes to Mr. Obama, Republicans “just keep gaining confidence to force his hand.”

“While there might be a few people whose words have become nastier than usual, I think this is really the new normal in Washington with a president who is always on the ropes,” Professor Zelizer said. “I am not convinced that is about lack of respect so much as the feeling that this is a weak president. If the president seemed more powerful they would have returned the call.”

The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said Thursday that the administration spent “zero” time worrying about whether Republicans in Congress are showing the president the respect that the office deserves. “You guys care much more about this than we do,” he scolded reporters who asked about the relationship between Mr. Obama and Congressional Republicans.

Ready to rumble?

I count myself among the ranks of the “you guys” that Carney dismisses.  If the president continues to act like a doormat he shouldn’t be surprised if Republicans wipe their feet on him.

Washington is a place of power and with power comes respect.  I’m not exactly sure how Obama can command the respect that is due him as benefits his office, but a show of strength might help.

Back in the day of the first George Bush, disrespecting presidents was called “the wimp factor” and since then every man that’s held the office has come in for more than the usual kind of criticism that’s expected.

Any president is going to face natural adversaries.  No matter how popular a president or his policies are, someone is going to dislike both intensely.

I’m not going to pull the race card (this time at least), because this is Obama’s fault to an extent.  Obama is slow to anger and even slower to show it for reasons I can speculate upon but hesitate to say.   Even if Obama knows in his heart of hearts some of the shit slung at him is based upon his race, he’d never say it out loud.  He’d be denounced as a whiner and it’s a fight he would never win.

Presidents can be seen as weak, even as ineffectual, but if they look like they’re going to cry because they get punched in the jaw, they’re done.  Nobody respects a crybaby.

I won’t be listening to his speech next week just to hear what he has to say about creating jobs.  That’s the most important part, but how he says it will matter just as more.

If he challenges the Republicans to step up and do something more than obstruct and oppose anything he proposes because he’s proposing it I’ll be pleased.  Some have suggested Obama has been playing defense and executing a clever version of Muhammad Ali’s “rope-a-dope” strategy against George Foreman.

The thing is, Ali eventually came off the ropes to knock out Foreman.  If Obama’s strategy is to keep taking roundhouse rights and upper-cuts until the Republicans punch themselves out and get arm weary, it doesn’t seem to be having the desired effect.

If he’s pleading yet again with the Republicans to hold hands and sing “We Are the World” and show his willingness to reach across the aisle in the spirit of bipartisan bullshit, I’ll retch and be disappointed as I choke down the bile rising in my throat.

Right now, I expect disappointment.  Obama needs a Ali-style knockout of a speech.  He’s past the point of covering up, clenching and jabbing as he waits to be saved by the bell.   The Republicans are coming to take his title.

I know Obama can fight.  I’m just not sure if he will.

Is Obama ready to fight for his presidency and his principles?