I am reading through President Obama's DREAMS FROM MY FATHER and have early on come across three traits of his late Kenyan born father--trats, which characterize both the positive and negative sides of the man and leader, i.e. the man in the White House at thes time. These are three traits which Barack Obama came to cherish from the family memory's of Barack, the senior.
These cherished traits include his father's (1) stubborn sense of honesty, (2)uncompromising confidence and (3) his likeability . I believe that these cherished traits make it hard for Obama to back-off in some of his conflicts with either supporters and/or adversaries of his decisions. We observe this especially now in the area of the country's national defense or security, i.e. as revealed in the administration's failure to back off on its NSA-led spying and data collection on Americans.
In an incident shared in Obama's DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, Obama's Kansas-born grandpa related [p.8] how his Kenyan father, Barack, physically and verbally threatened to throw a visitor to Hawaii down a 90-degree incline if the man did not do what the father believed to be right and proper in the circumstances.
Let me explain, only moments before this action by his dad, that particular visitor of his father's had accidentally dropped the senior Barack's favorite pipe off the ravine. The elder Barack had rashly demanded that the visitor climb down the rocky cliff to retrieve it. The visitor declined.
After he verbally threatened the man, Barack Sernior, picked up the man and threatened to throw the negligent man down the cliff. The Kansas-born grandfather of the junior Barack claimed that the elder Obama had even dangled the man off the ledge.
Onlookers at the ravine that day were stunned at the father's behavior. Likewise, in his own writing, Obama admits that his very own mother was very embarrassed by her ex-husband's behavior in this incident related to Obama by his grandfather. The grandfather claimed that Barack's mom refused to talk to her husband for several hours after that. (On the other hand, this same mother of Barack Obama often in later years defended Barack, the Elder's, positive sides throughout the writing of the autobiography by the eventual president of the United States.)
NSA SCANDAL REVEALS SIMILAR BEHAVIOR
Now, allow us to fast forward to December 2013. "A federal judge ruled Monday the National Security Agency's bulk collection of Americans' phone records "almost certainly' violates the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon described the NSA's activities as "almost Orwellian.' He wrote, "I cannot imagine a more "indiscriminate' and "arbitrary invasion' than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen.'"
Few of us now await the hope that the Obama Administration and the NSA will acquiesce to the courts decision. Obama is not afraid of making a scene sometimes when he feels he is right--no matter how it makes him look before others.
Sascha Meinrath, who was on President Obama's NSA advisory Committee on this very matter of NSA Spying has recently stated, "The ruling is really historic. It's the very vanguard of the pushback that says, constitutionally, legally, what has been taking place is unacceptable. And I think it's a reaffirmation of both our Fourth Amendment rights, our constitutionally guaranteed rights, in this constant interplay of balancing national security and individual rights."
Yet, almost all of us--including Sascha Meinrath--anticipate that the Obama administration will simply continue to hold stubbornly to its own view of truth in this matter and fight what the courts, the American people, and some of his own advisers are telling him these days, i.e. to back off and stop what the NSA is doing--i.e. notwithstanding the constitutional principles of the matter.
Obama has done the same in his stand not to override congress and assist immigrants to the USA nor prisoners at Gitmo. Obama has likewise stood firm on his decision not to go after big banks and really reform the economy, improve human and physical infrastructure in America at an improved rate, etc.
In short, instead of responding to America's almost-wholesale condemnation of the unlimited data-collection on American metadata (and other data), the NSA and Obama are simply laughing off the reality of the matter while claiming to be misunderstood in principle. It is a scene representative of what Barack cherishes about memories of his own father.
Obama highlights in his DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, that because of his dad's own great self-confidence (even in front of seemingly unfriendly crowds), Barack Junior was told again and again by his grandparents and mom, "Your dad could handle just about any situation [oozing apparent confidence], and that made everyone like him." [p. 8]
I personally dream for the day when Obama grows out of his father's shoes (or shadow) in these matters (of national security and righteous self-interpretation of what-is-just and fair) and do what is right constitutional and justice-wise for Americans.