President Obama must earn respect to get it

After reading Frank Batavick's criticism of Sheriff Jim DeWees' open letter posted on Facebook to President Barack Obama and his follow-up I was compelled to respond. DeWees had been critical of Obama's lack of appropriate response to the spate of killings of law enforcement officers, and his letter seemed to be prompted by the killing of the two sheriff's deputies in Harford County. Since that time, even more police officers have been slain.

Batavick began by saying that he was "disappointed by [DeWees'] recent foray into partisan politics." Really? DeWees' foray into partisan politics, at least began with the 2014 election season. DeWees ran for sheriff as a Republican. He defeated some Republicans and the Democrat. Clearly, DeWees has made no secret about his party affiliation and why Batavick would become disappointed is beyond my comprehension.


I happen to agree wholeheartedly with DeWees. I did not support him in his primary run for sheriff. Because of his letter to Obama, I will vote for him (barring any serious misdeeds) for as long as he chooses to run.

President Obama has given little attention to murdered law enforcement officers anywhere in the country. By comparison, he had plenty to say about the death of a fellow named Michael Brown in Missouri. Brown roughed up a store owner, stole merchandise and walked away (down the middle of the street) until accosted by a police officer. It ended badly for Brown who, it seems, attempted to rough up the cop. Obama had plenty to say about the deceased, but nothing in support of the officer who wrongfully lost his job over the incident.

Most people will remember Obama coming, very publicly, to the defense of Trayvon Martin. Obama stated that Martin "could've been my son," and "Martin could have been me 35 years ago." I always wondered, did Obama have it in him to beat a downed man's head into a concrete sidewalk? Trayvon did.

In yet another incident, in which Obama was completely uninformed, he went in front of cameras to accuse police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of "acting stupidly." I repeat … Obama was completely uninformed when he went before the cameras.

In each of the above incidents, Obama went public on TV with emotional and impassioned speeches.

By comparison, when has Obama gone public on national TV with an impassioned, emotional plea to call for an end to the senseless killing of police? I certainly have no recollection of such. Instead, by Batavick's own words, Obama "called the widow of … a sheriff's deputy" on the phone. In another, Batavick relates a speech Obama gave to an International Chiefs of Police conference when he made supportive comments to that private audience. In the Harford County incident (two officers fatally shot), Batavick relates that "Obama had his attorney general … release a statement."

I find the above lackluster attempts by the current administration at great variance with Obama's very public and impassioned responses to the police shooting of people of questionable character. Many people have noticed his distinct political leaning, and it's not in favor of law enforcement. Shameful!

While I'm on Obama defenders, Bill Kennedy's Feb. 29 column gave me a touch of heartburn. Kennedy expects President Obama to be given respect solely because of the office he holds. Balderdash! To get respect, one (even a president) must give respect.

Obama will disrespect virtually anyone who does not agree with him. At the January 2010 State of the Union message, he dissed the entire U.S. Supreme Court publicly on TV.

More recently, Obama ducked the funeral of Justice Antonin Scalia. His excuse? His "security footprint" would disrupt the entire affair. That's Obama code for, "I don't wanna go." He's used it before.

Obama publicly referred to his political opponents as "the enemy." In England, they still manage to refer to each other as "the loyal opposition." No such respect from this president. How many times has Obama traveled abroad and talked negatively about this country that he "leads from behind?"

I could and should go on, but space is not available. To those who think that Obama deserves more respect, I offer this short quote: "What goes around, comes around."

Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy. Email him at