Thanks to the help of Jerry Pournelle, I finally put my finger on it:
Obama doesn’t actually say he is not a Socialist as far as I can see: he does ridicule those who say he is.
I was able to get close to it before, but found it difficult to explain why it bothered me so much when Obama “brushed off” his jacket when mentioning Hillary, then scratched his face with his middle finger another time mentioning her, then mocked Joe the Plumber (even though it was Obama’s answer that caused him trouble, not the question). Add to that the “You’re likeable enough, Hillary” snark that briefly got him in trouble with the Hillary camp.
See, there’s a thread that runs through all that, but I couldn’t find a way to characterize it neatly in plain English, until Mr. Pournelle helped out.
Sen. Obama rarely, if ever, responds to challenges or disagreements. He mocks, ridicules, insults, dismisses, and otherwise belittles anyone who criticizes him.
It’s childish. It is not the behavior or character a President should have.
And you know what’s worse? I can’t say it is a thread common to all these events, but I include the brush off and nose scratch for one reason: the crowd reaction was the same as to Obama’s derisive mention of Joe the Plumber: approval for a cheap dis. That means the brush off and middle-finger nose scratch were absolutely deliberate insults to Hillary.
Clearly, too many of Obama’s supporters like Obama to be a verbal thug. Too many of Obama’s supporters prefer Obama to ignore social norms of courtesy and respect.
To me, this is both disheartening and despicable.