Robert Comsol wrote:
How can someone become "Commissioner" while being that much of an ass?
Honestly I don't think he was. He was genuinely concerned about the health of the plague victims in the New Paris colonies:
FERRIS: I remind you, Captain, I'm entirely opposed to this delay. Your mission is to get those emergency medical supplies to Makus Three in time for their transfer to the New Paris colonies.
KIRK: No problem, Commissioner. And may I remind you that I have standing orders to investigate all quasars and quasar-like phenomena wherever they may be encountered. Besides, it's three days to Makus. And the rendezvous doesn't take place for five.
FERRIS: I don't like to take chances. The plague is out of control on New Paris. We must get those drugs there on time.
KIRK: We have until 2823.8 to continue the search, Commissioner.
FERRIS: You don't really think you'll have any luck, do you?
KIRK: Look, these people are my friends and my shipmates. I intend to continue the ship's search for them until the last possible moment.
It wasn't just what he said and did, although holding Kirk to the exact second wasn't going to gain him any points with the audience. It was his facial expressions. From his face, it was clear he was relishing every opportunity to tell Kirk his crew and friends had to die (he said he didn't, but it was so obvious he did). He was smiling as he watched Kirk desperately trying to find the shuttlecraft.
Pushing around a starship captain was all that was really important to him--that's what I saw. And he absolutely didn't give a crap about Spock and the rest. Look at this guy!