The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


On the day that Barack Obama was elected President in 2008, I made the following comment in this blog:
I did not vote for Barack Obama, but I wish him well. As a person who believes that the center of politics offers the best road forward, I will hope that his promises of bipartisanship will be kept. That his claims of good judgment will be verified as the months and years pass. That his charisma will morph into effective leadership for all Americans. If those things happen, his election will have been a good thing, maybe even (as Colin Powell remarked) a “transformative” event.

Today [November, 2008], Barack Obama remains a cipher—we have elected an image rather than a person with a lifetime of accomplishments. In the months and years ahead, we’ll know whether the image is reality or just a mirage. All we can do is hope.

Over the past 21 months, a clearer picture of Barack Obama has emerged, and after last night’s election results, it’s apparent that the electorate doesn’t like what it sees.

Polling by the non-partisan Pew Research Center indicates that a majority of Americans characterize this mid-term election as a referendum on President Obama. Of course, the mainstream media will do everything in its power to protect Barack Obama, to convince the public that, despite historical evidence and poll results to the contrary, this election was not a referendum on this President. They’ll argue that voters are angry, ill-informed, or just plan wrong. That the President’s legislative “accomplishments” have not been adequately appreciated or explained. That a few Democratic wins (Harry Reid comes to mind) somehow negate the overwhelming number of Democratic congressional defeats. Protecting Barack Obama, after all, has become the MSM’s job.

But the results are undeniable, unless you live in the through-the-looking-glass world of the far-Left. In this mid-term referendum, the electorate has decided that candidate Obama’s 2008 image was little more than a mirage.

The President came into the office with no experience, few accomplishments, and little vetting by the media that blindly adored him. Now, he is no longer a cipher. Here’s what we know about Barack Obama:

  1. His claims of a new bipartisan approach to politics were nothing more than campaign rhetoric. He has been and continues to be the most rabidly partisan President (in both words and deeds) in my lifetime. Over the weekend, Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen had this to say about the President hyperpartisan approach:
    We write in sadness as traditional liberal Democrats who believe in inclusion. Like many Americans, we had hoped that Obama would maintain the spirit in which he campaigned. Instead, since taking office, he has pitted group against group for short-term political gain that is exacerbating the divisions in our country and weakening our national identity. The culture of attack politics and demonization risks compromising our ability to address our most important issues - and the stature of our nation's highest office.

    Indeed, Obama is conducting himself in a way alarmingly reminiscent of Nixon's role in the disastrous 1970 midterm campaign.

  2. The intelligence and good judgment attributed to him during the campaign has not been reflected in good decision-making as President or as a politician. Rather than laser focusing on the crippled economy, he spent a full year crafting budget-busting health care legislation that had to be force-fed to many members of his own party and to a public that was clearly against it. He championed cap and trade legislation that was predicated on flawed science and would have been ineffective and economy-busting even if the science was accurate.

  3. His “cool and calm” demeanor in the face of the economic collapse in 2008 belied an apparent lack of understanding of the American economy. He has failed miserably to craft policies that effectively address our economic ills. His “stimulus” program wasted tens of billions and did not establish a climate that would help businesses create the jobs that are critical to our recovery. The unemployment rate has remained at or above 9.5 percent for 14 months, longer than at any other time since the 1930s. And that’s after a 700 billion dollar stimulus!

  4. His implied centrist positions during the campaign have morphed into extreme Left, big-government policies that threaten to bankrupt the nation.

  5. He has failed to lead a Congress that was overwhelmingly Democratic, and as a consequence, allowed ideological leaders in both chambers to create awful legislation. The President did absolutely nothing to stop the reckless behavior in his own party. He did not lead – he followed.

  6. His soaring campaign speeches in foreign capitals have resulted in a “soft power” foreign policy that has failed to address the pressing problems we face around the world. Worse, his apologetic rhetoric in major speeches has projected a image of weakness that does not serve him or this country well.

  7. After castigating the President Bush for miring us in a “war of choice” in Iraq, he has expanded his “war of necessity” in Afghanistan, but in this case, there is virtually no chance of a good outcome.

But worse than all of that, there’s an elitism and arrogance to the President’s approach that is very troubling.

It’s possible that this election outcome will force humility on Barack Obama, and that under supervision by an opposition Congress, the remainder of his term will better serve the American people. All we can do is hope.