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

Thursday, June 19, 2014

To Himself

The community in which I live is blue. The majority of my friends and acquaintances are Democrats who enthusiastically supported Barack Obama in 2008 and stood behind him (albeit, less enthusiastically) in 2012. They looked at me oddly when, in 2008, I suggested that Senator Obama had neither the experience nor the ideological temperament to be President of the United States. They called me a conspiracy theorist when I suggested that his past associations, his lack of transparency about his past, and the resultant fawning media coverage might not bode well were he to be elected to the presidency. It was a time of mass hysteria, and the Obama campaign took full advantage of it.

Now that almost six years have passed, my community remains blue, but discussion of Obama is muted or non-existent. True believers remain, but many Democrats now openly state that Barack Obama is a failure, both domestically and internationally. Among the true believers (and almost true believers) there are two prevailing themes: (1) that Obama was better than the GOP alternative in both 2008 and 2012, and (2) that GOP obstructionism blocked Obama from accomplishing anything. In other words, Obama's election and his subsequent failure as a president and leader were not his failures, but the GOP's fault. How convenient!

Daniel Henninger comments:
The defenders of the Obama presidency—which increasingly is becoming a project separate from the person—argue that GOP obstruction thwarted the president's agenda. If the Republicans were the rank partisans of Democratic myth, Eric Cantor would still be Majority Leader and Mississippi's Sen. Thad Cochran would be waltzing to his seventh term.

As to the American people now pushing his approval below 40%, Barack Obama entered office with more good will than any president since John F. Kennedy. If the Obama presidency has run out of aerobic capacity 2½ years from the finish line, it is because of Mr. Obama's own decisions. He did this to himself.
Indeed, "he did this to himself." He did it because he had no experience to begin with, but far worse, his arrogance blocked him for accepting good advice, learning from his copious mistakes, negotiating with his opponents in good faith, and changing a losing strategy on both the domestic and foreign policy fronts. He populated his administration not with the wisest, most experienced people, but with hyper-partisan hacks. He allowed his agencies to become partisan weapons, doing his bidding rather than the work of the American people. He blatantly lied on a regular basis to pass questionable legislation ("you can keep your doctor"), deflect Watergate-level scandals ("not a smidgen of evidence"), and get relected ("al Qaida is decimated").

It's actually amusing to listen to Democratic true believers rail again Congressman Darrell Issa, the man investigating the ever-growing IRS scandal.

Henninger comments:
The IRS tea-party audit story isn't Watergate; it's worse than Watergate.

The Watergate break-in was the professionals of the party in power going after the party professionals of the party out of power. The IRS scandal is the party in power going after the most average Americans imaginable.

They didn't need to do this. The Obama campaign machine was a wonder, perfecting the uses of social media in 2008 and 2012. But the Democrats were so crazed in 2010 by Citizens United, so convinced that anyone's new political money might bust their hold on power, that they sicced the most feared agency in government on people who disagreed with them.

Barack Obama wanted this job. He didn't want it to come with Ukraine, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or Darrell Issa. But it does.
We still have just over 2 years left in the Obama presidency. There's much damage than can still be done and no real way to stop it.