Thursday, March 04, 2010

Obama and the Political Equivalent of Jonestown

Presidents in the modern era tend to develop an image even if it is one that they don't want. Think George Bush and you have a variety of preconceived notions by the public in general: Amiable dunce, or war criminal. Clinton as the prevaricating philanderer, GHWB (Bush 41) Yankee patrician who said "read my lips" like he actually meant it, even though he didn't. Reagan, maybe amiable dunce, but I think most on the Left so loathed him, that they saw him as the evil precursor to GWB. Carter of course, was the incompetent busybody technocrat, Ford the uncoordinated dunce (which is interesting since he was probably the best athlete president of this century). Tricky Dick says it all, and LBJ as the rude, crude, Texan who escalated the war in Viet Nam and gave us the Civil Rights Act, even though it was against his party's interests. Barak Obama is starting to develop his own image, and it probably isn't what he wanted. Originally, the narrative was that he is this wonderful orator who could transcend party, race and the pettiness of politics and give us all a new America that could be proud of itself once again (although most of us always were proud).
Then, reality set in.
The Great Orator who enthralled the journalists who covered him, is revealed to be a captive of his teleprompter (remember corpse-man?) who is deeply narcissistic ("I won" and "the difference between 94 now, is that now you have me.") The great statesman is shown to be an indolent victim of Reid and Pelosi on the major legislation of his presidency (health care). Using the evidence of his actions, it is not unrealistic to think that Obama believes his own press. His explanation for the lack of public support for his plan is that the administration has failed to communicate it clearly. This in spite of the fact that he has given more speeches on health care than there are days of his presidency. Could it possibly be that he has communicated his plan, and the public rejects it anyway? That thought seems to be incomprehensible to the divine One.
But what about all of the polls that show the public support the elements of his plan, even if they don't support his plan? I am curious what the pollsters asked about the Louisiana Purchase or the CornHusker Kickback. Or, for that matter the entire process, which was supposed to be on CSPAN for all of us to see. Instead, it was done in the back of Harry Reid's office, pressed to the floor for a vote when the members never had a chance to read it, much less understand it. And now, in spite of the polls Obama vows to press ahead unilaterally with reconcilliation to put it into law. The theory is that the Democrats will be rewarded by the public when the law is enacted.
The foolishness of this plan can only be attributed to self-delusion. But the mania is being abetted and enabled by other members of Congress. The fact that they can say with a straight face that the plan will reduce the deficit and not raise costs is simply absurd. If they know it and ignore it, they are criminally complicit. On the other hand, if they really do believe this pap, they are a pretty good argument for making a test of sanity a requirement for federal office.
Obama seems to be orchestrating the political equivalent of Jonestown. Demanding fealty to his signature work, he is telling Democrats that they need to throw themselves on that grenade for the good of their party. Never mind that due to seniority rules in the Democrat caucus, the old bulls with the most seniority are the ones from the safest seats. The ones who will actually pay the price for this miscue are going to be the Democrats that were recruited to take over moderate and Red State seats.
Forcing this monstrosity through in the face of adverse public opinion will probably wipe out all of the gains that the Democrats have made over the last four years. Although Congressional districts have varying degrees of fluidity, the trend for the last two elections has been to the Democrats. Abetted by Republican fiscal idiocy and trumped up ethics charges, the Democrats are now showing that they can top even the Republicans at that game. In fact, I think it wouldn't be all that unreasonable for the House to return to the same number of Republicans and Democrats as existed in 2004. With such a mandate in opposition to the Democrat plan, its reversal is almost assuredly guaranteed. Then all the Republicans will have to do is proffer their simplified plan, and the public will recognize that the Democrats talk a good game but do nothing of importance.
This could very well mean the end of the Democrat Party except in isolated regional areas (the coasts and major failed metropolitan areas), representing the die hard leftists.
Quite the turnaround from a year and a half ago, dontcha think?


Anonymous said...

No doubt you worked very hard on this. That much is apparent.

Steve said...

I will take your comment as gracious, and say thank you Mark.