Sunday, October 17, 2010

Obama looking like a one-termer says......

Mickey Kaus fears Obama's latest blame-fest might be a "sign after he gets clobbered he won't be able to adjust and turn the setback into a longterm victory the way Bill Clinton did."  That Barack Obama seems utterly incapable of tacking to the center has seemed fairly obvious for some time.  What did he do when Scott Brown won that coveted "Ted Kennedy" seat in Massachusetts after all?

Still, Kaus would prefer Obama making the decisions, especially health care decisions, than "85% of "the likely Republican candidates" so it shouldn't be surprising that Kaus is just awakening to this discovery.  Kaus did have a warning sign however, which he discounted until now:
A few weeks ago a right-wing reporter told me that worried Dem congresspersons who met with Obama left their meetings more worried than when they went in. I discounted the gossip, but now it's begining to ring true. We thought he was a great salesman. He turned out to be a lousy salesmen. We thought he was a great politician. Instead he makes elementary mistakes and doesn't learn from them. He didn't know "shovel-ready" from a hole in the ground, and then somehow thinks admitting this ignorance without apology will add to his appeal.
While Kaus was one of the few to report Obama's shovel-ready admission wasn't exactly news, he does seem to have missed the news that people are afraid Obama doesn't know much of anything from a hole in the ground.  But Kaus is correct, Obama's latest efforts to blame the voters is probably worse than his "bitter clingers" faux pas from the campaign:
It's one thing to say those poor people in Pennsylvania are hostile to gay rights, say, because all their "jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them"—and that they'll change when they get the jobs back.  It's another thing to say those poor people will change when they get their jobs back when you've had two years to get them their jobs back and have conspicuously failed. At that point, blaming "false consciousness" becomes a semi-delusional way of dancing around your own inability to remove the root of that false consciousness. A little humility is in order. If true humility is unavailable, false humility will do.
At least in the campaign Obama limited himself to criticizing Pennsylvanians only; here he expands it across the country in order to avoid facing his inabilities.  As Pundette points out: "He's working overtime not to get this: The trauma is Obama! And the massive rejection of his pernicious agenda is proof that plenty of responsible Americans are thinking clearly and acting rationally, at last."  While Kaus is correct that humility is in order, I disagree that false humility will do.   I think voters have had just about enough of the smoke and mirrors Obama.

Perhaps Obama will find his humility in the face of a sound electoral defeat in November.  If I were a betting woman though, I would bet against that.  What Mr. Kaus and Mr. Obama have missed seems a bit obvious here; it was the passage of health care that proved their agenda more important than the opinion and well-being of the American people.  It wasn't the lousy messaging or the lousy salesman-turned-armchair-psychologist that prevented us from loving health care.  Doesn't that conclusion fundamentally insult the voters too?  Were we really just a successful sales pitch away from being sold on the Shamwow health care law?  I doubt it.

Here is the harsh reality, we are quite possibly eleven years away from reaching pre-recession employment rates according to the Brookings Institute.  This is the rosy scenario mind you; it could indeed be quite a bit longer than that.  Who sincerely believes that imposing a massive health care law on businesses let alone each and every US citizen was going to spur that rosy scenario along?  Mr. Obama would need to bend himself prostrate and beg forgiveness before those unemployed in 2012 before anyone would really think they saw something close to humility and then, I would guess, most would conclude it was false.  Obama is indeed looking like a one-termer Mr. Kaus.  Unfortunately for America, there will have been many many people stripped of their jobs, homes and dignity long before anyone gets health care coverage in 2014.  Was it really worth it?

More on this at Memeorandum

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