Friday, September 3, 2010
WHAT HAPPENED TO "THE MESSIAH"?
But, Barack Obama is failing. Failing big. Failing fast. And failing
everywhere: foreign policy, domestic initiatives, and most importantly, in
forging connections with the American people. The incomparable Dorothy
Rabinowitz in the Wall Street Journal put her finger on it: He is failing
because he has no understanding of the American people, and may indeed loathe
them. Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard says he is failing because he has lost
control of his message, and is overexposed. Clarice Feldman of American Thinker
produced a dispositive commentary showing that Obama is failing because
fundamentally he is neither smart nor articulate; his intellectual dishonesty is
conspicuous by its audacity and lack of shame.
But, there is something more seriously wrong: How could a new president riding
in on a wave of unprecedented promise and goodwill have forfeited his tenure and
become a lame duck in six months? His poll ratings are in free fall. In
generic balloting, the Republicans have now seized a five point advantage. This
truly is unbelievable. What's going on?
No narrative. Obama doesn't have a narrative. No, not a narrative about
himself. He has a self-narrative, much of it fabricated, cleverly disguised or
written by someone else. But this self-narrative is isolated and doesn't
connect with us. He doesn't have an American narrative that draws upon the rest
of us. All successful presidents have a narrative about the American character
that intersects with their own where they display a command of history and
reveal an authenticity at the core of their personality that resonates in a
positive endearing way with the majority of Americans. We admire those
presidents whose narratives not only touch our own, but who seem stronger,
wiser, and smarter than we are. Presidents we admire are aspirational peers,
even those whose politics don't align exactly with our own: Teddy Roosevelt,
FDR, Harry Truman, Ike, and Reagan.
But not this president. It's not so much that he's a phony, knows nothing about
economics, and is historically illiterate and woefully small minded for the size
of the task--all contributory of course. It's that he's not one of us. And
whatever he is, his profile is fuzzy and devoid of content, like a cardboard
cutout made from delaminated corrugated paper. Moreover, he doesn't command our
respect and is unable to appeal to our own common sense. His notions of right
and wrong are repugnant and how things work just don't add up. They are not
existential. His descriptions of the world we live in don't make sense and don't
correspond with our experience.
In the meantime, while we've been struggling to take a measurement of this man,
he's dissed just about every one of us -- financiers, energy producers, banks,
insurance executives, police officers, doctors, nurses, hospital administrators,
post office workers, and anybody else who has a non-green job.
Expect Obama to lament at his last press conference in 2012: "For those of you I
offended, I apologize. For those of you who were not offended, you just didn't
give me enough time; if only I'd had a second term, I could have offended you
Mercifully, the Founders at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 devised a
useful remedy for such a desperate state--staggered terms for both houses of the
legislature and the executive. An equally abominable Congress can get voted out
next year. With a new Congress, there's always hope of legislative gridlock
until we vote for president again two short years after that.
Yes, small presidents do fail, Barack Obama among them. The coyotes howl but
the wagon train keeps rolling along.
Margaret Thatcher: "The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out
of other people's money."
"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both." - James Dale
Davidson, National Taxpayers Union
"The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates." – Tacitus
"A Liberal is a person who will give away everything he doesn't own." - Unknown