William McGurn, in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, notes just how much Barack Obama relies on being able to blame George W. Bush.
Nine months after Barack Obama entered the Oval Office, his most adamant critics must concede he’s delivered on “change.” And we see it in our first post-gracious presidency.
The most visible manifestations of the new ungraciousness are the repeated digs the president and his senior staffers continue to make against George W. Bush. Recently, the administration has given us two fresh examples. The first is about Afghanistan, the other about the economy.
On Afghanistan, Mr. Obama’s chief of staff went on CNN’s “State of the Union” earlier this month to discuss the presidential decision on Afghanistan that everyone is waiting for. “It’s clear that basically we had a war for eight years that was going on, that’s adrift,” said Rahm Emanuel. “That we’re beginning at scratch, and just from the starting point, after eight years.” Translation: If we screw up Afghanistan, blame Mr. Bush.
The other came from Mr. Obama himself, speaking at various Democratic fund-raisers last week. “I don’t mind cleaning up the mess that some other folks made,” the president said. “That’s what I signed up to do. But while I’m there mopping the floor, I don’t want somebody standing there saying, ‘You’re not mopping fast enough.'”
This is a frequent Obama complaint. The logic is clear if curious: While it’s OK to blame Mr. Bush for spending too much, it’s not OK to point out that Mr. Obama is already well on track to spend much more.
Far from one-off asides, Mr. Obama’s jabs at his predecessor have been a common feature of his speeches, fund-raisers and the like. They seem especially to pop up whenever Mr. Obama discovers some decision he must make is not as easy as he’d thought. And they date back to the first moments of his presidency.
Meanhile, at American Thinker, James Lewis identifies what’s behind Barack Obama’s bad manners and anger, and expresses justifiable apprehension about the future.
While most people are pretty hard to predict, extreme narcissists are comparatively simple. They constantly hunger for ego gratification, they are immature, constantly need to demonstrate their own superiority, often need endless sexual conquests (like Bill Clinton), are manipulative, constant liars, are completely cold about the human beings they harm (like John Edwards), and they deal with frustration by uncontrollable fits of rage.
I think that’s what we saw last week with the White House lashing out at Fox News. …
I fear two things with Obama. One is if the GOP fails to elect a House majority in 2010 to keep Obama within the bounds of sanity. A GOP majority is essential for the safety of the country and the world. But even if Obama is defeated in 2012, he will just turn into an angrier version of Al Gore and Jimmy Carter. He will haunt the political future of this country as long as he is alive, because that famished ego never gets enough. Malignant narcissism often gets worse over time. And on the Left and among blacks, Obama will still have love and adoration enough to keep him supplied. He is an easy target for flattery by the Saudis, even the Iranians — in fact, by all the real enemies we have.
So even if the voters throw out this very dangerous cult-like administration, you can expect Obama to be popping up in our politics for years to come. He will haunt the Democrats, which might be a good thing. But he will haunt the United States as well, even if he is defeated in 2012.