Here we are with a presidential election right around the corner. An insurgent conservative Republican is challenging an incumbent ultra-left liberal democrat. The US economy is in the toilet. Unemployment is terribly high. Gasoline prices are high enough to be a burden to American household incomes. The economic experts in Washington have no solutions. And the president tells us that we must be patient, his approach will eventually produce a new and better economy, a more moral economy along European lines.
And now, we have again Islamic militants storming US embassies and violating civilized norms and international law by laying violent hands on American diplomats. What will this president do?
I suspect that, like Jimmy Carter, he is going to wring his hands and spout conventional liberal platitudes while the country frustratedly looks on, wondering why he is incapable of understanding that the nation’s honor has been violated, American blood has been shed, and action is required.
Barack Obama probably fails to understand that this moment, right now, is the turning point in which the 2012 election will either be won or lost. The incumbent president of the United States has been presented with a challenge and an opportunity to exercise leadership in a crisis situation. The voters who are going to decide in under 60 days are watching what he does and how her behaves. His response to the attacks on America all over the Islamic Middle East will determine his fate.
So far Barack Obama is echoing Jimmy Carter and relying on his media allies to protect him.
Aaron Miller passes along a joke making the electronic rounds.
President Obama walks into the Bank of America to cash a check. As he approaches the cashier he says “Good morning, Ma’am. Could you please cash this check for me?”
Cashier: “It would be my pleasure sir. Could you please show me your ID?”
Obama: “Truthfully, I did not bring my ID with me as I didn’t think there was any need to. I am President Barack Obama, the president of the United States of America!”
Cashier: “Yes sir, I know who you are. But with all the regulations, monitoring, of the banks because of impostors and forgers, etc, I must insist on seeing ID.”
Obama: “Just ask anyone here at the bank who I am and they will tell you. Everybody knows who I am.”
Cashier: “I am sorry Mr. President, but these are the bank rules and I must follow them.”
Obama: “I am urging you please to cash this check.”
Cashier: “Look Mr. President, this is what we can do: One day Tiger Woods came into the bank without ID. To prove he was Tiger Woods he pulled out his putting iron and made a beautiful shot across the bank into a cup. With that shot we knew him to be Tiger Woods and cashed his check. Another time, Andre Agassi came in without ID. He pulled out his tennis racquet and made a fabulous shot whereas the tennis ball landed in my cup. With that shot we cashed his check. So, Mr. President, what can you do to prove that it is you, and only you, as the President of the United States?”
Obama stood there thinking, and thinking and finally says: “Honestly, there is nothing that comes to my mind. I can’t think of a single thing.”
Cashier: “Will that be large or small bills, Mr. President?”
John Kass, in the Chicago Tribune, warns that Barack Obama is in imminent danger of reaching the classic watershed moment of failed presidencies.
All the signs suggest that Obama is in immediate danger of a rabbit attack. It would ruin what’s left of his presidency. And it would horrify Democrats by ushering in, say, a President Bachmann.
It might happen while he’s on that ridiculous vacation of his. Obama is chilling at some exclusive multimillion-dollar estate on Martha’s Vineyard, even as thousands more Americans hit the unemployment lines, and as Republicans like Michele Bachmann make wild-eyed, crazed claims about bringing back $2 per gallon gas.
“I think it’s a little too early yet for the president to be attacked by a rabbit,” cautioned a veteran Chicago Democrat wise in the ways of Obama. “But it’s close. Real close.”
Anyone who thinks Obama is safe from a rabbit attack has forgotten what happened to President Jimmy Carter.
Michael Goodwin appraises the president’s current situation: his policies haven’t worked, he seems incapable of learning from his mistakes, the country is giving up on him, and there is another election next year.
That was fast. Mounting his shrinking soapbox soon after the Senate passed the debt-ceiling bill, President Obama took less than a minute to lapse into his class-warfare shtick.
It’s always us-against-them with him, but yesterday was especially off-key. For all its drama and histrionics, the vote in Congress was a rare note of bipartisanship he could have embraced as a model.
The nation avoided the dreaded default and did it with lopsided support in both houses. A majority of both parties in the Senate backed the deal, while in the House, Republicans backed it by more than 2-1 while Dems split evenly for and against.
This isn’t dysfunction. This is a successful democracy taking action. It was messy and flawed and nobody loves it. But the deal proves compromise still can work in a divided country.
Yet the result doesn’t suit our president, who has an itch for punishing wealth and more spending. To scratch it, he turns reflexively to scapegoating. The man who promised to unite the nation instead relishes dividing it at every opportunity.
So we heard again that the evil “oil companies” and “billionaires” and the “wealthy” and “big corporations” need to “pay their fair share.” Doesn’t he ever get tired of saying the same things?
I don’t know which is worse: That he really believes such drivel will help America, or that he’s cynically throwing red meat to the Bubbas of his far-left base. Either way, he needs new material.
But the debt debate made it clear that Obama’s idea shop is running on fumes. Like a broken record, he’s stuck on the same song — bigger government, higher taxes. No matter the circumstance, he repeats the mantra.
For such a smart guy, he’s proving to be a slow learner about what works, and doesn’t. He, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had their unfettered way for two years, and they blew a giant hole in the budget without getting much bang for taxpayers’ bucks.
Unemployment is a staggering 9.2 percent and rising, and most economists believe the economy is in serious danger of a double-dip recession. Obama’s answer: Let’s do it all again.
He gives lip service to the pain of the unemployed and underemployed, then trots out the old ideas. Usually he doesn’t even bother to repackage them.
Maybe he hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care, but the country is giving up on him. The shellacking his party and policies took in the 2010 midterms would be repeated if there were an election today. He’s sinking, and his approval is now a woeful 40 percent — that’s Jimmy Carter territory.
President Hoover brought some convictions with him to office about how the economy worked, how government worked, and what his role as President should be. As the Depression deepened, he did the best he could within those limits, but nothing seems to have made him reconsider the mix of progressive ideas that he brought with him to the White House. As months of failure and disappointment grew into years, he doesnâ€™t seem to have questioned those core ideas or to think about ways in which the economic emergency might require steps that in normal times would not be taken. He not only failed to end the Depression; he failed to give people a sense that he understood what was happening. Over-optimistic forecasts issued in part to build confidence came back to haunt him. To the public he seemed fuddled and doctrinaire, endlessly recycling stale platitudes in the face of radically new economic problems.
Thatâ€™s beginning to sound a little like the current Presidentâ€™s predicament. Unless Lady Luck should emerge from retirement to sprinkle some growth dust on the economy, the President could find himself looking more Hooveresque by the day. Worse, President Obama faces problems that Hoover did not have â€” notably the five shooting wars on his hands in Afghanistan, tribal Pakistan, Iraq, Libya and now, apparently, Yemen.
The Politico exposes a hidden Obama, unknown to the public at large:
He respects, and somewhat identifies with, the serious, innovative, and strongly conservative Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin (!). How very, very odd. Obama certainly has not been taking any advice from Paul Ryan.
He wants to be like Bill Clinton, not Jimmy Carter. (!!) Wouldn’t that involve retreating on the idea of nationalizing American healthcare and moving toward the center?
And he really likes taupe.
[H]e likes taupe. In redecorating the Oval Office, Obama replaced Bushâ€™s yellow sunburst carpet with and earth-tone rug, put up new tan wallpaper and swapped out a coffee table for a walnut-and-mica table. â€œI know Arianna [Huffington] doesnâ€™t like it,â€ Obama said. â€œBut I like taupe.â€
Jennifer Rubin, at Commentary, is moved by Obama’s handling of the Sestak scandal to see in him a combination of key characteristics of several of his predecessors.
Obama has been compared to Jimmy Carter (in his misguided notions about the world), to Richard Nixon (in his sleazy backroom dealing and lack of transparency) and to LBJ (in his infatuation with government). Unfortunately, it appears that he embodies the worst of three unsuccessful presidents. And like all three, he may manage to drag his party down with him.
I certainly see in him the self-rigteousness combined with pettiness of Jimmy Carter myself. He’s trying to be FDR and LBJ and possibly Vladimir Ulyanov, to boot. But, it’s the Nixon comparison that features the note of incongruity. Obama depicts himself as holier-than-thou, high-minded, and above all that, but the crooked and sleazy Chicago pol keeps peeking through. He may yet wind up wearing Richard Nixon’s hunted look.
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews used to feel a thrill running up his leg at the sound of Barack Obama’s voice. Things have certainly changed. More recently, Matthews began finding Barack Obama reminding him of Jimmy Carter.
Newsbusters even includes the video.
The word these days is optics, visuals, signals. In the Carter presidency, the optics were not exactly robust, and Ronald Reagan rode that to a big victory in 1980. Is the Obama White House sending some Carteresque signals these days? Some see that in the deep bow to the Emperor of Japan, an unforced error say critics. Then there was, there was what happened in China: Obama got nothing in the way of concessions over there in spite of playing the polite visitor. And his effort to speak directly to the Chinese was jammed by the government. Third, that decision to try the terrorists up in that federal court in New York City. Again, nothing that had to be done, and critics say it shows that Obama, his team doesn’t understand this is a war we’re in. David, that’s the question. These optics are everything in a president. Carter used to carry that garment bag over his shoulder. This president is he making mistakes like in China like in Japan?
Matt Welch and Nick Gillespie observe the president’s rampaging leftwing agenda packed with new tax proposals amid rising unemployment is producing crumbling support poll numbers.
Can this be the beginning of the end of the Obama cult? So soon?
Barely six months into his presidency, Barack Obama seems to be driving south into that political speed trap known as Carter Country: a sad-sack landscape in which every major initiative meets not just with failure but with scorn from political allies and foes alike. According to a July 13 CBS News poll, the once-unassailable president’s approval rating now stands at 57 percent, down 11 points from April. Half of Americans think the recession will last an additional two years or more, 52 percent think Obama is trying to “accomplish too much,” and 57 percent think the country is on the “wrong track.”
From a lousy cap-and-trade bill awaiting death in the Senate to a health-care reform agenda already weak in the knees to the failure of the stimulus to deliver promised jobs and economic activity, what once looked like a hope-tastic juggernaut is showing all the horsepower of a Chevy Cobalt. “Give it to me!” the president egged on a Michigan audience last week, pledging to “solve problems” and not “gripe” about the economic hand he was dealt.
Despite such bravura, Obama must be furtively reviewing the history of recent Democratic administrations for some kind of road map out of his post-100-days ditch.
So far, he seems to be skipping the chapter on Bill Clinton and his generally free-market economic policies and instead flipping back to the themes and comportment of Jimmy Carter. …
What the new president has not quite grasped is that the American people understand both irony and cognitive dissonance. Instead, Obama has mistaken his personal popularity for a national predilection toward emergency-driven central planning. He doesn’t get that Americans prefer the slower process of building political consensus based on reality, and at least a semblance of rational deliberation rather than one sky-is-falling legislative session after another.
Presidents like to use catch phrases to identify their domestic and their foreign policies. Teddy Roosevelt had the Square Deal and Big Stick. Franklin Roosevelt had the New Deal and the Good Neighbor Policy. No doubt admiring the Obama administration’s “angry letter to the Times” response to Iranian missile launches and North Korean nuclear bomb tests, Jules Crittenden proposes that Barack Obama might add A More Aggressive Carterism on the foreign policy side to his domestic New Foundation.
Itâ€™s like Carterism on steroids. Like Carter with abs. Cooler, too, I guess. It wears shades sometimes.
I was having lunch downtown the other day with a couple of my crazed war vet pals I hadnâ€™t seen in a while, one left, one right, and the right one says, â€œSo, what do you think about Obama?â€
Like he needed to ask. I gave it a couple seconds thought on how to do it simply, without running off at the mouth, and said, â€œHeâ€™s like a more aggressive Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter kind of sat back and let things happen to him. Obama goes looking for it.â€
â€œHa haâ€ says the right one. â€œA more aggressive Carter. I like that.â€