Category Archive 'Obama: Decline and Fall'

04 Jun 2012

The Superhero That Failed

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True Believer Maureen Dowd is unable to avoid recognizing that the Obama presidency has been a disaster, that the left is going to lose in November. She wants to win, and she can’t quite understand why the hot air, hype, and infantile fantasies that were streaming after Barack Obama’s candidacy failed to translate into glory and success.

On Friday night, the nation’s capital was under a tornado watch. And that was the best thing that happened to the White House all week. …

The president who started off with such dazzle now seems incapable of stimulating either the economy or the voters. …

Once glowing, his press is now burning. “To a very real degree, 2008’s candidate of hope stands poised to become 2012’s candidate of fear,” John Heilemann wrote in New York magazine, noting that because Obama feels he can’t run on his record, his campaign will resort to nuking Romney. …

The president had lofty dreams of playing the great convener and conciliator. But at a fund-raiser in Minneapolis, he admitted he’s just another combatant in a capital full of Hatfields and McCoys. No compromises, just nihilism. …

In his new biography, “Barack Obama: The Story,” David Maraniss writes that a roommate of the young Obama compared him to Walker Percy’s protagonist in “The Moviegoer”: an observer of his life, one step removed. …

His New York girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, told Maraniss that Obama confessed to her that “he felt like an impostor. Because he was so white. There was hardly a black bone in his body.” …

On CNBC on Friday, Romney complained that Obama has “been more focused on his perspective of his historic legislative achievements than he has been focused on getting people back to work.”

A president focused on historic achievements? Imagine that. But in his lame way, Romney got at Obama’s problem: The Moviegoer prefers to float above, at a reserve, in grandiose mists.

As Maraniss recounts, Obama said he liked reading Hemingway because of Papa’s “integrity of grasping for those times, those visions, that are ones of true magnificence and profundity.”

Cook told Maraniss that she thought Obama’s desire to “play out a superhero life” was “a very strong archetype in his personality.”

But superheroes and mythic figures must boldly lead. Obama’s caution — ingrained from a life of being deserted by his father and sometimes his mother, and of being, as he wrote to another girlfriend, “caught without a class, a structure, or tradition to support me” — has restrained him at times.

In some ways, he’s still finding himself, too absorbed to see what’s not working. But the White House is a very hard place to go on a vision quest, especially with a storm brewing.

I think as we get closer to the Fall election and political polling increasingly accurately reflects the mood of the country, we are going to get to read a lot more examples of this kind of navel-gazing by the left-wing commentariat.

“We had a wonderful campaign in 2008. We did such an excellent job of manipulating words, images, and emotions. That is what politics is about. That is what effective leadership is. How can it be that the economy failed to recover and the American people actually resisted accepting the transformation of America into a European-style Welfare State?

Everything went wrong, and we simply cannot understand why.

There must have been some fatal flaw somewhere. Let’s comb through some more major novels and see if we can find it. Perhaps Obama was really Holden Caulfield… no, wait, he must have been Jay Gatsby!…”


More GOP snark:

Ed Driscoll:

Wow, a Chicago machine hack politician with enough identity shifts and name changes to make Don Draper seem like a model citizen, who’s chums with a former terrorist and a racist pastor right out of Tom Wolfe’s Radical Chic and who nonchalantly admits to eating dogs in his(?) autobiography is a nihilist who’s only in it for himself. Who saw that coming?

(Almost half the country, as it turns out. I suspect that number will “grow” even larger in the coming years, as former Obama voters in 2008 slowly begin to do a reverse Pauline Kael on the man: Barack Obama? Nobody I knew voted for him…)


Bryan Preston:

How must it feel for Maureen Dowd to realize that she is just now figuring out what Sarah Palin and millions of Americans figured out years ago?

14 Dec 2010

Obama Floundering

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Tom Roberson discusses the rise and fall of Barack Obama and explains that it’s really pretty simple, the left chose a lightweight as their standard-bearer.

Barack Hussein Obama II was an Illinois state senator of little notice or importance who managed to win election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, where he remained undistinguished. Obama has benefited from staged rhetorical skills dependent on the availability of a teleprompter and the perception that he embodied the culmination of left-wing values in an electable package. As his presidency has progressed, his lack of experience and basic knowledge of the political process have been on full display for all to see. …

Obama was raised around radical progressives and truly believes in their agenda, but as a narcissist, he believes even more in his own infallible abilities. His narcissism makes thin-skinned, unable to handle criticism, unable to admit mistakes, and unwilling to compromise or even admit the existence of a different point of view unless it serves his purposes to do so. …

At the end of the day, President Obama is a politician ill-prepared for the office he holds and desperately seeking help from whoever he feels has an answer to his political problems. He is in a bed of his own making, able to reach out to only like-minded progressives just as clueless on matters of economics and who really believe that a massive dose of their agenda will succeed where it has never succeeded before. Obama was shrewd enough to capitalize on a confluence of events to get elected president, but he is unable to admit that he doesn’t know what to do now that he has the job.

Prior to the midterm elections, Obama enjoyed solid support among his base and managed to unite them to pass progressive legislation in the face of united opposition from Republicans. His base eroded by a disastrous midterm election, Obama now faces questions from progressives whom he has alienated in order to secure a second term. Never mind the fact that the capitulation on his no-tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy pledge masks a massive stimulus package chock-full of progressive goodies.

Having no experience in the politics of triangulation, Obama naturally reaches out to Bill Clinton, the man who wrote the book on political triangulation, to get his tax deal past his own party. However, in a show of political inexperience, Obama allowed Clinton an opportunity to look effective while managing to look equally ineffective on the same stage. This latest public relations failure, combined with Obama’s penchant for pickup basketball, his frequent vacationing, and his expensive tastes, makes the president look both ineffective and uninterested in governing.

Down in Texas, they’d say Obama is all hat and no cattle. The simple explanation is that Obama is an empty suit without the experience to handle the presidency. He has been useful to the left in enacting its agenda, but his incompetence now threatens that utility.

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