Obama is isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by bugscoe, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Why Obama Is Losing the Political War
    By MARK HALPERIN Monday, Oct. 11, 2010

    Barack Obama is being politically crushed in a vise. From above, by elite opinion about his competence. From below, by mass anger and anxiety over unemployment. And it is too late for him to do anything about this predicament until after November's elections.

    With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters. This view is held by Fox News pundits, executives and anchors at the major old-media outlets, reporters who cover the White House, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and governors, many Democratic business people and lawyers who raised big money for Obama in 2008, and even some members of the Administration just beyond the inner circle.

    On Friday, after the release of the latest bleak unemployment data — the last major jobs figures before the midterms — Obama said, "Putting the American people back to work, expanding opportunity, rebuilding the economic security of the middle class is the moral and national challenge of our time." But elites feel the President has failed to meet that challenge and are convinced he will be unable to do so in the remainder of his term. Moreover, there is a growing perception that Obama's decisions are causing harm — that businesses are being hurt by the Administration's legislation and that economic recovery is stalling because of the uncertainty surrounding energy policy, health care, deficits, housing, immigration and spending.

    And that sentiment is spreading. Many members of the general public appear deeply skeptical of Obama's capacity to turn things around, especially, but not exclusively, those inclined to dislike him — Tea Partyers and John McCain voters, but also tens of millions of middle-class Americans, including quite a few who turned out for Obama in 2008.

    The misery afflicting the country has no political affiliation. Listen to the voices from this striking TV ad for Rob Portman, the Republican former Congressman and Bush budget director who is running for Senate from Ohio. One woman at a Dayton career fair says starkly, "There are no jobs." A man announces plaintively and with obvious frustration, "I've been looking for a job now for 13 months." Events like this job fair are becoming the grim iconic gatherings of our time, the breadlines for the Obama years.

    Most of Obama's private (and sometimes public) rebuttals to the voices slamming him on all sides are justified or spot on. He did inherit a lot of problems from the Bush Administration. He did act quickly in the initial weeks of his Administration to stave off a worldwide depression. His efforts at job creation have been obstructed by Republicans (even the proposals based on policies supported by the GOP in the past). His opponents haven't put forth specifics of their own, nor offered genuine compromise, while the media have allowed the right's activists and gabbers to run wild with criticism without furnishing legitimate alternative solutions.

    But Obama has exacerbated his political problems not just by failing to enact policies that would have actually turned the economy around, but also by authorizing a series of tactical moves intended to demonize Republicans and distract from the problems at hand. He has wasted time lambasting his foes when he should have been putting forth his agenda in a clear, optimistic fashion, defending the benefits of his key decisions during the past two years (health care and the Troubled Asset Relief Program, for example) and explaining what he would do with a re-elected Democratic majority to spur growth.

    Throughout the year, we have been treated to Obama-led attacks on George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Congressman Joe Barton (for his odd apology to BP), John Boehner (for seeking the speakership — or was it something about an ant?) and Fox News (for everything). Suitable Democratic targets in some cases, perhaps, but not worth the time of a busy Commander in Chief. In the past few days, we have witnessed the spectacle of the President himself and his top advisers wading into allegations that Republicans are attempting to buy the election using foreign money laundered through the Chamber of Commerce, combining with Karl Rove and his wealthy backers to fund a flood of negative television commercials. Not only is this issue convoluted and far-fetched, but it also distracts from the issues voters care about, frustrating political insiders and alienating struggling citizens (not that many are following such an offbeat story line). Feinting and gibing can't obscure those job numbers.

    The President and Democrats have passed many significant measures (the stimulus spending, the auto-company rescue, the health care law and the financial regulation effort) that someday may be seen as brave and bold, the foundation for a better economy. Obama and his closest aides certainly think that will happen. But the President was correct when he said Friday, "the only piece of economic news that folks still looking for work want to hear is, 'You're hired,'" and that's still not occurring for too many Americans.

    The politically good news for Obama is that no matter what the outcome of the midterm elections, everything changes in January. Republicans will have a greater obligation, politically and morally, to help govern, rather than thwart and badger. The President will get a chance, in his State of the Union address and in his budget proposal, to show he is turning the page on the political horrors of 2010 for his party and the nation. But before then, Republicans are almost certainly going to demonstrate that you can beat something with nothing, especially when Americans seem to think that the Obama Administration hasn't much to offer either, except more of the same that isn't working.
  2. Yeah but all this Obama confusion is great for us Options folk.

  3. JamesL


    A member of the left-wing MSM saying something negative about their appointed one?
  4. Yes, but it's too bad they're 2 1/2 years late to the party.
  5. Pretty good commentary except that he underestimated the anger at what obama has managed to "accomplish."
  6. Yannis



    "The mainstream media is peddling the line that the Democrats are staging a comeback, slicing Republican leads. It is absolute nonsense. A close review of polling in every close House race in the nation indicates that Republicans now lead in 53 seats currently held by Democrats and are within five points in 20 more.

    And the trend is Republican, not Democrat. Of the races where comparative data over the past few weeks is available, Republicans have gained in 33 while Democrats have gained in only 10.

    On the Senate level, Republicans now lead in all ten states that are necessary for GOP control of the Senate, the smallest margin coming in Nevada where the Rasmussen Poll has the Republican, Sharron Angle, four points ahead. In West Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington State, and Illinois, the Republican has surged ahead dramatically in recent days and only in Colorado and California has there been slippage. The ten states which are now represented by Democrats where Republicans have the lead are:

    North Dakota = +45
    Indiana = +18
    Arkansas = +18
    Wisconsin = +12
    Pennsylvania = + 7
    West Virginia = + 6
    Colorado = + 5
    Washington State = + 5
    Illinois = + 4
    Nevada = + 4

    Republican gains should be even greater than this polling indicates. The trend lines are decidedly in the GOP's favor and Gallup Poll indicates that Republicans are twice as likely to be enthusiastic about voting as Democrats are.

    The only note of caution for Republicans is that their leads in Democratic House seats are not substantial. In only 14 seats does the Republican candidate lead by more than ten points and most of those are open Democratic seats. But the Republican turnout machine - animated by Tea Party activists -- will likely outperform its Democratic rivals.

    And the Democratic Party has no message. Its campaigns are a hodgepodge of personal negatives and fabricated issues. No Democratic candidate is even trying to defend Obama's health care legislation or argue that his stimulus program is working. Cap and trade is never mentioned by Democrats on the campaign trail. We have the spectacle of the most substantive legislative program in generations having been passed by Congress and now finding that it has no defenders in the election campaign, only Democrats scurrying to prove their independence.

    All signs point to a growing Republican landslide.

    The gigantic Republican gains of the past week indicate that party trend is now beginning to kick in big time. The Republican leads until this past week are largely due to the voting decisions of people who closely follow the process. The surge in Republican support in the past seven to ten days indicates that the less educated voters who do not follow politics as closely are breaking for the Republicans. Normally, these downscale voters are Democrats, but the economy and the alienating values of the Obama Administration (e.g. Ground Zero Mosque) seem to be driving them to the GOP.

    Also boosting Republican prospects is the absence of social issues in the national debate. These elections are turning on unemployment, deficits, the economy, health care, and the national debt, not on gay rights or abortion. So, social liberals and libertarians see no reason not to vote Republican. Only in California are these traditional issues working in driving voters to the Democrats.

    A landslide without precedent appears to be in the making."
  7. Larson

    Larson Guest

    Key point here: instead of rolling up his sleeves and getting to work despite the inevitable criticism, BO spends an inordinate amount of time fighting and playing political games with the opposition. This guy was toast from the beginning. He could have been a hero, instead he will wind up another political chump in the annals of history.
  8. Yannis


    Trouble is, he'll probably become a multi-millionnaire smiling and giving speeches for those who hate America, like his role model, Jimmy Carter.
  9. Larson

    Larson Guest

    It is a given. You bring up a good point about Carter, despite his intentions, he has made some stupid comments in the last 5 years or so. I think time has passed Obama by as it has for Carter. This is probably the end of an era for both. What comes next will be interesting.
  10. Wishful thinkers HOPED he'd be a hero, but with his political agenda he had no chance. Even if he were to succeed, it would mean the destruction of America. Communism is wrong for us.
    #10     Oct 12, 2010