1.04.2014

HOW OBAMA BLEW IT

In the quixotic tides of history, Barack Obama’s presidency could have ridden a cresting wave to fulfillment. America’s First African-American President. A young man with a million dollar smile, a good family man, an inspiration to so many, respected by his countrymen. Even begrudgingly respected by Republican Congressmen.

The media was on his side, excusing his every gaff. His “E-pants-a-pation Proclamation” wasn’t even giggled at by the MSM. His visiting “57” U.S. States was funny. When his speechifying wandered off his teleprompter scripts, his stuttering was lauded as soaring prose, causing thrills to run up some legs. The media loved the First Lady and her toned arms and virtually proclaimed her the most beautiful woman since Ishtar. Barack could have ridden this wave right to a post-presidential career as a Hollywood exec. Working with the Silicon Valley boys. Hangin’ with the hip-hop crowd. What more could this President wish for?

If only he could have been satisfied with all this. All he needed to do was appoint experienced, patriotic men and women to his administration; ridden his wave of popularity. He could even have championed change, such as in healthcare, without dictating its details. Could have inspired capitalism to work its wonders on its own, then sat back and claimed credit. He could have ingratiated himself to a wide swath of Americans of all persuasions by exhibiting a bit of gratitude for all his country had provided him. A modicum of humility might have been refreshing. Maybe allowed us an occasional day free of the wretched excess of his news coverage, maybe given just an occasional inspirational speech, and just quietly played golf and everything else he likes to do for eight happy years.

But alas, he chose a different route. “America’s First African-American President” doesn’t even come close to his goal. Something, or somebody, pushed Obama to grab for the gold ring of Progressivism. And so he appointed cronies, sycophants and dumbbells to fill his administration from top to bottom. He pursued an agenda with which most Americans are very uncomfortable. He continues to play Russian roulette with Congress in order to try and get his way. Threatening vetoes and government shut-downs which he knows the ignorant public would blame on his adversaries. And if he can’t get his way with Congress, he decides to bypass them and The Constitution by using Executive Orders.” 

Like a cheesy third-world dictator, he awards taxpayer money to cronies. Creates outlandish tax breaks and financial bailouts for major donors. Engineers a bizarre government take-over of one-sixth of the U.S. economy via Obamacare. Turns away from our allies overseas while turning a blind eye to threats from our adversaries. And domestic violence? If it’s black on white, no problem.

He is cynical enough to use the fact of America’s fairness and the media’s refusal to look too deeply into this black man’s motives to his advantage.

Rather than being an influential voice to bring the races together, he has chosen to deliberately instigate, with the obvious complicity of his Attorney General, increased friction between the races. Instead of helping the needy by creating jobs, he has enlarged the permanent class of welfare-dependent voters who will be forced to forever vote Democrat in order to keep their benefits coming.

At every turn, where there were two choices, he chose the least “American” way. For America is an idea as well as a place. Americans’ idea of themselves doesn’t match Obama’s. Perhaps because he doesn’t like this idea of America. Perhaps this is why he delights in apologizing for this America. But when someone attempts to change this America with its hundreds of years of tradition, it usually doesn’t go well. You might as well try to nationalize the NFL, the NBA and MLB as to have the government stick its dictatorial, bulbous nose into every citizen’s bank account, communications, health care, food, education and virtually everything else we hold sacred and private.

Oh, it’s understandable that African-Americans will forgive President Obama for all his missteps. He makes them feel proud. Makes them feel tight. But though his election demonstrated that white Americans are by and large not racist (there are not nearly enough black votes to have won the election; many non-black votes had to be in Obama’s pile), somehow the boring drumbeat of racism, racism, racism continue to be leveled at whites, particularly white Republicans and conservatives. Most common is the canard that the Right criticizes Obama because he is black. Absurd as this contradiction is, many Democrats continue to foster it in order to keep black votes coming their way. Judging by what we hear from liberal media commentators, had the shoe been on the other foot, had conservative Republican Herman Cain been elected president, we’d have heard all kinds of racist remarks aimed at him by the other side.

To continue supporting a bungler just because he or she is black, is as misguided as criticizing someone solely because he or she is black. The point here is that it is just plain good sense to stop supporting a bungler no matter what color he or she is. White voters, conservative and Republican, were very unhappy with George W Bush; his color didn’t prevent whites from coming down hard on him when he took positions they thought were wrong.

So, the tide turns on President Obama. His popularity continues to drop because Americans are being hurt in their pocketbooks, in their healthcare, in their sense of privacy and security, and in their freedom from the tyranny of an overly intrusive government. They blame the president because he is the point man for “progressive” change, not because he is black.

Had Obama chosen another path, cheerleading America in its efforts to solve its problems at the grass root level, at the State level, and with free-markets solutions, things would be different. His popularity would remain high, and he would not be seen as a failed leader.

The president has three more years to try and resurrect his standing in history. It’s a tough challenge. Looking America right in the eye while repeatedly lying is not an easy sin to forgive. But are there possibilities for a more positive legacy? How about detante with Iran? I wouldn’t bet on it. Less dependence on foreign energy? Could be a winner. Jobs? Not likely. Improved economy? Could happen if mid-term elections result in Republicans regaining the Senate. With a veto-proof majority in the House, Obama might be forced to adopt BIll Clinton’s route; abandon his “spend it like it’s going out of style” ways, compromise collegially, gracefully, with a Republican Congress, then take credit for renewed rapid economic growth, and the rebuilding of the middle class, both black and white.

Throughout his life, Barack Obama seems never to have faced consequences for his bad choices. Bad habits are difficult to break. I don’t think he can change at this point. Or wants to change; believing history will vindicate him by looking at the glorious ends he achieved, and so, justify the means. But at the moment, there are only glorious promises with no glorious ends. Glory eludes liars.

President Obama blew his chances to nail down a place on Mount Rushmore. If history is color-blind, Barack Obama’s legacy should be peppered with phrases like “lied repeatedly to the American people,” “a divider not a uniter,” and “circumvented The Constitution.” In which case, if he likes the simplicity of his legacy as “America’s First African-American President,” he can keep it. Period.