Could he be a really bad two-termer?
Last December, President Obama, while chatting with Oprah, conferred upon himself a “good, solid B-plus” for his first year. The self-indulgent auto-grading continued this week. Carefully seated beneath a painting of a pensive Abraham Lincoln, Obama told Diane Sawyer of ABC News that he would “rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.”
Perhaps what’s most striking about his self-grading is that he appears to consider it modest. He could have given himself an A-plus in the Oprah interview, after all.
“I don’t want to look back on my time here and say to myself all I was interested in was nurturing my own popularity,” he said to Sawyer. That’s very big of him. But why would that even occur to him as a source of anxiety in his post-presidency? Americans are supposed to be grateful that he doesn’t spend “all” of his time “nurturing” his popularity, but just a lot of it?
The chattering class suggests that he has temporarily lost the common touch. But when did he ever have it? He didn’t need the common man to win the presidency; he had the influential elite. He is largely a product of self-congratulatory upper-class euphoria, who is no more comfortable with Scott Brown the Pickup Driver than with Joe the Plumber.
It would be more appropriate for Obama to give interviews beneath a painting of JFK than Lincoln, though JFK pulled off a more successful remoteness. Obama manages to be aloof and tediously familiar at the same time. Contrary to his recent protestations, he has spoken directly to the American people — through a teleprompter.
Familiarity has bred contempt. It is telling that he considers his “mistake” not that he listened too little and talked too much, but that he delivered an insufficient number of speeches. He just didn’t break through the “noise,” as he put it to Sawyer.
“The president is going to explain why he thinks the American people are angry,” said his spokesman Robert Gibbs, teeing up the State of the Union address. Is this what the American people crave? To have their anger explained to them by the person causing it?
At this point, Obama shouldn’t fear one “good” term but two bruising and bad ones. He could remain polarizing and still win re-election, since Republicans are likely to squander the opportunity of his wobbly popularity. His advisers have made it clear that he will not retreat from liberalism but simply restate it, a formula sure to deepen the divisions.
To hear one manipulative Obama speech is to hear them all. Each one is a mish-mash of falsely defined problems and equally sham solutions, with a few phony promises peppered into the mix. Obama promises not to freeze spending but to “propose” it. He promises not to cut the deficit, but to establish a blue-ribbon panel to consider cutting it.
South Carolina pol Andre Bauer took a drubbing this week from the left for his “backwards” comment that government should treat welfare recipients like “stray animals.” But what he blurted out was simply a cruder version of Nancy Pelosi’s proposal last year to include “family planning” in Obama’s stimulus package. “It will reduce costs,” she explained.
The eugenic left’s idea of deficit-reduction is to treat humans worse than stray animals. The unstated lynchpin of Obama’s plan to control government costs is that society succumb to the rationing, planning, and regulation built into his social engineering.
The increases in “education” spending proposed in the State of the Union are largely wasted dollars directed to this propagandistic end. America’s children haven’t learned enough about “climate change” yet and the glories of statism. But one fine day they may wake up and see that expanding government health care coverage “cuts” costs and squeezing energy out of the economy fuels it.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?