Obama's Blind Spot

Despite the Democratic Party's 2010 election "shellacking," President Obama recently asserted that the election had nothing to do with ideology. He said, "It would be unwise to assume [that American voters] prefer one way of thinking over another." This attitude is consistent with the president's previous actions and statements. He still doesn't understand that the public is outraged at what Victor Davis Hanson, in National Review, called his "EU-socialist agenda." The people's anger stems from Obama's so-called solutions, radical political appointees, and his health care reform program that threatens to bankrupt the nation, not -- as he famously contends -- from him not delivering "change" as fast as he promised. In fact, Obama views the election primarily as a message to Republicans to be more bipartisan and cooperative; to date, he has never acknowledged that voters repudiated his policies and the direction in which he wants to take the country.

However, John Podhoretz points out in his Commentary article, "The Liberal Crisis," that "[m]ore than 750 elected Democrats (or positions held by elected Democrats) from the House to the Senate to governors' mansions to state legislatures were ousted from office in the largest and deepest partisan rout in American history." He adds, "You have to go back 37 national elections to find a larger number of Republicans in the House.  You have to go back 82 years to find as many Republicans in state legislatures."

The president pretends not to notice the harsh realities of election 2010; he chooses, instead, to interpret the colossal rebuke of his administration's policies as a communication problem that produced a "misunderstanding" of what he has "accomplished" in his first two years in office. The bottom line is that the president's blind spot keeps him from seeing what those outside his administration find obvious: The majority of the American public views his liberal progressive agenda, radical presidential appointments, and newly minted czars as far out of the nation's political mainstream. People are especially angry at the health care reform package that only Obama and his sycophants in the media wanted and that nobody read or fully understood. A large segment of the public also blames the president for the devastating effects that his policies -- the stimulus plan and the bailouts -- have had on the nation's economy. In short, the Tea Party movement and town hall meetings reflect and embody a groundswell of grassroots opposition to the "wrong direction" that the president, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have taken the nation. 

Clearly, most people got the message: The public objects to having an ideology so far removed from middle-American thinking and policy proposals -- which attendees at town hall meeting after town hall meeting expressly rejected -- jammed down its throat, and the people fear for the future of America. Peter Heck, in American Thinker, argues that there is an electoral divide in the nation that clearly delineates the left from the right in terms of political philosophy and positions on contemporary issues. That electoral divide was exacerbated by Obama's policies and what the media called his "rhetorical brilliance" -- which the public saw as condescension and elitism. The angle of Obama's head as he read the ever-present teleprompter and his patronizing tone have contributed to the public's perception of him as someone who is very much out of touch with America. It didn't help that the president lamely continued to "blame Bush" a whole two years into his presidency.

The man who repeatedly called for bipartisanship and a post-racial society presided over an administration that excluded the GOP from health care negotiations, viewed members of the other party as the enemy, and flat-out told Republicans that their place was at the back of the bus. No wonder the nation is divided. But the division is not equal; the maps showing the divide are stunning in pinpointing largely the bi-coastal, big-city areas of the nation that are "blue," in contrast to the vast flyover country that is "red." In other words, mainstream middle-America solidly opposes the leftist takeover of the nation, and these Americans do not "blame Bush." Instead, they blame the two-year runaway train wreck that is Obama's "EU-Socialist agenda."

It is past time for the Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumvirate to understand how soundly the American public rejected their vision for "hope and change." The fact that they continue to blindly rush forward is evidence of how clueless they are as to the public's desires and attendant and political realities. What voters had in mind in 2008 was that the first African-American president might profitably go to work on the pitiful performance of public schools, the future-destroying budget deficits, the bloated and inefficient federal bureaucracy, the bloated entitlement programs that are feeding poverty, and the mind-boggling red-tape/regulations that are choking entrepreneurs. But that is not what the top three Democrats see as top priorities, then or now. So they continue plunging ahead, pursuing the same destructive agenda, completely blind to the ramifications of the midterm elections.

Perhaps Peter Heck is right that 2010 shows that the last two years have "jolted awake a generation of apathetic and passive citizens just in time to save the republic." Certainly, he is right in his claim that public apathy has been "inexcusable." With the continuation of the Obama administration's obstructionism and the progressive left (Pelosi and the lame-stream media)'s blind advocacy of radical policies, it is impossible to misconstrue the president's motivating vision and his divisive use of "class warfare" rhetoric. Americans are getting a sharper and sharper focus on the differences between Obama's America and the America they want for their families and their children's children.

There is open talk about Democratic challenges to Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential primaries. John Podhoretz said, "The scale of the Democratic Party's defeat and the parlous condition of the country's finances inevitably raise the specter of a challenge to a first-term president from within his own party." Podhoretz notes that four of the eight presidents who faced reelection opponents within their own party were challenged because they were charged with "betraying the party's core principles," and subsequently, the challenged president lost in the general election. He identifies the primary reason for these challenges as simply because the sitting president was "beginning to look like a loser." Ironically, even the left is viewing Obama as a loser for not being leftist enough. The indisputable facts of the 2010 election show the degree to which Obama has lost those in the center, where elections are won or lost. His blind spot about the message of 2010 -- if not corrected, and it is a very big "if" -- will cost him the election in 2012.

Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., author of Children at Risk (Transaction, 2010), is Senior Fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, Concerned Women for America's think-tank.
Despite the Democratic Party's 2010 election "shellacking," President Obama recently asserted that the election had nothing to do with ideology. He said, "It would be unwise to assume [that American voters] prefer one way of thinking over another." This attitude is consistent with the president's previous actions and statements. He still doesn't understand that the public is outraged at what Victor Davis Hanson, in National Review, called his "EU-socialist agenda." The people's anger stems from Obama's so-called solutions, radical political appointees, and his health care reform program that threatens to bankrupt the nation, not -- as he famously contends -- from him not delivering "change" as fast as he promised. In fact, Obama views the election primarily as a message to Republicans to be more bipartisan and cooperative; to date, he has never acknowledged that voters repudiated his policies and the direction in which he wants to take the country.

However, John Podhoretz points out in his Commentary article, "The Liberal Crisis," that "[m]ore than 750 elected Democrats (or positions held by elected Democrats) from the House to the Senate to governors' mansions to state legislatures were ousted from office in the largest and deepest partisan rout in American history." He adds, "You have to go back 37 national elections to find a larger number of Republicans in the House.  You have to go back 82 years to find as many Republicans in state legislatures."

The president pretends not to notice the harsh realities of election 2010; he chooses, instead, to interpret the colossal rebuke of his administration's policies as a communication problem that produced a "misunderstanding" of what he has "accomplished" in his first two years in office. The bottom line is that the president's blind spot keeps him from seeing what those outside his administration find obvious: The majority of the American public views his liberal progressive agenda, radical presidential appointments, and newly minted czars as far out of the nation's political mainstream. People are especially angry at the health care reform package that only Obama and his sycophants in the media wanted and that nobody read or fully understood. A large segment of the public also blames the president for the devastating effects that his policies -- the stimulus plan and the bailouts -- have had on the nation's economy. In short, the Tea Party movement and town hall meetings reflect and embody a groundswell of grassroots opposition to the "wrong direction" that the president, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid have taken the nation. 

Clearly, most people got the message: The public objects to having an ideology so far removed from middle-American thinking and policy proposals -- which attendees at town hall meeting after town hall meeting expressly rejected -- jammed down its throat, and the people fear for the future of America. Peter Heck, in American Thinker, argues that there is an electoral divide in the nation that clearly delineates the left from the right in terms of political philosophy and positions on contemporary issues. That electoral divide was exacerbated by Obama's policies and what the media called his "rhetorical brilliance" -- which the public saw as condescension and elitism. The angle of Obama's head as he read the ever-present teleprompter and his patronizing tone have contributed to the public's perception of him as someone who is very much out of touch with America. It didn't help that the president lamely continued to "blame Bush" a whole two years into his presidency.

The man who repeatedly called for bipartisanship and a post-racial society presided over an administration that excluded the GOP from health care negotiations, viewed members of the other party as the enemy, and flat-out told Republicans that their place was at the back of the bus. No wonder the nation is divided. But the division is not equal; the maps showing the divide are stunning in pinpointing largely the bi-coastal, big-city areas of the nation that are "blue," in contrast to the vast flyover country that is "red." In other words, mainstream middle-America solidly opposes the leftist takeover of the nation, and these Americans do not "blame Bush." Instead, they blame the two-year runaway train wreck that is Obama's "EU-Socialist agenda."

It is past time for the Obama/Pelosi/Reid triumvirate to understand how soundly the American public rejected their vision for "hope and change." The fact that they continue to blindly rush forward is evidence of how clueless they are as to the public's desires and attendant and political realities. What voters had in mind in 2008 was that the first African-American president might profitably go to work on the pitiful performance of public schools, the future-destroying budget deficits, the bloated and inefficient federal bureaucracy, the bloated entitlement programs that are feeding poverty, and the mind-boggling red-tape/regulations that are choking entrepreneurs. But that is not what the top three Democrats see as top priorities, then or now. So they continue plunging ahead, pursuing the same destructive agenda, completely blind to the ramifications of the midterm elections.

Perhaps Peter Heck is right that 2010 shows that the last two years have "jolted awake a generation of apathetic and passive citizens just in time to save the republic." Certainly, he is right in his claim that public apathy has been "inexcusable." With the continuation of the Obama administration's obstructionism and the progressive left (Pelosi and the lame-stream media)'s blind advocacy of radical policies, it is impossible to misconstrue the president's motivating vision and his divisive use of "class warfare" rhetoric. Americans are getting a sharper and sharper focus on the differences between Obama's America and the America they want for their families and their children's children.

There is open talk about Democratic challenges to Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential primaries. John Podhoretz said, "The scale of the Democratic Party's defeat and the parlous condition of the country's finances inevitably raise the specter of a challenge to a first-term president from within his own party." Podhoretz notes that four of the eight presidents who faced reelection opponents within their own party were challenged because they were charged with "betraying the party's core principles," and subsequently, the challenged president lost in the general election. He identifies the primary reason for these challenges as simply because the sitting president was "beginning to look like a loser." Ironically, even the left is viewing Obama as a loser for not being leftist enough. The indisputable facts of the 2010 election show the degree to which Obama has lost those in the center, where elections are won or lost. His blind spot about the message of 2010 -- if not corrected, and it is a very big "if" -- will cost him the election in 2012.

Janice Shaw Crouse, Ph.D., author of Children at Risk (Transaction, 2010), is Senior Fellow at the Beverly LaHaye Institute, Concerned Women for America's think-tank.

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