U.S. presidents have suit coats and jackets made from flypaper and Velcro. Words stick to their lapels, sleeves, and shoulders.
Words sticking to Abraham Lincoln are "honest," "melancholy," and "resolute." James Buchanan, "feckless." Teddy Roosevelt, "robust" and "adventuresome." Calvin Coolidge, "taciturn." FDR, "soothing" and "patrician." Harry Truman, "dapper," "irascible" and "plain-speaking."
LBJ was boorish, manipulative, and profane. JFK, charismatic and urbane. Jimmy Carter, naïve and soft-headed. Bill Clinton, charming and incontinent. Richard Nixon, uncouth, introverted, dishonest, forever "tricky Dick."
What words should stick to president Barack Obama after seeing him in action for over three years?
How about "incompetent," "irresponsible," and "historically illiterate"? Self-absorbed and smug? Divisive and deceptive? Weak-kneed dissembler and imposter?
These words cling to Obama, with the same persistence he claimed Pennsylvania working class folks "cling to guns and religion...and antipathy towards others not like them," displaying an astonishing departure from words we were promised -- hope, healing, and prosperity.
But, consistent with an irresistible narrative, "likeable" is the latest sticking point cited by Obama's fawners, flatterers, and rump-swabs from the mainstream media confidently predicting an easy glide-path to a second term. While Obama's job approval ratings languish in the low 40s, threatening to plummet further, apparent affinity for his "likeable" persona often tops 50%.
Yet how can Obama be "likeable" while he keeps and uses an enemies list rivaling Richard Nixon's? And...how does Obama maintain a "likeable" rating, all the while defying all laws of electioneering physics and socio-psychology by doing the following?
- He vilifies and distorts positions and records about any person, group, or institution disagreeing with his policies or ideology.
- When unable to run on a record of achievement, he instead runs on disparaging his opponents, riding campaign themes full of lies and misrepresentations.
- He greets success in the private sector with scorn, derision, and character assassination accompanied by promises of punitive attainders.
- His own cabinet wages economic jihad against cheap and abundant gas at the pump, thus depriving everyday Americans of affordable transportation and the jobs that go with it -- namely for the following people:
- For tens of thousands of dues-paying skilled-trades union workers deprived of jobs as Obama stiff-arms the Keystone pipeline project;
- For over one hundred thousand Chrysler and GM auto dealer salesmen, mechanics, service technicians, parts clerks, back office workers, and suppliers whose jobs were axed when the government seized control of the U.S. auto industry, Hugo Chávez-style; and
- For the five million chronically unemployed who have lost their jobs since Obama was inaugurated while they see the First Lady Michelle embarking on another obscenely lavish vacation and her husband treating himself to another golf outing, while hobnobbing with the Hollywood glitterati as he admits he " sometimes forgets the magnitude of the recession."
- He claims sole proprietary ownership over the decision to put a bullet in bin Laden's head, although he had to be dragged off a golf course once the U..S. Navy SEAL operation unfolded. He now seizes for his own political ambition what should be a non-partisan moment of deserved retribution and vindication.
- He embarked on the grand apology tour around the world, disparaging American exceptionalism, genuflecting before Muslim tyrants, and cozying up to socialist dictators.
- As a candidate, he condemned George W. Bush for war crimes in prosecuting the war on Muslim jihad, but he now accepts and deploys the same tactics.
- He refers to our armed forces personnel and their families last week with his trademark hubris: "those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf."
- He and his cabinet officials tell millions of faithful Roman Catholics that government bureaucrats are the legitimate arbiters over matters of Catholic teaching, superseding the Roman Curia's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and defiantly dismisses the First Amendment.
- He uses women in America as political props as they bear the brunt of job losses and economic stagnation, while their children see Obama's profligate government spending bankrupting the nation and saddling them and their progeny with crushing indebtedness.
- Millions of recent college graduates, shouldering $1 trillion in college loans, are unable to find a job in Obama's "fairness" economy;
- He has failed to deliver even a single political victory to his supporting constituencies, except for a constitutionally flawed health care bill that two thirds of the electorate want repealed and an environmental regulatory war on energy that is destroying the American economy.
- His administration accuses millions of everyday Americans of homophobia and gay-bashing for either simply insisting on intellectual honesty -- that is, that language used to define marriage not be corrupted for socio-political constructs -- or wanting to just be left alone, freed from having the GLBT agenda rubbed in their faces every day while there is no relief from the Obama's Great Recession and its economic indignities.
- He soaked up racist, hate-filled liberation theology for twenty years from his political and spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, but he now denies his obvious connections to critical race theory and radical nullification of the rule of law.
The answer is Barack Obama can be "likeable" only to millions of Americans brainwashed into believing that government will take care of them, absolving them of any self-respect or responsibility, even while their welfare state is dependent on borrowing from China and confiscating property from the temporarily prosperous -- all soon to evaporate.
Barack Obama can be "likeable" only to voters held hostage by identity politics and the aversion to being tagged a bigot, enjoined by a dependency on an illusion of equity and justice while accepting a self-imposed impoverishment of spirit and substance.
As long as the irrepressibly gullible, proudly uninformed, and obstinate believers cling to a narrative that never was, infatuated by a fabricated remembrance of things past, and hopelessly dream of utopia that will never be, the word "likeable" will stick to Barack Obama. If so, will the word "re-elected" stick to Obama's cocktail-circuit dinner jacket?