Obama Leaves the Bases Loaded. Dems Lose.
In what appeared to be a no-lose situation, the Dems sent an amateur to the plate. Now, with serious damage done to the Democratic Party, they're scratching their heads wondering what happened.
Bottom of the ninth. Republicans are ahead by a run. Dems have the bases loaded with two outs. Boehner's on the mound. Things don't look good for the GOP. Whom will the Dems send up to hit? There's a roar (and a groan) from the crowd as the pinch-hitter steps out of the dugout. It's Obama!
Of course, the roar is from the R's and the groan is from the D's, because everyone knows that a couple of curve balls from Boehner and Obama is toast. Strike three, game over.
Actually, one curve ball from anybody and Obama is toast. What we R's are trying to figure out is how he even made the team.
Okay, we understand that politics and baseball are different. In baseball you don't get to the major leagues without some serious hard work and a track record in the minors. I can see it now: "Okay, coach. I know our team needs to win this game or we are out of the playoffs. And I know I've never played baseball -- well actually, I played two little league games when I was 11 -- but trust me on this one. I can hit it out of the park!"
The voters in the Democratic primaries played coach in this one when Obama came to them asked to pinch-hit for Hillary -- a proven slugger. And because he talked well and was convincing, Hillary wound up on the bench. (If she could have signed with another team, she would have. But she can't, because we have a two-party system, and the trading deadline was long ago.)
Seriously, what were the Dems thinking? During the primaries, the GOP assaulted Obama on two fronts: policy and executive experience. The policy argument was unwinnable -- not because his policies weren't horrific, as has been apparent -- but because the election was a referendum on George Bush. Any Dem was going to get elected. The policy argument was a loser for the GOP going in.
So instead, they mostly focused on Obama's personal record, or lack thereof. It was bad enough, they said, that the sum total of Obama's experience was almost nonexistent, but the smidgeons of experience he did have suggested a political huckster -- saying anything (saying, never doing) to please the current crowd.
Here it is in a nutshell. He headed into politics with degrees from Columbia and Harvard -- not bad for starters but he had no additional resume. He was smart enough to figure out that he needed to get one group or another to support him, so he chose street politics. He worked for community groups in the streets of Chicago. He went to the church of Jeremiah Wright and cohorted with Bill Ayers. He had dealings with Tony Rezko. In short, he dove into Chicago politics and won the street vote as planned. Step one accomplished.
But to move on, he needed to broaden his base. So, with some Chicago-style politics in gaining the Democratic primary nomination for a state senate seat, he ran for and became a state senator from Illinois. Step two complete.
Now, at this point, one might think the next thing would be to accomplish something significant in the Illinois senate in order to gather some credentials for future use.
Ahh, why bother? He knew that the people of Illinois were too stupid to know the difference between an accomplishment and a speech, and he was right. He won again, for the U.S. Senate, when Chicago-style accidents took strong opponents out of the primary and general elections. Step three in the bag.
And, again, he did little outside of planning his next move.
But, certainly, he had to do something in the U.S. Senate before he could run for president. I mean, the U.S. electorate is too smart to elect someone they don't know anything about with a slim Senate record, right?
Well, maybe. But a perfect storm of events and politics set up a situation where anything could, and did, happen. The country was going to vote against the GOP candidate, period. All Obama had to do was get the Democratic nomination and, as his experience told him, Democrats are easy to fool. All you have to do is tell them nice things and they will fall over like smitten teenage rock star groupies.
Now, I'm not claiming the GOP should have won this election. The GOP did a horrible job allowing the press and the Dems to pin the blame on them for the economic mess when the Dems were just as responsible, or more so. Regardless, the president in power when things crumble gets the blame. Always has been that way and probably always will be.
But the Dems should have put in Hillary. It is certainly impossible to know what would have happened had she been our president, but it's hard to believe she would have killed the economy and the Democratic Party as quickly as Obama. It would have taken her six years instead of eight, long enough to win a second term.
But here's the thing: politically, Dems have no common sense. They have no common sense in their policies, they have no common sense in understanding human nature, and they have no common sense in the human motivation side of economics. It's all talking fluff with wishful thinking.
And Obama was as fluffy and wishful as it could get.
What was the result for the Dems? Disaster. As a party that self-proclaims the right to have women, minorities, gays and lesbians, and everyone else on their plantation, er, uh, I mean under their tent, it was important for them to have the first of each of these groups be president. In their haste, they ignored the more important ideal of having someone competent from each of these groups as their leaders. They had their chance to have a strong woman in Hillary. Instead, they chose a weak minority male. Most likely they wasted their chance with Hillary because if a Republican wins in 2012 and things improve at all, the GOP will probably win in 2016. The year 2020 is probably too late for Hillary to make a comeback. And although anything can happen, as far as I can tell, there are no other strong females on the Democratic horizon.
Additionally, there don't appear to be any strong blacks on the Democratic horizon either. Or, for that matter, any minorities. The Republicans, on the other hand, have some rising African-American stars in Congressman Allen West of Florida and businessman Herman Cain. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, of Cuban descent; Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, of Indian descent; and a host of women might steal the spotlight from the Democrats' big tent -- to say nothing of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, also of Hispanic origin, and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, with Indian ancestry.
Ironic, isn't it? Even though it was so important for the Dems, the GOP may very well win the race for demonstrable leadership from women and minorities. And without even trying.
Yep, the Dems blew this one big, and can't figure out why. And I misspoke earlier; we on the other side of the aisle do know why -- they used the same part of their brain that defines their policies to select their candidate: the pie-in-the-sky side.
So, at least for now, the Dems are out of the playoffs. Now it's time for the World Serious.
PS -- Obama should have stuck with dodgeball. That's his game.