Obama can't help but rub our noses in his election victory
Recall that Barack Obama told voters on the campaign trail not to boo when he mentioned Mitt Romney's name but "to vote for revenge."
He was appealing to the lowest common denominator in people: the desire to blame others for their woes. Instead of inspiring Americans to reach for their higher ideals or to, as President Abraham Lincoln might phrase it, their "better angels," he relied on the views of those people who inspired him - Jeremiah Wright and Saul Alinsky.
Wright put the blame for much of what ails the world on "white man's greed" that ran a "world in need". He did not mourn 9/11 but almost celebrated the tragedy as the "chickens coming home to roost." America was getting its just desserts for poisoning the world with our foreign policy.
Alinsky counseled those seeking power to nurse a sense of grievance and to "pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it" to generate support among the masses. His campaign slogan might as well have been that of Slinky: "The despair is there; now it's up to us to go in and rub raw the sores of discontent, galvanize them for radical social change."
Obama throughout his time in office and certainly during the last campaign season took this advice to heart: he ran the most polarizing campaign in my memory.
He avoided blame for the bad economy by blaming others - fat cat bankers, George Bush, Republicans. Her created straw men with the alacrity of a high -speed press. His allies told women that Republicans were waging a war on them; told blacks that the GOP (identified in many people's minds as the party of white people) was racist and would put them "back in chains" as they suppressed their voting rights with the goal of bringing back Jim Crow laws Obama himself "joked" that Republicans wanted to build a moat on the border with Mexico and fill it with alligators to devour people as they came across the border and to further secure the Latino vote exhorted them to vote to "punish their enemies."
His campaign promoted the view that Mitt Romney was "not one of us." Earlier his campaign team had admitted their goal was to engage in the politics of personal destruction by seeking to portray Mitt Romney as being "weird" and to "destroy him."
One may rightfully sense that there was a lot behind Obama's off the cuff statement that "I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth." There is a lot of anger boiling within the President - one can leave it to others to find the roots of this rage. A good start might be here.
His campaign was clearly the most negative in recent memory.
Barack Obama personalizes politics in a way that is unhealthy for America. After his first electoral win he ignored Republican ideas regarding how to design the stimulus package with the retort "I won." When John McCain offered constructive suggestions regarding health care reform, Obama ignored his ideas and retorted-on camera-"we're not campaigning anymore" and that "the election is over."
Was that classy, magnanimous, or presidential? No. That behavior was juvenile.
The fluff regarding bipartisan compromise was a campaign prop - always was and still is according to the latest report on fiscal cliff "negotiations."
Patrick O'Connor and Peter Nicholas report in the Wall Street Journal:
At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, "I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?"
"You get nothing," the president said. "I get that for free."
Boehner - at great personal and political risk to himself - offered to negotiate a deal with the President to avoid going off the fiscal cliff and gets his nose rubbed into the dirt.
He again boasted of his winning the election - in a new variation of 'I won":
Mr. Obama insisted on raising tax rates for those with household income above $250,000. The House GOP wanted significant spending cuts and fundamental changes to Medicare and other entitlement programs in exchange for new tax revenue.
The president repeatedly reminded Mr. Boehner of the election results: "You're asking me to accept Mitt Romney's tax plan. Why would I do that?"
Obama "repeatedly reminded Boehner of the election results" - as he did with others after he won his first presidential election. I wrote previously that Barack Obama has a compulsion to rub his victories into other people's faces (see "President Put-Down ") to let them know of his superiority. "Spiking the football" is not considered sportsman-like conduct; it certainly is not Presidential and, in fact, is disgraceful. And it is not helpful in negotiating with others across the aisle. He won by virtue of 500,000 or so votes in swing states by relying on a new low in campaign tactics. He does not have a mandate to be a dictator.
Barack Obama clearly is motivated by impulses and emotions that will not help America out of the mess he played a big role in creating.