Obama's Sequester Strategy Backfiring
Barack Obama is overplaying his hand in the latest manufactured crisis of his presidency, Sequestration, and may be alienating his most important constituency of all, the media. He and his advisors are heedless of the psychology of the media, who have been battered by downsizing and budget cuts far more draconian than the piddling 2.4% at issue in the Sequestration Crisis.
The fantastical claims of apocalypse push a powerful emotional button the hearts of nearly everyone in the mainstream media. They have already made do with less; the expense accounts are less generous, and fewer people do the same amount of work. Two or three percent cuts are nothing. They bear emotional scars from seeing their colleagues jobless, and endure the fear of further cuts coming. They are survivors, and feel a mixture of pride in their prowess and endurance, fear of what lies ahead, and maybe sometimes a little taste of survivor's guilt. A major portion of their self-concept is entwined with their status as survivors. Challenging a person's self-concept usually evokes hostility.
It may be that administration wolf-crying evokes a certain degree of scorn in the minds of event of their media allies. At same time, a degree of insulting high-handedness, if not contempt, is being demonstrated by the president lately:
At a meeting with the National Governors Association on Monday, President Barack Obama closed his prepared speech by saying he wanted the press cleared out of the room so he could take some questions. (snip)
"...what I want to do is clear out the press so we can take some questions."
This comes after alienating the traveling press by keeping them cooling their heels outside a golf course as the president hit the links with Tiger Woods and assorted fat cats. The fact that a sports journalist copped an interview drove home to the presidential press corps that they are not all that important. These are people for whom being attached to the president is a very big deal, a source of pride and identity. It makes worthwhile the grueling routine of tagging along with president on charter flights and busses, while he has Air Force One and limos.
The press corps is firing back, giving Jay Carney a hard time lately.
Meanwhile, Michelle Obama may be treading on thin ice: (hat tip: Breitbart)
This is a dangerous moment for Obama's ability to bend the media to his will. They have succeeded in re-electing him, so America's first black president was not humiliated by defeat (their great fear). That history has been made. But instead of showing gratitude, he not only takes them for granted, he challenges their pride.
The fact that Bob Woodward, the most prestigious reporter of this era took to the pages of the Washington Post last weekend to, in effect, call Obama's denial of authoring the Sequestration proposal is very important. It is now OK to point out that Obama is not telling the truth. A lot of the survivors covering Obama got into the media because they wanted to be like Bob Woodward. The ultimate media role model has just shown the way ahead, or as the Obama campaign put it, forward!
Readers of American Thinker realize how little serious scrutiny Obama's claimed biography can withstand. Once it becomes OK, and then cool to unmask Obama's deceptions, the flood gates could open.
The economy is going south due to taxes and Obamacare, and our military is shrinking while our enemies gleefully enhance their capabilities. There is going to be some hell to pay probably well before Obama's term is over.
If Obama loses enough degrees of his media support, he might even (gasp!) start being held accountable.
Maybe Obama will wise up and star making amends. But self-critical thought has not been his hallmark.
Time will tell, but someday we may look back at sequestration as an inflection point.