It's getting so that you have to be a true believer in the mainstream media not to notice that Barack Obama's presidency is floundering. His signature legislative accomplishment Obamacare is a disaster and his foreign policy has belly-flopped. And now, we may be at the brink of highly unpopular military engagement in Syria with no prospect of an outcome that would be beneficial to the United States.
It's so bad that important writers on our side are not mincing so many words anymore. As the first black president, Obama enjoyed a halo in the media that lasted for most of his first term. When tea parties sprang up in opposition to his policies, the media establishment immediately labeled them racist, in effect enforcing a taboo on criticism of the first black president.
But Obama's race-driven immunity is wearing off, and respected and knowledgeable writers are being frank about what a historic disaster Obama has been as president. The low information voters remain blissfully ignorant, of course, lulled into believing Obama is competent and his critics racist.
Michael Barone, who is widely respected beyond conservative circles compiles a breathtaking list of Obama's historic incompetence on IBD:
Evidence of the astonishing incompetence of the Obama administration continues to roll in.
It started with the stimulus package. One-third of the money went to public employee union members - a political payoff not very stimulating to anyone else. Billions went to green energy loans, like the $500 million that the government lost in backing the obviously hapless Solyndra.
Infrastructure projects, which the president continues to tout, never seem to get built. He's been talking about dredging the port of Charleston, for example, to accommodate the big container ships coming in when the Panama Canal is widened. The canal widening is proceeding on schedule to be completed in 2014. The target date for dredging the port of Charleston: 2024.
Then there's ObamaCare. Barack Obama has already said the administration will not enforce the employer mandate, will not verify eligibility for insurance subsidies and will not require employer-provided policies to cap employees' out-of-pocket costs. The Constitution's requirement that the president take care to faithfully execute the laws apparently does not apply. (snip)
Then there's the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. According to the law firm Davis Polk, the administration as of July had missed 62% of the deadlines in that law.
All of which indicates incompetence in drafting or in implementing the legislation - likely both. We have a president who delights in delivering partisan speeches to adoring audiences but doesn't seem interested in whether his administration gets results.
The prospect of war in Syria may be starting to impress itself on lo-fo's, Ralph Peters in the New York Post lays out the mess Obama's foreign policy failure to think through its moves has engendered:
Before launching a single cruise missile toward Syria, Team Obama needs to be sure it has a good answer to the question, "What comes next?"
If Obama does a Clinton and churns up some sand with do-nothing cruise-missile strikes, it will only encourage the Assad regime. But if our president hits Assad hard and precipitates regime change, then what?
If al Qaeda and local Islamists seize Damascus, what will we do? The enfeebled "moderate opposition" we back rhetorically couldn't dislodge hardcore jihadis, no matter how many weapons we sent (the jihadis would simply confiscate the gear).
What if we weaken the regime to the point where the fanatics rev up their jihad to drive out Christians and other minorities? What's your plan then, Mr. President? After your night of explosive passion, will you still love the opposition in the morning?
Exactly which American vital security interests are at stake in Syria, Mr. President? Your credibility? Put a number on it. How many American lives is your blather about red lines worth?
Thomas Sowell, meanwhile, has Obama's character down, and is unafraid to be clear: Obama is a "truly great phony." As a professor, Sowell learned to spot BSers (though he avoids the term) and he points to the abundant evidence Obama is one, too - a guy who doesn't bother to sweat the details on any particular subject he expounds upon.:
Like other truly talented phonies, Barack Obama concentrates his skills on the effect of his words on other people -- most of whom do not have the time to become knowledgeable about the things he is talking about. Whether what he says bears any relationship to the facts is politically irrelevant.
A talented con man, or a slick politician, does not waste his time trying to convince knowledgeable skeptics. His job is to keep the true believers believing. He is not going to convince the others anyway.
So why does this matter? Because Obama's popularity and ultimately his political sway depends upon a carefully manufactured and maintained illusion. The instruments by which that illusion is maintained are slowly breaking down. The race card has just about been played out. And fact-based ideas do spread via social media, as well as at the water cooler and many other locations where people mix.
It's going to be a long three and a half years for Obama and America. Failures will continue because Obama has no self-correcting mechanisms, and the ability of the media to maintain an information cofferdam around him delcines with each day.