Are Liberals Breaking Up with Obama?

President Obama gave his big oil-spill speech Tuesday night, and I sat rather dumbfounded just after it as MSNBC's Keith Olberman and Chris Matthews virtually trashed a guy they've tingled and swooned over since early 2008. Hearing so much reality from the formerly dazzled was quite akin, I thought, to witnessing a teenage breakup, where a girl suddenly has the epiphany and sees the character defects in Mr. Cool. Teen-romance epiphanies, where the once-infatuated person now sees clearly the cause-for-grave-concern flaws that her friends saw all along, usually occur just after some especially revealing event.

For our liberal friends, the oil spill seems to represent the impetus for epiphany.

So, are liberals breaking up with Obama? 

Now, liberals may wince mightily at having their sudden disdain for their own president compared to a teenage breakup, but it would take a rare ninny indeed not to admit that the entire Obama affair was always more fairytale -- as Bill Clinton surmised early on and was pitilessly pilloried for -- than it was based on reality. 

The fairytale aspect of liberals' affair with Obama is, I think, that they -- like the infatuated teenage girl -- saw in him only what they wanted to see. The gaping holes in Obama's résumé got short shrift, while his teleprompted eloquence had them all a-swooning. Like the teenage girl who wants to hear or see nothing amiss about her new beau, liberals turned a deaf ear and blind eye to every troublesome bit of Obama's idealistic folderol and defended his lack of executive experience on the ridiculous notion that he was above those sorts of things because he was, after all, rather like a god.      

There's a huge moral lesson in here, and I, for one, just hope that every good liberal is still open-minded enough to engage the lesson and still has enough integrity to own up to it. The purely golden moral lesson at hand has less to do with ideology than it has to do with keeping one's head about him. It has far less to do with who is president than with why he is president. If we, as a nation, are able to absorb the true lesson of Obama in time, we just might save our country for the next generation. We very well might be able to show our young people something so important that it will become next to impossible to elect another pure knave on the strength of emotional attachment and fantastical wishful thinking to the presidency.

By now, every single reasonable, sentient, in-charge-of-his-own-thoughts adult ought to know exactly where this is going.

When a republic elects an executive leader and commander in chief based on little more than an ethereal charisma, that nation gets what it deserves -- a celebrity president who takes his office about as seriously as the fawning crowds took their votes. Upon such idiotic decisions great civilizations do indeed fall.

However, all is not lost. One of the most wondrous, yet inherently sound, facets of the American form of government is that mistakes -- even of this magnitude -- last only four years. And even though the damage of Obama's incompetence has been exacerbated greatly by a lapdog congressional majority willing to sell themselves and the country out to make the president's day, the country is still redeemable. When all is said and done, the Obama presidency fades into the sunset, and another presidential election comes around, Americans once again will have the chance to take their votes seriously and elect a proven, competent executive to fill the office of the presidency.

There is the chance that Obama's election will have a spectacular silver lining for our republic.

Many candidates, mostly of the hollow political sort that Obama has proven to be, may think long and hard now before putting their names in contention. Without the requisite experience to handle huge national crises, or even the kind that occur in every city hall and governor's office in the country, legislators may see the debacle of Obama and stop themselves from making a similar mistake. 

The presidency does not lend itself to vainglorious appraisals of one's own abilities; all is laid bare when push comes inevitably to shove. In light of Obama's historic failure to steer our ship of state, there is a lesson for every single would-be candidate of the future, a chance to see Obama's ignominious defeat at the cruel hand of reality, and a clear opportunity to take the hard, long look before leaping into the fires of a presidential campaign. Men and women of sound reason who might be candidates in 2012 should heed the lesson of Obama and not assume that just because they've been elected to office, they would make a good president.

A CEO job is a CEO job is a CEO job, and if one has never had one before -- either private or public -- then one ought to approach the candidate's ring with far more apprehension and humility than did either Barack Obama or any of his swooning party backers. 

As for liberal ideologues in particular, the golden lesson of Obama ought to be that indulging in identity politics to the exclusion of demonstrated competence is a recipe for disaster at almost any level. When Chris Matthews gushed some months ago that he had "forgotten the president was black for an hour," he pretty much gave away his own penchant for identity politics. Liberal media elites, celebrities, and white guilt-ridden pols never let the public think much beyond this president's skin color for the entire campaign, when going beyond the book's cover is always -- every single time -- the duty of every voter, but most especially the duty of the fourth estate and all those who would use their positions to make endorsements. 

At the end of the day, every one of these folks who rallied the votes for Obama -- based on nothing but his skin color and teleprompted eloquence -- have done far more damage to the cause of African-American parity than if they had refused to indulge their identity politics and had looked at the candidate's bona fides with a skeptical, purely investigative eye. As Walter Williams wrote recently, due only to the liberal bent to encourage character and ability judgments based upon one's skin color, gender, or any other artificial label, future black candidates will indeed be judged -- whether rightly or wrongly -- by the incompetency of Barack Obama.

This is inherently unfair. Obama is not a flailing president because he is half-black. His skin color has nothing whatsoever to do with his failure to lead coherently and competently. It has to do with him as an individual. Obama's failure is the result of biting off a bigger job than he was ready to chew. What is happening to Obama is precisely what would happen to anyone in so far over his head in any job. It's no more a black thing than it is a white thing; it's no more a man thing that it is a woman thing. It's an individual thing.

President Obama still has a couple of years to go in his term. Liberals may not be breaking up with him yet. They may require more epiphanies still. But once the spell cast by identity and charisma begins to fade, it's a sure bet that the gut-wrenching, self-examining morning after is well on its way.

And in that, I think I see hope for America's restoration.

It won't be easy or fast, but at least it seems possible now that liberals are showing that they might be willing to go all the way and break up with Mr. Cool.

Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at