Obama's Design for Defeat
"And now...the design for war," intones the inimitable voice of Leonard Graves , narrator of Victory At Sea, announcing that President Obama is in full re-election battle dress. President-elect Obama arrived at the west front of the nation's Capitol in 2009 with few credentials, having never accomplished anything in his career except to get elected. "And now"...he's had the better part of four years to accomplish something, anything praiseworthy, to fill in an empty resume. "And now"...the conquest of Micronesia would be ambitious. "And now"...even a defense of the Aleutians would be out of reach.
"And now"...is anyone sure whether he really wants to be president?
Obama has assembled a re-election track record that only Hugo Chávez could envy. Casually presiding over the nation's deepest economic catastrophe since the 1930s. Twenty million hopelessly unemployed. Blithely deconstructing the nation's health care system, while bankrupting providers and consumers. Relentlessly enabling the assault on energy production and industrial competitiveness through a suffocating regulatory autocracy. Gleefully declaring war on private property, trumpeting his alliance with the OSW anarchists.
"And now"...is Obama the best the Democrats have to offer?
Twenty years ago, the Democrats persuaded the nation that president George H.W. Bush didn't deserve to be elected to a second term. Bush 41, more patrician than plebeian, more cordial than calculating, seemed out of touch with the plight of everyday Americans, as a mild recession was taking root.
Bill Clinton, a master at pulling heartstrings, filled the void offered up by H.W.'s emotional detachment. Populist Ross Perot diverted just enough libertarians and contrarians from the Republican ranks to usher in the first freely elected two-term Democrat since FDR.
Most Democrats and even a sizeable number of Republican-leaning independents pine for those halcyon days when Bill Clinton was president. Jobs were plentiful, the stock market was soaring on the lift from dot-com start-ups, and we were immune from serious national security threats. Clinton even added an R-rated entertainment feature; yet while soiling the stature of the Oval Office, at least he never threatened the nation's solvency nor its sovereignty.
Yet Clinton's presidency never accomplished much. Those ballyhooed budget surpluses benefited from reduced defense spending, the peace dividend declared by Ronald Reagan and distributed by George H.W Bush. The balanced budget was the work of a Republican Congress, dragging Bill Clinton along to enact inertia-shifting legislation such as welfare reform.
We all know, even though fewer will admit, how Barack Obama was elected the 44th president: by a Halley's Comet-esque conjunction of identity politics, white guilt, and George W. Bush fatigue. Obama was ably assisted by John McCain's thoroughly inept campaign.
McCain conceded the election when he suspended operations in late September of 2008, ostensibly to focus on economic fixes in the midst of a global economic meltdown, while admitting that "the issue of economics is not something I've understood as well as I should." McCain took a back seat in the theater while Obama mounted the stage -- only appearing to be statesmanlike, but at least not admitting that he was clueless.
"And now"...three years later, Obama has abandoned his erstwhile supporters, as they, in turn, abandon him. "We've become a little bit lazy, I think...gotten a little soft," says the president, projecting his own habits and temperament on everybody else. His reward is further sliding in the polls as both self-described moderate Democrats and pure independents shift from being disheartened to being disaffected.
When has Obama ever shown courageous leadership? Perhaps signing the December 2010 tax bill -- but now he disavows everything he said then about not increasing taxes during economic hard times. Not a single legislative initiative since then has gotten any traction in Congress even among U.S. senators in his own party.
ObamaCare, perhaps the most momentous, albeit notorious, legislative transaction in his presidency, was delegated to, designed by, and delivered by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Dodd-Frank, the 2,800-page financial reform package, was drafted by two now-defunct and disgraced legislators. Even Obama's signature moment -- Navy SEALs delivering a bullet to the head of Osama bin Laden -- was most likely ordered by someone else while Obama was on the golf course.
"And now"...Obama's agenda is dead. His coalition of supporters wander aimlessly, homeless and discouraged. In 2008, a vote for Obama was a vote for action, for engagement, for solutions. There are no solutions, only recriminations. There are no inspirational moments, only divisive outbursts. There is no enthusiasm, only emptiness and frustration.
Who will vote for this man the second time around? Die-hard government, AFL-CIO, and skilled trades union people? Why would union members vote for a man who has singlehandedly made big government, and the cushy jobs that go with it, toxic to the health of the nation? Why would union members vote for a man who routinely blocks private-sector construction projects, and the high-wage jobs that accompany them, such as the XL pipeline? Why would union members vote for a man who spends their money on clean energy misadventures that benefit only his campaign contributors?
Why would anyone, even those who identify with the OWS "99%" rabble, vote for a man whose ambition is to confiscate their property, even if in addition to the ill-begotten gains of the "1%"?
"And now"...the design for defeat of an accidental incumbent, is destiny. "And now"...a necessary and welcome reprieve for the nation.