Obama and Hillary: pioneers of post-achievement politics
Daniel Greenfield has put his finger on an important strategic dimension of politics today, as exemplified by the careers of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both have accomplished little in their jobs, and have created serious problems, yet both enjoy continuing enthusiastic support from a large core group. Greenfield calls it “post-achievement politics,” and he is correct.
Obama and Hillary don't just suffer from a shortage of accomplishments. They're also burdened with a surplus of failures. Benghazi worries so many Hillary supporters because there is nothing to balance it against. There is no, "But look at all the good she did." Hillary didn't do any good. She didn't do much of anything except tour countries and pose for photos.
As a Secretary of State she made a perfectly adequate First Lady.
Obama talks the teleprompter talk, but when you look at the results they're universally awful. Whether it's the things that he only pretends to care about, like the VA, or the things he does care about, like Obamacare, after the splashy ribbon cutting ceremony comes the disastrous mess.
Like every other summer blockbuster, it's great marketing for a terrible product. And just like the summer blockbuster, Obama's actual policies are treated as disposables to be forgotten about. Scandal management consists of Obama making a serious face and promising to take this serious problem very seriously before heading out for a round of serious golfing.
Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the VA; he is just as angry about it as you are. All he's really doing though is matching your emotional tone to dampen your response. It's something that everyone from call center operators to customer support executives dealing with angry clients are taught to do. It means as little from Obama as it does from Kathy in Des Moines saying, "I understand you're angry." (snip)
The politics of the left are narcissistic. Its members are less concerned with changing the world than with being good people by wanting to change the world. That's what Obama received his premature Nobel Peace Prize for, not for what he did, but for what he talked about doing.
It is the read of the day, as far as I am concerned, well written and insightful. But what do we do about this, strategically? Greenfield acknowledges:
Millions of voters will see it that way. And if you don't, it's probably because you're old-fashioned enough to believe in accomplishment.
Unfortunately, perhaps, Republicans and other opponents of progressive politics are left with the role of being the grown-ups in the room, the ones who point out the unpleasant realities. That doesn’t win a lot of good feeling from an electorate increasingly comprised of adolescent-minded voters who pull the lever for the candidate they have a good feeling about.
But to paraphrase a bumper sticker the left flaunted a couple of decades ago, reality bats last. Some unpleasant manure is heading for the fan in the domestic economy and overseas, where all the power-mad tyrants and tyrannical regimes see that they have a but more than 2 years to let their ambitions run free secure in the knowledge that Obama’s red lines mean nothing.
I hate to count on bad news as the oath to political victory, for it hands the other side an easy talking point: that we are “rooting for” failure. And nobody likes Cassandras. On the other hand, Obama is just about the worst crisis manager ever, and he is setting us up for more crises ahead.
In a contest between the party of illusion and the party fo reality, reality does bat last.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman