It's shellacking time for Democrats, and suddenly, Obama is playing Mr. Moderate
With Democrats facing a "shellacking" in November, President Obama is out and about, campaigning for Democrats, in various ways.
He made some headlines with this:
Former President Barack Obama thinks Democrats can be a bit of a "buzzkill," too easily offended over accidental slights and the complicated scenarios of modern life, he said in a podcast interview late last week.
"How does politics even — how is it even relevant to the things that I care most deeply about? My family, my kids, work that gives me satisfaction, having fun, not being a buzzkill, right?" Obama said in an interview with "Pod Save America." "And sometimes Democrats are, right? You know, sometimes, people just want to not feel as if they are walking on eggshells. And they want some acknowledgment that life is messy and that all of us at any given moment can say things the wrong way, make mistakes."
Obama is publicly addressing a concern voiced by Democratic strategists privately for quite some time now — that the liberal base of the party is so focused on "wokeness" and the possibility of offending certain interest groups that they lose the broader thread of speaking to what voters actually care about.
That's a little rich, coming from him. The wokester culture era was ushered in on his watch, and it's spiraled downhill since then. Obama has spoken out against wokesterism once before — see here or here — on Oct. 29, 2019, a few months before special elections for several House seats seen as key to holding the lower house for Democrats, in Maryland, California, Wisconsin, New York, and Georgia.
So he's now on record as being Mr. Moderate, Mr. Anti-Woke, with Democrats facing what he calls "a shellacking" less than a month from the midterms.
James Carville said what this was really about, in this CNN piece by Chris Cillizza:
James Carville, a longtime Democratic strategist, has been more blunt — certainly than Obama — in denouncing the wokeness focus.
"We're letting a noisy wing of our party define the rest of us," Carville said last summer. "And my point is we can't do that. I think these people are all kind of nice people. I think they're very naive, and they're all into language and identity. And that's all right. They're not storming the Capitol. But they're not winning elections."
Somehow, Obama always comes out at times like these to tell Democrats to quit being creeps, because the voters are rejecting them.
But Obama has been remarkably non-specific in addressing the problem, let alone stating what he means, with whos, whats, wheres, and whys.
Where has he been all these years as this disease of wokesterism has progressed? And perhaps he might want to discuss his role in creating and enabling it? Where was he when parents were being demonized as "terrorists" for speaking out at school board meetings and professors were being fired for speaking about the science about global warming or the truth about xx and xy chromosomes? Where was he when "racism" was being hurled at people who opposed open borders or high crime? Where was he when the newspaper founded by Alexander Hamilton was being censored on multiple social media platforms in apparent collusion with one another for what was an authentic and true story about Hunter Biden's abandoned laptop? Where was he when New York Times op-ed editor James Bennet was ousted from his job for allowing an opposing view to see print?
Silent as heck when it actually counted.
To be sure, it's possible that deep within his Democrats-only bubble, he's starting to hear from even Democrats about the cancel-culture idiocies going on, and Democrats themselves are dispirited. Tiptoe on eggshells? That sounds like something a liberal Obama-supporter in academia might say, because I've heard this kind of talk myself among such people.
What's more, Obama has to oppose wokery in some ways — not on principle, but because he put up with hideous people like Joe Biden, who's a flaming racist and sexist; Democrat donor Harvey Weinstein; and speechwriter Jon Favreau, who posed for pictures like this. The normal people subject to wokester wrath don't by and large do disgusting things like that, so in Obamaworld, it's either the crazed perverts and racists or else the wokesters. There is no middle ground.
Tammy Bruce cast a similar dim view of the whole thing in her appearance on Fox News's Outnumbered:
This is classic Obama, wanting to seem like a moderate, and he gets it about everybody. But he at no point addresses why people are angry and are worried about their kids. Because of what's happening in schools and with school boards and the books, and the woke culture, and the pronouns and everything else. He diminishes what's going on. We're not just afraid to go to the party with the word police. Our lives are being destroyed. You can lose your job. You can be shunned in the town square of America on social media. You can be chased down the street. You can have things thrown at you. You can be harmed physically. Salman Rushdie. You can get stabbed in the freaking throat if people aren't liking you.
In other words, Obama criticizes the surface things, the use of words, but not the big ones, the monster cancel culture that demonizes the entire civilized population.
It's cowardly stuff, from a president still looking to remain popular, even as his party spirals downward, and coming out just as some very negative elections for Democrats beckon. Call it coward stuff; there's not much there there, other than a quest for the appearance of anti-wokesteriam, not the substance of actually ending it.
Image: Screen shot from Fox News video via YouTube.