Monday, August 1, 2011

Obama Disappoints His Fans

In Manhattan they’re gnashing their teeth. Left thinking people, people who loved Barack Obama, who invested time, money, energy, and hope in his presidency, feel horribly disappointed.

It’s palpable on the streets of Manhattan, and in the parlors and salons where the cognoscenti gather.

From savior to bit player. Liberals have been watching the debt-ceiling free-for-all with increasing dismay. They have been watching Barack Obama turn himself  into a side-show, someone who could not defend principle, who could not stand up to the Tea Party but who ultimately caved.

Clive Crook wrote in the Financial Times: “The logic is brutal: they [the Republicans] hardly budged, and the Democrats gave way. Many in his own party blame the president. They say he caved. Mr Obama may be the biggest loser in all this. And the question arises, does the United States want a loser in the White House?"

Peggy Noonan said as much last Friday, so it sounds as though the label is beginning to stick.

Since Crook taxes these same Republicans with “reckless intransigence” we understand that he is not sympathetic to their cause.

Happily, he also notes a more salient point, namely, that for all the venomous invective being cast at the Tea Party representatives, they belong to the majority caucus in the House of Representatives. If the Democrats had not done such a bad job in 2009 and 2010, they would not have been elected.

One must add, to cut through the aspersions, that these Tea Party members ran on principles; they swore to uphold the principles they espoused; and they did.

Could they have do so in more elegant fashion? Absolutely.

Let’s also keep in mind that House Republicans passed two plans for ending the debt ceiling crisis. Obama and Senate Democrats offered none.

Why didn’t Obama offer a plan of his own? I surmise that he assumed that if the Republicans were asking him to do so, it could not have been a very good idea.

In fact, it would have been good for him to do so. He should not have dismissed the idea just because it was coming from the opposition.

When you have no plan, you are negotiating the other party’s plan. If you have no plan you cannot really get anything that you want. More so when what you want sounds like a bunch of poll-tested talking points.

Could Obama have declared victory if he had shortened the depreciation period on corporate jets?

It might have been a good point for a community organizer, but it hardly befits a president.

This should not be news. What is news is how much this view is becoming standard among left thinking people.

Now, when liberals compare the Tea Party to the president, they express a palpable anguish that the Tea Party freshmen held firm to principle in the face of withering assaults, while the president, their champion, wilted under the pressure.

Yesterday, even before the budget deal was reached, Maureen Dowd gave full expression to liberal disappointment in Barack Obama.

Many of her points have been made before, even in this blog. What matters is where they are coming from.

Dowd reports: “Democratic lawmakers worry that the Tea Party freshmen have already ‘neutered’ the president, as one told me. They fret that Obama is an inept negotiator. They worry that he should have been out in the country selling a concrete plan, rather than once more kowtowing to Republicans and, as with the stimulus plan, health care and Libya, leading from behind.”

She continues: “As one Democratic senator complained: ‘The president veers between talking like a peevish professor and a scolding parent.’ (Not to mention a jilted lover.)”

On Obama’s ability to lead, Dowd writes: “You have to wonder if President Obama at some level doesn’t want to lead. Maybe he just wants to be loved.”

And then the coup de grace: “More and more, 2008 looks like the tulip mania.”

You can almost hear the anguish coming from the White House: Et tu, MoDo.

Tulip mania... Dowd is saying that the liberal love for Barack Obama is looking like one of the greatest speculative market bubbles in human history. You may not remember it, but in early 17th century Holland, people were so convinced of the value of tulip bulbs that they sold house and home to buy a bulb or two. Literally.

Eventually, the price of tulips collapsed, and with it their fortunes.

Were liberal Democrats as deluded by Obama as 17th century Dutchmen were by the bubble price of tulip bulbs? Maureen Dowd says so, and who am I to disagree.

No one will accuse Maureen Dowd of being a fan of the Tea Party. She heaps scorn on them, to the point where another Shakespearean line pops easily into mind: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

Be that as it may, Dowd calls the Tea Party freshmen “maniacal.” She accuses them of being pyromaniacs, wanting “to burn down the House.”

That’s not all, folks.

From pyromania, it’s not too much of a stretch for Dowd’s supple mind to mix her metaphors-- or are they expletives--  and call these freshmen Representatives, “gargoyles,” and “adamantine nihilists.”

Fair minded that she is, Dowd tempers her contemptuous epithets with some grudging admiration for effective leadership.

In her words: “Consider what the towel-snapping Tea Party crazies have already accomplished. They’ve changed the entire discussion. They’ve neutralized the White House. They’ve whipped their leadership into submission. They’ve taken taxes and revenues off the table. They’ve withered the stock and bond markets. They’ve made journalists speak to them as though they’re John Calhoun and Alexander Hamilton.

“Obama and John Boehner have been completely outplayed by the ‘hobbits,’ as The Wall Street Journal and John McCain called them.What if this is all a cruel joke on us? What if the people who hate government are good at it and the people who love government are bad at it?”


Dennis said...

The "class warfare" gambit always comes back to bite Democrats. I remember not too long ago the Democrats were going after the rich by taxing pleasure boats, et al. It wasn't too long before American boat makers and those they employed were going to Democrats about how much business they were losing to boat makers outside the US. The only people who got hurt were American workers.
The present class of democrat has never been to conversant with how business works and what makes an economy grow. Obama, being a Democrat, has no real concept, nor does his followers, of all that it takes to keep an economy healthy and productive. His, and theirs, ideas are antithetical to governing a prosperous country.
When one tries to make someone a "Messiah" or all knowing them one is always going to be disappointed. They should have know by Obama's lack of experience, knowledge and past non leadership that he was not capable. How many times does one have to vote "Present" before one senses that this is someone who has no real core? Obama was that blank slate the Dowd and all the other Leftists painted their own image. The incompetence lies as much with then as it does with Obama.
Far too many of them never got past their own selfish desires to ask real questions of Obama and actually made it impossible to find out. What a bunch of whiny babies. The blame never lies in their own failures. Obama's failures and lack of accountability paints a perfect picture of who those on the Left are as people.

Dennis said...

I must admit that there was a time when I enjoyed reading Dowd, but as she has aged she has turned into a shrew. She has essentially lived up to her name, DOWDY. A double/triple "entendre" so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Did Obama lose? really? He gets to spend another $2 TRILLION before the 2012 election; there are no real spending cuts and the alleged $1 TRILLION is over 10 years anyway; and....there is a massive tax increase effective January 1, 2013 when the Bush era tax rates expire.

So how exactly did Obama disappoint his fans?

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Actually, I rarely read Dowd these days myself, but I do think that last Sunday's column was interesting.

When I said that BHO had disappointed his followers I was reporting what I have been hearing out and around in a world that loved him beyond reason. And I find the same sense of disappointment in columnists who had previously seen him as the savior.

To say, as MoDo does, that the love for Obama in 2008 was like the tulip craze in Holland suggests some serious disappointment.

At the very least, they all seem to be looking for someone to blame for their last electoral defeat and for what they see as a coming electoral wipeout. It's a lot easier to feel disappointed in BHO than to question your ideology.