Thursday, October 13, 2011

Embarrassed Obamaphiles

A lot of people have a lot of explaining to do. Sensible and intelligent people got caught up in Obamamania—our version of the Dutch tulipmania. Now, they owe us all an explanation for how they lost their minds and let themselves get carried away by emotion.

And many opinion leaders and influence peddlers also owe us an apology for having helped lead the nation astray.

In some cases apologies have been forthcoming. David Brooks admitted that he had been played for a sap. Mort Zuckerman has admitted his mistake and has been trying to point the nation in a better course.

Some people have yet to come to terms with their embarrassing love for Obama. They are out in force blaming Obama’s failure on Wall Street, corporate interests, and the Tea Party.

Many former Obama supporters are suffering from what Victor Davis Hanson calls a “repressed anger.” As it sees it Obama has “embarrassed many of his supporters” because he has made their ecstasy now seem “almost adolescent.” Almost?

According to Hanson this comes very close to being an unforgiveable sin. It is very difficult to forgive and forget someone who has made you look like a fool.

The root cause of this shame must come from the president’s manifest failure to provide leadership.

Obama’s dulcet tones, his soulful sermonizing, his pretense and posturing, all of which once inspired, are now looking like empty rhetoric.

Who wants to admit that they voted for a major leadership failure? Who wants to admit that they were fooled by a neophyte politician without a real resume?

So, you will see less enthusiasm for Obama, fewer contributions, lower attendance at events, quieter applause, and, almost certainly, fewer votes.

People at fashionable cocktail parties will spare us the paeans to their new Messiah. They will not be reminding us that they voted for Obama. They will remain silent or explain how they might just vote Republican this time.

By Hanson’s lights, Obama’s former supporters should also feel embarrassed at Obama’s conduct of the War on Terror.

Young and not-so-young idealists voted for Obama because they hated the War on Terror. They were happy to depict Americans as war criminals and declared, in all seriousness, that we could only win the war by occupying the moral high ground.

By now, those who were crying out that the Bush administration had shredded the constitution are writing legal briefs to justify everything that they had previously declared to be manifestly evil.

In Hanson’s words: “We learn that two lawyers who had criticized George W. Bush for supposed overreach recently drafted authorization to assassinate a U.S. citizen, the traitorous and dangerous Anwar al-Awlaki. This follows Bush critic and former Yale Dean Harold Koh’s various briefs authorizing elements of the Obama War on Terror, among them sanction to join the Anglo-French war against Qaddafi without U.S. congressional approval — something Bush obtained for both Afghanistan and Iraq.”

He continues: “Gone are the sloppy charges of ‘war criminal,’ the Hollywood movies, the outbursts by celebrities, the anguished op-eds. It is almost as if the 2,000-plus suspected terrorists killed by Predators put a complete stop to all the talk of Guantanamo as a gulag or the water-boarding of three known terrorists as war crimes or any of the other harangues about supposed constitution-shredding. True, for many the hypocrisy is just the stuff of politics, but for others there is a quiet anger that they have been taken for a ride. Fairly or not, it is as if an entire corpus of prior written work, public rants, and activism between 2003 and 2008 — even if sincere — has now been exposed as mere partisan politics.”

Imagine how it feels for all of the idealistic young fools to face the fact that they were manipulated by Barack Obama.

Do they know that they have been played? I cannot say. But perhaps they should redirect some of the rage they are directing against Wall Street against themselves ... for being such willing dupes.

1 comment:

JP said...

I'm still kind of torn on the entire question of whether we want leadership from a President at all.

It would be kind of interesting to see what would happen if the president merely served as a functionary carrying out the will of the Congress.