The emotionally-driven, mindless euphoria of Obamamania is finally grinding to a halt, as reality increasingly intervenes. The strange part of this development is the incredible wasted opportunity- Obama enjoyed such astronomical approval ratings before he'd even lifted a finger, all he had to do was set obvious priorities and bring in competent experts to focus on the task-at-hand... while doing his level best to fulfill some campaign promises. With the pressing issue of the day being the worldwide financial crisis, the expectation of just such a sensible approach from an Obama administration was precisely what moderates and Obamacons retorted with when queried by the less-smitten "how can you vote for this guy?". In-addition to the unquestioning support Obama received from so many, they were also extraordinarily patient with him- and cut him and awful lot of slack. All understood the depths of the crisis... and just wanted him to bring in a qualified crew to confront it effectively.
Instead, this volatile exigency has been manipulated to install the life-long dream of Obama and his wacked-out Marxist-professor mentors- a socialist America. Besides the reckless political brinkmanship of exploiting these circumstances to enact an agenda few actually want, Team Obama has also been inherently dishonest- and even anti-democratic. Obama employed a fear-mongering offensive to frighten the country into huge spending programs, with nonstop -and nonsensical- comparisons to the Great Depression, when unemployment was actually more than triple the rate of today... with the resultant damage to consumer confidence.
The Democrats snuck-in the seeds of socialized medicine and unilateral detente with Cuba, as well as packing the "stimulus" and omnibus spending bills with an extra-helping of pork for all at the table. The record-setting appropriations and controversial policy changes were whisked-through committees sans debate- bypassing most standard procedures. Although the President promised repeatedly to put the $800B "stimulus" bill online prior to the vote, inexpicably this did not occur- and even the legislators themselves had less than 24 hours to read the 1000+ page legislation. The Democrats and Obama put into law a $400B omnibus spending bill that contained over 8000 earmarks... in yet another chucking of a major Obama campaign pledge. Americans are starting to smell a scam here... and they don't like it.
Republicans who spoke-up against these abominations were met with "I won" from the hubristic Obama- regardless of promises of bringing a new post-partisan era to Washington (perhaps what he meant by "post-partisan" was that the GOP would be neutralized, rather than collaborated with). Although some inferred that the Republicans were acting in unison for political purposes, polls in fact showed that the stand was unpopular- so where was this supposed political ploy? The reality is that the GOP caucus acted bravely, and in good-faith against an ill-advised spending spree that we simply can't afford... but were promptly rebuffed on most any revision. Obama accused them of offering "no alternatives", while ignoring and rejecting the GOP suggestions he know full well existed. When serial-isle-crosser John McCain turns against Obama's plans and methods in the first month... what does that say?
And while doing their duty as the loyal opposition, they were not just stiff-armed, but even attacked by the White House in a propaganda campaign, framed as the "Party of No". Anyone else voicing opposition, such as Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Jim Cramer, et. al. were accosted harshly by Team Obama and their left-wing media allies... with the DNC even running television ads against Limbaugh. This country has never seen such a disengenuous and totalitarian mindset from a president.
And the serial-opportunist Obama is habitually dishonest and misleading, with almost every word that comes out of his mouth calculated towards his (semi) hidden agenda. When asked (finally) by a NY Times reporter "are you a socialist?" in a recent interview aboard Air Force One,
One of Obama's best cabinet choices, Senator Judd Gregg, tellingly removed himself from consideration over not only Obama's repellant pork-n-welfare "stimulus" bill, but the power grab and blatant electoral manipulation of the White House commandeering the census for political purposes. Now the Senator tells us that Obama's budget proposal will "bankrupt the country". Small wonder then that Americans are finally coming-out of the ether to the dawning realization that Obama isn't addressing the financial crisis in an effective manner- but is instead fulfilling a stealth agenda... ensuring, as Emanuel remarked, that they "never let a good crisis go to waste."
While all these Stalinist shenanigans are going on, and as Barack works the talk-show circuit, makes his (lousy) NCAA picks just like one-of-us-guys, dedicates months of time and effort to a puppy-vetting process (for some reason vastly-superior to the one employed in choosing his cabinet) and throws lavish parties, shmoozing, smiling, and yucking-it-up... Rome is still burning. Although continued catastrophe may be politically useful, blamed on George Bush and used to further Obama's far-left schemes, Americans are not a patient bunch- especially when they're in the process of being shipped-off to the poor house.
Soon to dent Obama's support further is the fact that many are becoming frightened by his misguided, pacificist Carter-esque foreign policy... the pitfalls of which have already become glaringly apparent (to those who didn't already remember monumental incompetence of Carter). Sensing weakness, Iran, Russia, and North Korea have all spit in Barack's "extended hand"... while Venezeula's Comrade Chavez plans South American air bases for the Kremlin and taunts Obama from his podium. Obama was caught dozing while the Kremlin snaked our vital Krgyzstani air base, and China now talks of an "international currency" that would surely to spear Obama's massive borrowing plans- while they now test our Navy (and Commander-in-Chief) for weakness on the high-seas.
Americans have an unhealthy fondness for hollow celebrities, but over time they also have a tendency to sniff-out fakes... and dismantle them in a very public manner. It may turn-out that Obama's ill-advised appearance on Jay Leno's Tonight Show was his PR-Waterloo... as his gauche "humor" mocking the disabled went over like a fart in church. Trouble is, when Barack isn't hard-wired to a TelePrompTer, strange things tend to come-out... things that bear little resemblance to his carefully crafted, yet hollow-plastic public image of the campaign. His unpresidential disrespect for Special Olympics athletes is much like the factually-incorrect cheap shot on 87-year-old Nancy Reagan in PEBO's very first presser. Not only is he unfunny and factually wrong, but apparently the favored targets are old ladies and the handicapped... some messiah.
With ironic justice, the Tonight Show episode also proved a boost to one that the Democrat's media allies have done so much to destroy- Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Videos of Palin's Special Olympics speech now circulating the internet show her support and understanding for those with special-needs in an impressive, professional, and sincere manner that makes Obama look like a puerile playground bully. And poll numbers for Palin continue to creep-up by the week, as Obama's support dwindles... regardless of the fraudulent survey conducted last week and trumpeted by the MSM claiming she would be "trounced" by Obama in a head-to-head contest. While the DNC's agenda is clearly to encourage voters to dismiss Palin as irrelevant ASAP, the part they neglected to mention was that the poll's methodology was dubious- and it that it was conducted by Stanley Greenberg, who was Bill Clinton’s pollster. He also advised the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry. Greenberg, in partnership with James Carville and Bob Shrum, co-founded the left-leaning Democracy Corps- and this disinformation against Palin is pure propaganda.
Obama is vaporizing his once towering popularity in a political Bonfire of the Vanities, as he hastily tosses free-market capitalism, democracy, free-speech, and American individualism onto the pyre... and the unquestioned support he's enjoyed up to this point is rapidly coming to an end. He must know that his vision of statist America is not widely supported, and there will be a powerful backlash at some point, it's just a matter of when. Thus, the disgraceful opportunism of rushing it all through under the cover of "crisis"- coupled to a deeply cynical disinformation campaign.
Perhaps this President's boundless arrogance prevents him from realizing that the blind faith that he's squandering will not come-back easily, if at all... most likely, once it's gone, it's gone. But one has a tendency to become dilusional when all is handed to them on a silver plate, elections are a set-up by the party, and habitual dishonesty is covered-up ceaselessly by their supporters and the press... why should he think he needs to change now? Doing as he damn-well pleased and lying about it have gotten him all he ever wanted- and it's all he's ever known. Obama appears to lack awareness that he's in a very, very different situation now- one which is he comprehensively unqualified, unprepared... and simply not worthy of.
The goodwill that sprang from the perceived "need" for an African-American president and his orchestrated image as the grinning and "hip" anti-Bush cannot remain detached from negative approval ratings for both "Congress" and the "Direction of the Country" forever- as the White House is the most relevant factor in almost every initiative in Washington today, and acting in very close alliance with Democratic legislators. Obama now polically owns the $800B "stimulus" package, the $400B earmark-laden omnibus bill, and likely his pending $3.55 trillion-dollar budget... so there is no political cover when these fail to produce real economic gains, then stoke inflation and crash the dollar. A harsh reckoning looms.
Maybe the most significant factor in Obama's ability to escape any effective measure of scrutiny so-far has been the irresponsible cheerleading and lack of vetting by MSM jounalists. While these drones who blindly promoted Obama were unflinching in placing all their chips on blue, then all the faster some of them might turn on him... in a simple act of professional survival. They made themselves co-dependents with Obama- but these are clearly not the type of principled individuals to go-down-with-the-ship. And we are seeing a bit of this already.
It was amusing to behold last Sunday's NY Times , the most biased of Obama promoters, feature not one, not two, but three editorials critical of Obama...Frank Rich, Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd went after Obama in an unprecedented way. Add this to The Times' pressing him on the "socialist" question last week, and one can sense a hedging of bets, at minimum.
Obama's power to this point has been drawn from his electoral mandate, speaking abilities, trendiness, and continued grass-roots support and effectively organized "army" on the street and on the internet- but much of this power appears to be dissipating. Obama indeed receieved a significant mandate, but now polls show moderates running-away from Obama. This seems to indicate that the mandate he received was for some change, as well as the bipartisanship he promised... and not the implementations of a far-left agenda and de facto one-party rule. Independent voters are a vital check-and-balance, and might now see an over-compensation to the left in 2006-08 that requires correction.
As for the vaunted speaking ability, many are arriving at the conclusion that he's simply nothing without a TelePrompTer- and he's even being openly mocked for it. The verbal slapstick with the Irish Prime Minister and Obama reading each-other's speeches was particularly embarassing. And what to do? If he continues to lean on his crutch, the critics are proven correct... and if he dumps it, likely more gaffes... reinforcing the argument further.
While Barack was bizzarely chuckling as he discussed the severity of the financial crisis on 60 minutes, host Steven Kroft eventually felt the need to ask Obama if he was "punch drunk" on last Sunday's show. Perhaps not, but he finds it hard to contain his enthusiasm for a financial disaster that makes possible his wildest far-left fantasies. Hitler danced a jig too, when informed of France's surrender in 1940- not yet realizing he had sealed his -and his nation's- doom.
Europe is now seeing the real Obama as well- As stated in the Daily Telegraph (UK) by Tim Shipman , Obama has a "childish desire to retain his image as the uber cool dude he so clearly believes that he is" and is "turning into Jimmy Carter." Shipman goes on to call Obama "tongue-tied", then "humourless"- and states that he "doesn't know the difference between campaigning and governing". He even quotes Michael Wolff as branding the allegedly-charming Obama "a terrible bore".
Regarding Team Obama's comprehensive grass-roots efforts, as stated on McClatchy "The president's lieutenants tried to open a new front in the "Obama revolution," the grassroots mobilization that propelled the once little-known Illinois senator to the White House last year. David Plouffe, who ran Obama's campaign, now runs "Organizing for America" out of the Democratic National Committee. It uses the same Web-based tactics that won the presidency to mobilize public opinion behind Obama's initiatives..." Anyone reading online political forums such as Politico and Topix can't help but be struck by the wolfpacks of shrill Obama supporters who get up early, cheerlead relentlessly, post the first five messages after every news item, and attack all critics of the administration promptly. When some of these characters are on there posting 15 hrs/day, you have to wonder who's paying them... perhaps now we know.
But such efforts are not having much effect in the budget battle, where Team Obama recently deployed them in a door-to-door effort to drum-up support for his prolifigate-spending, big-government budget (I'm still waiting for them to come to my door... the vat of boiling oil is waiting out on the balcony) "The army of canvassers fanned out across the nation over the weekend to drum up support for his $3.55 trillion budget, but they had no noticeable impact on members of Congress, who on Monday said they were largely unaware of the effort. 'News to me,' said Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, a House Budget Committee member, of the canvassing."
And as the MSM continues to do Obama's and the DNC's bidding by publishing endless stories on the GOP's pending demise, the reality is entirely different. Fact is that the Republicans have pulled even with the Democrats in the generic congressional ballot, at 42% apiece. And Obama's approval ratings are weak- with grumbling about his performance, ethics, and tactics growing.
How long before Obama's personal approval is below 50%? Good question, depends on it he's willing to moderate in an act of self-preservation, how fast his specious promises and ethics issues come back to bite him, and of course... "events". But the trend is decidedly negative since the day he took office. In my opinion some of the more right-leaning polls such as Rasmussen and Zogby could be there any day now, you can already feel the momentum shifting.
After enjoying such bouyant numbers for little apparent reason except fashion, social guilt, and a well-orchestrated bait-and-switch, and with the press wildly inflating expectations beyond any likely reality- it's now become abundantly clear that Obama is far more liberal -and far less principled- than advertised... and that the easy part for him was getting elected.
Barack Obama is extremely arrogant and quite radical, as we all now know- but he's also an insecure man- an apparent narcissist who craves admiration. It will be interesting indeed to see just how he proceeds once the wind is taken out of his sails... and he has to get up every morning knowing most people don't like him so much anymore.
UPDATE: In a just-released Zogby Poll, President Obama's approval rating has dropped three points... and now stands at exactly 50%