Funny stuff from the “you just can’t make this stuff up” department. Retiring Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA):
“In this Senate race, I’ve been watching some of these ads,” Harkin said at the Story County Democrats’ annual fall barbecue last week honoring the retiring senator. “And there’s sort of this sense that, ‘Well, I hear so much about Joni Ernst. She is really attractive, and she sounds nice.’”
“Well I gotta to thinking about that. I don’t care if she’s as good looking as Taylor Swift or as nice as Mr. Rogers, but if she votes like Michele Bachmann, she’s wrong for the state of Iowa.”
“I believe if my name had been John Ernst attached to my resume, Sen. Harkin would not have said those things.”
I believe she’s right. It is kind of like if Nikki Haley’s name had been Nick Haley, she likely wouldn’t have been called a “whore” by her Democratic opponent, huh?
Harkin’s comments were met with loud applause from the audience.
A Democratic audience, it can be reliably reported.
So if we grade Harkin’s remarks as the left would had they been pinned on someone from the right, at a minimum you’d have seen him tagged as arrogant, patronizing, sexist and a soldier in the “war on women”, no? Ernst is getting the Sarah Palin treatment from Harkin, something perfected by the left in 2008.
Just for fun and to check on the acceptability of what Harkin said (before the left tries to tell us what he said isn’t offensive), let’s reword that slightly and make it say something no one ever said, but makes an instructive point:
“In this Presidential race, I’ve been watching some of these ads,” Harkin said at the Story County Democrats’ annual fall barbecue last week honoring the retiring senator. “And there’s sort of this sense that, ‘Well, I hear so much about Barack Obama. He is really attractive, and he sounds nice.’”
“Well I gotta to thinking about that. I don’t care if he’s as good looking as Sidney Poitier or as nice as Oprah Winfrey, but if he votes like Nancy Pelosi, he’s wrong for the United States.”
Any question about how that would be treated by the left?
Lord I get tired of the mealy mouthed politicians who try to explain away their political demise be claiming the backwardness of the region, people or the culture is why they’re losing.
Republicans are slamming Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) for comments they say suggested Louisiana voters dislike President Obama because of his race.
Gov. Bobby Jindal and Landrieu’s GOP opponent in her tough reelection race, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), both pounced on comments she made to NBC’s Chuck Todd that the South “has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans.”
“It’s been a difficult time for the president to present himself in a very positive light as a leader,” she said, before adding that the South has not always been friendly to women either.
Apparently Mary Landrieu felt differently when she was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1996 and was re-elected by increasing margins in competitive races in 2002 and 2008. That’s right, the largely red state has elected a woman and a Democrat to terms totaling 18 years in the US Senate.
But now … sexism.
And we have an abomination of a President, one who has nothing to present in a “positive light”, who happens to be black, so … racism.
And don’t forget to throw in a stereotypical comment about the South … because she’s in danger of losing.
As usual, its everyone else that’s the problem, not the fact that Mary Landrieu has done things, such as vote for ObamaCare, that have caused the voters in the state to finally say “enough”. Nope, with Democrats, it’s never the message, policy or vote, it’s always something or someone else’s fault.
Racism. Sexism. Republican dirty tricks. Etc., etc., etc. ad nauseum.
When it comes to the mid-terms, I’m about in the same place psychologically as McQ. But we might as well have some fun with this election. So I sat down and thought about what I expected from it, and came up with the following list:
- The Republicans will do well. They will likely retake the Senate and add at least a dozen seats to their House majority.
- Lots fewer people will care about that outcome than in previous cycles such as 1994 and 2010. More people are now cynical that the GOP doesn’t really intend to do anything of consequence.
The default strategy of the establishment GOP right now seems to be to give the Democrats a turn, knowing they’ll screw things up even worse. Then the voters will give the establishment GOP another chance, because they screw things up more slowly. Thus, the establishment GOP believes they are assured of another round of favoring their particular crony capitalists rather then the crony capitalists favored by the Democrats. Plus, they get the nice corner offices for a while.
- At least one Senate race will be close, and will go into protracted recounts. The Democrats will eventually win that race with questionable votes. (Bonus points on entertainment value if it’s Al Franken again.)
- The media will not report the questionable votes and tactics used to secure the Democratic victory in #3.
- The media will be surprised at the depth of loathing for Obama shown by the election. After all, everyone *they* know likes him.
- The media will only show a flicker of that surprise before they get back to covering for and pimping for Obama.
- At least one major media figure will use the phrase “temper tantrum” or a close synonym to describe what the voters did to cause the GOP gains.
- At least one incident at a polling place will involve blacks supposedly being denied the right to vote because of new voter ID laws. The media might have to manufacture, or at least exaggerate, that incident, but they’ll find one no matter how hard they have to search.
- There will be incidents of the opposite kind, like this one in 2008. Those will not be reported by the media, no matter how many there are or how egregious the violation of laws happens to be.
- November and December will see dozens of media stories on how the “ground game” failed for the Democrats. Some of those stories will infer that the Democrats’ ground game was sabotaged. There will be no stories in major media of how the Democrats and their ground game failed because Obama has become a laughing-stock.
- Opinion columnists in the major media will begin to excuse Obama’s almost total disengagement by blaming it on the new GOP dual majority in Congress. They’ll say things such as “Why should he even try, when they won’t cooperate with him?” (i.e. “bend over and do what he wants”) Some will push for Obama to use even more executive power to bypass the democratically elected majorities in Congress. Some of those will be the same ones who screamed about Bush’s “illegal war”, even though he sought and received authorization from Congress.
- Someone will attempt to spread rumors about an Ebola outbreak in key places to depress voter turnout by making people unwilling to go out in public. Either side is capable of this – both sides might do it.
- Ted Cruz will give a rousing speech shortly after the election on what the Republicans should do. It will be ignored by the major media, though they might run an out-of-context soundbite of it to try and make him look bad.
- Very stupid social science academics will shake their heads and wonder how the voters could dislike Obama since he’s such a great president. Then they’ll talk about how things go “back and forth” or “move in cycles” or some such meaningless blather, as if the GOP victories simply resulted from an inevitable force of nature and have nothing to do with Obama’s screwups.
- Allies of the establishment GOP, such as the bloggers at Hot Air, will immediately begin justifying why the new majorities can’t possibly do anything of consequence. I’m guessing their catchphrase will become “Don’t expect too much.”
- Allies of the establishment GOP will claim that the election results show definitively that the GOP needs to nominate a moderate for president in 2016. I can’t predict what tortured logic they will use for that conclusion.
OK, that’s enough for me. How about our astute and intelligent commenters add their own?
Meh. I’ve come to realize, given the last few wave elections, that if either of the two majority parties are in charge, little if anything will change significantly. Or said another way, for the next 2 years, we’re in for the same nonsense we’re suffering now and the only thing that will change is the name of the Senate majority leader.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of divided government. I like” do nothing” Congress, because divided government means fewer laws entailing government interference are likely to pass. However, that doesn’t change the fact that both parties are heavily invested in interfering with our lives. They simply have different priorities in that regard.
That said, let’s look at the mood of the country prior to the selection. POLITICO starts us off with a handy chart:
Too bad we don’t have the “none of the above option”. Me thinks the gray wedge would be significantly larger. As with most recent elections, there’s a large “hold your nose and vote” segment at play here.
However, that particular part of the poll isn’t the most interesting to me. These results say more about the “mood” than any:
– Terrorism: Eighty-four percent of voters say the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant poses a “serious” threat to the U.S. homeland, including 43 percent who say it poses a “very serious” threat. Just 12 percent said the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is not a serious concern.
This is an Obama made problem and he and the voters know it. And if it is an Obama-made problem, then it is also a problem for the Democrats. But more importantly, it reflects a belief is how poorly this administration has handled the terrorism problem. They didn’t buy the “JV” wave-off and, it seems, are much more able than our security experts to see the type and possibility of the threat ISIS poses to the US homeland. When you have an enemy that will go to any extreme to get to you and doesn’t mind if they die doing it, you have a formidable threat facing you. And while you may have more of a chance of being hit by lightning or winning the lottery than being a victim of ISIS terrorism here, please don’t try to sell these people on ISIS not being a threat here. This also reflects a tremendous amount of distrust the public in general have for anything this administration puts out there.
– Health care: Most voters believe their health care costs will go up under the Affordable Care Act. Fifty-seven percent said they believe their personal costs will increase, while only 7 percent said they will decrease. A third said their costs would remain the same. (At the same time, support for repealing Obamacare has continued to drop, now down to 41 percent.)
Here’s another huge trust in government issue that has been a disaster for Democrats. This is one they own lock, stock and barrel. Thus far they’ve been able to mostly manage the bad news to fall after elections. But that’s unlikely to help them when 2106 rolls around. ObamaCare has, for the most part, failed in every way possible. We now have reports of less people availing themselves of routine health care because the deductibles are so large they can’t afford the visits. If you don’t think this is a part of the mid-term calculations by voters then you have to believe there’s no reason to withhold the increases for insurance until after the election.
– Presidential management: Voters in the midterm battleground states are evenly split on whether President Barack Obama or George W. Bush was more effective at managing the federal government. Thirty-eighty percent named Bush, while 35 percent preferred Obama. A quarter of respondents said the two men were equally competent.
As hard as the left and Democrats worked to make Bush the poster boy for bad government, this one has to hurt. All hail the new poster boy, and the GOP hasn’t had to even break a sweat selling this one. Most, if not all of Obama’s failures have been via self-inflicted wounds. Will there be a portion of the voters who use the mid-terms as a referendum on the President? You bet there will. This guy is about as bad as we’ve ever had, and voters are going to make that point in November.
That brings us to this last issue in this particular poll which pretty well makes an important point I want made:
– Ebola: Only 22 percent of respondents said they had a lot of confidence that the government is doing everything it can to contain the contagious disease. Thirty-nine percent they had some confidence, while a third said they had little or no confidence. The poll concluded Oct. 11, before the hospitalization of the second nurse who treated an Ebola patient in Dallas.
Confidence in government and the competence of this administration are at rock bottom. I welcome that. Ebola just happens to be the latest issue to demonstrate both executive and bureaucratic fumbling and incompetence. The only consistent thing this administration has done is demonstrate that. The guy whose goal it was to make “government cool” again, has failed miserably. I welcome that as well. I’d like to see the point understood by more. Instead of success, we’ve seen an increasingly intrusive but ossified bureaucracy fail time after time when tasked to do their job. They may not know it, but that’s one of the reasons, perhaps the main reason, that 64% of Americans believe “things in the U.S. feel like they are out of control right now.” We’ve seen how politics has subverted our public servants into servants of the party in power. And we’ve also seen various government agencies hold themselves to be above the law in certain instances. How changing parties at midterm will change any of that remains a mystery.
Usually at this point before an election, analysts have decided who will decide the election. You remember “Soccer Moms” etc. Well, this year it’s simply “women”. Women will decide this. And the implication is that women have always been more of a Democratic constituency than a Republican one … for various reasons. Well, that may not pan out for the Dems this year and of all people, Tina Brown explains why:
But, you know, the fact is that Obama’s down with everybody, let’s face it, there’s a reason,” Brown said. “And I think that particularly for women. I don’t think it makes them feel safe. I think they’re feeling unsafe. Economically, they’re feeling unsafe. With regard to ISIS, they’re feeling unsafe. They feel unsafe about Ebola. What they’re feeling unsafe about is the government response to different crises. And I think they’re beginning to feel a bit that Obama’s like that guy in the corner office, you know, who’s too cool for school, calls a meeting, says this has to change, doesn’t put anything in place to make sure it does change, then it goes wrong and he’s blaming everybody. So there’s a slight sense of that.”
If you’re not feeling unsafe with this clown in office, then you have no fear. Security – safety – is one of the key reasons women consider a vote for a candidate (or so the experts tell us). If that’s the case and we go with the “women will decide the vote” meme, then Dems are in even worse shape than I thought.
And I welcome that as well.
Walter Russell Meade does a great job of summing up the impact of yesterday’s “March of the Usual Lefty Organizations” in the name of taxing us into poverty with a carbon tax:
Street marches today are to real politics what street mime is to Shakespeare. This was an ersatz event: no laws will change, no political balance will tip, no UN delegate will have a change of heart. The world will roll on as if this march had never happened. And the marchers would have emitted less carbon and done more good for the world if they had all stayed home and studied books on economics, politics, science, religion and law. Marches like this create an illusion of politics and an illusion of meaningful activity to fill the void of postmodern life; the tribal ritual matters more than the political result.
And he’s precisely right. Besides being the usual collection of leftist professional protesters sprinkled with clueless pols and celebrities, nothing of note is going to change at the UN Climate Summit. Nothing. The outcome of that is, as they say, “already written in the books”.
The world’s largest emitters are declining to show up, even for appearances. The Chinese economy has been the No. 1 global producer of carbon dioxide since 2008, but President Xi Jinping won’t be gracing the U.N. with his presence. India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi (No. 3) will be in New York but is skipping the climate parley. Russian President Vladimir Putin (No. 4) has other priorities, while Japan (No. 5) is uncooperative after the Fukushima disaster that has damaged support for nuclear power. Saudi Arabia is dispatching its petroleum minister.
China, however, has found a wonderful new way to forever avoid any responsibility for reducing its output. It has become the “champion” for the poor and underdeveloped countries of the world and is helping put forward their demands:
China led calls by emerging economies on Friday for the rich to raise financial aid to the poor as a precondition for a United Nations deal to combat global warming. “When the financing is resolved, this will set a very good foundation to negotiate a good agreement,” China’s chief negotiator Xie Zhenhua told delegates from about 170 nations. Xie said developed nations, which have promised to raise aid to $100 billion a year by 2020, should have legally binding obligations to provide finance and technology to emerging economies, along with legally binding cuts in emissions.
Well of course the “rich nations” should … because that would have them pay China and India – two of the biggest carbon producers around. So China has, in effect, made an offer they must refuse, because leaving out the two largest carbon producers is sort of self-defeating, isn’t it? And anyway, we should pay for our “rich nation privilege”, shouldn’t we?
Meanwhile, Dr. Steven Koonin makes the point of saying what is clearly the truth in an op-ed in the WSJ – the science of climate change is not settled science. In fact, it’s not even close. Dr. Koonin, by the way, was the undersecretary for science in the Energy Department during Obama’s first term. So this isn’t some right-wing ideologue spouting off, but a serious scientist. Interestingly, he makes hash of the reliability of the climate models:
The models differ in their descriptions of the past century’s global average surface temperature by more than three times the entire warming recorded during that time. Such mismatches are also present in many other basic climate factors, including rainfall, which is fundamental to the atmosphere’s energy balance. As a result, the models give widely varying descriptions of the climate’s inner workings. Since they disagree so markedly, no more than one of them can be right.
And we’re still looking for that one model that is right … but remember, it is on the basis of those models that this entire “scare” or alarmism finds its roots. Make it a point to read the entire Koonin piece.
But never fear as our fearless leader will be in NY to address the UN summit (most likely a rushed speech between fund raisers and golf). Not that it will have any effect or make any difference. But in his mind, it will be “action”. In reality, it’ll be another example of him again being outplayed on the world stage.
Found on Facebook (Clare Spark), I think this nicely describes Obama’s speech last night:
I am not the first to point out that Obama is a postmodern president. Tonight he proved that label by his “not-so-fast” speech on foreign policy vis a vis ISIS. It was what the pomos call ” a performative act”–the last word in magical thinking.
Indeed. Platitudes, chest thumping, equivocation – and absolutely nothing new. He’s given a speech … the act is complete. The “ususal”. Talk equals action.
As we’ve become familiar with the “non-apology apology” in today’s life, we have now been introduced to the “non-strategy strategy”. What he talked about wasn’t a strategy, it was pure justification for doing … not much (even though he made it clear he doesn’t need Congress’s approval to do … not much). Apparently he thinks that a few airstrikes and few advisors will stimulate “allies” to do much more than that and take the bit and run with it. Yeah, that’s always worked so well in the past. Leading from behind again.
Also unknown is how one is going to take an obviously dispirited and seemingly unwilling (incompetent) Iraqi army and turn it around any time soon, but if there is a plan in there, that seems to be it, sort of. Oh, that and a “National Guard” (new name for the “awakening’s” militias)? Say what? But what I mostly got from it was he, like many other mistaken arm-chair generals, believes that he can accomplish “degrading” ISIS by air. First, any significant degradation would require a sustained air campaign on the level of our Gulf War “shock and awe” campaign. Not going to happen. Secondly, finding and killing ISIS C4 nodes, like we did with Saddam, is an extraordinarily difficult task in comparison. While we may randomly accomplish knocking out some of those nodes, it will be mostly luck without good hard timely intelligence (and acted upon immediately) about an enemy which remains mostly mobile.
And how about him deciding ISIS isn’t “Islam” or “Islamic”? Since when does he get to decide? Certainly some parts of greater Islam are against ISIS, but then Sunnis have no use for Shiites either do they? Does that make one or the other not “Islam”. Who gets to decide? Such declarations do Obama’s poor credibility even more damage and feeds the conspiracy theorists. But, that said, one has to wonder why it was so important for him to include that in a national policy speech. It is a total non-sequitur in my opinion. But for whatever reason, he chose to include it.
I think James Joyner has a good take on the speech. His first reaction:
The first thing I’d note is how much it sounded like any number of foreign policy speeches given by his predecessor. He declared again and again that, “As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people” and proudly enumerated all the ways that “we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country.”
Our Peace Prize president sounding like Bush … got to love the irony. Of course what Obama didn’t expound upon is how his withdrawal of troops from Iraq helped enable the ISIS expansion. Reality (i.e. an objective military assessment of the status of the Iraqi army and its actual abilities) rarely, if every, conforms to an arbitrary political deadlines. I think it is clear to everyone the pullout at that time was a very bad idea. It takes time to build an effective fighting force. What is now left in Iraq is a shattered and dispirited force. Because of that, we’re put in the position to again try to salvage a situation there. With greater forethought and less ideology, we would have kept US forces still there to ensure the Iraqi military was actually ready to confront a threat like ISIS instead of pretending it was so to keep a political promise.
Joyner’s second thought:
The second observation is that it’s still not clear exactly what Obama’s strategy is. His stated political objective is to “degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy” but he offered no plan that could plausibly do more than the former.
Well, except for, you know, “air strikes”. Hand wave, promise, done. Polls suck? Hitting ISIS popular? Wag the dog. It’s all about politics and elections, folks. Not the security of the United States. If someone had told him that his poll numbers would rise by not playing golf … well, there are limits you know. If it was truly about the security of the United States, this administration would be working to secure our borders, not ignoring the immigration laws.
Frankly, this is simply the logical continuation of Obama’s existing ISIL non-strategy and, indeed, his general counter-terrorism strategy of blowing up the bad guys and hoping they get tired of it eventually. We could call it the Global War on Terror but, alas, that name’s been taken. That’s rather unsatisfying but it’s not at all obvious what more the United States can or should do to degrade ISIL. The threat to the homeland is too tangential at present to warrant the proverbial boots on the ground. So, it’s Whack-a-Mole with no end in sight.
And the moles will continue to be whacked as we hear glowing progress reports from the Eastasian front.
Because? Well, that’s how we roll now. Back to the future.
Like her or not, I think MoDo pretty much nails it here:
A front-page article in The Times by Carl Hulse, Jeremy Peters and Michael Shear chronicled how the president’s disdain for politics has alienated many of his most stalwart Democratic supporters on Capitol Hill.
His bored-bird-in-a-gilded-cage attitude, the article said, “has left him with few loyalists to effectively manage the issues erupting abroad and at home and could imperil his efforts to leave a legacy in his final stretch in office.”
Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, an early Obama backer, noted that “for him, eating his spinach is schmoozing with elected officials.”
First the president couldn’t work with Republicans because they were too obdurate. Then he tried to chase down reporters with subpoenas. Now he finds members of his own party an unnecessary distraction.
His circle keeps getting more inner. He golfs with aides and jocks, and he spent his one evening back in Washington from Martha’s Vineyard at a nearly five-hour dinner at the home of a nutritional adviser and former White House assistant chef, Sam Kass.
The president who was elected because he was a hot commodity is now a wet blanket.
The extraordinary candidate turns out to be the most ordinary of men, frittering away precious time on the links. Unlike L.B.J., who devoured problems as though he were being chased by demons, Obama’s main galvanizing impulse was to get himself elected.
That fact was apparent to anyone who took the time to review what little we knew of Obama’s sparse political record. He only stopped at each elected office long enough to get himself elected to the next higher office. He had no record of accomplishing anything of substance at any of those stops and spent most of his time campaigning for the next job he wanted.
Yet that was ignored. What was gobbled up were his words. Words that were backed by nothing but hot air. He had no record as a “uniter”. He had no record as a legislator. He had no work record nor had he ever actually run anything that could be described to have given him “executive experience”.
So, what some of us saw, everyone got. An empty suit. A clueless political face that managed to pull off one of the most incredible, and it appears, devastating victories of modern times.
And yet his own party is now “surprised” he’s so useless and clueless. They’re surprised he’s been so pathetically incompetent. As they watch the world crumble, they still want to complain that it is someone else’s fault (meaning those old reliable standbys – the GOP and Bush).
But as each horrific day of this presidency moves into the next, it is clear that most of the country hold the president responsible for most of the problems – both domestic and international – we are suffering.
And Democrats, as well as the liberal media, have finally figured out that defending this failure is “politically dangerous”.
So we see the Claire McCaskills and Maureen Dowds of the world beginning to really distance themselves from “The One” – the one they backed to the hilt.
Rats. Sinking ship.
Sometimes though, it’s not particularly helpful to be right about something or someone, as those of us who pointed out all these problems before Obama was elected were. Because when you’re right about something like that, it means you’re also right about the consequences.
Cast your eyes upon them – they are exactly what logic dictated would happen when you give a job as important as the presidency to a grossly unqualified man or woman.
How else to describe this president when he makes remarks like this:
President Barack Obama claimed Monday night during a Democratic Party fundraising dinner that the United States is ‘stronger’ than it was when he assumed office in January 2009.
His statement, though, appears to be at odds with key economic indicators, America’s sliding reputation abroad, and the American public’s estimation of the direction the country has taken under the Obama administration.
‘In all sorts of ways,’ Obama told Democratic partisans who paid between $15,000 to $32,400 to hear him speak, ‘we are not just stronger than when we – where we were when I first came into office.’
‘It’s fair to say that America has the best cards when you look at other countries around the world. There’s no other country you’d rather be than the United States.’
‘Nobody can compete with us when we’re making the right decisions,’ he said.
The unspoken implication here is since we’re “stronger”, he’s made all the “right decisions”. Of course that absurd implication can be confronted factually at all sorts of levels.
Take the economy:
Grove City College economics professor Tracy Miller wrote Monday in an op-ed for The Daily Caller that ‘[o]ver the first five years of Obama’s presidency, the U.S. economy grew more slowly than during any five-year period since just after the end of World War II, averaging less than 1.3 percent per year.’
The percentage of working-age Americans who are part of the U.S. workforce has reached the lowest level since 1978, with one out of every three staying on the sidelines and not working.
And the federal government’s debts have ballooned by $7 trillion since Obama took office, a sum larger than the accumulated U.S. debts between 1776 and the end of the Clinton administration.
Consumer confidence is at -17. That’s right, minus seventeen according to Gallup’s recent Economic Confidence Index.
You don’t even have to cite the debacle his lack of foreign policy has wrought (or his lack of leadership on the illegal immigration flood) to make the point that he’s either lying through his teeth or he’s delusional. He seems be reading a script from spin doctors and seems to be nothing but a propaganda mouthpiece now. An empty suit. The “face.” He doesn’t seem to even care. Most of the recent optics (vacation after vacation while the world is in crisis) are simply not what anyone who cared would do if in a leadership position. But he seems to think he’s entitled and we peasants should just suck it up and cope. “Imperial presidency” doesn’t even begin to describe this crew.
Credibility? Not much:
By a 20-point margin, they believe the nation is weaker under Obama’s leadership, according to a Fox News poll released in June. Just 35 per cent told pollsters they agreed with what Obama said Monday night.
The “Monday night” refers to the bucket of slop above that he served up to those true believers paying 32K for dinner.
And that has led to this from a CNN poll:
The poll also indicates that the public’s trust in government is at an all-time low.
Frankly, you won’t find me lamenting this particularly, but it is an illustration as to how poorly this administration had done its job (Remember, one of Obama’s stated goals was to increase trust in government). Gallup piles on with this:
Many more Americans now mention a non-economic issue — such as dissatisfaction with government, immigration, or ethical and moral decline — than an economic one as the top problem.
This presidency has been a disaster. And it continues, without seeming end, to make all the wrong decisions almost without exception. The fact that the public seems to finally be waking up to it tells me a lot about how this presidency and administration have benefitted from a press reluctant to lay it all out as it happened. The problem the press faces now is it has become so bad that their credibility (such that it is) is at risk if they continue to ignore and/or attempt to explain away what has become obvious to almost everyone. That and the “Bush is to blame” blanket excuse has expired for all but the sycophants (although Obama again tried to deploy it this week when denying responsibility for the problems in Iraq).
This has been an awful era for this country. Almost everything this president promised has been found to be either nonsense, demonstrably false or a lie. Instead of the “most transparent” administration in history, it has become the most opaque. We see indications of criminal conduct by apparatchiks every day (really, 20 people under suspicion all had their emails destroyed? Really?). We see a “Justice” department that ignores the law and/or selectively enforces it depending on whether the group in question is a favored one or not (New Black Panthers and video of voter intimidation? Nah. Vote ID laws? You bet.). We see executive department bureaucrats assuming powers and making rules that are beyond their scope (just about everything the EPA has done). And, in fact, we see an administration that has mostly ignored the Constitution and the limits on power it imposes on the executive.
Now we’re engaged in redefining what “stronger” means. Apparently, in Obama Newspeak, stronger is really “weaker and poorer”. If that’s what he was striving to accomplish, then he can claim to have been remarkably successful in making us “stronger”.
One of the more surprising things of late, at least to me, is the short memory the left seems to have. As I’ve observed them over the years, one of the things I’ve noticed is they seem to understand the saying “in politics, perception is reality.” Or at least they did. And it was why they tried to seize and control the narrative. If they could fashion the perception of the people to be to their advantage, then the “reality” would follow. One only has to think back of the 8 years of GW Bush to watch that in action.
But now it seems they’ve either forgotten that point or think they’re immune to it. Or maybe they’re just better on the offense than the defense.
Take the IRS scandal. They continue to push the line that it is a phony scandal. But what’s the perception of the people when it comes to the IRS in general? Well, you’ll find very few who harbor kind thoughts about the agency, even if it has never crossed their path during their lifetime. The IRS is a tax agency and no one is particularly fond of tax collectors. So when the agency is implicated in an apparent scandal, the left trots out the “phony scandal” meme expecting that sort of a hand-wave to magically make the scandal disappear off of the public’s radar screen.
However, it hasn’t, has it? Why? Because the public’s perception of the IRS fully allows what is being said about the agency could be true. They have absolutely no problem believing that the IRS was used for political purposes. The public’s interest in the scandal has remained high. So perception being “reality”, the left trying to deny something that the public perceives as being true or at least having some truth to it isn’t a good situation to be in, is it?
Immigration has the same problem. While the left would like to characterize what is happening on the border as something like a “children’s crusade” and then damn anyone who is against it as hating children (their usual “got to the extreme” tactic at work), the public perceives this differently. That’s evident by the protests in various towns where the government is trying to house these illegals. So again, the left is trying to create a meme the public just doesn’t buy. They understand what unregulated and uncontrolled access means in terms of cost, disease and many other factors. Perception? That Democrats are defending the indefensible and trying to blame the problem on others. The fact remains that this White House has never seriously addressed meaningful immigration reform … even when Democrats had solid majorities in both houses of Congress and a Democrat in the White House.
A third problem the left faces is an incompetent president. He seems more and more disengaged, confused, and weak. The meme the left continued to push during the earlier days of Obama’s term was that those who criticized him were racists. But the public perception has built over the years has little to do with skin color and a lot to do with character or the lack thereof. Foreign policy disaster after foreign policy disaster are hard to deny. Oh Democrats have certainly tried to put a good face on all of it, but it remains a disaster to even the most low information voter. You can almost literally see America’s power waning as this man remains in the White House. And the lack of respect he’s shown throughout the leadership of the world points to much more that “race”.
This isn’t a secret to most of the public. So when the left tries to fight the perception of incompetence and ineptness with “racism”, it sounds incredibly hollow. Incompetence is usually fairly obvious. In this case, it is very obvious. Add to that the strident application of “racism” broadly against anyone who criticizes Obama and it fits most of the population at some point or another. It’s not an argument meant to persuade, but instead to shame. And when individuals assess their motives for saying what they said and realize that the left is just flinging poo in an effort to shut them up, “perception becomes reality”.
These certainly aren’t the only problems the left and Democrats face. But they’re the most obvious. Perception is being fashioned daily by a president who simply isn’t seen as credible anymore by a very large portion of the population. And instead of understanding that and attempting damage control, they double down and defend the indefensible.
You have to wonder what the toll of such a defense will be in both the midterms and the next presidential election.