Barack the Toxic

September 28, 2010

One key job of a sitting president, especially in an election year, is to conduct oneself in a way that helps your Party win races.  If you’re a popular president, you must tirelessly stump for candidates.  If you’re unpopular, you can still act forceful and in-charge. Even if people disagree with you, their primal instincts will push them toward complying with a confident troop leader.

As president, your legislative calendar should be carefully crafted and timed to boost your comrades fighting for office.  Bills should be introduced that make your guys look good, while forcing the other guys to either dodge or take unpopular stands.  A steady stream of feel-good executive orders & speeches should emanate from the Oval Office throughout the Fall.  “Third-rail” issues should be scrupulously avoided.

Needless to say, obama, neither savvy politician nor experienced legislator, much less a leader, has failed on all these counts.  Ultimately, obama doesn’t care: the common complaint among Democratic candidates this year has been that the White House has told them, in no uncertain terms, that they are on their own.

Even worse than these sins of omission, the obama administration has committed several missteps toxic to an already struggling Democratic party:

Health Care Reform

Way back in 2009, 3/4 of Americans favored health care reform, with at least 2/3 supporting universal single payer.  Possessing momentum, a mandate, and a 60-vote majority, enacting HCR should’ve been a slam-dunk.  Yet the entire Democratic machine stood flat-footed as the nascent TP staged protests against HCR, before belatedly dispatching Nancy Pelosi to engage in a puerile pissing match.  The bill went over like a lead zeppelin in congress, ambushed by blue dogs who’d slipped their leashes.  It was in any case an academic exercise, as the HCR bill exited the White House stillborn; a perverted creation of BO’s secret sessions with industry lobbyists, a Health Care Reform with no “care” and scant “reform” in it.

And thus was an eminently popular idea, whose time had clearly arrived, become an albatross draped about the neck of every Democrat running for office, with Martha Coakley the honorary first recipient.

The Oil Spill

As terrible as this disaster was, it nevertheless offered the obama administration a rare opportunity to gain respect, by presenting a striking contrast of executive vigor to Bush’ callousness & ineptitude during Katrina.

Instead, obama ended up looking even more callous and impotent.  Consequently, in the political chess game, Katrina as a dig against the GOP is permanently off the board.    (Maneuverability on this issue was not helped by the self-coronated “Green Economy President’s” advocation a month earlier for expanded offshore drilling.)

Trying to act like he actually cared, BO blurted out some tough guy nonsense about ‘a boot on BP’s throat’.  Which was as convincing as the muttered oaths of the wimp who’s had his lunch money stolen yet again.

A potential fatal blow to the drill-baby-drillers, the oil spill became instead a Democratic failure.  To add injury to insult, a chance to push for accelerating the transition to renewable energy was lost.

TARP

A Bush program that everyone beyond Wall Street utterly abhorred, BO eagerly gobbled up the sloppy seconds.  And, Presto!  The GOP’s plague with the middle class voter, their eternal coddling of the rich & greedy, infected the Democrats as well.

Immigration

A full 70% of Americans favor increased controls on illegal immigration.  Only proglydites, whose vote you presumably already have, and libertarians & capitalists, whose vote you’ll never get, favor illegal immigration. Yet the obama administration went out of its way to combat Arizona’s SB1070 via legal action and public condemnation.  Now, there were many paths to tread on this subject —  decrying racial profiling while simultaneously announcing a cosmetic boost to border patrol, for example, or simply ignoring it — that skirted a controversial, compromising stand.  Instead, obama firmly linked all Democrats with illegal immigration.  Every news story now includes an obligatory reference to ‘conservatives seek stronger border controls, while liberals (!) favor easing restrictions on immigration.’

The Mosque

The political equivalent of a high voltage power line lying in a puddle, sparking and buzzing,  the Ground Zero mosque was unhesitatingly taken up by obama.

Nearly 80% of Americans oppose the construction of that mosque as insensitive and in bad taste.  Yet the administration spent a good two weeks devoting its efforts to defense of the mosque, raising the canards of racism and 1st Amendment rights.  As a result, the Democrats came across as jihadiphile desecrators of hallowed ground.

Legislative Calendar

On Capitol Hill, the White House has chosen to: half-heartedly launch a repeal of DADT without first lining up enough votes; punt on the Bush tax cuts expiration after a three-and-out botching of the accompanying PR spin; threatened to force on its own congressmen a pre-election vote on a GOP-friendly, White House proposal for a $200 billion tax cut to businesses.

The list could go on.

What kind of Party leader repeatedly takes positions that 2/3 to 3/4 of Americans oppose?  One answer is that obama is simply a bungling idiot, & his “handlers” by extension.

Or, realizing BO’s low approvals were irreparable, the White House may have instead consciously chosen to rally its extremist base.   From the Paris Communards to the Moral Majority, this has been a standard, and not altogether unwise, tactic.

Another explanation for obama’s string of toxic stances exists: that he is a manchurian candidate, a trojan horse snuck into the Democratic Party and designed to destroy it from within.  If so, then BO’s intentionally took these toxic missteps (or at least his creators knew he’d take them).

What will it take for the Democratic Party to realize its leader is poison?   Apparently, nothing short of a midterm clobbering.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.

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They’re Shooting Hostages

January 21, 2010
by ‘tamerlane’

The liberals just shot their first hostage.  The candidacy of Martha Coakley, a solid if nondescript Democrat, was ceremoniously marched out and executed in broad daylight by the voters of the most liberal state in the Union.  Their demands had been very clear:  pass a real public health care reform bill, not a sham private health insurance mandate.  But the Democrats in Congress, and the fraud in the White House, refused to heed the warnings.  They thought they could put lipstick on a pig, call it “health care reform”, and we’d all be duped like we were in the Spring of ‘08.

Massachusetts was a bad place to test this assumption.  Bay Staters embrace their legacy of political defiance, dating back to when the original Patriot Act was enacted in 1775 on Lexington Green.  Despite being predominately Democrat or democrat-leaning, half of registered voters there are independents.  This is also an electorate with a habit of periodically placing conservatives in high office to course-correct its leftward drift.  Mitt Romney and Bill Weld were governors, and in the 1996 senate race, Bay Staters were toying with electing the conservative Weld until Kerry, in an unforgettable debate, woke up himself and the voters, then put on the afterburners.

There’s no denying that Coakley, a backroom player who figured she’d already done all that was required by maneuvering her way into the nomination, mismanaged her campaign.  Anyone who can’t identify Curt Schilling is unfit for office in Massachusetts.  But as any Gloucester fisherman will tell you, red skies in morning:  sailors take warning.  The clouds of this brewing red storm were ominously apparent for months, yet Coakley, the state party, and the DNC all were caught asleep at the wheel.

The Dems knew — and openly proclaimed — the symbolic and tangible significance of this race, of the need to replace Teddy, the longtime public healthcare champion, with someone who would ensure passage of Obama’s bill.  Did they not think the GOP was cognizant of that significance, too?  Unlike Democrats, Republicans have practical experience getting things done, like earning annual bonuses, outsourcing jobs, and running effective campaigns.  The RNC marshaled its forces and invested in Brown’s campaign at the critical moment.  The GOP correctly judged the tide, and deftly plotted a course toward the open berth at Kennedy Bay.

In a bizarre twist, the Democrats now had to play catch-up in a race they were leading.  Their response:  appeal to the voters’ desire to support Obama and to pass his health bill.  The Dem leadership must have been tippling off some left-over barrels of kool-aid, because all the polls showed that Brown’s surge was due solely to a backlash over Obama’s joke of a bill.  Coakley’s only salvation would have been to publicly distance herself from it, to declare “when I get to the Senate, I’ll won’t vote for any health care reform bill unless it contains a public option!”  But Coakley is a mundane party hack.

Massachusetts is Clinton country — Hillary won the primary by 15 points.  So in desperation, the DNC dispatched Bill to point out how repulsively rightwing Brown was.  But then they also sent in Obama, and made a last ditch appeal to “save health care.”  And that’s what the voters of Massachusetts, in their minds at least, did.  They shot a hostage to save real health care reform.

Unfortunately, once you start shooting your hostages, things can only end one of two ways:  either your demands are met, or you end up dead, too.  The rightwingers are crowing loud and mighty that the Brown victory proves that Americans hate “ObamaCare” for being too “socialist.”  In Massachusetts, which has its own limited public health insurance program, ObamaCare was not socialist enough.  As this plays out, liberals would do well to remember that the enemy of my enemy is usually still my enemy.  Extreme measures may be necessary to break the obots’ hold.  Electing Republicans simply to punish the Democrats might feel good in the moment, but it won’t do good in the long run.

So who’s the next hostage to go?  The Dem incumbents already considered the most vulnerable were: Blanche Lincoln, AK; Michael Bennet, CO; and our dear, old Harry Reid, NV; plus Dorgan’s seat in ND. Barbara Boxer had been considered a lock.  Democrats like to think of California as one big, smooth-sailing cruise ship for them.  The Poseidon was a cruise ship, too.  Boxer, an ardent Obama supporter who’ll likely face the dynamic political outsider Carly Fiorino, is already starting to sweat.

These senators, and a large portion of Democrats in the House, should have the image of the Massachusetts hostage shooting burned into their retinas.  Instead of trying to pass Obama’s sham bill, they ought to jump ship ASAP.  All politicians have a keen sense of self-preservation, but most don’t possess the brightest of minds.  Nor will the obot bolsheviks who hijacked the Party relinquish power without a fight.  So there’s no guarantee the Democrats will right their ship before the full storm hits.  And with a capsized Democratic Party, we’re at the mercy of the GOP.

Coakley would have made a competent, liberal senator.  Brown will be a horrible, extreme conservative one.  Losing the sixty-vote majority, which failed to yield any real results, (and which in any case was dependent on the DINO Lieberman) is no real loss.  Still, handing the enemy a solid liberal seat was an expensive way to send a message.  Let’s hope our demands will now be taken seriously.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.