LOS ANGELES, February 15, 2012 – Barack Obama took advantage of a devastating financial crisis to gain power. With shallow slogans such as “hope,” “change,” and “Yes, we can,” he promised to unite Americans and turn the economy around.
Ronald Reagan inherited a mess from Jimmy Carter and turned it around. He enacted pro-growth policies that worked.
Bill Clinton inherited a mess from George H. Bush and got lucky. While he did nothing to actively help, he was smart enough to get out of the way and let the Internet revolution change the world for the better.
George W. Bush inherited a mess from Bill Clinton and turned it around. Yet despite pro-growth policies that led to six straight years of blockbuster growth, a financial crisis in 2008 caused financial pain and hurt.
Now President Obama is running for reelection, and he cannot run on his record. He inherited a mess from George W. Bush and then made things worse. He enacted anti-growth policies. His ideology led to him siding with environmentalists and other liberal activists often at odds with job creators.
Even the most charitable analysis of the Obama presidency would be one of stagnation and a lack of improvement.
Things are not getting better. There is not improvement. The turnaround is non-existent. Mr. Obama and his surrogates will try to dispute this, but soothing words do not put people back to work. Neither do increased environmental restrictions, burdensome Obamacare regulations, or high-speed rail fantasies.
Mr. Obama was given a “shellacking” in the 2010 midterm elections, but he continues to pursue his desire to “fundamentally transform” America undaunted.
Yet for all of his flawed policy decisions, his biggest flaw is a personal one. Mr. Obama confuses political opponents with enemies. He demonizes people who disagree with him. He is for the people, and anyone on the other side is “playing partisan politics.”
He orders people to work together while castigating opponents at every turn.
This is why Mr. Obama has become a tragic figure. He came in with an optimistic tone of “let’s fix this.” In 2012 he simply looks for others to blame. This is undignified, unhelpful, and unpresidential. While he may not have an official “enemies list” in writing like Richard Nixon did, he certainly has spent far too much time demonizing private citizens for a sin no greater than disagreeing with him.
He tried demonizing Fox News. They were derided as not being a real news network. Everything Mr. Obama does is poll-tested, and the bashing of Fox News stopped once the polls showed that the strategy was failing. Fox News has a larger audience than its competitors combined, and attacking over half the news watching public was not smart.
He tried demonizing talk radio, starting with Rush Limbaugh. This strategy failed miserably because Rush thrives on such criticism. If Bill Clinton was the best thing that ever happened to Rush Limbaugh, Barack Obama was a close second. Attacking Rush allows him to rally his supporters, energizing them in a way Mr. Obama does not want. This is like stoking the bear, and Mr. Obama quickly surrendered that fight.
He tried demonizing Wall Street, which became problematic given that he has raised hundreds of millions of dollars from the very investment bankers he lambasted. Barack Obama is Wall Street, and the people were not fooled.
He wanted to demonize Congress, but for the first two years of his presidency the Democrats controlled everything. The Republicans held a majority on the Supreme Court, so he attacked the High Court. That failed.
Then the Republicans took over the House. Mr. Obama tried to make new House Speaker John Boehner the sinister enemy. This failed because most Americans had any idea who the non-descript Caucasian fellow from somewhere in Ohio actually was. Also, Mr. Boehner was a sensitive man who burst into tears at the drop of a hat. It is hard to make a guy out to be mean-spirited when he is crying.
Bill Clinton had Newt Gingrich, but Mr. Boehner simply was not ideological enough to attack. So Mr. Obama went after Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the only Jewish Republican in Congress. Yet those attacks failed because Harry Reid and the Democrats controlled the Senate. The “Do-Nothing” Senate made it tough to attack a House that was actually doing its work.
Mr. Obama thought he had a foil in the Tea Party. Yet the Occupy Wall Street movement was so violent that it made the Tea Party seem what is was by comparison—peaceful concerned citizens engaging in democracy.
Mr. Obama tried to demonize the Koch Brothers, who fund various conservative causes throughout the United States, including Americans For Prosperity. The Koch Brothers are billionaires, and they are from an oil family. So attacking wealthy oil barons seemed like a good trick. This strategy failed because the Koch Brothers earn their money legally. They make great bogeymen for liberals, but Mr. Obama could never articulate why it was problematic in America for conservatives to fund causes they believe in. The attacks on the Koch Brothers was hypocritical given that Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party receive most of their entire bankroll from George Soros, a convicted insider trader.
Mr. Obama tried going after Grover Norquist.
(Full disclosure: Grover is a friend of mine.)
Grover Norquist is about as dangerous to society as Grover from Sesame Street. They both have furry beards. Mr. Norquist heads up Americans for Tax Reform, which requests that candidates sign a pledge not to raise taxes. While this is a threat to liberal tax raisers, the rest of the country likes people who try to help fire politicians who raise taxes after promising to cut them. This is legal. Mr. Norquist is not influential because he tells people what to do. He derives his power from being a voice for millions of people who already agreed with him. He (and I) are supply-siders. Mr. Obama is a Keynesian. That should not be worthy of presidential hatred.
Mr. Obama is clever. He does not like to leave fingerprints. He relies on surrogates from David Axelrod to MSNBC to the Jayson Blair (formerly New York) Times. Now the Daily Caller is reporting that Media Matters is coordinating with the White House to try and attack Fox News.
(Full disclosure: I wrote a few opinion pieces in 2011 for the Daily Caller.)
Media Matters, Politico, Daily Kos, and Huffington Post are some of the main media sources where the angry left go to verbally burn conservatives in effigy. Yet if they were merely yelling at parked cars and arguing with other inanimate objects, they would not be as controversial as they are.
These entities apparently now control our government. The dots are being connected, and it seems the Obama administration simply cannot stop the slash and burn approach to politics. David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett will not mind if innocent conservatives are harassed, stalked, and defamed. The goal is to get Mr. Obama reelected, and apparently the ends justify the means.
It did not have to be this way. Mr. Obama could have been the person he pretended to be in 2007, a unifier who would heal the planets. He could have been the person who pleaded with us all in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting to get along better.
The reason he failed to do this is because he was never about unity. He needs division to govern because his goal is to fundamentally transform a nation that a majority of Americans do not want changed. The only way to convert that majority is through bullying. By intimidating and regulating conservatives, they can be silenced out of existence.
This is why Mr. Obama became the Occupy Wall Street President who tore this nation asunder. He is a leftist, and the left deeply believes in taking conservatives and ripping their throats out.
Mr. Obama is prepared to get in the gutter to get reelected. Scorched Earth will be the approach.
His predecessor knew that the real enemies are al Qaeda and other global Islamofascists. Mr. Obama dislikes terrorists, but he hates conservative Republicans much more. Listen to his speeches. Listen to his supporters. Their own words tell us all how they really feel and what truly motivates them.
They do not see conservative Republicans as opponents. They see those favoring supply-side tax cuts and a Neocon foreign policy as enemies.
This is the tragedy of Barack Obama, a man who held such promise and let his own vitriol supersede the good he could have done.
As his reelection gets more difficult, expect his list of enemies to grow. Any conservative Republican who breathes is now a target.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
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Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.
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