Green Room

Can Obama Save His Presidency?

posted at 7:02 pm on August 31, 2009 by

Jennifer Rubin at Contentions asks whether the Obama presidency, which is now in free fall, can recover. In pondering the possible answers, she quotes Newt Gingrich who, she writes, “gets to the core issue and the real choice for the president”:

Obama faces a choice: He can attempt to run a left-wing government against the American people. Or he can govern from the center with a large majority of Americans supporting him. He can have either his left angry or the American people angry. We will know in September which choice he has made.

With all due respect to Ms. Rubin and Mr. Gingrich, I think we already know which choice Obama will make because he has already made it. Even if he were willing to try, Obama can no sooner forsake his radical teachings and beliefs than a leopard can change its spots. Sure, he can go through the motions, as he did beginning with his address at the 2004 Democratic Convention and continuing throughout his campaign. He can profess to pretend that there is no blue America, no red America, just the United States of America — but playing a part is as far as he will ever be able to go. It is not just belligerence or arrogance (though he’s plenty arrogant and easily riled) that has prompted him to conduct so many closed-door sessions at the White House with only Democrats from Capitol Hill. It is, rather, Barack being Barack.

Obama was born into a radical political world view fostered by both his natural parents and, in the absence of any parent after his mother’s death, reinforced by Frank Marshall Davis, a black activist and champion of identity politics. When he came to Chicago as a young adult, Obama sought out and found the same sorts of people, from Wright and Pfleger to William Ayers.

How surprising then should it be that, for Obama, socialism is the norm — the gold standard according to which he sets his political compass and by which he attempts, however futilely, to plot America’s future course. It is his socialist philosophy that informs and infects his policies and his understanding of the job of President.

Obama’s day of reckoning has already come, here in the infancy of his presidency, as the polls each passing day attest. He could go through the pretense of being a centrist leader for a few precious weeks, maybe even months, but the real political center for him is so remote and so foreign that in the end the act of pretending would be as distasteful for him as his “normal” policies are for increasing numbers of Americans.

The fate of the Obama presidency is, I believe, a fait accompli. The question now is not how it will end — but when. I for one am growing increasingly skeptical that he can survive a complete four-year term without the American people or himself at some point crying “Enough!”

Cross-posted at Zombie Contentions

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I was thinking of starting a bet at InTrade, that Obama will resign before the end of 2010. Citing nervous exhaustion or something.

YehuditTX on August 31, 2009 at 7:53 PM

I was thinking of starting a bet at InTrade, that Obama will resign before the end of 2010. Citing nervous exhaustion or something.

I suspect you’d get some takers.

HowardPortnoy on August 31, 2009 at 7:54 PM

Well, these are uncertain times but one thing of which you can be certain: he will never say “enough.”

rrpjr on August 31, 2009 at 8:02 PM

He wants to create an emergency that allows him to “temporarily” suspend the constitution.

I think he’s racing against the clock. If he can’t push things out of control quickly enough, then he’ll get a major setback in the 2010 elections.

At that point, if he can still create the national crisis, he’ll have to bypass Congress altogether to pull it off. Unless the GOP gets a strong majority, that won’t be as hard as it seems, though. He already violates the constitution with impunity.

The next several months are going to be very interesting. If we start seeing some of the radical policies come to pass (such as the “diversity” silencing of the media), then I suggest you get scared – very scared. Otherwise, I don’t think he can pull it off in 1 or 2 terms.

Daggett on August 31, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Swing voters don’t have very long-term memories, so that Obama still has a chance to save his re-election, even if his ideological efforts are curbed. But first he has to find his own Dick Morris, or even want to find his own Dick Morris to lead him down the triangulation path.

Having recruited many of the House Blue Dogs to run in 2006 and 2008 and having been part of the Clinton White House, Rahm is the most likely candidate, since to him power appears to trumph ideology and retaining power past 2012 would then trumph any far left agenda for Obama after the 2010 midterms. But Barack doesn’t like to deal with flack within his own ranks, and doesn’t handle criticism very well, especially from his perceived “allies” both within the party and within the big media outlets. If it comes to saving his presidency or telling his core special interest groups ‘no’, he may wimp out on the latter and decide to let his surrogates run a scorched Earth re-election campaign in 2012, while he plays the detached onlooker (think Nixon in ’72 and the Committee to Re-Elect the President for a template, only with a casino of race cards thrown in).

jon1979 on August 31, 2009 at 9:04 PM

I’m waiting for the pundits to wake up and smell the coffee and start writing about reality.

I think we already know which choice Obama will make because he has already made it. Even if he were willing to try, Obama can no sooner forsake his radical teachings and beliefs than a leopard can change its spots.

So true.

INC on August 31, 2009 at 9:44 PM

I’m thinking more and more he won’t resign; he’ll refuse to resign; BUT he might be impeached and convicted by a republican congress in 2010.

B Man on September 1, 2009 at 2:20 AM

At that point, if he can still create the national crisis, he’ll have to bypass Congress altogether to pull it off. Unless the GOP gets a strong majority, that won’t be as hard as it seems, though. He already violates the constitution with impunity.

Should a real national crisis emerge, such as a terrorist attack (a chance being made more likely with the current investigation of the CIA by Holder) I’d bet the response by this administration and it’s far left supporters in terms of a power-grab will make the Patriot Act look like small potatoes in its intrusion into citizen privacy. As it is, they want to enable “emergency control” over the public internet in case of a “national crisis”, much like Iran and China clamp down during a national crisis.

tpitman on September 1, 2009 at 6:02 AM

As it is, they want to enable “emergency control” over the public internet in case of a “national crisis”, much like Iran and China clamp down during a national crisis.

tpitman on September 1, 2009 at 6:02 AM

Yes, I agree. Also a lot of media would get shut down, too (talk radio, anyone)?

Daggett on September 1, 2009 at 6:37 AM

Can Obama Save His Presidency?

Waaaay too premature.

Is someone smoking a bit much green, and not sharing? )

Serr8d on September 1, 2009 at 7:25 AM

*At the risk of being labeled a conspiracy theorist, allow me to hypothesize that almost every action that this administration has undertaken fits very nicely within the construct of the Cloward-Piven strategy.

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 8:28 AM

*At the risk of being labeled a conspiracy theorist, allow me to hypothesize that almost every action that this administration has undertaken fits very nicely within the construct of the Cloward-Piven strategy.

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 8:28 AM

That’s exactly right. And for those who aren’t familiar with Cloward-Piven, here it is in a nutshell:

Manufacture a big enough crisis (destroy the economy and collapse the dollar and/or create a civil unrest emergency) and you can use it as an excuse to grab unlimited power and do just about anything.

Daggett on September 1, 2009 at 8:33 AM

Daggett on September 1, 2009 at 8:33 AM
—–
Ah, but that’s the rub. What kind of a crisis would be equally effective in, say, Los Angeles and middle-of-nowhere, South Dakota*?

Cloward-Piven calls for an overall takeover, and conversion to centrally-planned socialist system. That will not work well (as defined by trains running on time, if nothing else) in cities, and will be an epic fail in the rural red states.

What’s he going to do, order soldiers to make farmers plow and plant at gunpoint? When the majority of those same soldiers have more in common culturally with the farmers than with their political masters in D.C.?

Cloward-Piven sounds more like a recipe to split the U.S. into several smaller units based on the predominant local culture.

Mew

* No offense to the residents of South Dakota, I could just as easily have picked on Nebraska or Texas…

acat on September 1, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Cloward-Piven calls for an overall takeover, and conversion to centrally-planned socialist system. That will not work well (as defined by trains running on time, if nothing else) in cities, and will be an epic fail in the rural red states.

You’re right, it’s supposed to path the way to a socialist system.

Here’s the really funny thing about Cloward-Piven. It’s based on the notion that you can hasten the fall of capitalism by overwhelming and bankrupting the government with more demands than it can handle.

BUT, since the Cloward-Piven METHOD of overwhelming the government is to demand more services (such as welfare) and money than it can handle, a better way to describe the process would be:

It’s based on the notion that you can hasten the fall of capitalism by overwhelming and bankrupting the government with more socialist program demands than it can handle.

It is supremely ironic that the plan uses the inherent flaw in socialism (you can’t pay for it or manage it) to bring about the fall of — capitalism? In order to do what? Install a totally socialist system!!!

It cracks me up. Unfortunately, the strategy can work if, by “work”, we mean they take over and ruin the country.

Daggett on September 1, 2009 at 9:34 AM

A factor I believe a number of you are omitting is Obama’s psyche — which is still largely an unknown. He has shown remarkable poise at times and has an affable enough facade. But I think ultimately it is that: a facade. And no one knows for sure what lay underneath.

But there are clues. He is extremely thin-skinned and becomes testy when challenged, accusing the challenger of distorting facts. He is also one of the most arrogant people I have ever seen in a position of such enormous power. These character traits, coupled with his extreme world view and capacity for making wrong choices, suggest to me that there may be something volatile bubbling under that placid facade. Call it the Richard Corey effect. I just wonder how long he can keep these dynamic forces in stasis.

HowardPortnoy on September 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Cloward-Piven sounds more like a recipe to split the U.S. into several smaller units based on the predominant local culture.

No, it is a strategy to overwhelm the existing federal structure to the point of collapse in order to implement their preferred system, even if it entails totalitarian methods and the end of individual freedoms to do so.

What kind of a crisis would be equally effective in, say, Los Angeles and middle-of-nowhere, South Dakota*?

Um, maybe an economic crisis, or a -cough- healthcare crisis? Or possibly, maybe, a climate crisis?

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 9:51 AM

A factor I believe a number of you are omitting is Obama’s psyche — which is still largely an unknown.

*Yes, there are clues.

He scares me.

He has proven time and again that he would sooner see the world crumble around him rather than admit being wrong about anything. (as he has always said™)

hillbillyjim on September 1, 2009 at 9:58 AM