Can Obama Save His Presidency?
posted at 7:02 pm on August 31, 2009 by Howard Portnoy
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