Four years after he was elected as a self-described ‘hopemonger’ promising a new post-partisan era, President Barack Obama is trying to claw his way to re-election with an ugly, divisive campaign in which he is playing the role of fearmonger-in-chief…
[I]f Obama is re-elected the way he has run his campaign may make it almost impossible for him to govern effectively – let alone in the spirit of the ‘better angels of our nature’ that Abraham Lincoln cited in his first inaugural speech and that Obama used to love quoting.
It was John McCain who said in 2008 that he would not ‘take the low road to the highest office in the land’.
Obama seems to believe that the load road is his only route back to the White House in 2012. It is the kind of strategy that Candidate Obama in 2008 would have viewed as beneath contempt.
A senior Romney strategist who asked not to be named said they expected more attacks from Obama. “The Chicago guys know that he is below 50 on both ballot and approval,” he told National Journal. “It is not that Obama likes to be a hatchet man. They think they have got to bring Romney back down by bringing his negatives back up…. But it is dangerous to have the president himself doing it.”
Madden called it “unfortunate he has to close the final days of the campaign this way.” But that is how most campaigns end, with one candidate ratcheting up the attack rhetoric and the other one trying to stay above the fray. In past campaigns, the one mounting the assault is often the one who either feels the election is slipping away or who finds it impossible to accept that the challenger is making the race so close.
What is President Obama doing? What votes is he trying to get? I said last week he had better find ways to appeal to more white voters, especially white working women, or he was going to lose. Well, the Obama campaign must have had a meeting and decided it needed the campaign message to center on the president’s childish, not-quite-cute name-calling, highlighted by vulgar insults. In the meeting it was obviously decided that the clumsy use of “Romnesia” could stay, but that if the president used his own mouth to call Mitt Romney a “bull*****er” that would really appeal to…? Appeal to whom? I have no idea what the Obama campaign is about, 11 days before the election.
In the campaign autopsies that will start in less than two weeks, Oct. 19 could be identified as the exact date that any remnant of Obama’s call for hope and change vanished. The president has descended to a new Nixonian level of slander and slur. Hooting about “Romnesia” and now attributing the idea that Mitt Romney is a “bull*****er” to a 6-year-old girl is where Obama has taken us.
In the final stretch, Obama’s campaign isn’t about offering hope and change but is about appealing to a coarse ignorance that he sees in voters.
But even looking beyond the biased analyses being published by liberal sources, the refusal of many Democrats to accept the reality of the Romney surge may be rooted in something more emotional than just skewed poll numbers. Many if not most liberals share the attitude of contempt for the Republicans that were so easily discerned in the attitudes of both President Obama and Vice President Biden during the debates. Though most Americans have rejected the attempt by the president’s campaign to define Romney as a heartless plutocrat or a monster, liberals bought it hook, line and sinker. The idea that such a person could have caught and passed Obama in the space of a few short weeks seems impossible to them not so much because they think the numbers don’t support this thesis but because they just don’t want it to be so.
Rather than debunking Romney’s wave, liberal analysts who seek to deny it are merely confirming their inability to look dispassionately at what has occurred. Democrats living in liberal echo chambers need a reality check.
We shouldn’t be talking about this silliness — Big Bird, “bulls—-er” or a girl’s “first time.”
We should be talking about The Issues, we keep telling ourselves. But in the waning days of the presidential campaign, these are the issues — binders full of cultural issues that continue to divide us and by which Barack Obama hopes to win reelection…
Obama reasoned correctly that he had the majority with him, especially among women and youth, for many of whom these debates seem antiquated to not-applicable. Hence, a new Obama ad by the creator and star of HBO’s “Girls,” Lena Dunham, in which she compares voting for the first time (for a man who understands women) to, you know, “doing it” for the first time. It’s . . . what it is: a message to young women that losing one’s virginity is top of the bucket list, but first you gotta vote for the president who will give you free contraception.
The same ol’ culture wars. But, of course, women have had access to birth control for decades, and no one is trying to take it away. Anyone who suggests otherwise may have been spending too much time with Big Bird.
[A] funny thing happened over the next six weeks: Obama’s own cue balls shriveled. Biden had offered up a deft campaign slogan encompassing both domestic and foreign policy: “Osama’s dead and General Motors is alive.” But, as the al-Qaeda connections to Benghazi dribbled out leak by leak, the “Osama’s dead” became a problematic boast and, left to stand alone, the General Motors line was even less credible. Avoiding the economy and foreign affairs, Obama fell back on Big Bird, and binders, and bayonets, just to name the “B”s in his bonnet. At the second presidential debate, he name-checked Planned Parenthood, the General Motors of the American abortion industry, half a dozen times, desperate to preserve his so-called gender gap. Yet oddly enough, the more furiously Obama and Biden have waved their binders and talked up Sandra Fluke, the more his supposed lead among women has withered away. So now he needs to enthuse the young, who turned out in such numbers for him last time. Hence, the official campaign video (plagiarized from Vladimir Putin of all people) explaining that voting for Obama is like having sex. The saddest thing about that claim is that, for liberals, it may well be true.
Both videos — the one faking Obamagasm and the one faking a Benghazi pretext — exemplify the wretched shrinkage that befalls those unable to conceive of anything except in the most self-servingly political terms. Both, in different ways, exemplify why Obama and Biden are unfit for office. One video testifies to a horrible murderous lie at the heart of a head of state’s most solemn responsibility, the other to the glib shallow narcissism of a pop-culture presidency, right down to the numbing relentless peer pressure: C’mon, all the cool kids are doing it; why be the last hold-out?
Even a narrow win for Obama, though, would not reestablish anything like the mandate and amity the president enjoyed on his Inauguration Day. The reason is that, as the Obama coalition diminished, Obama no longer disguised the prejudices, inflections, outlook, and approach of the progressive movement. A confessed reader of Andrew Sullivan’s hysterical web site, the president has taken on the maximalist characteristics of the liberal blogosphere. He is scornful and contemptuous of Romney, as could be seen in his patronizing lecture on aircraft carriers and submarines during the third debate. His campaign seizes on the most trivial comments—“I like Big Bird”; “Binders full of women”—to engage in juvenile jibes that would not make the first cut at the Late Show writers’ meeting. His rallies have become self-congratulatory comedy hours in which the assembled Democrats laugh heartily at the insults and zingers the president throws Romney’s way. Obama has been on a seemingly nonstop tour of television shows hosted by late-night comics. His new attack line that the Republican nominee has “Romnesia” was, as the vice president might say, literally taken from liberal blogs. The vice president even asked his audience at a recent rally whether it had watched The Daily Show the night before. The men who hold the highest offices in the most powerful country in the history of the world have been debased to the point where they look like fill-in guests on Up with Chris Hayes.
The Democrats allowed the progressive movement’s hatred of Bush to take over their old and storied political party. That party and movement found a champion and a path to power in Obama, but the electoral forces on which his power relied were unstable. In 2008, he satisfied the left and won the middle. Once in power, though, he kept the left satisfied and lost the middle and right.
In 2012, there is just the left.
“The minute he starts playing small ball, the minute he starts making all these snippy little remarks, it’s over for him,” Steyn said. “He can’t be a dark and malevolent and attack ad kind of candidate. He has to be Mr. ‘Sunny,’ Mr. ‘Hope,’ and Mr. ‘Change.’ And because he didn’t run on any of that, and he’s basically left at 10 days before the election to resurrect that character, I think was a fatal miscalculation.”