The checked-out presidency

Our friend Matt Lewis, of Daily Caller fame, has a column this weekend at The Telegraph which puts forth a rather difficult to dispute assertion; Barack Obama has already checked out of his job. In it, he points to a number of items in evidence which support this theory.

President Obama has emotionally checked out of his job a couple of years early, it seems. How can one tell?

Candidates for president who brazenly assume they are the inevitable victor are sometimes accused of “measuring the drapes” for the White House.

Obama, conversely, seems to be prematurely packing his bags in hopes for an early departure.

Just last week, for example, the Los Angeles Times reported that “The First Family is believed to be in escrow on a contemporary home in a gated community where entertainers Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby once maintained estates”.

George Santayana observed that “Americans don’t solve problems, they leave them behind”. Perhaps the president is taking this to heart.

The President’s new prospective digs are on the Left Coast, not the Windy City, so is Obama already engaged in more California dreaming than managing the affairs of the nation? Rounds of golf, fundraisers, barbecue pit stops in Texas and toying with doing Jimmy Kimmel’s show while the nation and the world erupt in multiple lesions and fractures certainly lend the appearance of it. But even with the caveat that the White House travels with the President and people are capable of focusing on more than one thing at a time, it’s not hard to see this presidency as one which already has its eyes on the off ramp.

While you’re free to think what you will about Barack Obama’s “true intentions” when he originally made the decision to seek the presidency, I still feel that he came to the job as a true believer. (Of course, as Steve Martin pointed out in the film Leap of Faith, the true believers – or the Genuine Article – are the ones you always have to watch out for.) Barack Obama honestly felt that his mere presence on the stage would bring the various factions of the nation and the world together… that everyone would, sooner or later, recognize the brilliance of his vision and the structural soundness of his solutions to the planet’s ills and things would truly change.

He was reinforced in this belief constantly, starting with the phenomenal reception to his Yes We Can speech in New Hampshire in January of 2008. We’re used to a history of glad handing, baby kissing politicians making all sorts of grandiose promises which offer impossible visions. We’re also used to knowing in the back of our minds that they generally don’t even believe the pablum they’re peddling themselves. But not so with Barack Obama. I honestly think he really believed it. He wasn’t just falling victim to his own hype… he was embodying it. It’s what led him to send Hillary to Russia with her reset button and make one concession after another to our traditional enemies. The world was about to change, and he would be the catalyst of a new era.

Since then, despite the best efforts of his handlers to keep things cheery in the bubble, reality has set in. The Republicans weren’t about to turn into liberals simply because he could explain their vision in a simpler way. Vladimir Putin wasn’t going to see the error of his ways and embrace a global vision of humanitarian milk and honey. The seas failed to recede and people stubbornly remained … people, with all the variety, warts and blemishes they’d always had. And in the face of this failure to transform on the part of the world, Barack Obama needed someone to blame. On the domestic front, the Republicans were the only available target, so Obama became sullen and insulting, abandoning any pretense at trying to work together.

The reason for this is that Obama’s vision of the future never involved compromise. It relied on everyone suddenly seeing just how right he was and how wrong they were. That didn’t happen, and not having a backup plan in the event that the rabbit failed to emerge from the hat, Barack Obama threw in the towel.