You have to hand it to CNN’s Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger. She’s not afraid to bear all her biases in a naked display of cheerleading under the guise of dispassionate political scrutiny.
The conclusion of a segment rehashing the conventional wisdom floating around the Beltway – that Obama’s determination to flagrantly ignore the will of the voters expressed at the polls in 2014 is actually a display of gallant defiance – begins as poorly as it ends.
From reforming the health care system to ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Wolf Blitzer noted that the president has largely accomplished what he set out to do in office.
Dare we examine the results of these supposed successes?
“For starters, meeting self-declared enrollment expectations for a program that is both coerced and subsidized is probably a lot less impressive as a policy achievement than the DC media might imagine,” wrote The Federalist’s David Harsanyi in a piece dismantling this emerging D.C. press corps narrative. “As for voters, it’s just as plausible that those who oppose Obamacare – still a majority of Americans – look at the solidifying of bad policy as a negative development rather than a win.”
Just over the Afghan border in Pakistan, the resurgent Taliban recently slaughtered over one hundred children. American and NATO-allied nations will not make the mistake they made in Iraq and will be leaving a residual force behind when combat troops are fully withdrawn. The odds that these troops will see fighting soon as a revived Taliban seeks to reverse the outcome of the 2001 Afghan war in the wake of withdrawal are extraordinarily high.
As for Iraq, withdrawal was short-lived. Not only is America and its allies reengaged in Iraq militarily, with boots on the ground and all, that is only the result of Obama’s dithering over how to respond to the Syrian Civil War. As an outcome of his indecision, America is again engaged in Iraq and also in an entirely new theater of combat operations: Syria.
That’s quite the success story.
Borger then went on to take a look at the political impact of the president’s decision to unilaterally pursue the normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba. She and Blitzer both conceded that there may be some risk in this course of action. Of course, there is the potential to alienate Republicans who will dominate both chambers of Congress for the remainder of the Obama presidency. Borger determined, however, that Republicans could be in an even worse position because so many of them favor the gradual and legislated reversal of over 50 years of American foreign policy.
“He’s actually also, in his own way, setting the table for the 2016 election causing Republicans in many ways to box themselves in on many issues, such as Cuba, which a lot of people believe is a demographic issue more than anything else,” CNN Chief Political Analyst Gloria Borger said.
It’s true that the Cuban vote, once a reliably Republican bloc, has shifted toward Obama. In 2012, Obama won among Florida’s Cuban voters under the age of 45 by 26 points. He lost Cuban voters who are fully aware of how Fidel Castro has decimated Cuba, e.g. those over 45-years-old, by 29 points. In Borger’s defense, there are some indications that the Cuban vote is leaning Democratic as opposed to merely shifting their support toward Obama. Former Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist won among Cuban voters by 50 to 64 percent.
But a handful data points do not a trend make. Borger might have easily observed that, without Obama on the ballot in 2016, the Cuban vote in Florida could easily shift again; particularly given this dramatic change in America’s policy toward Cuba. While the younger generation of Cuban-Americans is generally predisposed to favor the embargo’s repeal, the older generation favors it intensely. They will not be dying off before the next election, and the ingredients are present for a rather significant intensity gap.
Borger put a cherry on top of her analysis when she insisted that this freshly energetic Obama, who has steadfastly ignored the voters that stand athwart his presidency yelling stop, reminds her of Superman himself.
“I think he’s kind of like Clark Kent stepping into the phone booth and coming out with the cape, and saying, ‘Now I’m going to do what I’ve always wanted to do,’ and he’s doing it,” she said.
That might not be how you would interpret a president’s hostile indifference to the public mandate, but you’re no Chief Political Analyst.