When it comes to egos, there is none bigger than the current Egomaniac in Chief. And when it comes to egomaniacs, we all already know how the story ends. You can sum it up with two of the most well-known proverbs in the English language. The first one is actually from the Book of Proverbs (16:18):
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
The second is just a common idiom:
The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
There may be a lot of time left to kill between now and the fall (probably a little less than 3 years), but in the wake of Brown’s victory in Massachusetts it is looking more and more inevitable every day. And it’s not Brown’s victory that really spells doom for the Democrats. It’s their reaction to that victory. Especially Obama’s. Is he learning from his mistakes? Is he heedling the lesson that the American people just handed him? Of course not. Obama does not learn. He lectures. We – his students – do the learning. What else would you expect from the man who – in seeking to ally fears of a resurgent GOP – told Rep. Marion Berry that the difference between 1994 and 2010 was “me”. From Politico:
Berry recounted meetings with White House officials, reminiscent of some during the Clinton days, where he and others urged them not to force Blue Dogs “off into that swamp” of supporting bills that would be unpopular with voters back home.
“I’ve been doing that with this White House, and they just don’t seem to give it any credibility at all,” Berry said. “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.’ We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.
A dose of humility just might save Obama presidency, but don’t expect to see any of that. According to Reuters:
Aides to President Barack Obama on Sunday played down prospects for a major shake-up of his agenda, despite a shocking election setback last week for his Democratic party.
I have to wonder if these are some of the same advisers who pulled off a political three stooges routine by giving three different numbers for jobs created/saved by Obama on the same day? In any case, the author tries to come to the defense of Obama’s reputation:
But in an indication Obama was absorbing lessons from the upset Republican victory for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, he turned to a trusted outside adviser for help in guiding the party’s strategy in congressional elections in November.
David Plouffe, Obama’s 2008 campaign manager,…
You’re kidding me, right? Nothing says “outside adviser” like my campaign manager from last year. (OK, a little more than a year ago.) This isn’t Obama changing. This is Obama going back to his roots and trying to get back that magical feeling he had in 2008. Exactly like I said he would.
The old definition of stupidity (sometimes insanity) is repeating the same behavior and hoping for different results. That’s bad enough, but Obama is going one better. From the Wall Street Journal:
Coming off one of the most difficult weeks of his presidency, Barack Obama has beefed up his political staff and is expected to deliver an uncompromising State of the Union address. Aides said Sunday that the White House wasn’t making any abrupt policy shifts, even as the message was retooled to focus more sharply on job creation.
In short: he’s not just repeating what hasn’t worked for the last year. He’s going to do it harder, faster, stronger. Now on the one hand you have to have some sympathy for this approach. He’s not repeating something that has always failed. He’s repeating something that succeeded in 2008 and failed in 2009. At least that’s how I’m sure he see it.
The trouble is that 2008 and 2009 were entirely separate games. Even if you buy into the idea of a perpetual campaign that only means that you should be campaigning while you’re governing. It doesn’t mean that campaigning and governing are the same thing. They aren’t.
Apparently Team Obama does not get that. And – given how high Obama thinks of himself (you know he thinks a B+ for 2009 was modesty) – it’s no wonder that he’s not only decided to personally recommit himself to “the failed policy of the past [year]“, he’s decided to whip the entire Democratic Party into shape behind him. From the New York Times:
Mr. Obama has asked his former campaign manager, David Plouffe, to oversee House, Senate and governor’s races to stave off a hemorrhage of seats in the fall. The president ordered a review of the Democratic political operation — from the White House to party committees — after last week’s Republican victory in the Massachusetts Senate race, aides said.
In addition to Mr. Plouffe, who will primarily work from the Democratic National Committee in consultation with the White House, several top operatives from the Obama campaign will be dispatched across the country to advise major races as part of the president’s attempt to take greater control over the midterm elections, aides said.
So after failing to win elections where he lent a personal hand in New Jersey, Virginia, and now Massachusetts Obama has decided that what the Democrats need to win right now is more Obama.
Napoleon once gave the advice: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” I can’t think of a more appropriate time to apply the counsel than right here, right now. If I could have one message for Obama (not that I think he could hear me over the sound of how awesome he is) it would be this simple challenge: Bring it on.
McCain’s campaign took heat for it, but they were right. In 2008 Obama ran as a celebrity. And a combination of factors made that work for him. There was disgust with Bush, there was an inept campaign from McCain, and there was the historical nature of running the country’s first serious black presidential candidate. But that’s over. The election is past. What matters now is what should have mattered in 2008: results. Blaming Bush and showing up on late-night talk shows was cute in 2008, but it’s annoying in 2010. The American people are sick and tired of big government, sick and tired of record spending, sick and tired of excuses, and sick and tired of promises, promises, promises. Above all they are sick and tired of style without substance.
So if Obama wants to try and sell the American people exactly what they are sick and tired of I say: “Great!” If he wants to take Carville’s advice and try to blame it on Bush I say: “Have at it.” If you didn’t learn from Massachusetts that the people are sick of your excuses, you never will. Go ahead and try to rerun your 2008 campaign in 2010. The American people will eat you alive.
That’s the beauty of the free market of political ideas. He can put a 2-year old failed campaign up for sale if he wants, but that doesn’t mean that we have to buy it. Not at any price.
Robert considers himself a classical liberal, has a background in mathematics and systems engineering, and is currently studying economics in graduate school. He and his wife also work as business analysis consultants, and they live day-to-day as undercover conservatives along with their two small children in a socialist bastion of a college town. He has been writing for America’s Right since December 2008.