With every word he speaks, Obama suppresses Democratic enthusiasm

John Podhoretz can’t get over what a poor campaigner Obama is turning out to be, now that things are not going well for him:

Here are some things Barack Obama said this evening to Democratic donors (I quote from Mark Knoller’s Twitter feed):

“Now’s not the time to quit … it took time to free the slaves … ultimately we’ll make progress.”

“I need you to be fired up.”

“There better not be an enthusiasm gap, people.”

Ordinarily, I don’t think it’s wise to second-guess the communications or rallying skills of a man who garnered 69 million votes. I don’t know if I ran for office that I’d get 6900 votes. But wow. This is some terrible, terrible communicating.

I mean: It took time to free the slaves???

Maybe there better not be an enthusiasm gap, people, but if Obama can’t get minimal hold of himself, he’s only going to widen it. If he needs them fired up, he better stop pouring cold water on their heads.

A year ago I and others were speaking in amazement and delight about how Obama had turned from a messiah into a man. In September 2008 I wrote, paraphrasing Cassius in Julius Caesar:

And this god is now become a man
Who peeps about among us petty men
To find himself a dishonorable grave

But now we’re talking about how Obama has turned from a messiah into an oaf.

By the way, in that same September ‘08 entry, I compared my punditry regarding Obama to that of J.R. Dunn of American Thinker:

if you’re into chortling over the body of a fallen enemy who had claimed to be a god, you’ll find [Dunn’s] piece enjoyable. Unlike me, Dunn doesn’t say that Obama could recover. He speaks of Obama as though he were finished, washed up, and has no place to go, because when a god turns out not to be one, what second act is there?

So what does he do now? Deliverers cannot simply fail. Jesus cannot shrug and become a Jerusalem rabbi. Moses cannot return to Egypt and open a travel agency for Sinai tours. A fallen messiah does not become half a messiah or a third of a messiah, his original power and influence shrinking to match. He becomes a joke.

So for the record, Dunn was wrong, and I was right. Obama did recover from his long slide between August 2009 (when the country began to turn against the health care bill) and January 2010. After Scott’s Brown’s election, all the signs were that the health care bill was dead. But in an outburst of demonic willfulness never seen before in American history, Obama and the Dems resorted to previously unimagined chicanery and pushed it through, which was a disaster for the country, but re-established Obama’s creds as a competent leader for the left. However, that very “victory” has so turned the country against him that even his Democratic base has turned against him. Do they actually think that he could have gotten through a stronger health care bill than the one he actually passed? Talk about ingratitude!

I note a pattern, in which Obama suffers a fall from grace, then recovers, then falls again, then recovers again, but each fall becomes deeper and his recovery less certain. His first fall (see my entry, “The mythic fall of Barack”) was after Sarah Palin’s nomination, when her star power eclipsed his, and like a vain movie star, Obama, the presidential nominee of one party, engaged in the unprecedented spectacle of complaining about the popularity of the vice presidential nominee of the other party, making one gaffe after another. The Republican ticket even pulled ahead for a couple of weeks. Then Palin had her tough TV interviews, and the financial crisis exploded, and Obama was saved. The fall had lasted about three weeks.

His second fall, as I noted above, was between August 2009 and January 2010, when the country turned against Obamacare, and it seemed dead, and then Obama and the Democrats, showing real guts and determination, rammed it through against everyone’s expectations and he recovered the mantle of successful leadership. That fall lasted about five months.

His third fall began with the victorious passage of Obamacare, and will continue at least until the election, a period of seven and half months, and is far worse than the previous two falls. I am not predicting that Obama will not recover and will not be re-elected; the Republicans have to have a plausible nominee for that to happen, and I’m not sure I see one in sight. At the same time, however, it’s hard to see how he recovers from what is coming. As numerous observers have pointed out, Clinton, who was not a committed leftist, was able to shift to the center and triangulate with the Republicans after the 1994 Democratic dégringolade, but Obama is too much the committed leftist to do that.

Sorry for this outburst of conventional punditry!
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 02, 2010 10:23 AM | Send

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