Is it certain that Obama is finished, or is that the voice of the herd?

Perhaps other political commentators—because they follow Obama’s statements and actions and the polls more closely than I do—are seeing something about him and his prospects that I am missing. Namely, they are treating Obama as though his presidency were already over. Thus Rick Moran writes at American Thinker: “Obama is irrelevant and the country is almost officially biding its time until he’s gone.” Now maybe Moran is right. Maybe it’s become undeniably clear that Obama has shot his bolt, that he has no responses to the country’s problems but to repeat his failed lies and failed leftist nostrums from the past, and that his departure from the presidency in January 2013 is a foregone conclusion. And maybe I’m the only person on the right who doesn’t see this. However, when people speak in such conclusory terms about a future political event that no one can predict with certainty, I become skeptical. I feel I’m seeing a mental herd in action, in which everyone is automatically echoing the same idea that is being expressed by everyone else. Again, I do not know that Obama is not finished. But when an entire population of political writers and commenters keep stating as a certain fact something that is inherently uncertain, something is amiss.

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Jim C. writes:

His presidency was over once white college students, his former supporters, realized that Barry wasn’t “cool.” With the exception of most blacks, Barry’s former supporters just find him uncreative and incompetent, and no amount of campaigning will change that impression of the Masquerading Genius.

This image will be the historical epitaph for the Obama administration:


Sophia A. writes:

I agree with you about the “stick a fork in Obama” talk. We’d all be wise to be skeptical.

First, who are these pontificators? People paid to pontificate. They don’t know any more than you or I.

Second, as Marcus Aurelius said, things are not always as they seem. At least, I think it was Aurelius. Whoever said it, he was right.

Yes, it does seem as if Obama will lose. He didn’t win the white vote in 2008, and he will get less of it in 2012 (of that I am fairly sure). A presidential election goes state by state, and in 2008 Obama carried 28 states. He also won that weird Nebraska electoral district whose practices I cannot fathom. Flip a few of those states over, and the Republican wins. But that’s not as easy as people think, no matter how bad Obama is.

And my own belief is that the culture is so depraved it doesn’t matter who the President is. But that’s a whole other issue.

Paul Nachman writes:

My instincts are exactly the same as yours: Highly cautious. At the FAIR meeting in D.C. on 10/1, I sat at a lunch table with a self-classified progressive (that is such a smug word compared to either “liberal” or “conservative”!) from southern California who thinks Wonderboy is a shoo-in for re-election, that the Repubs don’t have anybody credible to put up against him.

I’m of the school that American voters, though arguably stupid in aggregate, still dislike Wonderboy’s doings enough that he’s on very tenuous grounds. I also suspect that people are catching on that, politics aside, this is one highly unattractive human being.

But it’s worthwhile to know that there are seemingly normal people out there who see things diametrically the opposite.

Howard Sutherland writes:

Below is a comment I sent a few weeks ago about why I think BHO will get four more years:

Republicans cheering themselves up with thoughts of how easy it will be to defeat the “failed” Barack Hussein Obama are very likely fooling themselves, and not for the first time. I think, looking at the situation 14 months before the event (that’s my disclaimer), that Obama will win re-election, and rather easily. If Republicans should nominate a principled conservative candidate who will fight unapologetically on a principled conservative platform, I might well be wrong. However, how likely is that?

As Victor Davis Hanson implies, Obama has been the most consistently successful leftist (emphasis intended) president since Franklin Roosevelt, if not ever. Viewed from the point of view of his most devoted followers, he’s not exactly a failure. A lot of smoke-screen criticism of him from the left may well be meant to obscure that fact for the rest of us in the run-up to the real campaign.

Obama will win because he will have no challenge within the Democratic Party, and Democrats will present a united front behind The One throughout 2012. The wildcard is Hillary Clinton, who may be fed up enough with Obama and her current job and feeling her advancing age enough to bolt his administration and challenge Obama, something for which I suspect she might pay a high price. I think that is unlikely, but my conspiracy-theory meter (usually dormant) came alive a bit when the embarrassed Anthony Weiner—very much a Clinton courtier—gave up the fight to keep his seat and slunk away so quickly and (for Weiner anyway) quietly. Is he a potentially embarrassing talking-point the Clintons want well down the memory hole by 2012? Still, I think Obama will get the Democratic nomination unopposed, not least because it would be intolerably bad form to oppose The First Black President. (Sorry, Bill Clinton; you weren’t it.)

Obama will win because he will have no serious challenge from the Republican Party, and Republicans will weaken themselves relative to the Democrats with over a year of internal fighting among their hopefuls. The wildcard is what I said above, that the GOP break decisively with most of its history (I’ll make an honorable exception for Calvin Coolidge) and run that principled conservative and let him run a principled conservative campaign. Again I ask, how likely is that? Republicans will also handicap themselves McCain-style in opposing Obama. Being The First Black President will deter unrelenting Republican attacks on Obama’s record almost as effectively as it deters Democratic opposition. Republicans, predictably reduced to quivering aspic by any whisper of “racism,” will be unduly hesitant and polite with respect to Obama. And in this campaign, it won’t be whispers, it will be shouts—from all quarters of the Democratic Party, the media, Hollywood and academia—no matter what Republicans actually say and do.

That is not what I hope will happen, but what I strongly suspect will happen nonetheless. The Republicans will be too afraid of the racial angle in the campaign to oppose Obama effectively. It might not be quite as pathetic a spectacle as John McCain’s near-collusive taking a fall to bring about This Great Moment In Our History in 2008, but I fear the result will be the same.

Timothy A. writes:

I am skeptical that an incumbent President with a compliant media would be an underdog, so I looked at the futures trading site, thinking that I would find that view confirmed. Instead, for what it’s worth, Intrade puts Obama’s odds of reelection at 48 percent. The odds of a Republican winning are about 50 percent (Romney is at about 31 percent, with the rest of the Republican field at about 19 percent—these are different trades so the odds don’t add up to exactly 100 percent). By comparison, at this time in 2007, Intrade had the odds of a Democrat being elected at over 60 percent, where they stayed, except for a momentary blip in Fall 2008, up until the election.

LA replies:

If Intrade puts Obama’s chances at 48 percent, then he’s very much in the game, and the notion that he’s finished is refuted.

James P. writes:

I seem to recall that plenty of Democrats were convinced in the summer of 2004 that Bush was so incompetent and unpopular that he couldn’t possibly be re-elected. Then, after the unthinkable happened, they were forced to argue that Bush had somehow stolen the election.

I wouldn’t consider Obama “finished” until he reads his concession speech.

LA replies:

The charge that Bush stole the 2004 election was just a brief flicker as I remember. The main Democratic response to his victory was profound emotional trauma, deep depression, even a stab at self-questioning. I had several entries on this at the time.

Here’s one of them (not including the comments), from November 10, 2004:

Traumatized Democrats seek therapy

This appears not to be a parody. The Boca Raton News reports yesterday and today that a significant number of Democrats have sought psychotherapy since the election to treat the symptoms of post-election trauma. Trauma specialist Douglas Schooler, who has treated 15 clients and friends with “intense hypnotherapy” since the election, said: “I had one friend tell me he’s never been so depressed and angry in his life. I observed patients threatening to leave the country or staring listlessly into space. They were emotionally paralyzed, shocked and devastated.”

I guess it’s not surprising. Considering the insane passions that the Democrats had stoked up against Bush, and their conviction that this idiot, this primitive, this sub-human, was dead meat in the election, his victory must be a uniquely disturbing event for them, shaking them to the core of their already disordered minds.

While it’s impossible not to have a feeling of satisfaction at seeing such ugly ill-will brought to such ignominious defeat, we should not, as I’ve said before, be cheered by the Democrats’ dementia. If half of our political society is depraved, we are in very serious trouble.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 10, 2004 02:31 PM

The Dems’ sad experience in 2004 offers a lesson to Republicans today: don’t be so sure that your hated and despised opponent is going to lose.

Kathlene M. writes:

I also think that the Republican Establishment’s schadenfreude over Obama’s demise is way too enthusiastic and premature. As I’ve replied before, I think the 2012 election will be a squeaker unless the Republican Establishment can offer up a real principled conservative. But I agree with Howard Sutherland: how likely is that?

All the liberals I know think Obama has not been successful enough because he is being stymied by evil Republicans. Most white liberal women I know (including the ones in my own family) still think highly of Obama, so the support of his Obamabot army will still be there come election time.

Here’s something else to consider: Obama’s team is very tech-savvy, and many of the Democratic donors are in the tech industry (Facebook, Google, etc.). Catholic Online has an article about Obama’s “secret edge” which is his team’s ability to use data effectively for their purposes. Republicans need to wipe the smirks of premature victory off their faces and get serious.

From the article:

Using modern database technology, Obama’s reelection campaign has been quietly collecting data, processing that data, and is preparing to use it to specifically target its message all the way down to individual users. It may seem somewhat Orwellian, but it’s how big businesses who are serious about sales have operated for years.

… The secret behind Obama’s growing success is their website and technology. The Obama 2012—Are You in? website collects all of this data from users. And there’s every indication that the Obama campaign will use this data to powerful effect.

President Obama may be slipping in the polls, but he is far from being a down-and-out president. When the campaign heats up in the spring, and the Republican contender has been settled, the Obama camp will have all of the information, and technical capability that it needs to reach and impress voters.

Certainly, the Republicans have a strong vision for the future. But the Democrats have a vision as well, and so far they are poised to deliver that vision to the individual much more effectively than the Republicans. And in marketing, this is the difference between life and death.

Unless his Republican rivals get serious about collecting data and in putting it to good use, they can expect to be effectively schooled in the next election, regardless of how great they feel their vision for America is.

October 12

Cindy W. writes:

Going solely on my own instincts and sense of what the liberals I know are thinking, based on their silence or occasional tepid comment, I am cautiously optimistic that Obama is going to lose in 2012. At least three liberals in my family (two of which have been die-hard Obama supporters) have casually mentioned that they no longer “think so highly” of Obama (that’s the most criticism they can muster in my presence) and have expressed neutral of positive opinions about Romney. I think a good many liberals (or maybe I should also say, many good liberals) recognize that Obama has been a disaster (if for no other reason than for casting liberalism in such a bad light) and will secretly vote for the Republican ticket, particularly if it’s Romney. Regarding Bush’s re-election in 2004—it seemed to me that it was going to be a very close race until the weekend before election day, when a tape from bin Laden was released. I think people were reminded again that they couldn’t trust Dems to take a strong stand against Muslim terrorism and felt the continuity of keeping Bush in office was important.

Jim C. writes:

Monty Pelerin at American Thinker:

Obama was all hype and no substance. That realization has dawned on voters, resulting in horrendous polling. Richard Nixon was never liked, but he was at least thought competent. Obama was liked but never competent. Now Obama is living proof of the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt. He is neither liked nor competent.

Even the hapless Jimmy Carter did not attain that status.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 11, 2011 01:27 PM | Send

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