Sunday, March 5, 2017

Good Luck With That

Rumor has it Obama wants to get back into the political game. According to the left: "OMG! Obama is coming back! Obama is coming back to politics! He's so smart and sexy and he's going to fight for me! Now he'll free us from this troublesome Trump!" Said differently, they say that since their savor "earned" $60 million in a book deal (read: payolla), Obama is now (read: still) rich and no longer needs to worry about anything, so his goal is to force Trump to resign or to be impeached before his term is up. The problem is, this is a horrible idea. Here's why:

(1) A country can only have one ruler, and Americans in particular expect Presidents to leave office and age gracefully. They don't want them staying in politics. Violate this rule at your peril.

(2) In fact, only two violated this to a degree in recent history. Jimmy Carter took shots from the sidelines and tried to interfere with foreign policy. He was basically ignored or treated as a joke. Bill Clinton took forays into politics to help his wife, and tarnished the hell out of his image. He was smeared as a racist in 2008 and he was smeared as a fool by his wife's campaign in 2008 and 2012. Now he's gone from "two-time winner" to "hurdle that helped his wife become a two-time loser." Obama seems much more likely to fall into the Clinton example. Why? Read on...

(3) Bill Clinton was never a great politician. He won the White House in plurality votes (never coming near 50%) because H. Ross Perot was determined to destroy Bush and then thought he might win against an unpopular Clinton and the terrible Bob Dole. Clinton did win, true, but he also managed to end a near Century of Democratic control over the House and only slightly less control over the Senate. He lost the South finally for the Democrats and he failed to keep the Democrats from drifting into the land of Identity Politics, which have doomed them now (that was actually his goal coming to power). In short, winning was the only thing he did right and he only did that because other people beat his opponents.

Nevertheless, Clinton was celebrated by the MSM-left as a genius because the left wanted him to be a genius. His friends in Hollywood made movies about him and gave him celebrity status everywhere. The MSM hired away all of his staffers and filled their ranks with his supporters, who then talked about his communication genius and his brilliant ability to reach the public. In other words, they invented a myth. Suddenly, his two victories were triumphs rather than squeakers. In fact, consider this. The genius, at the height of his popularity, couldn't help Al Gore beat an unqualified ex-drunken moron. His failure was excused as being about a stolen election and wooden candidate, but Bill failed to deliver. Then 2008 and 2012 exposed just how bad a politician he really was. Not only could he not reach a skeptical public, but his own supporters were embarrassed by him.

Enter Obama.

The media had a crush on Obama. He was the perfect black man of their dreams... "clean", progressive but sounded like he could appeal to middle America, "no negro dialect", educated, OMG's he's amazing! Consequently, they decided he was an amazing candidate too. Then he beat the mental-case version of Yosemite Sam and Reality-Trash Palin, and the left knew he was genius! In fact, he's the greatest politician of all time! He even won re-election against the Mitt 'Bologna Sandwich' Romney to prove it. He's dreamy! makes googly eyes and sighs wistfully

Um no. Obama relied on his opponents falling apart and offered one selling point: "I will tell black America to stop being a bunch of race-obsessed whiners." That's it. Oh, and he read well from the teleprompter. He lacked Clinton's ability to reach normal voters. He lacked Clinton's ear for the issues that mattered. He lacked Clinton's desire to do something worthwhile.

All of this became increasingly obvious as his failures piled up. He did nothing to build a consensus that would let him lead. He couldn't even build a consensus with his own party. He failed to support the Democrats and took them from the point of absolute power in the US to their worst position since the start of the 1900's. He was never able to work with any foreign leaders, to sway the public on any issue, to identify issues that mattered, to control the public agenda, to pass laws, to pass regulations, or to put his ideas into play in any way. He lost millions of votes in his re-election bid (something that's never happened before). He wasn't even able to help make his own voters turn out to either keep Hillary from winning the primaries or help her win the general election.

Like "Bill Clinton, Brilliant Politician and Most Popular Man Ever," Obama as a brilliant politician is a myth. Objectively, the man is a total failure, whose only skill was that the GOP ran two awful candidates against him. Getting back into politics will only prove this as Obama lacks the wit, drive and interest in politics to deal with Trump, who will not bend over and let Obama kick him. Moreover...

(4) Obama will be shocked by how little support he will have. The most fundamental problem Obama faces is that he will stand in the way of the other Democrats. Right now, the Democrats are in a civil war to decide how to re-allign themselves in a post Obama world. Who will lead them, who will control the voice and wallet of the party, etc. Obama sticking his nose back in will crowd out those who are fighting for these spots. He will not be welcome. And since he brings nothing to the table except memories of an unpopular presidency, look for this to go wrong fast.

So hey, bring him on! Unfortunately, if Obama has proven one thing over time, it is that he is lazy. I don't see him bothering.



Anthony said...

1) I agree with most of your take on Obama and am inclined to agree with your first point, but we live in strange times. Our president is a populist reality tv star who rose to fame peddling racist conspiracy theories and whose administration spends a good chunk of its energy walking back his drunk tweets. Who is to say what is or isn't possible in our brave new world?

2) The guys who win the executive office in wave elections tend to reasonably politically talented men blessed with weak opponents.

These men deviate from the party in a way which was at first viewed as the key to their success but later retroactively become part of the reason they were always doomed.

For example, Obama's claim to fame was not having supported the Iraq War (something Trump also likes to claim). Obama's vaunted unwillingness to compromise with the other side became a problem when the wave went out and the other side seized the legislature.

Of course, Republicans were not eager to work with Obama because by that point many understood that there is a negative relationship between one's chances of riding the next wave and how close one gets to the president.

Its striking that the last two people standing in the Republican primary were not men who were merely conspicuous about distancing themselves from Obama (the dour Cruz and the charismatic Trump), but also power/responsibility (being in power while Obama was in power was a suspicious act).

*Shrugs* As I've said before, this early into the wave, what the opposition does doesn't really matter.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, your article posted too late…or too early, as I suspect the case will be. As of the end of February, Eric Holder was pre-announcing Obama's glorious return. But now that Trump has lobbed wiretap accusations against him, all I see are pieces about how Obama just wants to enjoy retirement—so he couldn't possibly have launched a plan to undermine his successor. (One wonders if these people have never heard of party politics? (Or if they forgot how everyone, including Trump, was surprised by Trump's victory?))

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Who is to say what is or isn't possible in our brave new world? Isn't that the truth!

I don't think what the Democrats do will affect Trump at this point. He controls his own destiny. But what they do does matter for their future and right now they are making all kinds of mistakes. Bringing Obama back will only slow down their ability to sort out their issues and will confuse things.

For Obama himself, the danger is that he goes from an unliked (except for his cult) mostly-failed President into being seen as a vicious crank who needs to go away.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I am all but certain that the wiretapping allegations were aimed at driving a stake into this glorious return. I don't know if it's real, and Obama could face charges, or if it's just Trump saying "I'm going to drag you through the mud until that's all people remember about you." Either way, it seems to have crushed this idea from the moment. Interesting.

AndrewPrice said...

Off topic. One of the many reasons I don't respect the "strong" women movement is that they don't even realize how pathetically they come across. With no sense of self-awareness or shame, US womyn's soccer just played in something they actually called the "SheBelieves Cup."

Good f'ing grief. Why not just call it the "I'm Too Pathetic To Make It In The Real World So I Delude Myself With Inspirational Phrases I Find Online That Tell Me I'm Good Enough" Cup.

I love the fact my daughter actually laughed and shook her head when we heard that name.
It used to be:

Those who can, do.
Those who can't, teach.
Those who can't teach, counsel.

It should now be:

Those who can, do.
Those who can't, whine about everyone else and tell themselves how strong and independent they are.

tryanmax said...

Amazing! I just read a NYTimes piece which includes the following definition of alt-right: "a broad and imprecise term that applies to a wide array of radicals, not just certain white supremacist groups."

The left is slowly letting go of the notion that Trump and his supporters are vile racists as the proposition becomes increasingly more untenable. I wonder whether National Review will eventually follow suit, or if Jonah Goldberg has had enough time to pick his comfy chair over at NPR.

tryanmax said...

P.S. Remember, on the left, a political "radical" is a hallowed thing.

Ben L. Kemer said...

Don't know if you have heard, the House GOP put up their proposed replacement healthcare bill tonight.

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