The extent to which Mr. Obama believes that the world revolves around him continues to amaze me. He has stated that he thinks that the Republicans will cave on economic issues after the election, because they don’t have to fight to make sure that he is not re-elected. As though the Republican disagreement with the Democrats began with the anointment of The One, and will end with his retirement.
As I recall, the Democrats were not too happy with the way that the Republicans tended to characterize John Kerry. Or Al Gore. I believe the House Republicans had a bit of a dust-up with Bill Clinton, too. Or was I just imagining that? Of course, the impeachment proceedings were most likely racially-based back then, too, a back-lash against our first Black President.
Even Abraham Lincoln, that paragon of the Democratic party—oh, wait, he was Republican, wasn’t he?—compared Stephen Douglas to a cuttlefish. But they weren’t running for President at the time.
It may suit Mr. Obama to characterize the Republicans’ objection to him as racist, having nothing to do with their beliefs in the purpose of the federal government. How disappointed the Democrats will be, then, in four years, when the Republicans will raise some objection to the Democratic candidate, whether that person be black, Hispanic, female, or, horrors, Caucasian. (What will be seen as the objection then? Oh, yeah, he’ll probably be gay, or Wiccan, or, it doesn’t matter. The Democrats will come up with some reason that is based on status rather than ideology).
I must admit that I can see the value of such a power ploy. Mr. Obama, should he be re-elected, will enter the Oval Office on that first day, elated by the fact that the Republicans have no reason to continue their stonewalling, now that their greatest fear has been realized. The President will toil along valiantly, just as he has for the past four years, trying single-handedly (with only the resources of the growing federal government and Ben Bernanke’s magically appearing dollars to rely on) to lift the entire United States economy onto his tragically slender eye-candy shoulders. He will be right in the middle of personally saving a down-trodden citizen when, lo and behold! the Republicans will a) threaten a filibuster in the Senate, or b) pass some partisan piece of legislation in the House that is not in keeping with the President’s campaign promises.
“Oh, golly,” he will fret. “What happened to my plans for Utopia? Why are those nasty Republicans continuing to defy me? I have been re-elected. There is no more cause for dissension in the country.” Or words to that effect.
I can’t really fault Mr. Obama for buying the party line that, while government (read police, driving while black, drug laws, immigration crackdowns, crony capitalism, tax laws skewed toward the wealthy, etc.) is terrible, horrible, awful and oppressive, individuals within that system are virtuously sacrificing themselves for the common good (despite every charge of corruption and prison sentence imposed). In his world, government is evil, except when it is doing the work that he wants. Of course, the Republicans feel the same way. Would that they could get together and decide on only one government—it would probably be a lot smaller and more manageable.
So, anyway, there will Mr. Obama sit, perplexed about why the Republicans are continuing to be so obstreperous, when the jig is already up, the game is already over. Because, Mr. Obama, and I’ll try to be gentle here, it is not about you. The Republicans do not see themselves as the Romans who must destroy the Savior. You are merely one in a long line of competitors to the best gig in the world—the chance to run the largest economy on the planet, pass out party favors (forgive the pun) to your buddies, and maybe do a little good in the process, so long as that doesn’t interfere too much with what is really important.
The problem with making the election personal is that, as usual, the electorate suffers. No candidate has to talk about the issues, because every comment by the other side can be decoded as a personal attack. No candidate has to come up with a plan to fix the country’s problems, because they are too busy coming up with that next sound bite that will really nail the other side.
And when the losing party fights the winning party’s programs and proposed legislation, it is not on an ideological basis, it is merely the equivalent of the playground’s “I’ll get you next time.” Making everything personal makes everything easier. Mr. Obama doesn’t have to defend his record on itself, all he has to do is say that any attacks are based on the color of his skin. If his policies don’t work, if his plans don’t bear fruit, it will continue to not be his fault, it’ll be the stonewalling of the other side because his father was not born with a pasty face.
Side note: It’s interesting how Mr. Obama’s presidency is seen as the culmination of the fight for freedom from slavery. His father came from Kenya, which last I heard, is in Africa. Mr. Obama is not the descendant of American slaves. There are white people in this country with more slave blood in them than he has. Anyway…
So, what will he do when those nasty Republicans refuse to go along with his policies post-election? He’ll continue to do what he’s already started, and what he has explicitly promised: he’ll go around Congress. He’ll preside by fiat, just as would any dictator in any of those countries whose sensibilities he’s trying so hard not to offend. If there’s a law he doesn’t like, he’ll ignore it. If there’s a policy that he wants to implement, he’ll have his minions pass a regulation. If Congress doesn’t allot him money, he’ll have Ben print some more.
And when his term is scheduled to be over? Ah, that’s going to be the interesting part. If he is indeed the Anointed One, how will we ever survive without him? Regardless of what state we’re in.