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An Unprepared President

President Obama is not off to a good start. Not since Nixon has a sitting President blamed his inability to get his agenda rolling on individual media types, and even Nixon did not go this far overboard until about 1973, five years into his Presidency. Obama did not even make five weeks before telling Republicans he could not work with them if they listened to radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh. The issue is not whether Limbaugh is a self-important blowhard (he is); it's that the President of the United States diminishes himself and his office to obsess about an individual citizen, especially one not elected to any office. Obama has effectively raised the profile of Limbaugh to his own national image. It's worth noting that despite years of jibes and taunts from Limbaugh, President Clinton never let anyone sense that he considered Limbaugh a big deal. Will an 'enemies list' be next for Obama?

I have not listened to Rush Limbaugh for a long time. Not my taste these days. If Obama had realized that even many conservatives are not all that inspired by El Rushbo, he might have been able to work things out with the Right before careening into this present mess he's made, but then again all indications are that despite campaign promises of "post-partisanship", Obama never intended Republican participation in government to be anything more than getting conned or dragged into backing his agenda. Again, a more experienced politico would have seen the dangers of thinking he can fly his programs in reality the way they play out in planning, but Obama was elected partly because he has no resume.

Obama is also in trouble because of the "stimulus" bill sitting in the Senate right now. First warning sign was when Obama's press secretary started backing off and trying to separate the White House from "the bill in Congress"; a hint that Obama was surprised by the flak he was taking. Second problem was Obama's mistake in blaming Republicans for not backing his plan, trying to bully his way to victory by casting them as opposed to recovery by opposing his plan. The reason it was a mistake was twofold - first, public support for the bill is dropping, as it fails to show just how all this spending is supposed to result in new jobs, especially when so many are needed to revive the economy, and second because it betrays the political spin of the bill.

Three essential political facts exist about the stimulus bill:

1. Democrats have majorities in both the House and Senate, they do not need a single Republican vote
2. Because of heavy Democrat majorities, the bill will include massive spending and promote liberal policies
3. The Democrats have tried hard to get Republicans to sign onto the bill, in order to sell it as "bi-partisan"

- continued -

The Democrats do not need Republicans to get their bill passed, so why the sell to get them on-board? Because this bill won't create jobs, won't put money into the pockets of ordinary Americans, and will cost a lot in future taxes. Democrats need Republicans' names on the vote so they can deflect the blame when it comes. But Republicans have figured out that there is no way they can support this bill - it is really nothing more than a massive theft of taxpayer money, and the only way that Republicans can win is to oppose it. If the bill works Democrats will take credit, all of it, no matter whether Republicans sign on or not, and if it fails the way it looks sure to do, anyone connected to it is in real trouble. Consequently, the Republican strategy is to oppose the bill, to force either radical changes to avoid the disastrous course the White House is now on, or to put on record that this bill belongs completely to Obama and the Democrats. Obama failed to understand the need to compromise to get what you want, and as a result is left with the choice of giving up major portions of his bill or accepting full responsibility for its likely failure, responsibility which would forbode real and serious consequences in the 2010 midterm elections. The Republicans are usually clumsy at political floorplay, but Obama has shown incredibly poor foresight and judgment in not seeing this long ago.

The real problem for Obama is beginning to appear, one he never expected to see after being elected - the dissolution of his political capital. Obama first gained prominence by winning against the Clinton machine, which made his team the dominant force in the Democratic party. His increasing strength during the general campaign gave Obama the aura of an irresistible force, and a lot of politicians signed onto his entourage in the expectation that his agenda would sweep in a new era of Democratic and Liberal control, not seen since the days of Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. But less than a month after taking office, Obama has made a series of blunders - nominees with serious problems that disqualified them from consideration, the appearance of narcissistic indifference to the disaster in Kentucky and the Ozarks, not visiting the towns struck by the storm or making a point to mention the suffering and deaths, and now his clumsy inability to sell his first major initiative. The gleam of the Obama veneer is already fading and his obvious petulance at the early cracks in the Democrats' efforts to shove the bill through without any real debate or effective opposition warns of a man less capable than the job requires.


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Comments (34)

Several points:-He's... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Several points:
-He's talking out of both sides of his mouth. Saying the bill 'could be better'. What's HE offered? Nothing. He let Pelosi and Reid write the bill. Period. He says he'll listen to constructive Republican ideas. Has he pushed to incorporate ANY? No. Has he ever pushed a bill thru Congress on his own? No. Has he ever had any executive experience? No. What he did have was the absolute gall to believe he is infallible and unstoppable. Reality has a way of kicking you in the balls when you least expect it. The Republicans had better damned well stand fast and vote NO on this crap sandwich. Hang it around the necks of the Democrats so that they reek come 2010 and 2012.

BHO will soon discover that... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

BHO will soon discover that it's lonely at the top.
Where you alone are held solely responsible for your successes and failures, most notably the failures because *no one* wants to claim even partial responsibility for them.

He's got a lot to learn about making decisions, something he's been loath to do his entire political life.

Personally? I think it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person. Its going to make or break him and quickly at that. My money is on the break line because he's already starting to fray around the edges and its not even three weeks into his administration.

DJ, first of all, very good... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

DJ, first of all, very good analysis.

Secondly, I am not shocked with Barry's downward turn. Was there any other direction he could go? The press built him up to a point where NO ONE could live up to the expectations. The bloom came off the rose. People are starting to see what an inexperienced political hack who happens to speak well looks like. I for one, am not surprised in the least.

I will give Barry his due on being astute in politicking which has me confused about why he persists on this terrible bill. I thought he was smarter then that. He is willing to go down with this ship. Stupid. ww

This would be hilarious wer... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

This would be hilarious were it not for the damage to our country.

It's easy to conclude that NONE of these people collectively have the intellectual capacity of a thumbtack.

And the world thugs and dic... (Below threshold)
retired miilitary:

And the world thugs and dictators are watching and taking notes. If Obama cant handle his own party, who believe in pretty much the same things he does, how is going to stand up to leaders of countries who are diametrically opposed to the United States surviving as a nation.


I dont understand how even ... (Below threshold)
DEKE:

I dont understand how even liberal's could vote for this package. Were allready trillions of dollars in debt as a nation, and they are proposing to put us even deeper into that hole in order to support programs they have wanted for the last 20+ years. We have a generation on the verge of retirement that will almost certainly bankrupt us, we are supporting more and more that are under educated and or trained that clamor for more benifits, I truly think that there is no common sense left in Washington.

Yet I also think we have, as American citizens, not much room to complain, we are sheep who's concerns run more to "What time does our newest reality show come on" than the future of our children. My only hope is that soon enough people will FINALLY get enough and start demanding that our state legislators/governors call for an article X convention so we, as the American public, can grab ahold of this mess before it's too late.

"The real problem for Obama... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

"The real problem for Obama is beginning to appear."

I will have to assume at this point, that's to happen to a person you elect President that we don't know didly-squat(as my grand father used to say, God rest his sole) about.
Nothing he does comes as a surprise, only relevant as to the fact we knew so little about this person.
His personality and and presentation is charming and enduring; but the vapidity of his intellect soon leads you to ask the question; where do we go from here. He is stuck at the campaign level, the sheer force of a nice personality sometimes just does not get the job done.

Hopefully, the American public will not get caught up in "the cult of personality" again.

I really worry about my cou... (Below threshold)
ExSubNuke:

I really worry about my country right now. I haven't seen the same type of dunderheadedness as Obama is displaying now in a long time. The truly scary part is that he's the Prez, with all the powers that come with that title.

I see him as a victory for "the MTV Generation". By that, I refer to the little or no thought provoking, high glitz and glam content now available on that channel. The same type of mindset that led to Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" at the at the Super Bowl. Afterwards, there was a backlash due to the sobering realization that "the MTV Generation" and their mindset really is a vapid wasteland of thought and ideaa. I forsee the same with Barry O. Flash and glitz... nothing of true content so far.

And as for his recent sermonizing. As someone that actually HAS had to deal with real crisis (fire aboard our sub while underway and underwater), the LAST thing you want to do is take hasty and ill informed action, just to make it look like you're "doing something."

You're The President now, Mr. President. Capital "T", capital "P". You can do an awful lot of harm that will last an awful long time and echo down the halls of history for quite a while. In short, stop acting like a campaigning empty suit. Grow up, and start acting like a President.

Why is it a suprise that Ob... (Below threshold)
jbw:

Why is it a suprise that Obama is a disaster as President. The man is an empty suit. He has never accomplished anything! With the exception of getting elected; however he never did anything in office. He's never made hard choices; choosing instead to vote "present". He has no experience or leadership beyond being able to give a speech.

it's that the President ... (Below threshold)
Brian:

it's that the President of the United States diminishes himself and his office to obsess about an individual citizen

What he did was diminish Republicans by pointing out that they obsess about an individual citizen. Get it right.

1. Democrats have majorities in both the House and Senate, they do not need a single Republican vote

Really? Democrats have 60 votes in the Senate? I must have missed that. (Personally I think the whole 60 vote requirement is ridiculous, but it is what it is.)

2. Because of heavy Democrat majorities, the bill will include massive spending and promote liberal policies

As the country indicated they wanted by electing him with a far larger "mandate" than Bush claimed.

3. The Democrats have tried hard to get Republicans to sign onto the bill, in order to sell it as "bi-partisan"

And it's working. What are you going to complain about after Republicans start supporting it?

DJ -"It's worth no... (Below threshold)

DJ -

"It's worth noting that despite years of jibes and taunts from Limbaugh, President Clinton never let anyone sense that he considered Limbaugh a big deal."

You're apparently forgetting the infamous call from Air Force One to two talk show hosts in Kansas City (if I remember correctly) complaining about Rush's three hours of radio time and the lack of a so-called truth detector. Slick Willie let us all know that he considered Rush quite a big deal.

The difference between Slick Willie and The Big Zero is that it only took The Big Zero weeks, not months, to mention Rush.

Obama: style but no substan... (Below threshold)

Obama: style but no substance. We need a president who could come in and make the hard decisions and take the flak. Now is not the time for a person who is obsessed with his popularity. Even Hillary could have handled this more deftly.
http://www.rightklik.net/

retired military has it rig... (Below threshold)
glenn:

retired military has it right, It's how this looks to the rest of the world. Our enemies have got to be looking at this guy and licking their chops.

"Jealousy is the tribute me... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius."
~Fulton J. Sheen.

Brian"Really? Demo... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Brian

"Really? Democrats have 60 votes in the Senate? I must have missed that. (Personally I think the whole 60 vote requirement is ridiculous, but it is what it is.)
"

The 60 votes is to close discussion on a bill, not to pass it.

I am sure you didnt feel this way (whole 60 vote requirement is ridiculous) when Bush was President and Republicans had the majority.

Again Dems can leave the republicans by the wayside by using the "Nuclear option" and change the Senate rules to whatever number they want, be it 50, 55, or 58. THey dont need anyone's authority to do it. It is simply a Senate rule and not in the constitution anywhere.

As for saying people wanting liberal policies because they voted for Obama that is a misnomer. People voted for Obama for a number of reasons, some wanted liberal policies, some just wanted a black president, some wanted a change from the republicans and would have voted for the man in the moon if he were the only alternative to McCain on the ballotss.

" What are you going to complain about after Republicans start supporting it"

THe only "republicans" that are going to start supporting it are the RINOs. People like Snowe, COllins, and Spectre. I am suprised that McCain isnt leading the charge but Collins probably didnt charge the dems as much for her vote.

My question to you is IF this bill fails to provide stimulus (and just about everything says that is likely) are you going to continue to blame republicans for everything or will you give blame where it is due. TO the democrats.

Brian - "As the country... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Brian - "As the country indicated they wanted by electing him with a far larger "mandate" than Bush claimed."

So, what are you trying to say, that 62% thinking that reducing taxes will do far more than increasing Government spending are all Republicans?

The 60 votes is to close... (Below threshold)
Brian:

The 60 votes is to close discussion on a bill, not to pass it.

And passing it is pointless unless you have the votes to close discussion. So it was when Republicans controlled the Senate, and so it is now.

I am sure you didnt feel this way (whole 60 vote requirement is ridiculous) when Bush was President and Republicans had the majority.

Absolutely I did. I think it's ludicrous to have the threat of a filibuster carry the same weight as a filibuster, no matter who's in the majority. I'm surprised either party goes along with it, but the "we won't do it to you if you don't do it to us" mindset prevails. But thanks for pretending to know what I think.

Again Dems can leave the republicans by the wayside by using the "Nuclear option" and change the Senate rules to whatever number they want, be it 50, 55, or 58. THey dont need anyone's authority to do it. It is simply a Senate rule and not in the constitution anywhere.

Just like the Republicans did? Oh wait, they didn't, and neither will the Dems.

As for saying people wanting liberal policies because they voted for Obama that is a misnomer.

You keep telling yourself that.

THe only "republicans" that are going to start supporting it are the RINOs.

Not my problem. If you don't like them, vote them out. I'm not sure that having your party turn on itself is your best option right now, though.

My question to you is IF this bill fails to provide stimulus (and just about everything says that is likely) are you going to continue to blame republicans for everything or will you give blame where it is due. TO the democrats.

Wow, you've already seen the composition of the bill, its end result, and the responsible parties. Tell us... who's going to win the Superbowl next year?

Really interesting thing to... (Below threshold)
glenn:

Really interesting thing to watch over the next couple of years is whose skirts the Europeans hide under when they figure out that we don't have their back anymore.

I remember that Clinton bla... (Below threshold)
SaRAb:

I remember that Clinton blamed talk radio, i.e. Rush Limbaugh, for the Oklahoma City bombing. Dick Morris told him to lay off, as Limbaugh is a private citizen, and he couldn't win that battle.

Brian"Not my probl... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Brian

"Not my problem. If you don't like them, vote them out. I'm not sure that having your party turn on itself is your best option right now, though."

Well considering I am not in one of their states and since I dont cross state lines to vote (unlike democrats) I cant actually follow your advise.

"Wow, you've already seen the composition of the bill, its end result, and the responsible parties. Tell us... who's going to win the Superbowl next year?

"

I guess you missed that big 2 letter word in the question (which you never answered ). That 2 letter word being IF.

As for the superbowl I would hazard a guess to say not the Lions but I dont really follow sports.


Dude - you should check out... (Below threshold)
Jojo BoZley:

Dude - you should check out the lovable furry fuzz ball , the Doctor of Democracy, the All-Knowing, All-Sensing, All-Everything Maha Rushie. He truly is a genius if you just listen.

And speaking of being unpre... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

And speaking of being unprepared, the title of this post is after all "An unprepared President"; it was Bush, Drummond's favorite, who recently said in a ABC legacy interview "I think I was unprepared for war,". Thanks President Bush, for telling us now.... but it is a little too late. You will always be able to fool some of the people all of the time, about 27% of Americans it appears

As far as the recession/or economic catastrophe goes, Bush took a two hundred Clinton budget surplus from 2000, and turned into a probable trillion dollar plus deficit as as a present for Obama in 2009.

As for the responsibilty of the mess he is leaving behind, Bush in the same interview with Charles Gibson of ABC, blames you guessed it...the Clinton administration, just as he did 9/11 even though Bush down graded terrorism as a threat when he took office in Jaunary, 2000.

(While many have cast blame on the Bush administration for mishandling the economy, the president said he did not have feelings of guilt for the financial collapse).

"You know, I'm the president during this period of time, but I think when the history of this period is written, people will realize a lot of the decisions that were made on Wall Street took place over a decade or so, before I arrived in president," Bush said. "And when people review the history of this administration, people will say that this administration tried hard to get a regulator. And there will be a lot of analysis of why that didn't happen. I suspect people will find a lot of it didn't happen for pure political reasons."

I'm sorry it is happening of course. Obviously, I don't like the idea of of people losing jobs or being worried about their 401(k)s."

Bush feckless to end... but no criticism from Drummond or some of the insane commentators here. Limbaugh feels the economic meltdown is Obama's fault, while Bush the decider believes it wasn't his responsibility. See no evil..hear no evil..no wonder these were all Bush appointees on the SEC led by Orange County Republican congressman because as Dubya said "As a champion of the free-enterprise system in Congress, Chris Cox (an Ayn Rand disciple like Greenspan) knows that a free economy is built on trust," (we don't need enforecement of the Madoffs of the world or regulation).


And that is what Wizbang reactionaries want to return to.

Keep in mind that Obama isn... (Below threshold)
davey:

Keep in mind that Obama isn't really in charge, he's just the front-man for the organized crime syndicate known as the Democrat Party. A pretty face with a nice baritone voice and with racial value. The last thing the Democrat Party would want would be a strong, politically astute individual to take over the party again the way Bill Clinton did. More loot gets spread around to more Democrats this way, instead of one guy hogging most of the loot to himself.

yeah after watching this sl... (Below threshold)
moseby:

yeah after watching this sleezoid in action for the past 2 weeks it makes me appreciate the likes of Jackie Robinson even more...now he had class!!

"It's worth noting that des... (Below threshold)
Paul:

"It's worth noting that despite years of jibes and taunts from Limbaugh, President Clinton never let anyone sense that he considered Limbaugh a big deal."

You are absolutely wrong about this fact. Clinton couldn't stand Rush and blamed him publicly for many things over the years, much to Rush's on air delight. I guess I just listened to Rush more than you have.

davey,Do you think O... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

davey,
Do you think Obama is aware that he's "just the front-man" and he's just acting or does he think he's actually in charge but really not? When during the campaign did the "Democrat Party" conspire to make Obama "the front-man?" Was the whole campaign with Hillary fake? Is Michelle in on the conspiracy?


Yes Adrian, I believe Obama... (Below threshold)
davey:

Yes Adrian, I believe Obama is fully aware that he's just the front-man for the Democrat Party. "When during the campaign did the 'Democrat Party' conspire to make Obama 'the front-man?'" Democrat memories are necessarily short, so let me jog your's for you with just one instance of many. Remember waaaay back during the Democrat Primary before the Democrat Convention, neither Obama nor Hillary had enough elected delegates to claim the nomination? Remember how it was going to be up to the Super!delegates, at least on the first ballot? That was when the Speaker of the House Pelosi declared she would, "Step in," to resolve the race, rather than let the democratic proccess run its course during the convention. http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/05/29/pelosi-prepared-to-step-in-to-end-race/ The Speaker of the House then used the power of her office to bully and/or bribe House members to support Obama, in order to stop the Clintons from re-taking control of the Party. The Party Big-Shots grew to liking the power they gained while out from under the Clintons, and they weren't about to give it up to them again.

davey, You say Pel... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

davey,

You say Pelosi "stepped in" but everyone knows that -- it's not a secret. You provided a CNN story about it. That's the way it works.

Adrian, When did I say it w... (Below threshold)
davey:

Adrian, When did I say it was a secret?

From what I am gleaning fro... (Below threshold)
Stan25:

From what I am gleaning from the reports on the net and elsewhere, some of the people are getting a huge case of buyers' remorse. I predict within a year, that there will be no one--unless he/she is a hardcore liberal--that will even admit that they voted for this wind bag. I am also thinking that the anointed one will be a lame duck when the next election cycle comes around.

Barry is a loser. He gamble... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Barry is a loser. He gambled the fake good will he had towards him and spent it on pork. Sew the seeds barry. You will reap. ww

I got into this only as far... (Below threshold)

I got into this only as far as when its self-important blowhard blogger blotter botherer began projecting on to Mr Limbaugh.

Who, like it -- or as in Mr Drummond's case, not -- is important enough to have just signed another Four Hundred Million Dollar deal.

Some self-important blowhard bloke, Brother 'blogger.

Brian Richard Allen

Sean Hannity was RIGHT all ... (Below threshold)
Ron:

Sean Hannity was RIGHT all along, I agree about the EMPTY suit. B.O. is WAY out of his CLASS. Might have a high I.Q. (remains to be seen) but he has NO business being the leader of anything.

Excellent article, & right ... (Below threshold)
whaddyathink:

Excellent article, & right on target. My opinion as to the reason Obama has freaked out so much re: Rush Limbaugh, is that this is Obama's reaction to narcissistic injury. Narcissists take great, great insult to those who criticize them. When dealing with narcissists, you quickly learn that you must agree with them totally, at all times-for if you don't, they'll annihilate you personally, by any & all possible means. Limbaugh, as you stated, is a blowhard, but Obama isn't viewing him that way-he's seeing him as a representation of what stands between him getting all that he wants. Plus, Limbaugh has insulted him & is rigid toward him. Result = narcissistic rage. There will be no comparison to his rage toward him, as there will be in the months to come, for I predict there will be many folks getting trampled by Obama. America is going to be seeing a lot more of his narcissistic rage, over the next 4 years.

Long before he was elected, my view of Obama is that he suffers not from narcissistic traits as many politicians do, but from a full-blown case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. What he's done politically and his reaction to events since being in office, further confirms my view that he has a severe case of NPD. God help us all.




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