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About Last Night

There are some cracks appearing in the formidable Obama coalition that swamped John McCain in 2008. In spite of McCain's underwhelming performance by garnering two million fewer votes than George Bush received in 2004, it can't be denied that President Obama and David Axelrod ran an enormously effective campaign that seems to have maxed out support from traditional constituencies as well as marginal (fence sitting) groups that could fall in the undecided category. However, in the first 100 days (which seem like one hundred years) the President has served up a menu that has alienated certain elements in his political base. Don't let last night's lovefest fool you.

Among the hot button issues that are causing heartburn in President Obama's historic coalition are:

1) Funding for war spending. David Obey (D-WI) complains:

"I am extremely dubious about the ability of the administration to achieve its ends in that operation" Obey said.

While Pelosi later rescinded the conditions, Obi's outburst underscored the discontent among anti-war lawmakers who championed Obama's candidacy because of his pledge to bring the troops home.

They don't quite feel betrayed -- but they are beginning to feel unappreciated.

2) A reluctance to pursue criminal prosecution for Enhance Interrogation Techniques. John Conyers (D-MI) laments:

At a White House meeting late last month, Obama discouraged inquisitions into Bush-era interrogation practices, telling Democratic leaders it would be counterproductive. But they aren't listening.

"He's got a right to his opinion," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mitch., who will soon convene hearings into the subject -- hearings he hopes will spur Obama to act.

3) Obama has raised the class warfare flag so conspicuously that his own wealthy supporters see it as damaging to the economy:

Wealthy Wall Street financiers and other business figures provided crucial support for Mr Obama during the election, backing him over the Republican candidate John McCain as the right leader to rescue the collapsing US economy.

But it is now dawning on many among them that Mr Obama was serious about his campaign trail promises to bring root and branch reform to corporate America - and that they were more than just election rhetoric.

A top Obama fundraiser and hedge fund manager said: "I'm appalled at the anti-Wall Street rhetoric. It was OK on the campaign but now it's the real world. I'm surprised that Obama is turning out to be so left-wing. He's a real class warrior." ( Hint for hedge fund guy: read the small print)

....Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute, a free enterprise think tank, said Democrats in Congress were unnerved by the president's latest plan to raise $210 billion over 10 years from multinational corporations.

As the nation emerges from the effects of the 24/7 Obama campaign message machine and begins to cast a critical eye on the president's rhetoric and how it compares to actual policy a pattern is beginning to emerge. Many of Candidate Obama's supporters from late 2007 and early 2008 are beginning to identify some defining differences that otherwise should have been highlighted by a discerning press in a vigorously covered primary contest. In short, Candidate Obama is being seen as far less radical than President Obama. In a period of record job losses, loss of family savings and a still uncertain national security outlook Americans are much less inclined to adopt a radical ideology that emphasisizes higher taxes, record budget deficits, national security witch hunts ostensibly designed to prosecute those that protect and political cronyism.

Much has been made from the right about the degree of favoritism shown by this country's legacy media to the Obama administration. Indeed, the President joked about it last night at the White House Corresponce Association dinner:

I'd like to welcome you all to the ten-day anniversary of my first one hundred days. I'm Barack Obama. Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me.
(emphasis mine)

There is no amount of political cover the president can now receive from a compromised and unethical legacy media to mask the effect of his policies. Voters are going "local", to borrow Tip O'Neill's phrase, and beginning to examine their own core issues in judging President Obama. The bizarre coalition of class warriors, war protestors, "war crime" prosecutorial opportunists and Wall Street financiers cannot and will not be held together. President Obama's success or failure will be decided by any number of issues touching on foreign policy, national security and the economy. However, if the economy does not obtain susbstantial positive growth without real inflation by the first quarter of 2010 this president will become a one term wonder of historic proportions.

Any of the abovementioned three factors would give a president serious pause, but the economy is and will always be the linchpin (pay attention to that term, Detroit) of political success. As James Carville famously remarked in the 1992 race:

" You mean to tell me that this whole election is about the f#*"ing bond market?"

Uh, yes, it is.


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Comments (8)

"I'm Barack Obama. Most of ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"I'm Barack Obama. Most of you covered me. All of you voted for me."

Yes Mr President, now about that bail out........

I'm appalled at th... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:
I'm appalled at the anti-Wall Street rhetoric. It was OK on the campaign but now it's the real world.

What a moron. "I thought Obama was just a liar, now I see he was telling the truth." At least I do get some satisfaction that some of these people are getting exactly what they deserve - even if it is to the detriment of us all. I cannot believe people are so dense. Where did they think this class rhetoric was going to lead?

I watched as much as I coul... (Below threshold)
epador:

I watched as much as I could of that Correspondent's Dinner. It was very painful. His remarks, all the "humorous" jabs were a little pointed and at some times inappropriately nasty. THe remarks about "all the White House girls" seemed particularly insensitive, since that would have included his daughters and his wife. The joke about his kids taking the plane joy-riding to NYC was also pretty lame. Now the one about Ron Emanuel not being used to saying Day after Mother was pretty spot on and juicy.

The opening liner about you all voted for me was qualified, when he squinted and looked out into the back of the audience and said "well, almost al of you. Where is the Fox table?" The comedienne who flayed GW and Rush, as well as Tea Baggers was just too offensive. Michelle seemed to enjoy her, BO just had a plastic grin on his face (I imagined him thinking "girl, we aren't supposed to say things like that even though I agree with you, Damn!"

What could they possible ha... (Below threshold)
MPR:

What could they possible have thought this poor excuse of a comedienne was going to say? She sure as h%ll wasn't going to say anything about the Obamalalas.
He is sending a chill through the business world with his control of the banks. From there he can control who gets financial help depending upon the loyalty to Obamalala's restructuring model. It is so text book what he is doing it is almost laughable. Almost if, it wasn't so damaging to the security and stability of the country.

I'm surprised Wanda Sykes a... (Below threshold)
hermie:

I'm surprised Wanda Sykes agreed to be the 'entertainment' at the dinner. After all, she would have to be in the company of bigoted, homophobic persons who have publically proclaimed that they don't believe in gay marriage.

Oh...That's right...'Principles' go out the door when a Democrat is in power.

There are visible cracks fo... (Below threshold)
914:

There are visible cracks forming in Pelosis botox filled face as well, but the hag is still there screwing the public.

In spite of McCain... (Below threshold)
In spite of McCain's underwhelming performance by garnering two million fewer votes than George Bush received in 2004, it can't be denied that President Obama and David Axelrod ran an enormously effective campaign...

True. On the other hand, having a servile, lapdog media completely in the tank for your side doesn't hurt, either.


I agree with everything you... (Below threshold)
David:

I agree with everything you said. Problem is - the majority of the people in this country have checked their brains at the door when it comes to Obama. It is VERY scary to see otherwise intelligent people follow this man like he was the Messiah. No matter what happens to the economy, Obama will do no wrong. It will still be all Bush' fault. I doubt that will change since there doesn't appear to be one Republican insight willing to take the lead (ANY lead) on opposing Obama. They are too busy deciding how "moderate" they should become. The GOP is going to have to get shallacked a few more election cycles before they finally get it thru their head to move to the "right".

When you read about the Great Depression you come away with a major question: Why in the world did people keep voting for Roosevelt when any "rational" thinking person could see he was making the depression worse and that his economic policies were socialist. Answer: They loved his "reassuring" words in his fireside chats, regardless of the reality around them.

Obama will benefit from the same thing.




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