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Barack Obama Never Experienced The Crucible

Jennifer Rubin wrote yesterday on a subject that has worried me about Barack Obama since his victory over Hillary Clinton last year in Iowa. Commenting on the remarks by veteran Democrat activist Ted Van Dyk" Rubin notes :

Van Dyk thinks Obama has delegated too much power to Congress, is over-exposed, has over-promised, and has lost his high-minded tone.

...Van Dyk is right on a number of these tactical issues. But he overlooks the central problem with the Obama presidency: he over-estimated his ability to use his personal popularity and an economic crisis to pull the country to the Left. The country didn't vote for a European welfare state.

But Van Dyk also is onto something about the atmospherics of the Obama presidency. This is not a man who has faced intense ideological criticism or practiced, as he instructed American Jewish leaders to do, "serious self-reflection." He is certain of his liberal views, contemptuous of people who are stuck in "old thinking," annoyed with even the minimal press criticism he receives and unpracticed in accommodation and negotiation with his political opponents.

These comments highlight some of the glaring omissions in the Obama curriculum vitae. Chief among them is that Barack Obama has not experienced the defining effects of the crucible that the traditional American political process imposes upon its aspirants. As painful as the experience is, there are usually benefits that a politician will accrue from living and working in the crucible of intense scrutiny and criticism. Some politicians emerge from the experience smarter and stronger; others are, as the metaphor suggests, crushed by the experience. A third category, those politicians that never experienced the trial of the crucible, exhibit "hothouse" characteristics and fail under the pressure of unforeseen and unfamiliar elements.

The crucible experience is a familiar American theme and a necessary right of passage. Almost all voters are familiar with it, usually through personal experience but sometimes vicariously. Barrack Obama is attempting to change the political landscape in this country in a radical manner not seen since Ronald Reagan. But in searching his speeches and policy I think Rubin nails several of the problem areas that are now causing even this President's cult of personality to come under question. While it might be argued that the Stimulus bill was somewhat the shared product of Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid, Cap and Trade and "Healthcare Reform" are wholly owned by Barack Oama and he is failing to deliver, failing to persuade and, worse, beginning to look desperate.

Ironically, the main opposition message during the 2010 mid term elections should be taken out of the Joe Biden playbook: the Presidency of the United States is not the place for on the job training. There is no crucible experience that Barack Obama can point to that evidences any leadership acumen. The 2010 midterm elections should be a plebiscite on the failure of the president's Stimulus Legislation, the failure of the president's Cap and Trade, and the failure of Healthcare Reform.

One added note: The Washington Post has noted that President Obama has issued this prediction about passage of health care reform:

"Those who are betting against this getting done this year are badly mistaken," he added.

That is a foolish marker to lay down in such a heated debate. The president is effectively playing the hand held by Democrats that must face difficult 2010 election contests in the midst of a bad recession. It's a rookie mistake that begs the question: Who is in charge of election strategy in 2010? It should also be asked if the Obama administration is already throwing Congress under the bus?

Sentor Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) summed up the price of poker in this debate:

"If we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo," Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) said yesterday during a conference call with conservative activists. "It will break him."


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Comments (16)

If Obama had received the s... (Below threshold)
retired military:

If Obama had received the same treatment that Bush had he wouldnt have made it past the primaries. I can picture his Howard Dean moment when his approval numbers go under the cellar.

Well said, HughS, and very ... (Below threshold)
Kathy:

Well said, HughS, and very scary. With an ego as fragile as Obama's, the meltdown has the potential for devastating collateral damage.

As the numbers continue to fall - which is predictable since he has done nothing but worsen the economy - he will become more dictatorial. My question is re the media, how long will they continue to give this doofus a pass on his idiocy?

More to the point, what we ... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

More to the point, what we are talking about here is the total lack of executive experience on the part of Mr. Obama. The left of the past decade did not hesitiate to accuse Mr. Bush of being shallow, callow, inexperienced, yabbada yabbada. But he was elected and strongly re-elected governor of a top five state. If Bush's only executive experience had been with the Texas Rangers, he still would have more experience than Obama did when he began running for president.

Also not insignificant is my personal belief that Obama has little knowledge and virtually no gut connection with American history at all, something Bush had in spades.

So what is Obama able to call upon in his gut when making decisions? One thing, and one thing only - His leftist ideology, which is akin to a religious faith. It is "the right path", no matter how catastrophic its results may be.

In trying to still believe that "God looks after drunks, small children, and the United States of America", the only possibly salutory affect of all this is that it is possible that it could be so catastrophic as to break the back of socialism in Western Civilization (what's left of it), and make millions of young people realize the scale of the lies told to them by the media/culture/academic axis of evil.

I don't know whether to hope that is the case or not. It's gonna be one ugly ride, either way.

Hugh,I can't agree m... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Hugh,
I can't agree more that is indeed a foolish marker to lay down at this time particularly since legislators of his own party are balking or at least asking for some reflection - which by the way Obama expects from everyone else but himslef. On top of that is his completely irrational statement in the weekly address that he will not sign a health care bill that adds to the deficit. His support from the majority of fellow Democrats in Congress will hold out only as long as his charisma does at which time they will realize there are indeed more elections in their future. Obama never served in the legislature long enough to develop deep loyalty from the powerful. I mention this in contrast to LBJ who was likely very effective at getting much of his domestic agenda enacted because he knew Capitol Hill inside and out. Whether you are Republican or Democrat the very worst of the socialist agenda has had the curtain pulled back because of this man and the current Congress.

This is the same President ... (Below threshold)
SShiell:

This is the same President whose one major attempt at bi-partisanship shortly after his inauguration was to tell a gathering of Republicans "I WON!"

He has already had some similar exchanges with members of his own party when he told one of his own "Don't vote against us again, we are keeping count!"

As Obama pushes hard to retain some level of credibility with his Party and with the American people, his frustration will grow and his tactics will become more and more harsh. Expect thuggish tactics from this man as he reverts to the old Chicago-style politics. And with his descent to these levels, so will go whatever leadership qualitities he thinks he has. His Howard Dean moment is in the not too distant future!

I think it is more than Oba... (Below threshold)
Not Always Right:

I think it is more than Obama's lack of executive experience. It is his total lack of an American experience that sets him up for ultimate defeat. He might be able to push his pathetic overhaul of the health system out of the necessary House committees but I think that as the country becomes more aware of just what this bill contains and they contact their various members of Congress, the Congress is going to be more concerned with re-election than they are with upsetting a man who is destined to go down as our most unpopular president.

DaveDThe LBJ examp... (Below threshold)
HughS:

DaveD

The LBJ example is spot on. In addition to the emotion behind the Kennedy legacy, Johnson had a wealth of experience and goodwill to draw on as he pushed The Great Society legislation after Kennedy's death. It is beyond dispute that he retained considerable control in Congress.

His influence on Capitol Hill was the result of many years toiling in its crucible. Sam Rayburn comes to mind....

My hit on Obama is that he ... (Below threshold)
kathie:

My hit on Obama is that he is most INVESTED in adulation. He works very hard on his speeches which he delivers with great oratory flare. The responses and applause feeds an otherwise sad, angry and lost soul. He is invested in fulfilling his campaign promises, because that is all he knows how to do. Why else would he introduce cap and trade and nationalized health care in this economy, both job killers. The stimulus is now a stabilizing $768 billion dollar spending spree. Honestly I don't think he knows how to change legislative direction because he has never had to.

When he speaks off the cuff or without much preparation he punishes, threatens and uses straw-men. He treats Americans as if we were dumb, naughty 5 year olds.

The really sad thing, I believe it is all a game of just words. It will be interesting to see his response when he looses.

Any person who was invested in America and Americans would inspire us to move in a direction that was best. Obama doesn't get it because he is not invested in our well being. He's a point scorer.

Barry has been pampered all... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Barry has been pampered all his socialist life. Playing amateur shrink: rejected by Dad, partial rejection from an otherwise busy Mom; doted on by grandparents; swept into school by affirmative action. He's got a frail ego. No executive experience, no accomplishments of his own (btw, anyone ever read anything he wrote at Harvard?). The man is an empty suit. He's gotten this far on bluster. He'll continue more of the same. Look for him to stoke the fires of class warfare over the next couple of weeks. Given his background in Chicago style politics, you can bet the threats will become more open and severe as he loses support.

Johnson was also feared by ... (Below threshold)
Hermie:

Johnson was also feared by a number of Senators, and he used this fear to get his Great Society programs. However, once these Senators lost their fear of him, primarily because as President, he no longer had control of the Senate and thus could do nothng within that body to punish those who disobeyed him. This lack of fear also did Johnson in, when those who no longer feared him fought against LBJ's war in Vietnam.

Obama's lack of executive and even leadership experience, was dismissed by the MSM. If they would've looked at his record for the Annenburg Challenge, a $100 million grant to improve svhools in Chicago, they would've seen that he accomplished nothing and the funds were not only wasted, but they went to political cronies and insiders. The students were worse off, but Obama touted this as a success.

kathie -The rea... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

kathie -

The really sad thing, I believe it is all a game of just words. It will be interesting to see his response when he looses.

You hit it solidly there - it's not about the country, it's about HIM. It's about points he scores, it's about the praise all this brings him. He's been very careful to 'win' by not doing anything of note (and as Hermie noted there's not much at all in his record to judge him by - a handful of failures he didn't seem to learn anything from and a major project where he really learned how to pay off people) and what little he HAS done as an elected official (check out Grove Parc and his involvement there) left the people who elected him measureably worse off.

But I'll bet he feels really good about what he's trying to do to us all. After all, it's not about US - it's about HIM.

It's *his* cult of personal... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

It's *his* cult of personality.

I sincerely hope his cult goes straight to hell before he drives the country there through his own hand.

The schadenfreude when that happens will be delicious.

Obama's strength comes from... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Obama's strength comes from high poll numbers. As those poll numbers drop he will lose support of Congress. It has already started as his poll numbers are trending downward sharply. And he is losing support for Cap & Trade, Healthcare reform, and EFCA to name a few.

With 60 votes in the Senate and total control of the House he should be able to rahm through anything. But Congressmen looks after themselves first. Bad legislation and policies that will make the economy worse will reflect on them and their re-election chances.

The first big tipping point will be when unemployment hits 10%. Once it hits double digits, then it becomes a symbol of failure.

Next, if the economy is still bad in January 2010 then Obama owns the economy lock stock and barrel in the eyes of the electorate. The Congressmen up for election in 2010 won't want any association with him.

Obama is running the same game plan as Jimmy Carter. It didn't get Jimmy re-elected and by the end of Jimmy's term the Democrats in Congress disliked him as much as the Republicans.

Even if I'm a day late; pos... (Below threshold)
RicardoVerde:

Even if I'm a day late; post of the day to #8 Kathie. Well said.

"" ... unpracticed in accom... (Below threshold)

"" ... unpracticed in accommodation and negotiation with his political opponents??? ""

Good Lord, man -- the sail-eared simpleton is unpracticed in even turning up for bloody work with his political opponents -- or, come to that -- in even turning up for bloody work at ALL!

The moronically-marijuana-mumbling mobbed-up modified-Marxist Mussolini-modeled murtadd-Muslim empty-galabiyah glove-puppet has spent his life to date -- when not engaged in the many un-and-anti-American associations, activities and actions with which that part of his track record not redacted is replete -- hiding, dissembling, lying, looting, living off the proceeds of crime -- his own, his organized-criminal and Mob associates and his effectively disbarred-for-cause "lawyer" wife's -- street agitating. That's it.

And during his every step on the heads of whatever taxpayers whose lives energies have supported and are continuing to support him in whatever office he has been elected to, the evil puke has spent his entire time in that office out of it campaigning for a better office whose responsibilities to evade and whose privileges and perks to abuse.

Expect our aeroplane to need a Major Overhaul -- and a good tub before 2012 -- when the clinically Narcissistic fasciSSocialist freak is booted!

PALIN/PETRAEUS/2012!

Go Mrs Palin, go! You already have every (il)liberal and his every lock-stepping-Goebbelsesque mess-media mate effectively jumping off buildings in their terror -- and we all have three and a half more years during which to enjoy the sound of their carcasses hitting the ground.


PALIN/PETRAEUS/2012!

Brian Richard Allen
Los Angeles Califobambicated 90028
And the Far Abroad

The thing is that Pelosi wi... (Below threshold)
retired military:

The thing is that Pelosi will continue to feed Obama's fantasy. She is safe and wont be beaten for reelection. She is going lockstep with Obama to push forward the great Socialist agenda.

Reid I think will be out with the midterms unless of course Acorn screws the election again.




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