One of our commenters the other day made a remark to effect that the only thing that can save Barack Obama’s presidency is a Republican Congress in 2010. Ironically, this may be true because the only thing the president has demonstrated any serious proficiency at is the art of campaigning. Even his once vaunted oratorical skills, always overrated in my mind, have been rendered useless by the tactic of all Obama, all the time (and the vacuousness of the President’s speeches). The contrast between Candidate Obama’s rhetoric and President Obama’s policy has had the effect of emasculating his credibility. However, as a campaigner the president may still retain some power if only he had something to campaign against.
The Tea Parties and Town hall meetings have made it clear that the President’s real political adversaries are not Republicans but his own Democratic Party. And he can’t run against them. In fact, as the
Obama’s decision is complicated by a deepening domestic political divide and no guarantee of success whichever option he chooses. One observer, characterizing the president’s dilemma at its most extreme, said: “He can send more troops and it will be a disaster and he will destroy the Democratic Party. Or he can send no more troops and it will be a disaster and the Republicans will say he lost the war.”
As voters have determined in the eight months Obama has been in office, there is a big difference between running against something (like George Bush) and actually leading with policy. The president is leading with a far Left policy that voters are having trouble finding as a they reexamine the fine print of Candidate Obama’s promises in 2008. The wobbling on Afghanistan only brings back memories of McNamara and LBJ. The unilateral concessions on European missile defenses are a reminder of Cold War appeasement. These contrasts represent just the recent foreign policy challenges. Obama’s domestic policies are in an even worse political condition.
It may be that this President’s political survival is tied directly to an opposition Republican majority in Congress that he can run against. The incumbent Democratic Party led by Nancy Pelosi and her liberal ideologues has galvanized the Republican opposition in a manner that could not have been foreseen in January of this year. Ironically, Obama made need to throw these Democrats under the bus to ensure his own survival. It’s a wonder what moderate Democrats think of that?