Charles Krauthammer, writing at RealClearPolitics tells us that Obama the Lightworker has now been revealed to have feet of clay, that he is, in fact, mortal for all to see. Perhaps. My comment follows.
September 4, 2009
Obama, The Mortal
By Charles Krauthammer
WASHINGTON -- What happened to President Obama? His wax wings having melted, he is the man who fell to earth. What happened to bring his popularity down further than that of any new president in polling history save Gerald Ford (post-Nixon pardon)?
The conventional wisdom is that Obama made a tactical mistake by farming out his agenda to Congress and allowing himself to be pulled left by the doctrinaire liberals of the Democratic congressional leadership. But the idea of Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi pulling Obama left is quite ridiculous. Where do you think he came from, this friend of Chavista ex-terrorist William Ayers, of PLO apologist Rashid Khalidi, of racialist inciter Jeremiah Wright?
But forget the character witnesses. Just look at Obama's behavior as president, beginning with his first address to Congress. Unbidden, unforced and unpushed by the congressional leadership, Obama gave his most deeply felt vision of America, delivering the boldest social democratic manifesto ever issued by a U.S. president. In American politics, you can't get more left than that speech and still be on the playing field.
In a center-right country, that was problem enough. Obama then compounded it by vastly misreading his mandate. He assumed it was personal. This, after winning by a mere seven points in a year of true economic catastrophe, of an extraordinarily unpopular Republican incumbent, and of a politically weak and unsteady opponent. Nonetheless, Obama imagined that, as Fouad Ajami so brilliantly observed, he had won the kind of banana-republic plebiscite that grants caudillo-like authority to remake everything in one's own image.
Accordingly, Obama unveiled his plans for a grand makeover of the American system, animating that vision by enacting measure after measure that greatly enlarged state power, government spending and national debt. Not surprisingly, these measures engendered powerful popular skepticism that burst into tea-party town-hall resistance.
Obama's reaction to that resistance made things worse. Obama fancies himself tribune of the people, spokesman for the grass roots, harbinger of a new kind of politics from below that would upset the established lobbyist special-interest order of Washington. Yet faced with protests from a real grass-roots movement, his party and his supporters called it a mob -- misinformed, misled, irrational, angry, unhinged, bordering on racist. All this while the administration was cutting backroom deals with every manner of special interest -- from drug companies to auto unions to doctors -- in which favors worth billions were quietly and opaquely exchanged.
"Get out of the way" and "don't do a lot of talking," the great bipartisan scolded opponents whom he blamed for creating the "mess" from which he is merely trying to save us. If only they could see. So with boundless confidence in his own persuasiveness, Obama undertook a summer campaign to enlighten the masses by addressing substantive objections to his reforms.
Things got worse still. With answers so slippery and implausible and, well, fishy, he began jeopardizing the most fundamental asset of any new president -- trust. You can't say that the system is totally broken and in need of radical reconstruction, but nothing will change for you; that Medicare is bankrupting the country, but $500 billion in cuts will have no effect on care; that you will expand coverage while reducing deficits -- and not inspire incredulity and mistrust. When ordinary citizens understand they are being played for fools, they bristle.
After a disastrous summer -- mistaking his mandate, believing his press, centralizing power, governing left, disdaining citizens for (of all things) organizing -- Obama is in trouble.
Let's be clear: This is a fall, not a collapse. He's not been repudiated or even defeated. He will likely regroup and pass some version of health insurance reform that will restore some of his clout and popularity.
But what has occurred -- irreversibly -- is this: He's become ordinary. The spell is broken. The charismatic conjurer of 2008 has shed his magic. He's regressed to the mean, tellingly expressed in poll numbers hovering at 50 percent.
For a man who only recently bred a cult, ordinariness is a great burden, and for his acolytes, a crushing disappointment. Obama has become a politician like others. And like other flailing presidents, he will try to salvage a cherished reform -- and his own standing -- with yet another prime-time speech.
But for the first time since election night in Grant Park, he will appear in the most unfamiliar of guises -- mere mortal, a treacherous transformation to which a man of Obama's supreme self-regard may never adapt.
Perhaps. But this is the email I sent Krauthammer:
The turning point, certainly, but turning in which direction? Do you suppose that these people, having achieved their life-long dream, will go gently into that political night? If the magic has evaporated, the gloved fist may appear.
Politicians may be blackmailed, incidents fabricated, Reichstags burnt, elections stolen. Don't celebrate Obama's falling poll numbers and apparent loss of control. His psychology alone suggests that this cornered rat could be supremely dangerous.
Speaking of rats ...
Both Sides Blowing Smoke In Gun Debate
"In an election year you expect Washington to be full of phony arguments. But even a cynic must marvel at the all-round phoniness of the debate over repeal of the assault weapons ban. Both sides are blowing smoke.
The claim of the advocates that banning these 19 types of "assault weapons" will reduce the crime rate is laughable. (The term itself is priceless: What are all the other guns in America's home arsenal? Encounter weapons? Crime-enabling devices?) There are dozens of other weapons, the functional equivalent of these "assault weapons," that were left off the list and are perfect substitutes for anyone bent on mayhem.
On the other side you have Rep. Gerald Solomon, R-N.Y., demanding in trembling fury that the ban be repealed because his wife, alone in upstate New York, needs protection. Well, OK. But must it be an AK-47? Does, say, a .44 magnum - easier to carry, by the way - not suffice for issuing a credible "Go ahead, make my day"?
In fact, the assault weapons ban will have no significant effect either on the crime rate or on personal security. Nonetheless, it is a good idea, though for reasons its proponents dare not enunciate. I am not up for re-election. So let me elaborate the real logic of the ban:
It is simply crazy for a country as modern, industrial, advanced and now crowded as the United States to carry on its frontier infatuation with guns. Yes, we are a young country but the frontier has been closed for 100 years.
In 1992, there were 13,220 handgun murders in the United States. Canada (an equally young country, one might note) had 128; Britain, 33.
Ultimately, a civilized society must disarm its citizenry if it is to have a modicum of domestic tranquility of the kind enjoyed in sister democracies like Canada and Britain. Given the frontier history and individualist ideology of the United States, however, this will not come easily. It certainly cannot be done radically.
It will probably take one, maybe two generations. It might be 50 years before the United States gets to where Britain is today.
Krauthammer the rat, Part II
"Passing a law like the assault weapons ban is a symbolic - purely symbolic - move in that direction. Its only real justification is not to reduce crime but to desensitize the public to the regulation of weapons in preparation for their ultimate confiscation. Its purpose is to spark debate, highlight the issue, make the case that the arms race between criminals and citizens is as dangerous as it is pointless.
De-escalation begins with a change in mentality. And that change in mentality starts with the symbolic yielding of certain types of weapons. The real steps, like the banning of handguns, will never occur unless this one is taken first, and even then not for decades.
What needs to happen before this change in mentality can occur? What must occur first - and this is where liberals are fighting the gun control issue from the wrong end - is a decrease in crime. So long as crime is ubiquitous, so long as Americans cannot entrust their personal safety to the authorities, they will never agree to disarm. There will be no gun control before there is real crime control.
True, part of the reason for the high crime rate is the ubiquity of guns - which makes the argument circular and a solution seem impossible. But there are other, egregious encouragements to crime that gun control advocates ignore at their peril. The lack of swift and certain retribution, for example.
In the United States, 4 (!) percent of all robberies result in time served. Tell your stickup man, "You can go to jail for this," and he can correctly respond, "25-to-1 says I don't."
Yes, Sarah Brady is doing God's work. Yes, in the end America must follow the way of other democracies and disarm. But there is not the slightest chance that it will occur until liberals join in the other fights to reduce the incidence of and increase the penalties for crime. Only then will there be a public receptive to the idea of real gun control." (Copyright, 1996, Washington Post Writers Group)
Yep, typical neocon - no real understanding or love of liberty. He was an unabashed cheerleader for every outrageous expansion of government power, especially executive "war powers," during the Bush years - which powers Obama now has in hand - who is now crying crocodile tears over what Obama is doing with that power.
Does anyone else remember how before the mid term elections the reports were about republican voters being angry about spending? The republicans lose the majority status. And the next day the vote was a referendum on the war?
What are they going to do to prop up the Obamessiah?
Keep watch for some sleazy trick.
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