Obama: Too Liberal for the Country; not Liberal enough for his Base

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 10th, 2010

Obama the Bridge Burner

In business, and in life in general, it is wise not to burn your bridges.  It pays to hold your tongue.  Unleashing a verbal tirade may feel good at the moment but it doesn’t make you look good.  It makes it difficult to salvage anything good out of a bad situation.  And more times than not burning a bridge will come back to haunt you.  For today’s enemy may be tomorrow’s ally.

President Obama is a smart man.  He may be pompous and arrogant, but he understands politics.  And when it comes to bridges, one would expect that he’d be prudent.  During the recent debate over extending the Bush tax cuts, however, he hasn’t.  Instead, his approach has been to basically say ‘flame on’ to friend and foe alike (see From Audacity to Animosity by Peggy Noonan posted 12/9/2010 on The Wall Street Journal).

President Obama was supposed to be announcing an important compromise, as he put it, on tax policy. Normally a president, having agreed with the opposition on something big, would go through certain expected motions. He would laud the specific virtues of the plan, show graciousness toward the negotiators on the other side—graciousness implies that you won—and refer respectfully to potential critics as people who’ll surely come around once they are fully exposed to the deep merits of the plan.

Instead Mr. Obama said, essentially, that he hates the deal he just agreed to, hates the people he made the deal with, and hates even more the people who’ll criticize it. His statement was startling in the breadth of its animosity. Republicans are “hostage takers” who worship a “holy grail” of “tax cuts for the wealthy.” “That seems to be their central economic doctrine.”

As for the left, they ignore his accomplishments and are always looking for “weakness and compromise.” They are “sanctimonious,” “purist,” and just want to “feel good about” themselves. In a difficult world, they cling to their “ideal positions” and constant charges of “betrayals.”

Waaa!  Waaa!  Waaa!  I hate you.  I hate you all.  I’m taking my legislation and going home.

The leader of the free world has spoken.

Dropping the ‘F’ Bomb on the President

And just how angry are those in his base?  Pretty darn angry (see Profanity, Anger Spill Over in House Democratic Caucus Meeting by Anna Palmer posted 12/9/2010 on Roll Call).

The frustration with President Barack Obama over his tax cut compromise was palpable and even profane at Thursday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting.

One unidentified lawmaker went so far as to mutter “f— the president” while Rep. Shelley Berkley was defending the package the president negotiated with Republicans. Berkley confirmed the incident, although she declined to name the specific lawmaker.

Not quite the ‘You lie‘ uttered by South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson during Obama’s 2009 health care speech to the House.  Actually, “f— the president” seems a bit worse.  That’s some pretty strong language.  In fact, it would probably be harder to find stronger language. 

Dropping the ‘f’ bomb on the president.  I doubt a Republican ever said that about Ronald Reagan.  Then again, members of Reagan’s party respected him.

Closing Gitmo was a Slam Dunk

This is the problem when you try to govern to the wishes of 20% of the population.  Pleasing this 20% just pisses off the other 80%.  And then the 80% votes against you at the midterm election.

Poor 20%.  And things don’t look like they’re going to get better any time soon (see House acts to block closing of Gitmo by Stephen Dinan posted 12/8/2010 on The Washington Times).

Congress on Wednesday signaled it won’t close the prison at Guantanamo Bay or allow any of its suspected terrorist detainees to be transferred to the U.S., dealing what is likely the final blow to President Obama’s campaign pledge to shutter the facility in Cuba.

Closing Gitmo was a slam dunk.  So what happened? 

Well, no nations wanted to take the prisoners.  The American people weren’t all that keen on trying them in the U.S. legal system.  And releasing them wasn’t a good idea because many just became terrorists again (see Gitmo Recidivism Rate Soars by Thomas Joscelyn posted 12/7/2010 on The Weekly Standard).  It turns out that Gitmo was a pretty darn good place to leave these bad guys after all.  Obama no doubt rues that campaign promise.

Obama Fails to Deliver Amnesty for Illegal Aliens, Too.

But that ain’t his only failed campaign promise.  There was going to be immigration reform.  Or, rather, amnesty for illegal aliens to increase Democrat voter turnout.  But this appears to be stalling, too.  And this in a lame duck congress that his party still controls (see Democrats delay action on young immigrants bill by Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Associated Press, posted 12/9/2010 on Yahoo! News).

The Senate moved Thursday to delay a politically charged showdown vote on legislation carving out a path to legal status for foreign-born youngsters brought to this country illegally, putting off but probably not preventing the measure’s demise.

Facing GOP objections, Democrats put aside the so-called Dream Act and said they’d try again to advance it before year’s end. They’re short of the 60 votes needed to do so, however, and critics in both parties quickly said they won’t change their minds in the waning days of the Democratic-controlled Congress.

Some days it’s just not good to be a liberal Democrat trying to govern against the will of the American people.

Damned if he Does; Damned if he Doesn’t

And some days it’s just not good to be stuck with a Barack Obama (from Noonan above).

The Democrats’ problem is that most of them know that the person who would emerge, who would challenge Mr. Obama from the left, would never, could never, win the 2012 general election. He’d lose badly and take the party with him. Democratic professionals know the mood of the country. Challenging Mr. Obama from the left would mean definitely losing the presidency, as opposed to probably losing the presidency.

That’s the problem with lying to win elections.  The truth eventually comes out.  And it has.  The moderates and independents have long since learned that Obama is no moderate.  But if he wants to remain president, he’ll have to learn how to become one pretty darn fast.  And lose what’s left of his liberal base in the process.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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