Thursday, November 4, 2010

I Have a Crazy Theory about Obama

At the press conference yesterday President Obama dutifully said the words his advisers undoubtedly begged him to say like "shellacking" (has a populist, down to earth ring) and "humbling" and "carefully reflecting on the message from the voters." He also said "I take responsibility." He was careful not to criticize the voters as he did throughout the campaign, nor did he call them frightened ninnies, over-wrought or irrational. There were no references to "bitter clingers." No, he tried to appear humble, chastened, and respectful of democracy and the voting public.

It didn't work.

The questions from the press were much tougher than he is used to being asked, especially on live TV. Ben Fellers of AP started by asking: "Are you willing to concede at all that what happened last night was not just an expression of frustration about the economy but a fundamental rejection of your agenda?" Instead of the usual big, fat, slow one down the middle of the plate, this was some high, inside heat. You can listen to his four minute answer (roughly 7 min. 30 sec. to 11 min. 30 sec. mark from C-Span here), and you can see that Obama does not back down, blink or concede any such thing. His whole point boils down to the Marxist analysis that the election results can be explained by economic frustration. Isn't economics amazing; it explains everything! It is not about political philosophy or policies or morality or American exceptionalism; it is totally a "not enough in the paycheck" issue, period. The people want bipartisanship in Washington and economic solutions and it is up to government to give them what they want (not get out of the way so business can lead the recovery).

The next question, from Savannah Guthrie of NBC was even sharper. She asks if he is not reflecting on his policies, as opposed to the economic frustration of the people, is it possible that he is just "not getting it?" His scowl says it all. Watch his body language and tone. (11 min. 25 sec. in). He is not a happy camper and his famous "cool" shows a little crack here. (That Obama scowl would, in relative terms, be the equivalent of a 10-12 minute rant from a sweat-stained, weeping Glenn Beck).

When pressed yet again by another question as to what areas of policy he would be willing to compromise on that he wouldn't have been willing to do so before, he claimed that he had been compromising all along (tell it to the voters!) and then finally, to his credit admitted that Cap and Trade is dead and signaled an openness to talk about energy self-sufficiency. But this has to be more than electric cars. We will see if he is willing to walk back his opposition to economically-feasible energy sources or not.

But overall, Obama continued to blame the Republicans for not accepting his policies (his idiosyncratic definition of bipartisanship) and refused to consider repealing the health care bill. I think Guthrie nailed it: he does not get what the voters wanted him to get from the election.

Peter Wehner offers a similar assessment in Commentary:
The message from the voters, according to Obama, is that The Car (to use his beloved, overused analogy), while still in the ditch, is undeniably moving in the right direction. We just have to go faster than we are. Democratic losses can be explained because they lost the optics war: in pursuing so many wise and prudent policies all at once, you see, the hyperactive president and his administration only appeared as if they were profligate spenders and champions of big government. And what Mr. Obama most needs to do, we learned, is to get out of “the bubble” (read: Washington) more than he has. A few more trips to Idaho and Wyoming, it seems, and all would be right with the world once more.

And what set of Obama remarks would be complete without the requisite lecturing — in this case, on the importance of “civility in our discourse” and the importance of being able to “disagree without being disagreeable.” This admonition comes after Obama, during the last few days of the campaign, referred to his opponents as “enemies,” hinted that the Tea Party Movement is tinged with racism, charged Republicans with being dishonest, and accused, without a shred of evidence, the Chamber of Commerce of using illegal money to support Republican candidates across the country. But never mind. After his victory in 2008, Obama’s message to Republicans was: “I won.” Today, after his party was throttled, Obama’s message is: “Come let us reason together.”

Holy cow! He sounds like Saruman talking to Gandalf in that silky voice from up on the tower after the destruction of Isengard.

I think this means he is a one-termer for sure. But more importantly, it now seems to me that he knows full well that he is going to lose in 2012 (how could he not?), but he does not care. Why not?

People assume he is motivated - like most politicians - by a lust for power and therefore will modify his policies to get re-elected. I don't think he is an ordinary politician. I think he is such a rigid ideologue that he will do what he has to do to fend off a challenge from the left in the primaries (from say Howard Dean or Russ Feingold) and he will choose to endure another election defeat like this one if necessary without departing one iota from his ideological rigidity. But why?

When I read this story, I got a crazy idea for an answer to this puzzle. Like I said, it is crazy, but hear me out just for the fun of it.

Right after the press conference Obama is leaving for a trip to India which is as lavish and over the top as anything I have ever heard of in the history of the world. Stacey Webber at Newsreel Blog writes:

The cost of the Obama trip is estimated at 200 million dollars a day. The budget includes 40 jets, 34 war ships, 400 cars, a presidential limousine, 800 rooms at the Taj Hotel and Hyatt, 3 helicopters, 3 luxury jets, an entourage of 800 personnel, Air Force One and the cost of coconut removal from the trees due to the potential hazard they cause to the president. Just in case you were wondering, the U.S. taxpayer is on the hook for tab.

The billion dollar price tag for this ten day trip begs the question of “Why?”. When asked about the reason for the president’s visit, Jeff Bader, Senior Director for Asia Affairs at the National Security Council for the White House said that Obama

specifically wanted to celebrate Diwali and to do so with the Indian people.

Diwali is the Hindu festival of lights. It is interesting to note that the same White House so eager to celebrate the Diwali with Hindus in India, will not be wishing Americans a “Merry Christmas” but “Season’s Greetings” on their CHRISTMAS cards this year.
He wanted to celebrate Diwali with the Hindu people? Come on . . . seriously?

One of the first major speeches he made as president was addressed to the Muslim world. He wowed crowd in Berlin, fought for Kyoto, won the Nobel Prize for being a left wing American president, pushed nuclear disarmament and has sought to exemplify the Leftist worldview of the Europeans and other cultural elites who run the United Nations. When asked about American Exceptionalism he rejected it - naturally.

I think he is running for President of the World. I believe he actually sees the presidency of the United States as a stepping stone to higher and greater things. He may be the first person in history with an ego that large. But it sure would explain a lot of things that right now seem impossible to understand. And if the wheels all come off in 2012, what better qualification could someone possibly have for running the United Nations than having been rejected by the ignorant, backwoods, cowboys who make up the electorate of the United States of America?

1 comment:

Peter W. Dunn said...

I guess the Obama administration hasn't heard of hard hats. But then I wonder if they removed the coconuts from the trees in Hawaii when he was there too?