In commenting on an editorial in the Economist wondering where President Obama went wrong, the ever insightful Jennifer Rubin summarizes how this supposedly post-partisan leader has governed.
His mode of governance â€” denigrate the opposition, engage in ad hominem attacks, refuse to compromise on substantive policy, disguise radical policy intentions with a haze of meaningless rhetoric â€” bespeaks someone supremely confident in his ideological views and undaunted by fears (which are slowly creeping up on his Red state colleagues) of having overshot his mandate.
Her words call to mind a thought I had had earlier in the week as I pondered all those idealistic young people once so enthusiastic about Obama’s campaign, really believing that this charismatic man was, as he billed himself, a new kind of politician able to transcend partisan differences.
As they wake up to the reality of his “mode of governance,” how will they react?
The man who promised to transcend partisan differences exaggerates them.Â The candidate who decried ever increasing federal deficits offers a budget which increases them even more.
Will his deceptions make them more cynical toward politics in general?Â Will they treat him as does a woman who finds a man’s romantic blandishments were just his strategy to get her into bed?Â Or will they chalk up their faith in him to their own youthful idealism?
How will they reconcile the idealism of his campaign with the reality of his Administration?