“Remember,” Ed Morissey wrote yesterday with some nostalgia, those “heady days of ‘hope and change’?”
That was Obama’s argument that only he could change the way Washington worked as an outsider with few obligations to the Establishment. How voters bought that notion from a Chicago Machine politician is a matter for future psychiatrists and comedians, but Obama’s jerk to the Left and the embrace of old class-warfare arguments and policies appear to have derailed any serious attempt to curtail deficits, at least for the short term.
And the longer Obama governs, the more we see that the image he and his campaign created is at odds with his record. Ed’s right; that people bought into it is indeed a matter for psychiatrists and comedians.
That our journalists did not delve into his record to see if it matched his rhetoric causes one to question their competency. Sarah Palin’s daughter’s ex-boyfriend becomes a source of information on the accomplished Alaska reformer, but Barack Obama’s minister of twenty years (about as long as that ex- had been alive, much longer than he knew the Palins) is off limits.
Today, two of my favorite sources of libertarian/conservative opinion, Glenn Reynolds and the WSJ.com’s Political Diary (available by subscription) linked and/or excerpted Peter Wehner’s must-read piece on Obama’s Disquieting Heroic Fantasies. Wehner notes how Obama created this image of this new kind of politician out of whole cloth,about which Morrissey recently reminisced, offering an image of himself opposite to the actual politician Obama has been:
I have written before about Obama’s deep, almost desperate, need to portray himself as the opposite of what he is, to conceive of himself in a way that is at odds with reality. We have seen it in all sorts of areas, including claiming himself to be a voice of civility, portraying himself as a champion of bi-partisanship, lecturing others about profligate spending, and saying he is the only responsible “adult” in Washington. Now we see this habit in a new arena – this time, the president as Obama the Stoic, a man so committed to “pressing on” for the cause of social justice he just doesn’t have time to feel sorry for himself. Indeed, he has now decided to sermonize to others not to complain, not to grumble, and to “stop crying.”
. . . .
If there has been a president in my lifetime who has felt more sorry for himself – who has laid the blame for his failures on more people (George W. Bush, the Congressional GOP, the Tea Party, conservative talk radio hosts, millionaires and billionaires) and more things (ATMs, Japanese tsunamis, the Arab Spring, Fox News, Wall Street, et cetera) – I can’t think of who that might be.
. . . .
What we are seeing is a president attempt to create, almost out of whole cloth, his owncharacter, his own narrative, his own truth. That might work in an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel; it works less well in an American presidential campaign.
Read the whole thing.