In a little more than two hours, Barack Obama will reach the midpoint of his presidency. And we here at GayPatriot, along with many other thoughtful conservatives across the country (not to mention perhaps a plurality of independents) either wonder or marvel at his success at staying on.
We would have thought that after his first four years, a majority of voting Americans would have seen through his sometimes soaring rhetoric and despaired at his attempts to divide us. They would have understood that despite the narrative he created in the 2008 campaign, he was a partisan politician first and not a post partisan unifier.
Yet, the record notwithstanding, some people, perhaps a majority of Americans, still like the idea of Barack Obama. And the legacy media certainly made it easier for them to like him, amplifying images that made the Democrats appear to be a regular guy, relaxed on TV talk shows, brewing his own beer, watching sports. And, in the final days of the campaign, the images of him together with the Republican governor of New Jersey showed him as identical to his 2008 billing, a man, pursuing the national interest, above the rough and tumble of partisan politics.
Americans wanted to like this man. And the media have made it easier for them.
Those who still like the idea of Barack Obama like that idea far more than does Barack Obama himself.
No sooner than he wins reelection he reverts to his partisan self, refusing to compromise with Republicans on the fiscal cliff, attacking them in word and action. Quite a contrast from the image he tried to craft.
“On the night President Obama won re-election,” the editors of Investor’s Business Daily observe, the Democrat “employed the same soaring rhetoric about a unified America that first won him national attention”, but his rhetoric shifted in his press conference a few days ago,
“Republicans, he said . . . are holding “a gun at the head of the American people,” and are threatening either to “gut Medicare” or “wreck the entire economy.”
He said Republicans are “suspicious about government’s commitments to make sure that seniors have decent health care (and) have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat.”
He described the GOP position on the debt ceiling as “either we get our way a hundred percent of the time or otherwise, you know, we are going to default on America’s obligations.”
You simply don’t bludgeon people you’re trying to work with.
(H/t Instapundit.) Obama’s actions, the editors report, match the more recent rhetoric:
Instead of living up to his campaign promise to focus on jobs, the economy and the national debt, he’s pushing hugely divisive issues — gun control, immigration, global warming — or in-your-face nominees like Chuck Hagel.
Perhaps, he will offer more conciliatory words tomorrow as he “officially” begins his second term, but as we know from his recent unifying addresses, they will be just that words, words at odds with his record.
And all too many of his admirers in the legacy media will amplify the words and downplay the record.