When I got married twenty-three years ago I took two weeks off for my honeymoon because I knew It would be one of the few times in my working life that I could take off two weeks in a row. Political Honeymoons are supposed to last a lot longer than that, but the way things stand now, the “Presidential” honeymoon is going to be relatively short, perhaps even the same two week that I took at the beginning of my marriage.
It started a week before the inauguration President-elect Barack Obama privately delivered a pre-inauguration veto threat to fellow Democrats saying they would not deny him use of the remaining $350 billion in federal bailout funds. Source. Then Congress began flexing its muscles to show the incoming President the extent of congressional power. Diane Fienstein dissed both the President-elect and her Senate leadership, while Harry Reid made a point of reminding reporters the he does not report to the president.
Americans strongly oppose the presidents first two executive orders, allowing federal funding for overseas abortions and closing Guantanamo, according to a Gallup poll released yesterday, additionally the supposed “stimulus” bill is losing support both amongst the public and in Congress (only 38% of Americans support his plan). And just when he was going to go directly to the people by calling the Network News Anchors to the White House for interviews, Tom Daschle withdraws from his position because of a tax and lobbying scandal.
It seems as if the Honeymoon is over. This is not to say that Obama’s approval ratings are going to sink into the mid 20’s but on inauguration day, 30% of Americans disapproved of the Job he was doing, two weeks later that disapproval number is 36% . America may be realizing that the centrist Obamessiah that they voted for, is not the liberal human being that they voted for; The same Rasmussen poll shows that one month ago 65% thought that Obama was a liberal, that number has gone up to 71%. Is Obama heading toward a meltdown? Well Maybe:
We are quite literally after two weeks teetering on an Obama implosion—and with no Dick Morris to bail him out—brought on by messianic delusions of grandeur, hubris, and a strange naivete that soaring rhetoric and a multiracial profile can add requisite cover to good old-fashioned Chicago politicking.
First, there were the sermons on ethics, belied by the appointments of tax dodgers, crass lobbyists, and wheeler-dealers like Richardson—with the relish of the Blago tapes still to come. (And why does Richardson/Daschle go, but not Geithner?).
Second, was the “stimulus” (the euphemism for “borrow/print money”) that was simply a way to go into debt for a generation to shower Democratic constinuencies with cash.
Then third, there were the inflated lectures on historic foreign policy to be made by the clumsy political novice who trashed his own country and his predecessor in the most ungracious manner overseas to a censured Saudi-run press organ (e.g., Bush is dictatorial, the Saudi king is courageous; Obama can mend bridges that America broke to aggrieved Muslims (apparently Tehran hostages, Rushdie, serial attacks in the 1990s, 9/11, Madrid, London never apparently occurred, and neither did feeding Somalis, saving Kuwait, protesting Chechnya, Bosnia/Kosovo, billions to Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinians, help in two Afghan wars, and on and on).
Fourth, there was the campaign rhetoric of Bush shredding the Constitution—FISA, Guantanamo, Patriot Act, Iraq, renditions, etc.—followed by “all that for now stays the same” inasmuch as we haven’t ben hit in over seven years and can’t risk another attack.
Fifth, Gibbs as press secretary is a Scott McClellan nightmare that won’t go away, given his long McClellan-like relationship with Obama (McClellan should have been fired on day hour one on the job). Blaming Fox News for Obama’s calamities is McClellan to the core and doesn’t work. He already reminds me of Rev. Wright’s undoing at the National Press Club—and he will get worse.
Six, Biden is being Biden. Already, he’s ridiculed the chief justice, trashed the former VP, bragged on himself ad nauseam in Bidenesque weird ways, and it’s only been two weeks.
And the result of all this?
At home, Obama is becoming laughable and laying the groundwork for the greatest conservative populist reaction since the Reagan Revolution.
Abroad, some really creepy people are lining up to test Obama’s world view of “Bush did it/but I am the world”: The North Koreans are readying their missiles; the Iranians are calling us passive, bragging on nukes and satellites; Russia is declaring missile defense is over and the Euros in real need of iffy Russian gas; Pakistanis say no more drone attacks (and then our friends the Indians say “shut up” about Kashmir and the Euros order no more ‘buy American”).
This is quite serious. I can’t recall a similarly disastrous start in a half-century (far worse than Bill Clinton’s initial slips). Obama immediately must lower the hope-and-change rhetoric, ignore Reid/Pelosi, drop the therapy, and accept the tragic view that the world abroad is not misunderstood but quite dangerous. And he must listen on foreign policy to his National Security Advisor, Billary, and Sec. of Defense. If he doesn’t quit the messianic style and perpetual campaign mode, and begin humbly governing, then he will devolve into Carterism—angry that the once-fawning press betrayed him while we the people, due to our American malaise, are to blame.