“The greatest mistake Ronald Reagan’s opponents ever made – and they made it over and over again – was to underestimate him. Same with Obama. The difference is that Reagan was so deeply self-assured that he invited underestimation – low expectations are a priceless political asset – whereas Obama’s vanity makes him always needing to appear the smartest guy in the room. Hence that display of prickliness in his disastrous post-deal news conference last week. But don’t be fooled by defensive style or thin-skinned temperament. The president is a very smart man. How smart? His comeback is already a year ahead of Clinton’s.” Charles Krauthammer, ‘Comeback Kid? Obama Leaves Clinton in Dust’, www.investors.com. December 16, 2010
Charles Krauthammer was trained as a professional psychiatrist. It is interesting that he imposes on Barack Obama the personal characteristics that have defined his own career as a columnist. For Krauthammer has always prided himself on being the smartest man in the room, the smartest talking head among all those dreadful talking heads in the nation’s capital. He also manifests that thin-skin that leads smart men into unpleasant public interchanges with better-balanced opponents. Interestingly, Krauthammer confronts the same personal dilemma as the President. For Krauthammer, like the President, in reality is a declining force, a once-soaring Roman candle that has now largely expended its attraction and is falling, slowly and unspectacularly to the ground.
So the Messiah has redeemed himself by signing on to a 2-year extension of President George W. Bush’s grand design to lower the tax burden on working Americans? Does that represent a Third Coming? For, if Obama is now back in harness as the Messiah surely his despised predecessor, W, must have represented the Second Coming! Maybe Barack Obama is the harbinger of Armageddon? Pull yourself together, Charles Krauthammer. All God’s souls are not yet risen again and walking on this Earth. And if they were, just think of Al Gore’s anguish at the pollution of the Planet.
By helping to extend the tax cuts, has the GOP confirmed Obama into office for a second term? Has the GOP reinstated Obama among the 80 percent of Americans who do not adhere to socialist ideology? Has the GOP prevailed upon the President to abandon Marxism for laissez-faire capitalism? Even a psychiatrist surely does not anticipate such a miraculous transformation.
Barack Obama is a deeply committed progressive socialist, understandably prepared to bend to an occasional adverse wind in order to pursue his ideology into the longer term. A significant majority even of a rationally ignorant electorate has awakened to that reality. That is a major reason why such a vote majority threw so many socialist bums out of office on November 2, 2010. Sensible individuals know that leopards usually do not change their spots. They also know the damage that a second-term President can inflict on a poorly-functioning market-place, as he contemplates, without electoral penalty, his future glorification in the Hall of Progressive Socialist Fame.
Like President Clinton before him, President Obama’s reputation will improve as a consequence of the GOP corset that will constrain his actions. But it is the corset, not the heaving flesh and flailing arms, that is responsible for good behavior. The electorate understands that reality. And unless Americans lurch once more to the left, President Obama is dead meat in November 2012.