FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Pigeon within the Confidence Man
Leading a Leftist political movement must be akin to coaching an SEC Football Team or working as a stand-up comic. Past performance counts for very little, and the time to produce is always now, now and Now! The Community-Organizer-In-Chief has just discovered that last week’s fishes and loaves miracle no longer impresses the yearning masses. The Hope and Change was supposed to happen in real time, which rational people understand is impossible.
But Barack Obama deliberately whipped up an unthinking movement. Nothing he did, said or proposed appealed to any sort of prolonged ratiocination. He should have known the stakes before he took the gamble. But he didn’t. Instead, there was a big, fat pigeon hiding inside America’s most successful political confidence man.
Barack Obama actually believed the fans all loved him – and that they would love him no matter what his win-loss record was. He was dumb enough to admire his own Astroturf and think he had grown the perfect golf course green.
Barack Obama now looks a bit like an SEC Head Coach who has lost in back-to-back weeks to Vanderbilt and South Carolina. He’s playing on the road next week, Tuscaloosa, Al.; and Coach S is already sharpening the medieval cutlery implements. Nobody is demanding he step down quite yet, but….
The latest evidence of his slippage involves the issue no one in The Democratic Party wants discussed. The Bad TDY, The Overseas Contingency Op, or whatever they now call The Global War on Terror, is now getting dragged kicking and screaming back into the news. This implies a sense that the news ain’t so good and that our reputation in the world is getting anything but restored these days.
Consequent the enemy in Afghanistan returning fire with actual live rounds, a majority of liberal Americans no longer see Afghanistan as the “just war” Obama claimed it was in Campaign 2008. In fact, with their side safely in office, 70% of liberals now oppose Operation Enduring Freedom and only 20% approve of increasing our troop levels involved in the fighting.
Part of this may be genuine. Justin Raimando and Cindy Sheehan even oppose wars under Democratic Administrations. Yet suspicious and inquiring minds suggest ulterior motives. Bruce McQuain at Q&O offers the following observations.
Congress is on a “dollar hunt” right now to pay for their favorite domestic agenda items. Afghanistan (and Iraq) are places where some dollars can be stolen. Popular support and money should be more than enough impetus to begin the “cut and run” mantra in earnest.
Apparently for the left, since it is no longer a blunt rhetorical instrument with which to beat George Bush over the head, Afghanistan is no longer the “good and necessary war”.
The hunt for bill payer programs to loot isn’t an entirely unjustified desire. With increasing demands for everything that government has ever offered to provide, the call for entitlements doesn’t even end in death.
Coroners and funeral directors in several cities say the number of people seeking government-paid funerals, cremations and burials is spiking. Most counties and states will use public money to cremate or bury people who are too poor to pay for private services.
“People just aren’t in a position to pay $7,000 for a private funeral and burial,” says Lt. David Smith of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, where the number of people seeking county burial has nearly doubled since last year. – HT: USA Today.
The recent signature Cash For Clunkers Program has taken in parking lots of pseudo-functional clunkers, but now has struggled mightily to disburse cash against its growing roll of obligations. If this keeps up, GM may even have to fund its own dealerships – like a private corporation or something.
The upshot of all of this is that Barack Obama now has to operate in a trade space instead of an open field. Not only that, he has to do so with his fan base already angry. He couldn’t ram through Cap-and-Trade and he may not be able to ram through Cap-and-Kill (Aka “Healthcare Reform”). His followers expect payout, and are using the war as an issue to vent their discontent.
The negative externality of a trade space is the fact that choosing to reward some of his followers now comes at the expense of some others. He promised everything to 52% of everyone and there just isn’t enough stuff to meet infinite demands for even the near term. So now President Obama has to start telling people “No, you can’t.”
Yet beneath veneer and all the Hope and Change™, Barack Obama’s coalition flocked to his banner for the plunder and the rake off. They demand a Visigoth Holiday at taxpayer expense, and telling these people “No” will work out the way it did in the cheesy, old Planet of The Apes movies.
And that may prove the fatal weakness of Community Organizer politics and the proof that a pigeon lives inside even the greatest of confidence men. There is no moral gravamen beneath it beyond “I’m getting mine.” That works when there is something left to pillage and not two minutes longer. A wise graduate of Harvard Law School would be smart enough to know these people were scorpions before he gave them a ride.