Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's 'Put Up" Time for Obama

As the inauguration of Obama looms, the Administration is nearly set - and full of Cinton people. Leftist, Centrists, PUMAs, Independents, and Republicans ask ourselves what to make of what we see.

A blogger writing under the name "Same Copeland" has two excellent articles at No Quarter that deserve a careful read.

Part 1 describes the long-standing schism in the Democratic Party. Contrary to what some Leftie Obots think this schism was not caused by the PUMA movement of 2008, which simply plays out the already existing split. Copeland writes:

Barack Obama became the selected nominee of the Democratic Party by appealing to the leftist-wing. He told the left-wing specifically what they wanted to hear about Iraq (it was wrong and we will withdraw on timetables), vaguely what they wanted to hear on economics (a hope message long on rhetoric and short on specifics), and most importantly satisfied their social identity needs to be seen as different, unique, radical, and special. Although Obama received a half a million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton, he could depend on his champion Howard Dean to manipulate the Democratic primary rules so that those votes weren’t counted in places such as Florida and Michigan.

Once the nomination was in hand, the economy blew up and the Republicans were sunk - not even Reagan could have won this election. What happened to the Champion of the Liberal Left?

Now, a funny thing happen to Barack Obama on the way to his inauguration. He became a Clintonista! During the primaries, he ridiculed the economic policies of Bill Clinton. By the end of the general election, he was claiming to bear the mantle of Clinton-nomics. Once elected, he appointed Clintonista after Clintonista to high government office, including the top Clintonista to the top spot – Senator Clinton to be the Secretary of State. The former President, who Obama’s wife once called a racist, became a co-chair of his inauguration. In contrast, Howard Dean, expecting a cabinet-level appointment, was thrown under the bus along with other leftist-wing supporters who hoped for policy-making positions in the new government.

In Part II, Copeland compares the political climates of Bill Clinton's first term and Barack Obama's. Both ran on a message of hope and change. Clinton ran on Centrist ideas, and when he put those into place, was attacked from his party's Left and by the Republicans. Obama ran on Leftist ideas, and as inauguration has drawn closer, he has moved to the Center and the Left is starting to bitch and whine that he has abandoned them.

That is the landscape before Obama. He will not be immune for long to what happens to Centrist Democrats:

The liberal’s natural ally, Moderate Republicanism, is a thing of the past. An All-American Liberal today is attacked by both the right and the left. Hillary Clinton was attacked by the likes of Ann Coulter and the adolescents at Daily Kos.

As beloved as Obama is today by the Left, is he continues on his Centrist course, the war in Iraq drags on, he gets us re-mired down in Afganistan, and the economy doesn't rebound PDQ, the sharp knives of the Left, reserved for the Clintons and other Centrists in the Democratic Party, will begin circling Obama.

In the primaries, Obama compared himself to Ronald Reagan who, in Obama’s eyes, created a new conservative movement. Obama, supposedly, was to create a similar political realignment for the left. The comparison falls short. Reagan won the 1980 election on the strength of his personality and on his political agenda, which he spelled out in detail in a series of radio broadcasts given in the late 1970s. Obama won the 2008 election on the strength of his personality and the failures of George W. Bush. He did not spell out his vision for America in the detail of Ronald Reagan, and thus there is no vision to rally a new liberal movement. He refuses to make a contrast between liberal and neo-con political philosophies (as Reagan did) and instead worships at the altar of a vague notion of bi-partisanism.

Without the vision-thing, Obama’s Presidency runs the risk of a rudderless ship much like the Presidency of George H. W. Bush.

What's a Messiah to do? If you are a hard-nosed brawler who has fooled the press and half the country into thinking you are actually a principled angel, time will be on your side for awhile.
Don’t underestimate the political skills of Barack Obama. He is a ruthless politician. The fact that our mainstream media don’t even perceive him to be a politician just makes my point.

In the current political environment, ruthlessness can be a good thing. Obama needs to be able to throw people under the bus if that is what is required to lead. But such ruthlessness has its cost.

We know Obama is good at throwing people and promises under the bus, from Grandma to Howard Dean. But even the MSM is starting to notice the sell outs. There is a honeymoon on but it will end.

Remember, this is a guy who "runs for office" and he has one more run to make. Expect him to use all his Chicago machine political skills and his magician's verbal sleight of hand to try to make that happen. He's trying to play to the crowd right now, with a bigoted Right wing preacher and a gay preacher on the Inauguration program. He's dining with Conservative journalists and threatening Congressional Democrats with a veto the moment he walks in the door. He's already made Harry Reid eat public crow over Blago's Senate replacement of Obama.

Those of us who saw him as the politican he is aren't surprised by what we are seeing. The Liberal Left is in for a rude awakening, and the Republicans will use every move he makes to rebuild their party and challenge for control of Congress in 2010.

Let the games begin.

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