As the sham sales pitch and flummoxed policy behind Obamacare are exposed the attempts to portray opposition as a reaction to Obama’s race are ramping up with renewed vigor.
Yet the evidence is becoming more clear that it is not race that is the problem, it’s Obama.
A nemesis awaited the promise of this new presidency: Mr. Obama would turn out to be among the most polarizing of American leaders. No, it wasn’t his race, as Harry Reid would contend, that stirred up the opposition to him. It was his exalted views of himself, and his mission. The sharp lines were sharp between those who raised his banners and those who objected to his policies.
America holds presidential elections, we know. But Mr. Obama took his victory as a plebiscite on his reading of the American social contract. A president who constantly reminded his critics that he had won at the ballot box was bound to deepen the opposition of his critics.
A leader who set out to remake the health-care system in the country, a sixth of the national economy, on a razor-thin majority with no support whatsoever from the opposition party, misunderstood the nature of democratic politics. An election victory is the beginning of things, not the culmination.
It started long before Obamacare. It started at the earliest point in Obama’s presidency, the Stimulus.
Every president lacks legitimacy in the eyes of those who voted against him. The myth that the Supreme Court stole the election for Bush was a fundamental part of Democratic opposition.
Yet even presidents who are viewed by part of the electorate as illegitimate normally view their role as being president of all the people.
It never was that way with Obama. He won. He let us know it. And he and his supporters ruled as if those who opposed him were illegitimate.
Could it have been any different? I doubt it, given the man. I wrote on October 19, 2008:
Barack Obama also is the deep thinker who ponders great things. And the thing that Barack Obama seems to ponder most is his own greatness. He doesn’t write biographies, he writes only autobiographies. He gives speeches which he declares to be historic. He recognizes his place in history long before he has created history. This nation is but a stage upon which Barack Obama creates his life story, and it’s all about him.
Adjami writes in the link above:
If Barack Obama seems like a man alone, with nervous Democrats up for re-election next year running for cover, and away from him, this was the world he made. No advisers of stature can question his policies; the price of access in the Obama court is quiescence before the leader’s will. The imperial presidency is in full bloom.
There are no stars in the Obama cabinet today, men and women of independent stature and outlook. It was after a walk on the White House grounds with his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, that Mr. Obama called off the attacks on the Syrian regime that he had threatened. If he had taken that walk with Henry Kissinger or George Shultz, one of those skilled statesmen might have explained to him the consequences of so abject a retreat. But Mr. Obama needs no sage advice, he rules through political handlers.
Valerie Jarrett, the president’s most trusted, probably most powerful, aide, once said in admiration that Mr. Obama has been bored his whole life. The implication was that he is above things, a man alone, and anointed. Perhaps this moment—a presidency coming apart, the incompetent social engineering of an entire health-care system—will now claim Mr. Obama’s attention.
The result is what we are seeing today. An abysmally failed policy severely damaging 1/6 of the economy, treating tens of millions of people as mere rounding errors to be disregarded, and a continued demonization of all opposition.DONATE
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