Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Obama Seems To Be Taking His Defeat In The 2012 Election Rather Well

J.R. Dunn

Make no mistake: that's what happened over the past weekend. We have been through a mercilessly condensed version of a presidential campaign, lasting only hours, in which Barack Obama ran against his own image, demonstrated himself unworthy of office, and threw away any chance of victory in next year's contest. To start with, we have his failure to deal with the budget in due time, thus allowing the crisis to build up in the first place. Then we have his walking out of the negotiations after he himself tried to pull a fast one (adding $500 billion -- that's a half-trillion, folks -- in taxes at the last minute). The threats against grandma's checks. His petulant and adolescent Friday press conference. His prolonged weekend sulk, leaving the separate houses of Congress to work their way through the crisis with no input from the White House whatsoever.

What has he got? He's got as clear a defeat as any president has ever suffered. A party in total disarray. A set of embarrassed and angry subordinates. An economic policy that's going down for the third time. A GOP heading into 2012 with a momentum comparable to that of Patton tearing into the Palatinate. And one final thing: the long-overdue public revelation of a fatally flawed and inadequate personality.

His hollowness can no longer be ignored. It has become his major feature. The Obama persona has always been pure mythology, with next to nothing holding it together. It has been deteriorating for some time, and that process reached a critical point this week. Now it will accelerate, with the pieces falling off in ever-larger chunks. He has lost the respect of his opponents. He is losing the respect of his own party. Official Washington will follow. The country as a whole will grow angry with the anger of the betrayed. All that will remain will be the true believers. A new myth will take shape: that of Obama the victim, hero of the people and onetime messiah, ambushed and pulled down by vicious and dishonorable enemies. If it weren't for Boehner, prince of evil... If it weren't for the GOP... If it weren't for the Koch brothers and all their cash... That new myth will be solid, irrefutable, and well-made. It will have to be. If the record is any indication, it's the only thing they will have for quite some time to come.

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