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3/7/2009
A TIPPING POINT ON OBAMA IN SIGHT?

Mark Tapscott thinks so:

Did you feel it? The political ground shifting beneath President Barack Obama since his speech last week to Congress? It’s been downhill since and I’m not referring mainly to the Dow Jones record-setting dive. The pivot point of the shift was the speech, or rather what the speech did to the evolving public narrative of Obama.

The case Mr. Tapscott tries to make seems a little forced to me - at this point. Here are a few of his bullets:

1. Increased audiences for Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

2. Some Democrats in Congress bailing on the omnibus spending package and the tax increases in Obama’s budget.

3. A coherent conservative critique appears to be emerging. As evidence, Tapscott points to two excellent articles this week that provide plenty of logical conservative ammunition to critics.

Paralleling these developments, a potentially devastatng conservative case against Obama is coming together rapidly. Two influential columns this week tell the tale: On Thursday, Daniel Henninger offers this crucial observation in a WSJ piece otherwise devoted to asking why Republicans aren’t more eagerly and quickly taking advantage of the fact the Obama Democrats have all but declared war on the 75 percent of the U.S. economy that is private and therefore productive of the nation’s wealth:

“Beyond the stock market, there is a reason why, despite much goodwill toward his presidency, the Obama response to the faltering economy has left many feeling undone. There isn’t much in his plan to stir the national soul. It’s about ’sacrifice’ now so that we can live for a future of small electric cars and windmills. This may move the Democratic Party’s faith communities, but it cannot revive a great nation. If the Democrats want to embrace market failure as a basis for their ideology, let them have it. As politics, it’s a downer.”

The second column appeared today in The Washington Post and was written by Charles Krauthammer. Obama’s mastery of public speaking has heretofore served to deflect attention away from the details of what he is actually proposing. And there is in those details, according to Krauthammer, a fundamental deception: Obama summons visions of catastrophe that are the result of too little government regulation of the financial markets and he offers as a solution vastly more government regulation of …. health care, energy and education.

“The ‘day of reckoning’ has now arrived. And because ‘it is only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we’ll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament,’ Obama has come to redeem us with his far-seeing program of universal, heavily nationalized health care; a cap-and-trade tax on energy; and a major federalization of education with universal access to college as the goal.

“Amazing. As an explanation of our current economic difficulties, this is total fantasy. As a cure for rapidly growing joblessness, a massive destruction of wealth, a deepening worldwide recession, this is perhaps the greatest non sequitur ever foisted upon the American people,” Krauthammer said.

I think Mark is getting a little ahead of himself - as are many conservatives - who see the entire narrative, so carefully constructed over these many months by the media about Obama, suddenly shifting to reflect the realities of what the president is proposing as well as the myths surrounding his brilliance, his competence, and even his work ethic.

Wall Street is making its judgement as we speak. They cannot afford to listen to spin or engage in the kind of pretense about the Obama administration many Democrats are currently trying to foist upon us. They, like us, realize that the president’s personnel shop is in shambles, that his Treasury Secretary is the most spectacularly underperforming cabinet member in American history (given the fact that we were told the economic recovery depended on us ignoring the fact that he is a tax criminal and confirming him anyway), that there is no plan at all to deal with the banking crisis that worsens as you read this, that his foreign policy gaffes continue to make the United States look weak, indecisive, and ridiculous, and that in the midst of the worse economic crisis in a generation, the White House has chosen to waste time and effort to demonize a talk show host and try to paint his face on the Republican party.

We know all this. But the idea that these facts have altered or are even in the process of altering the fundamental narrative about Obama and his Administration is premature and borders on wishful thinking. As long as the Democrats can keep this a Republican economy, Obama will remain relatively unscathed. Defections from Democratic ranks on his budget will be few and given their huge majority in the House, insignificant. Even the declining stock market will be spun as sour grapes by the rich who don’t want to see their taxes raised.

Expectations on recovery are so low at this point that they will be able to spin any rise in job creation as occurring as a result of their porkulus package - even if, as most economists predict, the overall jobless rate will continue to climb. And as long as Republicans fail to offer anything remotely resembling an alternative to Obama’s ruinously transformative spending plans, the Democrats can paint the opposition to Obama as being obstructionist. (Adopting some of Newt Gingirich’s 12 points to recovery would be a nice start).

I think Tapscott is right about a consensus forming among the right regarding how to go about criticizing the president. Lord knows there’s enough ammo. The problem is getting by the major gatekeepers in the media who are still in a full blown Obama swoon. Some of the puff pieces on this guy and his family have been incredible. He buys his kids a new swingset and that rates cutsie article in AP. Some sex therapist writes on NBC’s website about the “5 Love Lessons” we can get from watching the Obama’s. No thanks, they appear much too demure for my tastes. As I have written previously, “I like my sports violent and my sex hot, sweaty, and loud.” The Obama’s strike me as a couple that would enjoy reading “The Kama Sutra” in the original Sanskrit or whatever while I prefer classic porn of the Debbie Does Dallas era.

Sorry, but in order to get beyond a narrative that holds up the first couple as idealized, perfect sex partners worthy of being imitated, we have some work to do. And I don’t think altering the narrative will happen in one “Eureka!” moment but rather a gradual chipping away at the myths, the lies, the spin, and the sleight of hand Democrats will use to distract people from the truly awful results that will occur when Obama’s policies come a cropper.

Unless I miss my guess, that day is coming sooner than the Democrats or Obama could possibly dream.

By: Rick Moran at 12:35 pm
28 Responses to “A TIPPING POINT ON OBAMA IN SIGHT?”
  1. 1
    Mark30339 Said:
    12:54 pm 

    This post was worth waiting for. One quibble:

    Sorry, but in order to Let’s get beyond a narrative that holds up the first couple as idealized, perfect sex partners worthy of being imitated – after all, we have some work to do.

  2. 2
    michael reynolds Said:
    1:57 pm 

    Wall Street. Would that be the same Wall Street that went up and up and up as we sailed blithely into this economic disaster?

    Is there some reason we should trust the brilliance of Wall Street? How about the economic media? The Republican Party? The punditocracy?

    I know it’s a crazy notion, but I tend to suspect the judgment of people who have been spectacularly wrong in the past.

    In fact, the more Wall Street, the GOP, CNBC and the punditocracy congeals around a single story line, the more optimistic I will become. All I need now is a Time Magazine cover confirming that Obama is a failure and we’re all doomed. That’s when I’ll start seriously buying stock.

  3. 3
    Reaganite Republican Resistance Said:
    2:06 pm 

    President Obama has zero business experience or sense (unless you count pay-to-play arrangements or public-housing scandalous with felon Tony Rezko in Illinois).
    -
    Barack puts together a cabinet with no CEOs or anybody else that could upstage the comprehensively unaccomplished Obama. Then he unviels wild spending plans embedded with pork-n-welfare totalling trillions of dollars… when we are already running record deficits. Such spending has no historical precedent of success in stimulating the economy, so the stock market shrinks-back in horror.
    -
    Although the MSM has so much invested in his success that they can no-longer afford anything resembling a balanced perspective, SOME journalists and talk-show hosts come out publicly against his plans… so he launches attacks, including paid TV ads against them. (can you imagine the uproar if W had done this?)
    -
    When the GOP members of Congress that Obama promised for over a year to work with in a new, post-partisan manner voice their concerns, he tells them “I’ll trump you on that” and “I won”.
    -
    He is ramming-through a far left agenda he knows we can’t afford, so later will “have to” crank-up taxes to eye-watering Swedish levels when inflation hits 10% and the dollar tanks… thereby running through the back-door the soaking of the job-creating “rich” that he dreamed of doing while “burning one” with is Marxist professors.
    -
    Most likely outcome? Stale economy, high taxes, high inflation, international embarrassments, endless ethics issues… followed by a Democratic bloodbath in the 2010 mid-terms. Obama’s support might not be weakening yet, but Wall St. looks-out 6-12 mos ahead… and what they’re saying is that the economy will be in the toilet during the 2010 mid-term campaign. And it’ hard to iimagine there being no upcoming international humiliation or ethics drama with this President.

  4. 4
    Derrick Said:
    2:06 pm 

    Weren’t we hearing the same thing around the time of the stimulus? The fact is that while the Republican Party would love to hand this crisis over to Obama, most people aren’t stupid or partisan enough to expect instant results. Most people will allow him some room to succeed or fail when he’s gotten a chance to implement his policies. 9/11 happened 9 months into Bush’s Presidency yet most people saw it as a failure of Bush and Clinton because that’s quite frankly what it was. If we gave Bush 9+ months before judging him a failure, I think most people will give Obama similar leeway to judge him. Sorry for the rationale analysis, but that’s how most people who aren’t invested in him losing political power and their side gaining it will probably feel.

    I basically agree with you. My point was that despite ample evidence that Obama is not as advertised, it will take many months of what we’ve seen over the last month before people even start to question this guy. That’s how powerful the narrative is about him right now.

    ed.

  5. 5
    BD57 Said:
    4:16 pm 

    When it comes to public opinion polling, Derrick is correct - Obama & the Democratic Congress will be given some time to produce (and the benefit of the doubt in the meantime).

    Where Derrick’s mistaken is in the inherent assumption that public opinion polling is all there is. “Economic polling” - the decisions people make TODAY based on how they view their finances TODAY - is ongoing … and unlike public opinion polling, there’s no slack given (people tend to focus more on ‘worst case’ when their money’s involved).

    Here’s the thing - if the economic polling stays negative, the public opinion polling will eventually follow.

    Which means “Do Obama’s economic policies make sense?” is a far more important question than “How’s he polling these days?”

  6. 6
    John E. Howard Said:
    6:34 pm 

    I don’t think altering the narrative will happen in one “Eureka!” moment but rather a gradual chipping away at the myths, the lies, the spin, and the sleight of hand Democrats will use to distract people

    Thanks for your chipping, Rick. Keep it up.

  7. 7
    Mike Said:
    6:37 pm 

    Great post.

  8. 8
    cedarhill Said:
    6:45 pm 

    Chipping works. Great post.

    The process will really begin, imho, when the March 401k quarterly statements are delivered. The first 401k statements of the Obama presidency. No amount of rhetorical blathering by Obama, Congress or the media will change those numbers. A lot of folks don’t even check their accounts except when they get their statements. It will be a shocking time for many.

  9. 9
    lionheart Said:
    6:50 pm 

    The Republican in me wants the disaster to continue- the 2010 elections can’t come soon enough. The capitalist in me wants this pitiful experiment in fail, and I know it will. But the selfish guy in me that is watching my 401k tank wants him to succeed, although I’m fairly confident that he won’t.

    Thanks for pointing out Newt’s 12 point plan to recovery… do you take back your disparagement of the “conceptualizer” that doesn’t offer any alternatives to the present course?

  10. 10
    michael reynolds Said:
    7:43 pm 

    Yes, it’s important to continue chipping away at Obama and pray that the economy will crash so we can all suffer for four years. Then, we’ll elect Bobby Jindal. Who will lead us straight back to the disastrous Republican policies that got us here in the first place.

    It’s a genius plan.

    Fail America! Fail! And a little Jindal shall lead us!

    People, are you drunk? The alternative to Obama isn’t you. You caused the problem. You have no solutions. No one trusts you. No one believes in you. You’re a national laughingstock.

  11. 11
    BD57 Said:
    9:20 pm 

    Perfect example of missing the point, Mike; say, why don’t you call us “Un-American” while you’re at it?

    A bit hysterical, too.

    Republicans have no ability to stop Obama and no ability to cause him to fail; if he fails, it’ll be because of the policies he’s chosen to pursue. Policies which conservatives (don’t know about Republicans) are willing to say today are mistaken.

    If we’re wrong, then it won’t matter what we say.

    If we’re right, it won’t matter what he says.

  12. 12
    Steve Said:
    10:57 pm 

    Congress knows if they vote for Obama’s tax and spend policies that they will have to answer to the voters sooner than he does. They are probably getting an earful when meeting with constituents at home. I’d be very surprised if Congress enacts Obama’s tax and spend plans. The tipping point probably has already arrived for Congress.

  13. 13
    Frivolous Said:
    11:04 pm 

    Good post, Mr Moran. You made me raise an eyebrow with your remark about what kind of sex you like, though. Heehee.

  14. 14
    Moshe ben David Said:
    6:02 am 

    Re: Michael Reynolds post #10

    Most Trolls are not worth responding to, but for the benefit of “moderates” or undecided folk reading here, let’s clear up some stuff.

    Real conservatism doesn’t deserve any blame for where this country is now. To quote Jay Leno when commenting on how long it was taking to create a new constitution in Iraq: “Why don’t we just give them ours, we’re not using it.”

    You see, Republican does not equal Conservative. That’s why I didn’t vote for G.W. Bush in 2000. Nor John McCain in 2008. Neither man is a conservative. You can’t be a conservative and sign McCain-Feingold assault on the 1st Amendment. Or champion the prescription drug bill for seniors, or let Teddy Kennedy write an Education bill, when the entire Department of Education needs to be eliminated. You don’t just stand by and let Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and ACORN create and defend the whole Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac mess. A true conservative knows that Sarbanes-Oxley is knee-jerk, feel-good response to Enron that helped push the already bad home mortgage crises over the edge. The whole mess was nothing but over-regulatory, anti-free market government meddling. Not a single conservative thing about any of it. Republican? Sure. Conservative? Not a chance.

    Conservatism hasn’t been seen or heard from on Capitol Hill for many, many years, and THAT is what has gotten us to the condition we are in today.

    After 1994, the Republicans only got off to a fair start, but within a couple of years they began to morph into Democrat light. Too easy to be seduced by the lobby money and the power, and not wanting to be hated by the Lamestream media.

    I personally would feel that I had become one of the greatest people in history if I could simply win the coveted title of “Worst Person in the World” by Keith Olberman. And I can be certain that a person is an absolute moral degenerate if he’s been given the Nobel Peace Prize.

    So, was a Republican controlled White House and Congress complicit in getting us into the current situation? Absolutely. But Conservatism wasn’t even within 100 miles of the shore of what is called the United States.

  15. 15
    Surabaya Stew Said:
    9:48 am 

    A tipping point on Obama in sight? Keep dreaming! Like I’ve said several times before, the Man is still in his honeymoon phase. With all of the economic and political uncertainty factored in, there’s no telling when Obama will “own” this entire mess.

    I really wish you would have read what I wrote. You missed a pretty good post.

    I make exactly the same points you make and yet you disagree with me. Are you disagreeing with yourself? Why should I “keep dreaming” when I am not making that point in the first place?

    ed.

  16. 16
    michael reynolds Said:
    10:20 am 

    Moshe:

    I hear the same from Marxists. See, Marxism isn’t to blame because the USSR was never truly Marxist.

    You only want to take responsibility for a perfect, pure expression of your ideology. Doesn’t work that way. The happy ideal that no doubt exists inside your head is irrelevant. We’re stuck, sadly, with the real world, and the real world version of conservatism.

  17. 17
    Cordeiro Said:
    12:10 pm 

    I like my sports violent and my sex hot, sweaty, and loud.

    I’ll add those details to my list of “things I didn’t need to know about Rick Moran.

    On the whole though, good. post.

  18. 18
    Surabaya Stew Said:
    1:34 pm 

    Rick, I know you didn’t say that you saw a tipping point, I was phasing myself towards those who think that a few less than positive days of the Obama administration constitute a “tipping point”. (Of course I prefaced that thought with your header, so I plead guilty to appearing unthoughtful!)

    You are certainly correct in stating that “chipping away” is the only way to combat the narrative that the MSN has created for our president; I would also like to see that happen, (albeit for different reasons than you and other Conservatives would like.) While Conservatives and Republicans are starting to converge in their criticism of Obama and the economy, if the nation’s finances even partially recover in the next 2 years that attack line will be for naught. Remember that Reagan almost totally owned the recession of 1981-1982 and everyone forgot about it by 1984!

  19. 19
    Moshe ben David Said:
    2:45 pm 

    Okay then, Michael,

    Explicitly name for me the conservative policies that were enacted or enforced since 2000 that brought about the conditions we see today?

    I want specifics. Name the bill or law. How it was enforced. Can you demonstrate how it affected the economy?

  20. 20
    Below The Beltway » Blog Archive » Sorry Republicans, But It’s Not Even The End Of The Beginning Yet Pinged With:
    2:46 pm 

    [...] Moran also believes that Tapscott is ahead of himself: [T]he idea that these facts have altered or are even in the process of altering the fundamental [...]

  21. 21
    Moshe ben David Said:
    3:06 pm 

    You know what?

    I’m human. So I had to re-read Michael’s post again and catch the problem.

    Just Damn. No, Hell No, A thousand times, freaking, NO! This is not a result of conservatism. THAT’s the problem.

    You cannot name for me a single thing that has come out of Washington DC since the Reagan Administraion that even remotely is conservative. Point to a law or a policy. Name it.

    At the risk of offending some people, I include the “War on Terror” because terror is merely a cowardly tactic. We SHOULD be at war with Islamic Jihad or Wahabism and all it’s adherent’s.

    But back to conservatism.

    First, I want you to define it. What exactly is conservatism in your mind?

    And to help you out, I consider Alexander Hamilton, Ben Franklin, Walter E. Williams and Thomas Sowell to be conservative thinkers. Where do they go wrong? How about you cite a quote from each one and tell us all how their thinking is flawed.

  22. 22
    michael reynolds Said:
    10:32 pm 

    Moshe:

    You’re asking an essentially irrelevant question. We’re in the realm of politics, not of science or even of political science. You and a thousand other people can argue over what the true, academic definition of “conservatism” is. Just as Marxists will argue Lenin vs. Trotsky vs. Mao and engage in endless scholastic exercises over the “true” Marxism, so conservatives will do.

    It doesn’t matter at this point. What matters is that we saw what happened to the USSR and to the PRC and to Cuba. That’s communism, regardless of what some Marxist professor may have to say on the subject.

    We saw what happened under Reagan, under Mr. Bush pere, under Newt Gingrich, and under Mr. Bush fils. As a practical political matter that’s conservatism. It has been tried, and it has failed.

    From this point you can continue the academic debate. In fact I think it’s an interesting thing to do and might actually be useful somewhere down the road. But right now the conservative brand in politics means: cutting taxes, eliminating regulation, gay-bashing, race-baiting, pro-life, invading more-or-less randomly-chosen countries, and a style of expression that has rage and contempt at its core.

  23. 23
    bsjones Said:
    2:09 am 

    Moshe ben David,

    The chief of staff for Ronald Reagan
    The Treasury Secretary for Ronald Regan
    The Secretary of State for G.H.W. Bush
    said this:
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b3f299a6-0697-11de-ab0f-000077b07658,dwp_uuid=81377dd2-0733-11de-9294-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1

    What is your response?

  24. 24
    Moshe ben David Said:
    3:55 am 

    My response was up above. Apparently you can’t comprehend it.

  25. 25
    bsjones Said:
    1:12 pm 

    Moshe ben David,

    So for at least 15 years Republicans have not been conservative in the way you describe. This includes James Baker. I get it.

    What about Reagan? My recollection of history isn’t perfect, but he expanded government spending enormously while in office. He grew government. If the patron saint of “conservatism” does not fit the bill, then perhaps conservative presidents do not exist in the modern era. Surely nobody thinks of Nixon as conservative.

    Do real conservatives exist anywhere besides our imaginations?

  26. 26
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    3:53 pm 

    Do real conservatives exist anywhere besides our imaginations?

    The definition of conservative is radically different depending on which conservative you ask.

  27. 27
    bsjones Said:
    7:13 pm 

    Chuck Tuscon,

    I agree with you. It depends on who you ask.

    I was asking Moshe ben David if there were any conservative politicians by the criteria he laid out in post #14. I’m not sure Reagan even meets that standard, so I asked if there really is a “conservative” politician anywhere besides our imaginations.

    Without speaking for Moshe, John Boehner, Lindsey Graham, Phil Graham and Tom Delay do not seem to fit his criteria; yet, many consider them good Republicans and/or conservatives.

    So do ‘real’ conservative politicians exist anywhere besides the imagination? I suggest there aren’t many.

  28. 28
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    11:11 pm 

    So do ‘real’ conservative politicians exist anywhere besides the imagination? I suggest there aren’t many.

    That seems to be a slight dilemma for the Republican party. Interestingly, there are very very few people these days who claim to be a Republican. All I get anymore is, “I’m a conservative, not a Republican.”

    So, are conservatives, who always vote Republican, Republicans? Logically speaking, I would think not. But as far as elections are concerned, they’re a guaranteed vote, so what’s the real difference?

    It kinda leaves

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