I’ve thought for a long time that Obama’s rhetoric has some serious problems. Earlier in the campaign, he was cajoling his supporters to work for him. He has insulted middle America, suggesting it is fearful or racist at different times. In dealing with Congress, he has been imperious and unwilling to adjust his tone and policies to his bipartisan opposition, and this was particularly apparent on health care. He seems to believe that when everyone agrees with him is the essence of good faith and bipartisanship, and thus he gets quite snippy when he faces real, principled opposition.
He has lost the touch, if it ever existed. Americans want results, straight talk, and are worried about the growth of government. His campaign, with its “fill in the blank” talk of hope and change, allowed Americans to think he would deliver some of these political goods. He has not, and Obama is unwilling to learn from the midterm election; he thinks he’s right and that his policies will work in the end. Also, he does not really understand America and never did. He doesn’t believe that beyond “red and blue” states stuff from his campaign. He’s a sophmoric leftist who finds large swaths of American history and individual Americans unseemly, racist, angry, stupid, and easily misled. He has contempt for them. And this contempt, coupled with his great love of and belief in himself, is absolutely fatal to a politician. I do not believe he’ll effectively adjust to a Republican majority in Congress, and the weird confluence of circumstances that led to his election will not be repeated. He plans to be saved by an economic recovery, but he won’t, because his spendthrift policies are fatal to any economic recovery.
His only audacious hope should be something like what transpired in 1996: a mild economic recovery couple with an atrocious, uncharismatic candidate along the lines of Bob Dole. But I believe, unlike Clinton, he’s so out of touch with Americans and as visibly unsympathetic with them as any politician in our lifetime, that the deux ex machina of a terrible Republican candidate will not occur and even that may not save him. One caveat, let’s hope to God that the mediocre Palin is not front and center in 2012; that actually might save him, and that would be a disaster for both the country and the Republican party.