Ross Douhat has a good column today, noting that Obama’s signature initiatives in his second term–gun control, immigration reform, and anti-global warming measures–are, essentially, totally out of touch with reality, public concerns, and good political instincts. This all seems to stem from Obama’s obstinance and lack of flexibility. He seems tied to the issues and concerns of his youth. So, he keeps pushing things like health care, a narrative of anti-black racism, or arms control that were the great concerns of yesteryear, even though the more immediate problems of today–a terrible economy, Islamic extremism, the breakdown of the family, an economy that offers little to lower IQ but otherwise hard working people, etc.–demand new thinking.
I find the global warming initiatives perhaps the most idiotic. Just as there is increasing doubt about global warming and evidence directly contradicting the models on which this hypothesis is based, Obama is going to impose rules and regulations that will raise prices for electricity, gasoline, natural gas, and otherwise do manifold damage to our economy.
I always oscillate between whether Obama is a mediocre dupe, controlled by savvy insiders with their own agenda, or an evil genius. Perhaps he’s some combination of the two, if that’s possible. I think one thing is clear is that he is highly ideological behind close doors, and his staff govern themselves accordingly. It’s also clear, coming from the Chicago model of politics, that he only believes in civil liberties and limited government to control his opponents. He instinctually believes the best form of government is one that he’s in charge of with its hand in everything. This has been particularly disappointing to many of his liberal supporters. Beyond that, his managerial acumen and political skills remain a mixed bag, sometimes appearing to be the culmination of grand strategy and others of totally hands off, lazy refusal to grapple with people and details. His recent initiatives suggest both ideological thinking and total confusion about what the public thinks. His ignorance of “red state” thinking based on his entire life away from such locales is probably why he went for his post-Newton gun control push, weighed in on the Trayvon Martin shooting, and otherwise occasionally alienates massive swaths of independents and Republicans.