In 2008, Barack Obama ran as many politicians do, with the “I’m on your side, let’s stick it to the man” campaign rhetoric. After 8 years of a generally unpopular president, Americans were sympathetic, believing that Obama’s Alinsky-inspired “hope” and “change” themes were genuine. And to Obama, perhaps they were. But like so many celebrities and superstars, he bought into his own hype. Now, “hope” and “change” are themes that can be associated with the deliverance from Obama’s policies.
The first evidence of Obama’s ignorance to the opposition to him was when he made little, if any acknowledgement of the tea party demonstrations that took place across the country. The organic uprising of ordinary Americans across the country requesting fiscal sanity was simply written off as “astroturf” instead of “grass roots.”
When November rolled around, Democrats suffered major losses in two major governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey. Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs claimed that the president was not “watching returns.”
After Scott Brown’s victory in Massachusetts, Obama responded by saying: “Here’s my assessment of not just the vote in Massachusetts but the mood around the country: The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into offices. People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what’s happened in the last year or two years but what’s happened over the last eight years.” Let’s break down Obama’s assessment. He claims that American voters chose him, a liberal candidate bent on changing the Republican/Bush establishment, then decided they wanted to elect a Republican in one of the more liberal states in the nation because they were sick of the last eight years. How does that begin to make sense?
Surely, Americans are dissatisfied with the status quo, but the status quo is not George W. Bush and the Republicans anymore. It is Barack Obama with a Democrat-controlled congress, a congress that may not be Democratic for much longer.
Recently, Congressman Marion Berry from Arkansas declared that he would not seek re-election. He said he had tried to warn Obama about the upcoming 2010 election, saying that it could be a repeat of 1994, when the Democrats lost both Houses of Congress. Obama replied saying “Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.” Is it arrogance that leads Obama to this conclusion, or is it that he has become delusional?
Maybe Obama was right. Perhaps he truly convinced Americans to “stick it to the man.” The only problem is that he is now “the man.”