John Podhoretz and Noah C. Rothman have an interesting article in Commentary, titled: Bare, Ruined Choirs: How Barack Obama Wrecked the Democratic Party. For those that don’t yet appreciate the disaster—for Democrats politically, and for Americans generally—that is Barack Obama, it’s a solid recitation of the wreckage. They end thus:
The Obama years weren’t only a disappointment to those of us who did not drink the Kool Aid in the first place; they proved to be a disappointment to the very people Obama had celebrated by declaring that “we are the change we have been waiting for.” And they have been a calamity for Democrats everywhere but in the urban and coastal strongholds, Democrats who had thought they were going to make a career out of elected public service. It is from their ranks that their party is supposed to find its next stars, men and women would use their time in state legislatures to learn the craft of politics and the art of legislating before rising to the governor’s mansion or the House or Senate, and thence, perhaps, to national office. That is how Obama emerged in the early years of this new century.
As it turned out, Barack Obama was a political genius with one unparalleled skill—getting Barack Obama elected and reelected president. For everyone else in his party, and for his party itself, he has been an unmitigated disaster. And now, his decimation of his own electorate has helped to ensure the election of Donald Trump. Out of office in 2017, Barack Obama may have to stand by, impotent, as the legislative and policy advances that were supposed to be his enduring legacy vanish like the thousand elected politicians unfortunate enough to have been serving in office when Barack Obama came along and hollowed out the Democratic Party.
Christopher Wren has been dead nearly 300 years, but St. Paul’s Cathedral still stands. Four years after the end of the Obama presidency, there may be no monument of Barack Obama’s left standing for anyone to look at.
I take exception primarily with the idea that Barack Obama “was a political genius.” Would a political genius have destroyed his own party, and find himself watching his few and despised political achievements dismantled before his eyes? Would a political genius have, as a list of his foremost achievements, golf and lavish vacations on the public dime? Would a political genius have not only ignored, but actively taunted his opposition, but done the same to the members of his own party? Would a political genius have only a single domestic accomplishment—Obamacare—built entirely on lies, falling apart on its own incompetence because it was passed by trickery without a single opposition party vote? Would a political genius have a single foreign policy accomplishment—the Iran deal—passed by entirely bypassing his party in Congress? Let’s not talk about his voluminous foreign policy disasters.
Oh, but he got Bin Laden! And what President would not, given the chance? Actually, Obama nearly passed. He delayed for a year, and before he authorized the raid, dithered for another day, nearly blowing it. Our SEALS were ready to go, and he nearly cancelled.
Barack Obama had a certain knack for teleprompter reading, but he is not, as so many wrongly believe, an excellent speaker. Without a teleprompter, he falls prey to every foible of the ill-prepared and stumbling speech class student, as I explained in Barack Obama: Rhetorical and Rational Malpractice in August of 2014. I ended that article with this:
I know that for a some portion of the public (and almost all of the media), Mr. Obama is a deity, often depicted in pseudo religious postures with a halo (go here for just one compilation, but be sure to take your blood pressure meds and have an airsickness bag handy), but rhetorically, he’s a false prophet. Some obviously feel the need to make Mr. Obama far more than he is, and no doubt, believing him to be a speaker unparalleled in human history is a part of that delusional belief system. In the real world, it’s hard to imagine that the objective teacher of speech would find anything other than that Mr. Obama is mediocre at best.
Therein is one of the essential elements, perhaps the most essential element, to Barack Obama’s success: a media establishment that not only considered him a God—and said so–but that refused to subject him to the reasonable skepticism due any politician. In fact, the media consistently covered for him, suppressing revelations that would have doomed anyone else.
Perhaps one day the LA Times will release the video of Obama’s dinner praise of a terrorist. Perhaps one day the truth of Obama’s college records and transcripts will be known. Perhaps one day the truth of Obama’s birth will be known (you really think we know the truth about that?). Perhaps one day the truth about Obama’s extra-marital dalliances will be known (would a man with Obama’s ego, and the cover of the media and his loyal retainers, deny himself such pleasures?). One day, we’ll discover what Barack Obama was all along: a con man in far, far over his head.
Mr. Obama actually said, while running for president, that he was a canvas onto which people could project whatever they wanted to believe, and project they did. He knew he could use his race to advance himself, and he did, as a “community organizer,” an adjunct lecturer (he was never a professor), an Illinois state senator, and finally, as President. For the sins of ancestors we never knew, and for ancestors that never sinned, we elected him—twice—to heal the nation’s racial wounds. That those wounds were, for the most part, already healed, and actual racists few and far between, and justly social pariahs, didn’t matter. He gave us the opportunity to anoint the first black president, and we did just that. And he took full advantage. He has indeed been a black president, not a president who happened to be black.
Mr. Obama appointed a black Attorney General who told us we were cowards because we were not obsessed with race. He used every opportunity to widen a miniscule racial divide, and encouraged anarchic professional protestors. The Black Lives Matter movement, which encourages the assassination of police officers, is his domestic legacy, and a drug addled, false gold-teeth-wearing wanna be gangsta–Trayvon Martin–the son he never had.
He wasn’t humble about it either. Never shy about praising himself, incapable of uttering a sentence without “I” in it, he surrounded himself with people of little ability and less accomplishment, save the willingness to praise him, as his chief advisor, Valerie Jarrett, former Chicago slum lord and Iranian-born Muslim, said:
I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. . . . He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. . . . So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. . . . He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.
It took awhile, but the “ordinary people” finally began to get Barack Obama’s number. When he laughed about there being no such thing as a “shovel ready job,” the ordinary people felt betrayal. When he ran up more national debt than every president before him, the ordinary people saw a grim future. When he apologized for America at every opportunity, ordinary people bristled. When everything he said about Obamacare was revealed as a lie, when premiums and deductibles skyrocketed, the ordinary people nearly had enough. By the time Mr. Obama praised Hillary Clinton and trashed Donald Trump, reverse psychology was in full bloom, and the ordinary people knew whatever Barack Obama said, they’d do the opposite.
“Ordinary” Americans have always been extraordinarily slow to anger, but as the Japanese discovered in WWII, terrible beyond imagination when finally provoked to action.
Mr. Obama’s extraordinary narcissism and arrogance are encapsulated in this, from the previous linked article:
Obama has also not had much patience for Netanyahu and other Middle Eastern leaders who question his understanding of the region. In one of Netanyahu’s meetings with the president, the Israeli prime minister launched into something of a lecture about the dangers of the brutal region in which he lives, and Obama felt that Netanyahu was behaving in a condescending fashion, and was also avoiding the subject at hand: Peace negotiations. Finally, the president interrupted the prime minister: ‘Bibi, you have to understand something,’ he said. ‘I’m the African-American son of a single mother, and I live here, in this house. I live in the White House. I managed to get elected president of the United States. You think I don’t understand what you’re talking about, but I do.’
The arrogant, ignorant presumption is stunning. Barack Obama, a man with no military experience, a man who has no foreign policy experience, a man who knows nothing about nothing but firmly believes he knows it all, a man who hides his college transcripts, lecturing one of the most well informed, capable men on the planet when it comes to the Middle East. And what is the source of his knowledge? He was the half-black son of a single mother and was elected President. What greater qualification could there be for expertise on the Middle East? What greater delusion?
One can only imagine the depth of Mr. Netanyahu’s disgust and horror upon hearing that. Mr. Netanyahu lives in the real world. He is responsible for the lives of his people. As a military veteran, he understands that his decisions affect millions. Barack Obama constructs his own reality and expects everyone else to live in it. He has proved over and over (Benghazi, Syria, Libya, etc.) that the lives of others mean little to him.
Mr. Obama’s arrogance is such that he forgot the most important rule of the con man: hit your mark, and get out before they realize they’ve been conned. He hit us all, over and over again, but thought he didn’t need to run. Now, as he leaves behind a Democrat party in shambles, a far more dangerous Middle East and world, and a declining America—a mighty task for Donald Trump to try to repair—he will seek even higher office than the presidency of the United States, even greater adulation. He always thought he was above us anyway. We disappointed him so. He will no doubt be made wealthy by those he has enriched, as all good socialists, with the money of others, but as time goes on, he will not be remembered as an Abraham Lincoln, with who he often vainly compared himself.
There will be no monument, only wreckage.