Thursday, May 26, 2011

Obama's Unspoken Re-Election Edge?

Shelby Steele gets it soo wrong about Obama's electoral popularity.  Let's go through it point by point.
his sweeping domestic initiatives—especially his stimulus package and health-care reform—were so jerry-built and high-handed that they generated a virtual revolution in America's normally subdued middle class.
The revolution Shelby sees is the one that has been trumped-up by the corporate-backed TEA Party.  It has made so much noise that Republicans fear it to such a degree that they can brook no compromise.  The weaknesses in the stimulus package and health-care reform are there because of Republican antipathy and the limits of Obama's power, not because of any lack in him.
The president's success in having Osama bin Laden killed is an exception to a pattern of excruciatingly humble and hesitant leadership abroad. 
If you want allies instead of duped sycophants like Tony Blair, some humility is in order.  No alliance built on cowboy bullying can stand for long.
The problem Mr. Obama poses for Republicans is that there has always been a disconnect between his actual performance and his appeal. If Hurricane Katrina irretrievably stained George W. Bush, the BP oil spill left no lasting mark on this president. Mr. Obama's utter confusion in the face of the "Arab spring" has nudged his job-approval numbers down, but not his likability numbers, which Gallup has at a respectable 47.6%. In the mainstream media there has been a willingness to forgive this president his mistakes, to see him as an innocent in an impossible world. Why?
Shelby fails to note that the Katrina failure was a genuine failure of the Bush administration.  The BP oil spill was a result of policies established during the Bush years.  The financial crisis was also a result of Bush policies.  The problems with which Shelby would like to paint Obama were not his problems.  He simply has the task of cleaning up an enormous mess and it is taking a while.  The last thing the Arabs needed was American intervention.  Why does Obama look innocent?  Shelby can't recognize the fact that he actually is.

Rather than give credit to Obama, Shelby has to invent a fantasy of popularity based on reverse racism, not realizing that such reverse racism still has racism at its heart.  How ironic that a black conservative like Shelby hangs his hat on the idea that the only reason Obama is popular is because of his race.

It isn't Obama's fault that the field of potential opponents is so abysmal but Steele wants to blame that on Obama as well.

The rot in the Republican party isn't Obama.  It's the lie at the heart of their ideology.  They talk about empowering individuals over government.  But what they really want to do is to empower a few rich and powerful individuals to co-opt the government to further enrich themselves at the expense of the population as a whole.

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