“[T]here are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there’s not a liberal America and a conservative America; there’s the United States of America.”
Democrat National Convention Keynote Speaker, Illinois Democrat Senatorial candidate Barack Obama, July 27, 2004
There are many Obama voters from the 2008 elections wondering what happened to the Barack Obama that they voted for.
Simply put: he lied to you.
I am not saying that he is a liar. Mr. Obama tried to be a uniter, not a divider. He painted in flourishes of purple, not stark red and blue. He promised to be post-racial, post-partisan and a citizen of the world.
There was only one thing standing in his way: his ideology.
Independents and moderate Republicans voted for Barack Obama because he was able to convince them that he was the man who would restore the glow to our tarnished world image. Obama was successful in painting his predecessor, George W. Bush, as a reckless cowboy. Obama knew how to speak to the inner child of the centrist voters with the promise that we would be loved and admired once he restored our standing with the world. The wars would end, Guantanamo would be closed and we would regain our moral high ground.
But unlike many who took the oath of office before him, Mr. Obama forgot to stop campaigning after he took the reins as president.
The letterhead was barely dry when the president ordered that Gitmo would close in one year. (That was 21 months ago). He called the Republican leadership to the White House for an idea session, which ended with him rejecting the GOP’s proposals and reminding them “I won.” Obama then began his extended world tour where he apologized to leaders at the G-20 and across the Muslim World.
On the home front, the president said there was an immediate need to pass the $862 billion “porkulus” to keep unemployment below 8%. During the campaign, he promised his green initiative — including a cap-and-trade component — would help create “5 million good paying green jobs.” Finally, for over a year, he pushed Obamacare and the promise that by insuring 30 million uninsured Americans, he could SAVE a few trillion dollars in the next 20 years.
Talk about fuzzy math. It was too much for Lawrence Summers, Peter Orszag and Christina Romer, three stars in his financial star chamber who packed up and left. Recently, Obama himself admitted that there is no such thing as a “shovel ready” job.
Is it really so difficult to see why many Obama supporters are feeling a bit . . . used?
Even the president believes that he has lost the center, but it’s not apparent that he actually cares. His desperate plea to the Latino community earlier this week, in which he said that Republicans are Latinos’ “enemies,” was another polarizing shot at regular citizens. Is that really any way for the president to refer to roughly half of his country?
If the 2010 midterms are a referendum of the Obama’s policies, one would expect him to take a page from the Clinton 1994 playbook and move to the center. Unfortunately, the segment of his base that he is trying to win back are the groups that the real Obama most closely identifies with: those on the far left. Wednesday’s roundtable of liberal bloggers with President Obama was akin to a lefty rehab meeting. Many of his faithful wondered when the president would address some of the issues nearest and dearest to the liberal heart.
Six years ago, it was all about soaring rhetoric and the rising star of Barack Obama. Two years ago, it was “Change We Can Believe In.” Today, all we are left with is a president who is hopelessly detached from the majority of his fellow citizens.
President Obama could have done great things and made good on the promise of being the “ones we’ve been waiting for.” Now, all he’s left with are his fellow members of the Mutual Admiration Society.