Without a single primary or caucus being held, Barack Obama quietly won reelection yesterday.
This is awful but true. In the same way 2010 was 1994, 2012 will be like 1996. Barack Obama is now a two-term leader.
With no fanfare, he adopted the winning 1996 Clinton strategy that will be the theme of his entire second term. His new quiet motto is “Do nothing.” “Hope” and “change” will now give way to contentment and status quo. “Yes, we can” will be explained as “Yes, we did,” evidence be damned.
The decision to do nothing is a brilliant strategy. Leaders get rewarded in the history books when bold gambles work out well. Barack Obama is interested in the 2012 election. He is as timid and risk averse as it gets. He is bold on the only three things he cares about: health care, education, and the environment/energy. Everything else with him is platitudes that say nothing and offend nobody.
In the 2011 State of the Useless, he piously declared that “we do big things.” We American citizens do big things. Mr. Obama beyond his three priorities is the epitome of minimalism and small ball. He makes Bill Clinton look imaginative.
Take, for instance, his new budget. The budget does not include a single difficult decision. This puts the Republicans in a box. If they try to see his nothing and raise with nothing, they will lose. Unlike liberals, who are willing to accept that Obama is blocked from further advancement, conservatives want their leaders to actually do something. Once Republicans try to do things, they will successfully be pilloried.
Remember 1995? Attempts to slow the rate of growth of Medicare were labeled as “cuts” that were “extremist,” “draconian,” and “mean-spirited.” Republicans wanted to starve children, throw old people on the street, and kill Big Bird. The fact that Big Bird is a fictional television character and not a real animal is irrelevant. Gingrich tried to kill him and eat him until Clinton pardoned Snuffalupaguses’s friend.
Liberals blather about Clinton and “the largest peace-time expansion in history,” but ask them to name one thing Clinton actually did his last six years in office. He did nothing. He got lucky. The Internet revolution came along and everybody made easy money.
Jimmy Carter was overwhelmed by domestic policy but what did him in was bad luck. The hostage situation in Iran was not a situation where doing nothing would work.
Barack Obama has an even-money shot that the economy will rebound. He will have the media on his side. They are criticizing him now because there’s no GOP candidate to demonize. Once the Republicans have a standard-bearer, the press will go back to kissing Obama’s feet and admiring the taste.
President Obama will have one billion dollars to spend on his campaign. Try keeping up with that on the GOP side. Good luck.
Barack Obama will have the social media team on his side, as the first Facebook president still holds a wide advantage technologically.
Yet the key to everything for him is to do nothing. The GOP will make the hard choices, and they will suffer for it brutally. George W. Bush was never the same after he showed political courage by taking on Social Security reform.
The Democrats will be offering cotton candy and the Republicans will be offering castor oil. The fact that Paul Ryan is a sober adult who everybody should listen to is meaningless. Gingrich learned the hard way what happens when a congressman takes on a sitting president.
Mr. Obama is prepared to do nothing because he is good at it. Egypt? He is still watching. Iran? The mullahs crack down while he stays silent. Budget cuts? No, he would rather freeze discretionary spending at the current exorbitantly high levels. A freeze is the epitome of doing nothing.
His claim that the budget needs a “scalpel” and not a “machete” is nonsense. It is time to break out the machetes. Forget 2008 levels. We should cut back to 2006 levels, before the Pelosi-raptor took over and put the entire nation on her Bloomingdale’s credit card (with help from spineless Republicans who were rewarded by being castigated and fired).
Those who think that the electorate is different now are delusional. Everybody wants spending cuts to affect everybody else. The entire Democratic Party has been taken over by beggars sucking the life out of the productive people. All Mr. Obama needs is part of the middle of the electorate. An improved economy will do it. Republicans will get zero credit for fixing the economy the same way they got zero credit for dragging Mr. Clinton kicking and screaming to fiscal discipline.
As for why Mr. Obama would want a job where he does nothing, he is less interested in being president than being a combination of prime minister and ambassador. He shines when giving people the Medal of Freedom. He is a master at ribbon-cutting ceremonies. Not since the Queen of England has somebody built an entire cottage industry out of waving hello.
Unless Republicans for once in their pathetic lives learn the art of public relations, they’ll never be able to get the public to support their policies.
Like Mr. Clinton, the history books will probably one day render Mr. Obama irrelevant. This does nothing to help the GOP in 2012. They will have a nightmarish time trying to criticize a president for things he does when the electorate decides that he does nothing and does it well.
Barack Obama is an empty suit, but he wears it flawlessly. His shirt and necktie are crisp, and his smile is as perfect as ever. He only needs to fool 50.1% of Americans in twelve large blue states one more time.
Get ready for six years of nothing. At least we will defeat Biden in 2016. He can’t even do nothing right. Sadly for conservatives, Mr. Obama can.
Eric Golub is a Brooklyn-born stockbrokerage and oil professional living in the People’s Republic of Los Angeles. His blog is the TYGRRRR EXPRESS and his three books are “Ideological Bigotry,” “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” His interests include politics, football, the stock market, and Republican Jewish brunettes.