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Ed Driscoll

Will There be an Barack-Shattering Kaboom?

June 22nd, 2012 - 2:04 pm

Roger Kimball has “A Note on ‘Fast and Furious,’ Executive Privilege, and the End of the Obama Administration:”

For ordinary folk, lying under oath is a serious offense. What does it portend for above-the-law elites like Eric Holder? At the very least, I suspect, it means that he should be polishing his resume. And here’s something else to ponder: as I say, Obama’s assertion of executive privilege has been widely interpreted as an effort to protect Holder. Yet I can’t help thinking that behind that spectacular performance I hear the revving of a bus engine, a bus that has Eric Holder’s name on it and that he is shortly to be thrown under. Sure, the president wants to conceal something by asserting executive privilege. The dramatic and politically risky nature of the act naturally leads one to suspect that it is something serious. You can’t hear the phrase “executive privilege” without thinking “Watergate,” a word you can’t hear without thinking “cover-up,” “Nixon,” “impeachment.” In fact, Fast and Furious is far worse than Watergate. No one died in Watergate. Dozens of people are dead as the result of Fast and Furious, including at least one U.S. citizen, Border Agent Brian Terry.

No, Obama’s assertion of executive privilege will do little if anything to save Eric Holder. Its chief effect, I predict, will be to focus attention more sharply on the great questions that have not been sufficiently plumbed: Who is Barack Obama? What does he have to hide?

Linking to Roger’s post, Ace wonders if this is where the preference cascade begins to break:

I often chide people for mistaking independent, disinterested voters for conservatives. You can’t mistake them for argument-loving, passionate partisans for your cause — obviously they’re not that, or they would be argument-loving, partisans for your cause.

But that’s exactly what Obama needs them to be — passionate partisans on his side — in order for him to prevail. All of these independents who don’t really follow the news too closely would have to suddenly decide to read a lot of left-wing blogs and stew themselves in left-wing apologias for Obama, before they could feel comfortable clearing Obama of all charges and criticisms.

Just as there is no way in hell they’d do that on behalf of a conservative candidate, there’s also no way in hell they’re going to do that on behalf of Obama. The amount of homework — in this case, massive quantities of Kool-Aid drinking — they’d have to do to find in favor of Obama is just too much.

I was saying two years ago that my Secret Bonus Prediction is that Obama might choose to not actually run for reelection. Although we’re into election season now, we’re not past the conventions.

I do expect things to get worse for Obama. I do expect the long-predicted preference cascade to show up in polls. And I do expect that the polls will register — at least a month before the election, if not sooner — that Obama has no realistic shot at winning the election.

Whether he steps aside or not will depend on when the public’s Obama Fever (and associated Obama Hallucinatory Disorder) finally breaks. If he’s got time left to bow out, he just might.

Which dovetails with an item from February on how ignominiously Harry Truman’s second term* ground to a halt, after Truman went full Godwin on his opponent to eek out his famous “Dewey Defeats Truman” victory in ’48:

Obama has been compared to Harry Truman, who came from behind in 1948 to defeat Thomas Dewey for a second term in the White House. Truman ran successfully against a “do-nothing” Republican Congress. Obama is busy blaming this “do-nothing” Congress for not passing his jobs bill. Unlike Truman, who faced a GOP majority in both the House and Senate, Obama so far only has to deal with a Republican House. He still faces gridlock.

Obama has also been compared to Truman in 1952. Truman believed that he could have the nomination simply for the asking, but he was challenged and defeated in a New Hampshire primary by Estes Kefauver, a first-term senator from Tennessee. Shortly after that defeat, Truman withdrew from the race. Ostensibly, he withdrew in the best interest of the country and because he was concerned that he could not govern effectively for four more years because of his advanced age. In fact, Truman was deeply disliked. He had been unable to bring the Korean War to an end or tame the federal deficit, and faced charges of corruption and cronyism in his administration. Sound familiar?

The Obama campaign does have quite the taint of desperation to it, doesn’t it? But even if Obama wins in November, assuming the GOP holds Congress (and especially if it retakes the Senate) his could well be quite a rump second term, having gone from being ushered in on Tulip Mania-esque rhetoric (from both himself and his biggest fans) to being exposed as just another Cook County hack.

* Truman was grandfathered in to run for a third term, when the 22nd Amendment was passed in 1951.

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