“Nothing recedes like success. That’s the oldest and most unforgiving rule of politics, and Barack Obama is living proof,” Wes Pruden writes today:
His stunning re-election last year erased all the fears that public adoration for him had cooled. Now, we were told, the romance would be as hot as ever. The Democrats would have a permanent majority; the pitiless application of state power would destroy the hated conservatives once and for all, with their pathetic obsessions with God, the Constitution and the traditional family, and it would be smooth sailing to an American welfare state, with everybody dependent on a government run by Democratic liberals, radicals and opportunists.
But that was before success began to recede. The president is not out of the game; presidents, with all the trappings and opportunities of power, never are, particularly a president with years left to control and manipulate the government. But this president is weakened to the point of ineffectiveness and his gloomy media chorus, if not yet silenced by cold reality, must now sing a different song.
No one, except for the vicious sopranos in that chorus, will be tempted now to accuse quite so loudly the president’s critics of racism, bigotry and intolerance just for pointing out the flaws in his agenda or taking note of his personal and presidential shortcomings. That dog, in the telling bucolic cliché, won’t hunt now. That dog is dead (and dead dogs smell bad).
The current scandals – Benghazi, IRS and the hounding of The Associated Press and other organs of the press – only emphasize what ails Mr. Obama and his administration, of the corruption and above all the incompetence. None of the scandals touch the president personally, nor are they likely to. Every president has a guard around him to make sure the dirt won’t stick to him. But it’s the accumulation of the dirt around him that renders him ineffective, impotent and what the English call “wet.”
As Bryan Preston writes today at the Tatler, “If the Dems Really Believe Republicans are Going to ‘Overreach’ on the Obama Scandals, Why Don’t They Just Let Them Do It?”
David Axelrod is pushing — again — the meme that the GOP is all about to “overreach” on the collective Obama scandals.
There are clearly serious things that ought to be looked at, and the Congress has the right to look at them. And the question is just, will they overplay their hand? You know, if, Darrell Issa has torqued this thing up so high that he threatens to take the party over the cliff. And if I were Republicans, I would say to Issa, in the parlance of his old business, ‘please step away from that car.’ I think that there’s real danger here for them.
Yeah. With all due respect, Axelrod’s lying. It’s not even quality spin. It’s desperate.
Riddle me this: In the context of the IRS and media scandals, what exactly would “overreach” even look like? The GOP hitting the IRS too hard? Nobody likes the IRS. Hit the IRS with political nukes, bring out more of its victims to tell their stories, watch Lois Lerner take the Fifth, watch Obama fake-fire some people and promote others, and call him out on it all. It’s gold for anyone who hates the IRS and for the party that did not unleash the IRS on innocent citizens.
The GOP advocating media freedom too loudly? Just about everybody says they believe in a free press. Eric Holder clearly lied when he claimed to know nothing about any potential prosecution of anyone in the press, after he signed off on the James Rosen warrant. Obviously he did know, and just as obviously, he was dishonest about it under oath. He should resign, or be fired, after he twists for a while in the public glare and gets raked over the coals in Congress.
Enlighten us, Democrats, what’s the real danger for the Republicans here? That the likes of Dana Milbank will say bad things about them? He’s going to do that anyway. That Joe Scarborough will get the vapors again? He’s a wuss on a channel no one watches. Who gives a rip?
Well, David Frum does. Those engraved Beltway cocktail invitations from limousine leftists don’t mail themselves, you know?
David Frum’s career since leaving the White House has been a sort of roadmap to irrelevance as the Republican who always echoes (or in some cases, anticipates) liberal criticism of Republicans, until he has become the pundit equivalent of a concern troll:
”Now Republicans are working themselves into a frenzy that will paralyze Congress for the next 18 months at least, and could well lead to an impeachment crisis. As it becomes clear that the IRS story is an agency scandal, not a White House scandal, conservative reformers need to be ready to do their part to apply the brakes and turn the steering wheel.”
As for the rest of us, as Stacy McCain writes:
I think it is high time that Americans were reminded that we have elected not just a Democrat, but a Chicago Democrat, to the White House.
All that historic “Hope and Change” dreamworld nonsense of transcending the partisan divide was bound to come crashing down into a heap of scandalous rubble sooner or later.