AND NOW, THE CALL FOR THE ‘WISE MEN’ TO SAVE OBAMA FROM HIMSELF: That would be the “council of elders” that columnist Bernie Quigley proposes at The Hill. At Red State, Moe Lane responds, “Shocker: 2008 Obama supporter thinks democracy doesn’t work!”
It never fails. You get some ostensibly well-meaning, but ultimately self-deluding guy (in this case, Bernie Quigley) who in 2008 declares Barack Obama to be the ” New JFK” who shows “organizational and conceptual abilities already that are superior to any candidate in our time.” And, not least because of people like Mr. Quigley, Barack Obama gets elected – and then proceeds to demonstrate an appalling lack of organizational and conceptual abilities, to the point where the Democratic party outside of the executive branch now looks like a minor, regional party that is one bad cycle away from losing the East Coast*. And, oh, yeah: the country’s foreign policy is in worse shape than ever, and things aren’t really improving. One would think that this might suggest to people like Mr. Quigley that maybe, just maybe, he backed the wrong horse in 2008…. HAHAHAHA!
Nah, it just tells him that the country’s ungovernable: “Late in life, the great Amb. George Kennan declared that America needed a “council of elders” to contain the excesses of democracy. The governors, perhaps meeting in a selective and representative regional council, like a board of trustees at a university or a board of directors of a corporation, might offer America saving grace at a time of dangerous crossing.” Because the problem’s not Barack Obama, you see. It’s democracy itself.
As Moe adds, Quigley “is one of the guys who can apparently write ‘the nefarious triumvirate of Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and especially George W. Bush’ with a straight face, and apparently no sense of shame.” Back in 2012, Quigley wrote that Elizabeth Warren’s “claim to be ‘part Indian’ is correct in mythical terms…In the heartland it is almost universal for those who have been there for a few generations to claim Indian blood; that is, to wish it were there even if it isn’t. It is not so much a lie as it is the acculturation of personal and regional American myth; the fabric of old-soul American consciousness.” Rachel Dolezal, call your office. You too, Dan Rather!
But regarding “the council of elders,” at the beginning of 2010, when Scott Brown was sent to the Senate by Massachusetts voters with the hope that he would save America from the debacle of Obamacare, Mickey Kaus wrote, “I’d guess we’re about 36 hours away from a Beltway call for ‘wise men,’” the first of several from pundits hoping to save Obama from himself. But unlike Lyndon Johnson, who met with the New Deal-era Democrat grandees dubbed “the Wise Men” in late 1967 and again in March of 1968, the latter meeting occurring shortly before Johnson concluded that Vietnam — and his presidency — both appeared lost, why would Obama listen to Quigley’s “council of elders?” After all, he professes to believe that “I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters. I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
Between the race riots, the campus riots, the massive expansion of the federal government and the concurrent belief in its infallibility, the military debacles overseas, a feeling in general that the nation was out of control and now this latest call for the wise men to bail him out, it really does feel like we’re living out the last year of the Johnson administration, doesn’t it? Funny, when Democratic operatives with bylines were submitting Tiger Beat-style articles in 2007 and 2008 dreamily forecasting which Democrat presidencies Obama’s would most closely resemble, LBJ’s rarely made the list. Wonder why?
UPDATE (FROM GLENN): I predicted this in 2009. And boy, was I right.