Ed Driscoll

Rich or Poor, the President Stands Ready to Demonize You

Barack Obama on life at the top:

Barack Obama continued to blame Bush and lecture on the national deficit yesterday at a town hall event in Reno. The far left president blamed Bush and tax cuts for the current financial crisis. He also told the crowd of leftist supporters, “We can’t just let the rich relax and count their money.”

And the not-so-high-life:

“What’s striking when you enter into the federal government is how generally smart and dedicated people are.” He did opine that some employees “are slugs and not trying to do their job. But that’s true of any large institution.”

Wow, back in 2008, when Michelle Obama said, “Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual,” she wasn’t kidding. High or low, rich or poor, the president stands ready to demonize you. (Just ask this fellow.) Though as Jonah Goldberg writes, perhaps this latest round of testiness stems from our president seeming rather unhappy with his own lot in life:

I can’t prove it, but I’m also hardly alone (on the right or the left) in thinking the president really just doesn’t like the job anymore. He’s testier. His response to the Republican budget plan was not merely dishonest, hypocritical, and partisan, it was bitterly personal.

One can understand his frustration. The guy who once said to a reporter during the 2008 campaign, “You know, I actually believe my own bulls***” about fundamentally transforming America, is now forced to run as a reactionary, defending “Medicare as we know it” from “radicals” who — gasp! — want to change America. The overrated and inexperienced politician, accustomed to nothing but adulation, who was swept into office thanks to discontent with the incumbent, is now himself the incumbent desperately trying to explain how he’s done nothing wrong.

He demonized George W. Bush as an evil fool, but Obama has been forced to adopt many of the very policies he derided as evil and foolish. The “change” candidate is now the “more of the same” guy.

That’d put anybody in a funk.

But I don’t care. The presidency is not like his Nobel Prize — an award for just being you. If you hate the job, don’t run.

At Commentary, Peter Wehner explores, “Obama’s Bipolar Strategy:”

The outlines of President Obama’s political strategy are clear—to unleash, virtually on a daily basis, a series of dishonest and libelous attacks on Republicans while also coming across as likable, reasonable, a man who hovers above the political mud, a president ever in search of common ground.

Obama’s budget speech last week contained both elements. On the one hand, he portrayed the GOP vision as Hobbesian—crumbling roads and collapsing bridges, the elderly and children with autism and Down’s Syndrome left to fend for themselves. Having leveled those charges, Obama spoke at the end of his speech about the need to “come together,” insisting that we need to “bridge our differences” and “find common ground.”

As a political approach, this qualifies as bipolar. Obama’s slashing rhetoric is at war with his post-partisan, conciliatory, and civil image. The two are irreconcilable. And because they are, the two-direction course that Obama is pursuing can only reveal his extraordinary fraudulence. Obama has been president since January 2009; he has proven himself to be at his core prickly, arrogant, ideological, and prone to thuggish tactics. It isn’t pretty and it isn’t impressive—and for the sake of our politics, one can only hope it isn’t the path to reelection.

Jonah notes this self-pitying quote from the president:

“I just miss — I miss being anonymous,” he told some magazine executives recently. “I miss Saturday morning, rolling out of bed, not shaving, getting into my car with my girls . . . taking walks. I can’t take a walk.” He says the reason he plays so much golf is that it’s the only way he can get away from the “bubble” he’s in.

Just tough it out for another year and a half, and you can have all the time off you want, Mr. President.