Ed Driscoll

'Who is This Guy Pretending to be President?'

At Investor’s Business Daily, Andrew Malcolm ponders the angry doppelganger of 2012 who replaced the sunny, happy-go-lucky hopenchangen, fahrvergnügen-fueled Obama of 2008:

Has anyone seen Barack Obama recently?

You know, the optimistic hopeful fellow with the charming smile who promised so many positive things four and five years ago, how he was going to change the harsh, partisan tone of our nation’s capital and bring the country together as its first African American president.

Even allowing for political hyperbole, his empty resume and the invisible witnesses from the past, Obama was such a Real Good Talker that even some who didn’t vote for him still had hope that he could change some things for the better in what seemed a sadly-splintered society.

WTH did that Obama go? Have you listened recently to this Chicago Doppelganger who’s replaced him? This 2012 Obama is strident and mean, even deceitful, divisive, telling half-truths after half-truths. He’s using Air Force One as his personal Brinks truck with wings to collect cash all over the country, disguising the trips as official.

He tries to intimidate the Supreme Court, an equal branch of government, when its thinking might stray from his. He distorts history, and if no one calls him, then it’s true. If he’s caught, this Obama says you obviously mis-heard. Because, as everyone knows, he could never mis-speak.

It’s likely this week didn’t help improve Mr. Obama’s perpetually cranky mood. At the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin describes why “this week was ominous for Obama:”

Aside from the rank hypocrisy by liberal spinners, the issue is not whether Hilary Rosen is a campaign operative (she isn’t). It is whether the comments touched a nerve with stay-at-home mothers, including conservative women and social conservatives, who had been lukewarm to Romney heretofore. From the immediate reaction yesterday it seems to have done that.

Liberals might not fully “get” it, but social conservatives and stay-at-home mothers (think of Sarah Palin’s core fan base) feel elites denigrate and even mock them. They resent a feminist being defined as “a pro-choice career woman.” This is a sore point with these voters. Give Axelrod and company their due: They understand this phenomenon.

But the damage may go beyond that. This was a week in which the once pliable national media pretty much called out a key campaign plank — the Buffett rule — as nothing more than a gimmick. So two gimmicks — soak the rich and paint Romney as anti-women — blew up in the White House’s face. And then my colleague Glenn Kessler pretty much shredded Obama’s invocation of Ronald Reagan to push his tax scheme.

Glenn Reynolds adds, “What’s most revealing to me is that Obama had to invoke Reagan. Were there no Democratic past Presidents he wanted to be associated with? LBJ? Carter? Clinton?” Given the Clinton-era attacks on Microsoft, the most visible face of the computer industry in the mid-1990s, this headline by Hugh Hewitt — “Obama’s Attack On Apple: The Politics of Envy and Its Prosecutions” — sure has a huge feeling of deja vu.

But hey, just as with Obama’s attacks on the heavily unionized coal industry, and given that no less a member of the professional left sits on Apple’s board than Al Gore, Apple’s epistemic closure prevents them from turning right. Where are they going to go?

But moderates are certainly aware that, to mix metaphors, the president has one foot on the brake pedal of the economy, and the other on the throat of its industry leaders. Add to that his cronies’ attacks on women, the attacks on everyone to his right (recall the bitter clingers screed in 2008 was an attack on Hillary voters in Pennsylvania), and the increasing visibility of the radical chic politics of Obama and his cronies. Which is why, as Ace writes, voters may well ask themselves in October, do we really want four more years of this?

And just as a reminder, the whole of last month was no picnic either for the president and the professional left that make up his core base:

Update: Jay Cost on “Obama’s Troubled Reelection Strategy.”