Icarus Descending, Dishonorably
That the feathers have melted off the formerly high-flying Obama administration is now beyond dispute. First time tragedy (Benghazi), second time tragic-comedy (Bergdahl). And now, with the leak of the famous Obama "workout" video, farce and ridicule. Ladies and gents, I give you the effective end of the Obama presidency. And off into the brave unknown we fly.
Has there ever been a presidency like this one? Jimmy Carter, whose administration I'm old enough to remember vividly, began with a similar euphoria of "hope," coming as he did in the wake of Nixon's resignation and Ford's pardon. The unknown governor from the South began his presidency on a wave of good will from all Americans, who were exhausted by Watergate and its aftermath. But it didn't take Carter long to transmogrify from the "I'll never lie to you" good guy into the national scold of the so-called "malaise" speech, which is better characterized as the "crisis of confidence" speech. (Watch the speech at the link and then try to convince yourself we're not all trapped in the political equivalent of Groundhog Day: with Democrats, nothing ever changes).
But even with 20 percent inflation, international humiliation, the Iranian hostage crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and gas lines, in retrospect Jimmy Carter seems like Pericles of Athens compared with Barack Hussein Obama, the least-qualified man ever to actively seek and win the presidency. When the full extent of the harm the Obama administration has inflicted on the United States is finally realized, not only will Obama come in for blame, but so also will the forces that put him in office, especially the Democrat-Media Complex, led by David Axelrod (a former Chicago Tribune reporter turned campaign consultant and presidential guru). My former Time magazine colleague, Evan Thomas, who went on to edit Newsweek, famously said during the election of 2004 that the media's support for the Kerry-Edwards (oops) ticket was worth 15 points to the Democrats, and while even that wasn't enough to put them over the top, it was the deciding factor four years later.
There's one other base here: the media. Let's talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. And I think they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards -- I'm talking about the establishment media, not Fox, but -- they're going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and all, there's going to be this glow about them that some, is going to be worth, collectively, the two of them, that's going to be worth maybe 15 points.
Carter's damage was limited to the four years he spent in the White House; the day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated, the American hostages in Tehran were released, the sun came out and it really was, however briefly, morning in America. Obama's reign still has just under three years to go, a prospect that, in light of recent events, ought to appall all right-thinking people. As I wrote over at the Corner on NRO:
Unfettered by having to face the electorate again, a second Obama term would be a nightmare for the country — four years of unencumbered mischief in the Oval Office while the criminal organization masquerading as a political party gets on with the serious business of picking its next candidate to ensure that eight years of “fundamental change” are irreversible...
Most every president hopes for a second term, but this bunch understood from the jump that the second term is everything. Harry Reid sounds and acts like a man who never expects the Democrats to lose another election. And what are the Washington Generals up to now? Hey, look over there! It’s Chris Christie on top of the George Washington Bridge! Alert the media!