Crashing and Burning in 2013

miley_cyrus_wrecking_ball_12-29-13-1 Recording artist Miley Cyrus performs "Wrecking Ball" on NBC's Today Show at Rockefeller Plaza on October 7, 2013 in New York City. Photo by Debby Wong,

Recent polls suggest Barack Obama has become a turn-off. Why?

In part, all presidents wear on Americans. Their presence has become as ubiquitous in our lives as the busts of the emperor Augustus dotting the Mediterranean world. So who wouldn’t annoy after speaking and appearing on our screens 24/7 for five years?

But in Obama’s case, two character traits made him especially aggravating this year. Both explain why vero possumus and hope and change have descended to “you can keep your plan, period.”

One, Obama blames everything bad on everyone else, and takes credit for a few good things that he had nothing to do with. He reminds me of a losing Little League coach who blamed the lights, fans, and umpire for his last-place standing, only to brag about his own genius after inserting a 12 year old who hit a freak homer to win his only game.

Why so? Few care to speculate anymore other than the obvious that his cursus honorum was always characterized by rhetoric in lieu of achievement. By that I mean I don’t know how his transcript merited admittance to Harvard Law School; what publications he authored as editor of Harvard Law Review; on what basis he was offered tenure at Chicago; how his record in the Illinois legislature prepped a U.S. Senate career; or why his brief sojourn as a U.S. senator qualified him as president. But I do concede through it all he sounded pretty confident and mellifluous.

George Bush, ATM machines, the Tea Party, the post-2010 Congress, the earthquake in Washington, D.C., the Japanese Tsunami -- all this and more have caused Obama’s otherwise brilliant policies to fail. You would have thought that he entered office with a Republican supermajority in the Senate and a raging Tea Party majority in the House, all conspiring to thwart his every godhead from January 21, 2009.

Putting higher taxes on the productive classes, discouraging energy exploration of federal lands, adding more regulations, chronically bad-mouthing the successful, borrowing $6 trillion  to waste on stimulus and handouts, and socializing a sixth of the American economy with an unworkable Obamacare plan apparently had nothing to do with our non-recovery.