What Do the Duped Think?

In one of the meaningful transitions that used to make me daydream about the possibilities now manifested in MP3 players that can put an entire music collection on shuffle, the Eagles’ “Hotel California” followed directly upon the “We Are the Ones” Obama-adulation song. “You can check out anytime you want,” sings Don Henley, “but you can never leave.”
For an exercise in empathy, it’s interesting to ponder the effect that the Obamanation movement had on the man himself. How would you respond to fawning on such a scale? It’s a scary question, and whatever else one is inclined to say about him, Barack Obama has handled himself admirably.
That’s not to say, “perfectly.” Rich Lowry devotes some imagination to an alternative course that the president could have plotted, over the past six months:

The Obama team is fiddling with his health-care talking points. But the verbiage is beside the point. What Obama needs is a little modesty. It’s easy to imagine an alternative history of a more cautious Obama administration that wouldn’t have stoked a voter backlash in all of six months.
It would have begun with the recognition that he won office sounding like a tax-cutting moderate devoted to paying for “every dime” of his program, against a terrible candidate in the middle of a recession blamed on the incumbent Republican president. Even Howard Dean might have won in these circumstances. Obama’s victory wasn’t as transformative as it appeared. He was given an opening — to address people’s economic anxieties, detoxify the Washington debate, and occupy the center.

Although we’re seeing it, to some extent, in dropping poll numbers and thinning bumper stickers, we haven’t heard much from those folks who were sure — so confident as to disregard evidence that many of us saw as red flags — that candidate Obama would govern in precisely that fashion. What have they learned from being burned?
I’d like to think that the majority have become wiser, and some surely have. Still, the elixir that Obama peddled may have been of the alluring sort that tempts even those who were sickened by it to take another sip when the packaging changes.

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11 years ago

This is something I’d expect out of an RNC pamphlet or something partisan like that. Something whose purpose is solely political – make the other look guy bad. Now that the election is over, can you stop about the fawning he has received. Has he been fawned over by the people who hated George Bush? By those who were excited about the prospect of having the 1st African-American elected President? Was it affected by the fawning by Oprah, someone herself is fawned over? Of course. Would you be talking about the fawning if it were a Republican? Doubt it. What I think should be discussed is not whether he is worthy of such fawning. It is how our culture by the media encourage such fawning while people who oppose him (politically or otherwise) aim to bring him down. Both are unproductive and contribute to what I consider the problem of political culture today. It’s all about style over substance, it’s all about character-assassination. It’s all about hurting the ‘other team’ instead of working together. Your post was right about one thing. The result of the election was due to the economic disaster in Sept/Oct under a Republican administration. Obama campaigned to his base in the primary and then in the middle for the general election. One cannot be elected otherwise. It is unfortunate that throwing mud at those you disagree with politically is popular and effective. The fact that John McCain did not do that also contributed to his loss. Yes, Obama has duped people based on what he said in his campaign and what he has done since. Mostly duping those on the far left. And this is the 1st time any politician has ever done that. Both Bush and Obama campaigned on ‘uniting’ the country and working with… Read more »

Tom W
Tom W
11 years ago

I hadn’t seen that O-bah-mah video before.
Keni Riefenstahl for the MTV crowd.
Though attributed to Churchill, I believe that the actual source was Bastiat, but in any case, it seems apropos:
“If you’re not a liberal in your twenties you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative in your forties you have no brain.”

11 years ago

Big whoop. Has there ever been a president whose ratings didn’t drop over their first six months in office?
Move along, people. Nothing to see here.

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