Three months to go until mid-term elections and Democrats are biting their nails.
Here’s the situation: last November, Obama kicked his campaign for socialized healthcare into high gear. Democrats were lukewarm on the idea, partly because of the weak evidence that supports such a system, the more so because polls showed their constituents didn’t want it. But Barack Obama is nothing if not persistent. He leaned on every single one of his party’s representatives in Congress. He asked, he pleaded, he demanded, he begged, he bribed, and he dictated. He took Dennis Kucinich on an airplane ride, for God’s sake.
Well, we all know the end of this story. Congress passed the bill in March, defying the citizens’ orders. Barry promised to stand by his minions. Any Democrat who ran into trouble at election-time over their healthcare vote could count on a personal endorsement from the President, which Barry assumed would be more than enough to assure victory. This may sound unbelievably egotistical, but considering the great deference with which the media treated him and the fanatical devotion of his followers, it’s not so far-fetched.
For some reason, nobody thought Americans would hold a grudge over the underhanded ways in which healthcare was passed. Nobody thought Americans would hold Barry’s dogged insistence against him. Though it seemed inconceivable at the time, his poll numbers began to plummet. Though his die-hard Democrats remained loyal, the critical bloc of Independent voters were appalled by Democrats’ behavior.
The first tangible sign of trouble was Scott Brown’s win in Massachusetts. The fact a Republican won the seat in such a heavily Democratic state was astounding. And the fact that Obama had campaigned hard for Brown’s Democratic opponent set off alarm bells in the President’s party. It was obvious the honeymoon was over.
The Democrats running for reelection in November 2010 were not about to let the President off the hook. If he could no longer use his popularity to get them voted back in, he just had to come up with a Plan B. They voted in his bill, now he had to make sure they kept their jobs.
So what’s Obama going to do? In the past, whenever someone tried to hold him accountable, his fellow Democrats would fly to his rescue, the press would refuse to follow the story, or the accusation would be drowned out by Obama’s screaming fans. This time, it’s the Democrats who are holding him accountable, and the press hasn’t gone away, and his followers are looking to him for answers.
That left Obama scrambling for a go-to excuse. This is not new. Every President has a brilliant go-to excuse — a blanket reason for all his failures and a fool-proof reason he’s not effective. Bill Clinton had his nameless, faceless “vast right-wing conspiracy”, and George W had his imaginary WMDs. (The key to a go-to excuse is that there’s no way to disprove it.)
The excuse Barry cooked up turned out to be somewhat less than original: It’s Bush’s fault.
The president would have us believe that one man, with no overt effort and no role in the government, has the power to derail his administration. The ex-President, who left office 19 months ago with record low approval ratings, is somehow powerful enough to cause all the problems plaguing Obama today. Wars? Bush’s fault. Global warming? Bush’s fault. Economic crash? Bush’s fault. Failure of the Obama administration to create jobs? Bush’s fault. Gulf Oil Spill? Bush’s fault. Rain last Thursday? Bush’s fault.
Bush left us in bad shape but come on. It’s like a convicted criminal asking for mercy because he had a rough childhood. Obama wasn’t handed an ideal situation, but seriously? He’s been in office for nearly two years with the press in his pocket, adoring fans,
and a supermajority in Congress.
Blaming his failure on George W. Bush is not a realistic strategy. But for all you Democrats looking to Obama for help this fall, be warned. This is the best he’s got.