The Real Obama Doesn’t Measure Up to the Promise

I agree with Mark Tapscott:

But the magnetism of his historic moment began fading once the economic stimulus, the omnibus and the budget were on the table. As people focused more on the details and how they didn’t square with what they thought he had promised during the campaign, the soaring rhetoric lost much of its power. It may even now be approaching a net negative because it throws so much more light on the inaequacies of the policies.

And so the ground has shifted and the essential narrative is changing. Before, supporting Obama was an act of personal and national affirmation made all the more pleasant and attractive by the seeming reasonableness of his policy proposals and the winsomeness of his public personality . He succeeded admirably in making himself a comfortable and reassuring choice, thus making it not merely “safe” to vote for him, but positively compelling.

Now, though, the mask is off and the disconnect between rhetoric and reality is emerging as the dominant driver of the Obama narrative. The contrast is no longer between the young, personable, historic candidate Obama and a creaky, cranky old Republican White Guy, it’s between what America thought it was getting in a President Obama (cool, reasonable and beyond partisanship) and what it now sees as the reality of a President Obama (government spending out of control, an uncertain hand on foreign policy, broken promises, more bureaucrats, etc. etc.).Although I am sure Team Obama is not happy that things are going so poorly so quickly, I think it may be a good thing for them in the long run in some ways. The worse things look now, the better things will look with even the smallest hint of improvement. Also, there is time for Obama to learn some lessons and change course. Bill Clinton paid for his lurch to the left in 1994 when Republicans retook Congress. As a result, Clinton turned to more moderate policies and easily won re-election in 1996. I expect something similar will happen with Obama — that is, if he is not too arrogant to admit his mistakes and not too married to his liberal ideology to make changes. If Republicans are smart they will be able to take advantage of these early mistakes in their 2010 congressional races, but I am not convinced they will all of a sudden get smart and use the ammunition they have been given in an effective way. I am hopeful they will, but will have to wait and see.

The Knucklehead of the Day award
What's Russian for "Idiot"?