Obama’s Contempt For Voters
July 26, 2012 7 Comments
President Obama made some interesting statements to Charlie Rose a couple weeks ago that provide quite a bit of insight to his thought process. Obama said:
When I think about what we’ve done well and what we haven’t done well, the mistake of my first term – couple of years – was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.
In this statement we see Obama harken back to his Alinsky days as a community organizer. Alinsky taught in his book “Rules For Radicals” that communication is the key to success for a radical. If a radical cannot properly communicate with people, it matters not that his policies are good or right. While we see this line of thinking from Obama, we also see a complete lack of self examination concerning his policies. That’s really the problem with his comment.
Obama hasn’t stopped to wonder whether or not his policies have worked or whether they were even good ideas in the first place. They’re his ideas and his policies, so they must be good. He honestly doesn’t believe that his policies have failed. His only failure, in his mind, is that he and his spin team hasn’t done a good job with the razzle dazzle surrounding these policies. No doubt, the administration could have done a better job selling its policies. But when the President’s policies not only weren’t very good but have actually failed the problem wasn’t in the sell job.
Apparently this has never occurred to the President because he believes part of his job as President is to tell us a story. David Axlerod did a terrific job of this during the 2008 campaign, selling the American people a story of Obama that largely wasn’t true. At some point though a President has to be about more than a glitzy story, his policies have to be successful. Had the economy not turned around in 1983-84 Reagan wouldn’t have been re-elected despite his mastery at telling stories and selling policies.
We’ve been told for years that Obama is the Democrat’s great communicator, even he acknowledges he’s anything but. Even had Obama done a better job selling his policies he would still be looking at a failed Stimulus package, a failed jobs bill, 8.2% unemployment, $5 trillion in new debt and weak economic growth. How is he going to sell this to the American people? Is he going to razzle dazzle us with fireworks and a bedtime story?
While communication is important, we’ve had Presidents who have been largely successful even without having the best communication skills. President George W. Bush comes to mind. At the end of the day, communication is secondary to having good policies. Even if Bush had been a terrific communicator, by the last two years of his second term his poll numbers would still have been low because Iraq wasn’t going well. There was no putting lipstick on the pig, the public soured on the war. The same can be said for Obama, he can’t put lipstick on the economic pig right now. No amount of good communication will blind the public from the state of the economy or the fact that few are better off than they were four years ago.
For Obama to believe the problem is communication exposes his arrogance and narcissism. He cannot acknowledge his policies haven’t worked unless you consider his silence about his second term plan as an admission of failure. He refuses to point at policies or decisions he has made and say ‘you know, we should have done that differently’ or ‘that didn’t work.’ Instead he blames all of his problems on communication. In doing this he shows his lack of self critique and he shows an utter contempt for the intelligence of the American public. He honestly believes that a President can razzle dazzle us for four years without anyone catching on that things aren’t getting any better. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a President who has had this much contempt for the intelligence of voters.