The Obama Presidency: A House Divided

“A House Divided against itself cannot stand.”

When Lincoln prophesied in such terms, he did so to a nation ruptured by the most violent political schism in its History. Thank providence A. Lincoln possessed the commanding charisma, and granite leadership to galvanize his base at such a time. The young Republican Party knew no other loyalties and saw no other future than that of a perfect union.

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Times change, but politics stay shockingly the same. Just as important today is a president’s own party support. This bellwether of presidential stamina has collapsed on our current administration and the inevitable flames of criticism flicker shockingly close to the door of the Oval Office. The closest to the president have broken rank, even if off the record, and have begun the deconstruction of the agenda of the POTUS.

Krauthammer wisely warned us not to underestimate Barack Obama. This is sage political advice for such a dynamic political creature as BHO. However, the abandonment of faith in his followers has the clandestine potential to hemorrhage his agenda. Just notice the backlash he received this week from his racial fumble.

Let us disseminate the recent revolt against the president by his own party.

“I can’t say that the president is fully behind me…He is not someone who has experienced what I have experienced through life, being a person of color”

Shirley Sherrod

“I never thought I would say this, but even I’m unsure what President Obama really believes. Instead of outsourcing decisions to Congress, he should spell out his bottom line. That is what leaders are for.”

Obama Advisor, asked to remain anonymous


“The bottom line here is that Americans don’t believe in President Obama’s leadership,”- Rob Shapiro, former Clinton official

“If you ask me where the silver lining is for President Obama, I have to say I cannot see one,”

Bill Galston, former Clinton official

“Hope may have been a quick breakfast, but it has proved a poor supper. A year and a half ago Obama was walking on water. Today he is barely treading water.”

Mort Zuckerman

“They are risking everything by this ‘go along with BP’ strategy they have that seems like, lackadaisical on this, and Doug is right, they seem like they’re inconvenienced by this, this is some giant thing getting in (Obama’s) way”

James Carville

“I don’t know what they are thinking… We have made our disagreement known to the White House.”

Nancy Pelosi

“He is a person who doesn’t like confrontation…I think you have to be a little more forceful. And sometimes I don’t think he is enough with the Republicans.”

Harry Reid

“We’re now going through a phase in which there is a sense of pervasive malaise”

-Jimmy Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski

“A common gripe on the Hill and on the lobbying corridor is that the communications team isn’t great at communicating, the speechwriting team isn’t great at writing speeches (exemplified by Obama’s flaccid Oval Office speech last month on the BP spill and energy policy) and the political team often botches the politics.” –Politico

“Many Democrats on the Hill don’t like Obama”

Politico

“(Obama) is beginning to not be believable to me.”

– Senator Jay Rockefeller (D) W.V.

“(Obama’s) debt is like a cancer. It is truly going to destroy the country from within.”

Erskine B. Bowles, Mr. Obama’s national debt commission

“Democratic candidates are already disavowing this administration.”

Gov. Phil Bredesen (D), Tennessee

“…there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control”

Robert Gibbs

“What the hell do they think we’ve been doing the last 12 months? We’re the ones who have been taking the tough votes,” –Bill Pascrell (D) N.J.

“Nearly half of voters (49 percent) would be less likely to vote for a candidate if President Obama campaigns for them”

Opinion Dynamics Corps

“Few progressives would take issue with the argument that, significant accomplishments notwithstanding, the Obama presidency has been a big disappointment.”

Eric Alterman, a liberal author and columnist for The Nation

“Barack Obama doesn’t understand this [election] is a referendum on his agenda.”

Key Democrat Fundraiser, asked to remain anonymous

“The White House just threw us under the bus.”

Key Democrat Bundler, asked to remain anonymous

“I’ve never seen our members more angry at the White House than they are right now,”

Senior House Democratic aide, asked to remain anonymous

“It’s open season on Obama, whom so many hoped would lead us out of the neoliberal wilderness”

Les Leopold, liberal blogger

Whether this honest deviation is out of principle or mere self-preservation is of no matter. They are speaking out because they no longer respect, or fear, the occupant of the office. Such desperate criticism is deserved. Obama has sabotaged his own party through an agenda of arch-progressive bullying, ultimately leaving an underwhelmed, crippled Democratic Party to limp into the midterms, leaderless.

Don’t expect this recent wave of criticism to have an effect on our president. This would require a shred of humility and self-actualization that he has shown to be pathologically incapable of ascertaining. Our president’s ego seems resiliently blissful to his party’s perilous state. Snacking Lobster in Maine and playing 18 holes at Andrews is a loftier agenda.

The reality is that Obama is above the pedestrian needs of his own party and those of a country not able to appreciate the “grand future” he has forced upon it. His reality is not our reality. It is an exalted universe where it is permissible to bow to foreign leaders, chastise the Supreme Court on national television, and sue anyone (or any state) which dares deviate from his schema.

The silver lining is that such presidencies end just as they begin; swiftly. As Lincoln still sits enthroned in Washington for millions to admire each year, Obama will merely stay enthroned in his own mind. As Lincoln left Washington as a canonized American hero, Obama will leave as a failed American experiment. Just ask his advisors.


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