Dear President Obama:
You are now staring into the exhausting, lonely abyss that is your final two years of a job you desperately wanted yet clearly never liked.
Negotiation and compromise are impossible for arrogant men who are always sure they are the smartest person when they walk into a room. Learning from the past is awkward at best for any man who believes history began with his own arrival. Doing the hard work of filling vague, impossible promises with concrete specifics is tedious work.
Then shoehorning those concrete specifics into actual policies that conform within the constitutional framework that has preserved this Republic since her founding is downright maddening. For a man of such towering arrogance, submitting yourself to the balance of powers and the concept of rule of law is truly tiresome — even for a vaunted constitutional law professor.
Mr. President, you came in on the soaring wings of hope. The 2008 election earned you one of the strongest hands of any incoming president in modern times.
Today, you stand as among the weakest in modern times, having suffered one of the worst reversals of political fortunes in a century.
Even among Americans who did not vote for you in 2008, so many yearned for you to succeed. Today, voters have turned on you. They are, at best, indifferent to you now. Many, many more have turned toxically against you.
If you were inclined toward introspection, you might ask yourself, “How did things get this way?” Even as you smack chewing gum while huddling with world leaders in China.
Well, Mr. President, the answer is simple: You lured voters in with your vague, impossible promises. Those vague, impossible promises failed to live up to your grand assurances. Then voters tossed your party out of power.
Yet, astonishingly, you remain utterly uncowed by your own failures. Indeed, you appear more certain today of your own divine rectitude than the day you took office in 2008.
After last week’s drubbing by voters, you pretended humility at your White House press conference and acknowledged, “Republicans had a good night.”
And then you went on a despotic tirade that was about as terrifying as any words uttered by a sitting American president.
“So, to everyone who voted,” you said, “I want you to know that I hear you.” Then came the most chilling words: “To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you too.”
Let’s set aside the stingy, small, belittling arrogance you displayed here toward all the American voters who actually voted in this election. You mock and dismiss them.
Where you really came unhinged, Mr. President, is when you went on to say that you also heard all of the voters who did not vote.
Really? Are you hearing voices? Is this serious? Do you need to see a doctor?
I mean, what does it mean that you hear “voters” who did not vote? Do those nonvoting “voters” — a population twice the size of actual voters, according to you — carry equal weight to those who actually voted?
How do we know what these voters want? Or who they want in power? Or do we just have to trust you and your magical “hearing” powers to tell us?
So elections don’t matter. Only “voters” you hear matter.
Or are you “hearing” voters from past elections that you simply snatch out of thin air? Perhaps, say, those terrific 2008 election results? Do you really believe you still carry the mandate of the 2008 election? And that all the subsequent elections in which you have been thoroughly rebuked by voters simply never happened?
And all of this comes just weeks after you pronounced that this election — not the 2008 election — but this very election in 2014 would, in fact, be a referendum on your presidency. An election where your policies would be on the ballot.
Mr. President, this is not the American way. This is not how the presidency works. This is not what the Constitution envisions. This is crazy.
This is why so many good, hard-working Americans have turned on you and are so terrified of two more years with you in the White House, with nothing to lose.
Charles Hurt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter at @charleshurt.