So even Bill Maher finally gets it? It is somewhat gratifying for me to watch liberals who so swooned over a Chicago politician as the “chosen one” to come down to earth and join the rest of us who never slipped the surly bonds of reality and common sense back in 2008. The liberal infatuation with Barack Obama about which we on this side of the divide have commented many times seems to be finally fading as the truth of who this man is and always was sinks in. He is a politician. Not an executive. Gee, there’s a shock. And with such a postage stamp sized resume you’d think he’d have been better prepared to handle the many pressures and responsibilities of the most powerful and complex managerial position in the Solar System. I guess one needs more than a teleprompter spewing empty platitudes to run a ship of state after all.
Still, it’s interesting to peer into the mind of liberals and dissect their disappointments. On a recent “Real Time” episode Maher laments what a shame it will be to mark “four years of Democratic rule without having really tried any Democratic policies.” Yes, he really said that. So the dive off the Keynesian cliff into the failed and deficit ballooning multi-trillion dollar top-down stimulus in an attempt to recapture the false glory of the New Deal was a conservative approach? Does Bill believe the passage of a 2,000-page healthcare law that aims to impose federal control over 1/5 of the entire US economy while Messers Frank and Dodd drafted another 2,000 pages of regulatory hell designed to revamp a multi-trillion dollar derivatives market about which neither of them know anything about to be Milton Friedman Laissez-faire machination?
Maher’s big complaint is that, in his mind at least, Obama merely pursued the Republican agenda which he distills down to extending the Bush tax cuts and the continuation of the Mideast wars. Maher also made the bizarre claim that “healthcare is basically a pro-business very Republican healthcare plan.” Really Bill? In what world do you hawk your wares because I can tell you that this is hardly “pro-business” nor would any of the 176 Republicans–indeed every last one of the Republicans in the House–who voted in unison against the bill classify this as a “Republican healthcare plan.” But of course denial of even the most rudimentary of facts has been a hallmark of the comedic pseudo-pundit for many years now.
Maher’s panelists’ take on the deflation of the Obama myth were varied based on their politics. Republican strategist Susan Del Percio blamed it on him not being a leader, citing the delegating of his signature issue, Obamacare, to the Congress.
Radio host Michael Smerkonish offered that Obama is actually much more moderate than the hardcore left thought. Obviously he and I differ on what qualifies one as a “moderate.” Still, what he offered is that Obama may be losing his far Left base because he is not Che Guevera reincarnated despite the tri-colored posters. So after everything that’s transpired in the past two years, the wingnuts like Maher still believe that Obama is a “centrist.” Sure he is. And I’m Brad Pitt, not Brad Schaeffer.
Still, when push comes to shove, the far lefties will vote for the Chicago pol because they would rather be crucified than see a Republican win back the White House and so they will rally behind him come what may. Obama’s true political danger comes not from his left or his right, but his front. He has lost the center, the independents. He has lost them because, Maher’s and Smerkonish’s skewed views notwithstanding, he is much farther to the left than he was packaged during the election, when the force field of a worshipping mainstream media protected him from any penetrating eyes save on the blogosphere, talk radio and Fox. But now the center knows that he is far from a centrist; the post-racialists know he is far from a post-racial healer; and those who craved unity know that he is far from a uniter but rather has shown an ugly propensity to demonize his opponents. Those who saw him as a bridge to the rest of world now see him as a weak representative of US interests. Those who were willing to trust Washington more now see him as an over-bearing top-down government apparatchik. In short, the scales have fallen from the electorate’s eyes … even if Maher thinks the problem is that Obama isn’t far left enough! Only in Hollywood.
Back to “Real Time”: my favorite commentary was from New York Times columnist David Carr whose apparent smugness I found myself instantly loathing. But he did perform a valuable service nonetheless. Besides laying out for all to see the unbearable arrogance of the left-wing intelligentsia and their dismissal of traditional values by making light of fathering children out of wed-lock (oh you kid!) Carr freely admitted that he had fallen for the Obama hype. In fact he captured the essence of the “Obama Zombie” movement (if I may borrow a phrase from Jason Mattera)–a movement that was forged in irrationality in a fog of emotional vapors and as such was destined for disillusionment. Said Carr: “You [Bill] and I bought into history. It was like a moment. We’re gonna have a moment … turns out he’s a politician. He’s good at politics, not that great at governance.” News flash: the 60 million of us who voted against him in 2008 already figured this out. I guess we neanderthals on the right have some sense after all.
What I find fascinating about the liberal epiphany is that they seem surprised to have been taken. Yet, as I just recently discussed on “The Dana Show,” even the most enthusiastic/brainwashed of his supporters back in 2008 could point to little if any concrete data by way of private sector achievement (community organizer?) or public sector initiatives (voting ‘present’) to justify their infatuation. Thus did we see the dangerous allure of the personality cult that has laid waste to many an advanced democratic society in the past. Now the Left is finally coming around to a reality we uninfected by the Obama flu knew all along. For a first world people to advance they must look for answers not to un-vetted politicians who emerge out of the mist of corrupt party machines, but rather towards the bedrock of all great nations … the individual. Themselves! Otherwise you run risk of the same disappointment about which my musical muse warned four decades ago: “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”