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Jonah Goldberg: Besieged Obama’s already jumped the shark
The Boston Herald ^ | August 30, 2010 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 08/30/2010 9:41:18 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

You’ve got to wonder when White House political guru David Axelrod will look at the churning pools of poll data and, like Chief Brody in “Jaws,” say: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

The analogy isn’t quite right, because in the movie, the shark ultimately loses. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Barack Obama and Axelrod victoriously paddle away on the flotsam of their own political wreckage. But in one sense, the analogy works just fine: This White House is rudderlessly lost at sea and inadequate to the challenges it faces.

At the beginning of the year, retiring seven-term Rep. Marion Berry (D-Ark.) recounted a conversation he had with the president. Obama’s push for health-care reform in the face of public opposition reminded Berry of the Clinton-era missteps that led to the Republican rout of 1994. “I began to preach last January that we had already seen this movie and we didn’t want to see it again because we know how it comes out,” Berry told a newspaper.

Or, to quote Brody in “Jaws 2”: “But I’m telling you, and I’m telling everybody at this table that that’s a shark! And I know what a shark looks like, because I’ve seen one up close. And you’d better do something about this one, because I don’t intend to go through that hell again!”

Convinced that his popularity was eternal, Obama responded by saying, yes, but there’s a “big difference” between 1994 and 2010 - “you’ve got me.”

The funny thing is, Obama might have been right. Because things might be much worse for Democrats in 2010 than they were in 1994 - and the big difference might well be Barack Obama.

In fairness, the biggest difference may be the economy, which in political terms should be fitted for a pine box. Of course, Mr. Credibility, Joe Biden, says it’s doing great, sounding like the shopkeeper in the Monty Python “Dead Parrot sketch” who insists the bird’s “just resting.”

In 1994, when the Contract with America Congress took control, the jobless rate was 5.6 percent. Today it’s 9.5 and may well climb higher.

While some people - such as yours truly - think Obama and the Democrats deserve much of the blame, one can be agnostic on all that and recognize that voters have lost faith in the Democratic Party. Already, Democrats in tight races are distancing themselves from the White House, and pretty much everyone has stopped trying to make lemonade out of the ObamaCare lemon.

Moreover, Obama has lost his connection with the American people. On issue after issue he seems determined to craft his responses in a way that will annoy the most people possible.

Some liberals claim that Obama’s mistakes stem from not being progressive enough, while others insist that he’s played his cards right, but we need to wait a bit longer for the payoff.

I’m dubious on both counts. But what’s clear now is that the president who claimed to be the personification of a world-historical moment is lost at sea, and not even a bigger boat will save him.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: biden; economy; obama; obamacare
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To: r9etb

I stand by my post. If the economy turns around in a big way Obama will be reelected. If the economy stays bad 0 is toast. Clinton was reelected because the economy turned around. He also went to the middle on several matters and the Oklahoma city bombing help him (or rather, hurt republicans) but it was the economy that made the difference.


51 posted on 08/30/2010 11:01:50 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Goldberg’s columns would be better if he were to throw in a topical cultural reference now and then. /sarc


52 posted on 08/30/2010 11:02:23 AM PDT by Last Dakotan
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To: ridesthemiles

Don’t forget......many states have enacted laws that require proof of elegibilty to hold office.


53 posted on 08/30/2010 11:06:20 AM PDT by jslade (People that are easily offended OFFEND ME!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

......Some liberals claim that Obama’s mistakes stem from not being progressive enough, while others insist that he’s played his cards right,......

And then there are those who claim it is just because he is black. /s> .


54 posted on 08/30/2010 11:11:24 AM PDT by bert (K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Greetings Jacques. The revolution is coming)
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To: Excellence

I’m a bit older than him, and I believe the same.


55 posted on 08/30/2010 11:25:53 AM PDT by BenKenobi (We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once. -Silent Cal)
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To: circlecity
He also went to the middle on several matters and the Oklahoma city bombing help him (or rather, hurt republicans) but it was the economy that made the difference.

But mainly, the Democrats succeeded in making the election about Newt Gingrich and the nasty Republicans -- and the Republicans helped him to do that by making a series of huge, stupid strategic errors.

Remember Clinton's first SOTU speech after the '94 election? The R's hooted at a statement Clinton made about budget numbers; Clinton merely smiled, and then he smacked them down with a hammer. He absolutely humiliated the Republicans in a few short words, and ended up carrying the night. Shoulda been a warning ... but the R's didn't heed it.

Remember Medicare Reform? That was supposed to be Newt and the boys flexing their muscles. Clinton killed them.

Remember the Government Shutdown? Once again Clinton killed the Republicans. (And that, only in the meagre intervals during which he was not succumbing to the wiles of Monica Lewinsky.)

Remember the time Clinton and Newt held the so-called "Budget Summit?" Newt left the WH with Clinton's boot prints all over his back.

One can certainly point to the economy as a factor, but that wasn't what got Clinton re-elected.

56 posted on 08/30/2010 11:26:57 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: r9etb

I don’t a think a single one of those things mattered but the economy.


57 posted on 08/30/2010 11:29:54 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: circlecity
I don’t a think a single one of those things mattered but the economy.

You go ahead and think that.

And, snug and secure in your belief that Obama has no similar chance, you can sleep soundly tonight.

58 posted on 08/30/2010 11:38:11 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: r9etb

I was going to sleep soundly either way. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.


59 posted on 08/30/2010 11:43:21 AM PDT by circlecity
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To: MHGinTN

Noooooooo.....now just hush!...You don’t want to go giving them ideas, do ya? LOL!!


60 posted on 08/30/2010 12:08:44 PM PDT by dsutah
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To: quantim

61 posted on 08/30/2010 12:16:48 PM PDT by naturalized
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To: equalitybeforethelaw
Gee, I was told by all the smartest people that Mr. Skittles was scary smart.

I kind of wonder about that.

The thinking here at FR is that he's an idiot. Typically, I'd agree. However, he's managed to pass a pretty good portion of what he set out to pass 2 years ago.

Leads me to believe one of two things: 1) He's genuinely smart guy, hellbent on tearing up as much of the USA as possible. -or-

2)He's a lightning rod, put in place by much smarter liberals than himself. Figure, while conservatives (and I'm guilty of this too...) are debating whether or not BO was born in Hawaii, or whether he's a Muslim, or the pros and cons of the "Beer Summit", or other trivia.... the Congress, other gov't agencies, and people who can get things done, are ramming through all sorts of legislation, both Constitutional and non-Constitutional, that they've been wanting for years.

Just a thought.

And, since I've got my tinfoil hat on today, I've also been wondering if he didn't want to be a one-term president all along. Figure that he gets the boot in 2012. Dumps Michelle in 2013. Gets paid 10 million $$$$ for each volume of "My life as the First Black President", then hits the lecture circuit to do what he does best - get paid 50K a pop for reading a teleprompter in front of crowds of fawning sycophants.

'Tis what I wonder about, in the middle of the night and I can't sleep. :-)

62 posted on 08/30/2010 12:31:01 PM PDT by wbill
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To: circlecity
I was going to sleep soundly either way. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on this one.

I guess so.

63 posted on 08/30/2010 12:39:18 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: DustyMoment

“I’m constantly amazed that a leftist rag like the Boston Herald carries Jonah Goldberg’s column.”

The Herald is the home of Howie Carr ... who you would like a LOT, even though a lot of it is inside the Beantown Beltway politics, but the Herald has been manning up in NE for a long time. Liberal it ain’t. Unless you know Boston, though, I can understand the confusion. Check out Howie;

http://www.bostonherald.com/news/columnists/view.bg?articleid=1276247


64 posted on 08/30/2010 12:53:03 PM PDT by jessduntno (Flush the Grand Old Potty. Vote Conservative.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Today it’s 9.5

WHY do we keep repeating that number? It’s bullshit.
The real number is closer to 17%.


65 posted on 08/30/2010 12:55:03 PM PDT by jessduntno (Flush the Grand Old Potty. Vote Conservative.)
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To: beebuster2000

RE: “people do seem to be saying he doesnt care because he wont run again. i dont agree. his ego is too huge to even contemplate the defeat not running again would mean. he actually thinks his enormous personal talent and huge brain will win the day”

*****************

Agree, he will likely want to run again — but...will the DNC allow it? THAT is my question. I suspect he will be replaced with someone else in 2012.


66 posted on 08/30/2010 1:07:43 PM PDT by CaliforniaCon
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To: jessduntno

Please see my post #38 - I’m a doofus.

I’ve heard Howie’s name, but I’m not sure I’ve read any of his material. I’ll check it out.


67 posted on 08/30/2010 1:08:08 PM PDT by DustyMoment
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Won’t run again!?!? And give up the perks, no way. I think he will run again, so many people and things to demonize, so little time to do so. The next victim will be who he can blame for whatever he identifies as the biggest problem. For example, if its unemployment he will demonize those who are not hiring. Look for companies, business and banks to be public enemy No. 1 in the coming days. The ONE will call for legislation that requires those evil companies to hire or else. Nevermind it is his policies that are preventing business from hiring or causing them to be reluctant to hire. No, it is their racism that is behind it wanting this President to fail.


68 posted on 08/30/2010 1:11:23 PM PDT by FlipWilson
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To: Excellence

RE: “My nineteen year old son believes 0bama will refuse to step down and it will cause a civil war. My son WANTS this to happen. I said,”why?” “Because,” he said, “it will open people’s eyes to who the guy really is.” Is that scary? My own son really believes it will take a civil war to force Zero to stand down. Brrr.”

******************

Do you know if any of your son’s friends/classmates share this view? Interested to know how widespread this view may be among the youth out there today.


69 posted on 08/30/2010 1:13:52 PM PDT by CaliforniaCon
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To: CaliforniaCon
but...will the DNC allow it? THAT is my question.

How can they not? Racism,you see......

70 posted on 08/30/2010 1:16:49 PM PDT by beebuster2000
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To: Buckeye McFrog
He is an effete, arrogant academic

Who lives in a world of perpetual teachers lounge discussions and frat house keggers,totally untouched and unmoved by REALITY!

71 posted on 08/30/2010 1:39:10 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannolis. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Jack Black
I'd agree with you except I don't think the Soros ownership of the jackass party quite trusts Hillary. Clintons will always put the interest of Clintons first, whereas Soros tools will put Soros idealogy first.
72 posted on 08/30/2010 1:44:48 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: DustyMoment

Please see my post #38 - I’m a doofus.

Sorry ... didn’t read that far into it ... didn’t mean to pile on ... just wanted to let you know about the little bundle of joy that is Howie Carr!


73 posted on 08/30/2010 3:08:57 PM PDT by jessduntno (Flush the Grand Old Potty. Vote Conservative.)
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To: r9etb

You are assuming that 0bama is as skilled a politician as Clinton.

0bama’s successes are mainly due to Pelosi’s scorched-earth tactics with her own party.

I am not saying that what you have written is not possible, but I’m not so sure that 0bama is anything more than a great campaigner, without Pelosi.


74 posted on 08/30/2010 3:17:19 PM PDT by happygrl (Continuing to predict that Obama will resign)
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To: MHGinTN
Let's start a pool on who the "American Father" will Be.

Look for claims of the bastard boy being the illegitimate son of some American citizen to surface, with accompanying fraudulent ancillary documents...

I am still holding out for Willie Mays. And I got $10 bucks (temporarily) to back that up.

75 posted on 08/30/2010 3:18:56 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (Revive The Poll Tax and Literacy Requirement for voter registration.)
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To: happygrl
You are assuming that 0bama is as skilled a politician as Clinton.

Not exactly -- in fact, I think Obama is probably the weakest link in the entire Obama team. The question is whether or not that actually matters.

What I am assuming is that the political deck is still stacked in Obama's favor, in the sense that the media are very unwilling to go after him the way they did Bush, Reagan, or even Clinton -- and the media will certainly go after whatever opponent springs up to challenge Obama.

I think that's likely to remain the case. Team Obama's response to their present political crisis will be built on that foundation.

If my assumption is correct, then Obama has plenty of time to assemble a team to put him over the top. There are a lot of very able true believers, and even more very able cynical opportunists, who would be willing to help re-shape Obama's message -- just to beat the Republicans, if nothing else.

Whatever the general population may think of him now, cannot be assumed to last forever. Their opinions are malleable, and the right strategy can at the very least make public opinion fear the opposition more than they dislike Obama.

They can even more carefully manage Obama's appearances and public utterances, and they can shape the message using all kinds of different media outlets.

The Democrats are very, very good at this sort of game. We ignore it at our peril.

76 posted on 08/30/2010 3:39:30 PM PDT by r9etb
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To: SubMareener

You made a point there! Perhaps that’s WHY he wants to give all the Illegals amnesty in hopes they will vote him in again. How many million(s)of them are here at this point anyway? He’s bent over backwards to NOT help the States bordering Mexico, so what other reason could there possibly be? He would probably prefer being King or Dictator now that he’s found out a President is actually expected to do something (other than fly around on AF One, take Vacations, eat Ice Cream, play Golf, shoot Baskets, ride Bikes. Having Servants and “Living high on the hog” sure is a big PLUS! Personally, the very thought of a Second Term scares the hell out of me.


77 posted on 08/30/2010 3:48:19 PM PDT by Patsygirl
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