Friday, August 21, 2009

Obama doesn't get it - this isn't a campaign anymore

In this Breitbart article, Obama fires back at political critics, President Barack Obama tries to draw a parallel between a couple of incidences in his campaign for the Democratic Party nomination and what he's going through now with the failure of his economic stimulus plan and the overwhelming rejection of his health care reform.

And the comparison shows he just doesn't get it.

This is no longer a campaign - this is governance.

During the primary, he was trying to win over the votes of fellow Democrats who believe, pretty much, what he does. There are many who will say they were swayed by his rhetoric and lofty ideals but really didn't know what he stood for - and for that I fault the voting public and the press, who didn't ask the tough questions which would have revealed his intentions during the campaign.

But that point aside, trying to convince people with the same ideology that you're the best one of several to represent that ideology is much different from convincing an entire nation, the majority of whom claim no party or are Republicans, to join your cause.

Obama isn't going to the opposing side and presenting his viewpoint on the issue, he's handpicking audiences and 'preaching to the choir' and trying to re-energize his base. But that will only go so far as the vast majority of Americans are not in that group to begin with.

He's still in campaign mode, trying to sell an idea, when the public would rather have the facts and the details - all the things they were too busy to bother with during the actual campaign. Now that Obama is in the White House, the public expects him to manage the operations, though he's had absolutely no experience whatsoever in doing something even remotely similar. And now it shows, especially in how he blames everyone else for his failure in this regard.

"Voters, it seems, want to understand a little more about what ObamaCare will mean for them, what it will do to the doctor-patient relationship, and what it will cost future generations in higher taxes and, yes, rationed supply.

Rather than examine the public’s concerns, the plans’ inconsistencies or the sheer irresponsibility of trying to ram something this big and complicated through Congress without a small-scale trial, the Obama administration is pointing fingers. Lots of them."

He also, wrongly, thinks the opposition is all about him - that Republicans are trying to deny him a victory, rather than acknowledge that it's the general public that doesn't like the idea.

That's what you do in a campaign - demonize and blame the other side, appeal to the sympathy of the voters for your position, and promise you'll do better if just given the chance. Now that he's got the chance, though, he's failing.

His win demonstrates that he knows how to persuade people to an idea, but his actions since January 20 show he doesn't know what it takes to actually follow through with the details and documentation and evidence to support those ideas.

So he reverts to what his knows and what put him in this position in the first place - campaigning ... trying to convince his base that his ideas are still the right ones. In doing so, he neglects those he really needs to persuade, reinforcing their opinion that they are, indeed, right on the issue.

Obama is not the only one to find himself in such a position. Voters routinely elect legislators and other similarly-experienced individuals into the management positions of administrative/executive office. Voters - and political parties who endorse - rarely stop to think about the skills necessary to actually do a job once elected. Rather, they focus on the electability of the individual or the person's stated prior accomplishments. Getting a bill passed in a legislative body is much different than implementing it when approved - and voting on a budget or advocating for a particular funding line item is very different from creating the budget in the first place. The skill sets necessary for those functions are very different, and may, in fact, be opposite, but people rarely distinguish that fact or vote accordingly. This sets everyone up for failure: the elected official who finds they don't have the skills they need to actually to govern, and the public who expected governance but gets none from someone they never should have put into such a position to begin with.


Roman said...

I agree completely!

I have had similar conversations with friends about this; some of who have voter's remorse. They got what they voted for. No one can tell me that this was not predictible.

Many people were taken by the moment, the history making potential of this election and not by the practical things that goes with being the leader of the free world.

We are a strong country and will make it through. How long will it take to pay off the debt remains to be seen.

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...

Voter's remorse is of little good now, but is looking to be a very major factor in 2010 if this Obamination of a health (NOT!) care package passes despite the tremendous resistance of the voters.

Tim Higgins said...

On the other hand Maggie, while attempting to fulfill every over-the-top, ridiculous promise that he made on policy change that the President made during the campaign (excepting the waiting period on signing legislation of course), he is managing to ignore at least one ... the promise of seeking bi-partisan support.

On a side note, is it just me or has anyone else noticed that we have a longer waiting period for completion of a gun purchase than we do for signing a piece of major legislation these days?

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