How could the man that demolished the Clinton machine make such a mess of his first year as president? That's the question that Michael Goodwin asks today.
Come on now, Mr. Goodwin. It's not that hard. I thought we worked all that out with Robert Redford and The Candidate. Of course, we were supposed to think that the clueless candidate, creature of his handlers, was the stereotype for Republicans. Democrats, we all knew, were principled reformers that hardly needed packaging. Not like the Richard Nixon of Joe McGinnis's The Selling of the President.
Well maybe so. But I have a suspicion that President Obama is the closest we are likely to come to an empty suit of a president. It is pretty obvious that he lacks the experience in the dirty work of day-to-day government administrative leadership.
But let's get back to Goodwin, who writes that Obama doesn't seem to care that the country is giving up on him.
Voters by a large margin have said for months they don't want the health-care overhaul he's pushing, so he pushes harder. They want less spending and debt, so he doubles down on pork, bailouts, handouts and taxes.
Let's go on.
They thought he would deliver bipartisanship, and he gives his hard-left allies the keys to the kingdom.
His vision is little more than a string of gauzy utopian platitudes glued together with fear, as when he told fellow Dems yesterday that the flawed health-bill represented "the last chance" for reform.
The last chance? Forever?
His charge that bankers have an obligation "to help rebuild the economy" by making more and presumably riskier loans boggles the mind. Low standards are the hair of the dog that led to liar loans and other housing disasters. By all means, let's do it again.
When something goes wrong, it's not his fault. "Fat-cat bankers," "greedy" insurance companies, doctors who do amputations just for the money, special interests, the media -- the media! -- have all taken their turns being blamed for what he hasn't fixed.
The buck doesn't stop on his desk!
Well. You can see where this is leading. Some time, maybe half way through next year, the American people will decide that they really don't like Barack Obama.
They will decide that they never did like him. In fact you will find that only about 47 percent of voters remember voting for him.
Added to that you can expect that unemployment will be dragging out for years. Why? Because the Democrats, determined not to learn the lessions of Reaganomics, are pushing the failed policy of government jobs bills instead of tax rate cuts for business and entrepreneurs.
Nancy Pelosi says that Democrats are ready for a tough fight next year. We are preparing for it, she says.
Good. But if the American people really don't like Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, and if unemployment is up around 10 percent, and if inflation starts up in the fall of 2010. Well. It only takes 41 seats to take back Congress.