Friday, May 13, 2011

Obama's "D" in Demagoguery

Maybe the president knows something that I don't know. Maybe Latinos just love talk about moats and alligators at the border. But I don't think so.

I don't think the president does demagoguery very well. Charles Krauthammer writes in "Demagoguery 101" that the president, in his El Paso immigration speech, was trying to gin up votes rather than advance a national conversation on immigration, and I agree. But I don't think that the president was conducting a class in how to do demagoguery. I think his demagoguery is usually lame, and notably so in this case.

To be good, it seems to me, a demagogue must strike rage into the hearts of his supporters and fear into the hearts of his opponents. Think of the eight years of liberal demagoguery against President Bush.

With President Obama, on the other hand, his opponents treat his attempts at demagoguery as a joke. Moats? Alligators? Whack me with a wet noodle. And what about the president's supporters? What about the Latinos that are anxiously awaiting amnesty and the opportunity to come out of the shadows? What might they think about the president's rhetoric?

The American people tend to give the president the benefit of the doubt. That is why it is usually not a good idea for the opposition to attack the president. That's why the Republicans got into trouble when they decided to impeach President Clinton. That's why it took until 2006 for the Democrats to lay a glove on President Bush. That's why it took until the last week of the 1980 presidential campaign for challenger Ronald Reagan to move ahead of President Carter in the polls.

It seems to me that President Obama is heading for trouble with his lame demagoguery and his lame economic policy and his lame budgets and his lame NRLB beating up Boeing for moving production to a non-union state. To say nothing of the lame ObamaCare that the Democrats pushed with lame corrupt bargains to wavering senators.

What we have here is an aging dynasty that is demonstrating an embarrassing need for lame macho gestures to prove its manhood.

Instead, President Obama and the Democrats are proving the opposite. Their agenda is narrowly partisan and doesn't resonate with the majority of the American people. The president can be beaten in 2012.

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