Patterico's Pontifications

3/18/2012

The real fantasy Obama

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 8:30 am

[Posted by Karl]

Jonathan Bernstein (seemingly dumbing down his punditry for Greg Sargent’s audience) argues the GOP is trapped in its echo chamber, running against a fantasy Obama or two.  The first is basically a fraud who never held a job before he somehow wound up the Democratic nominee in 2008.  The other is a scheming, nefarious, stealth left-winger who any day now is going to unleash his radical socialist agenda.

As many have noted, these two Obamas are somewhat at odds with each other. But the more important point is that neither version builds a convincing case against supporting Obama in 2012. No one is going to buy that Obama is too inexperienced to be president; no one is going to buy that he has some secret agenda that remained secret during four years in the White House.

This is fairly rich, given the Democrats spent about a decade painting George W. Bush as an incompetent ideologue. Moreover, Bernstein here falls back on the Obamaesque habit of beating strawmen.

When Mitt Romney says of Obama, “It’s hard to create a job if you never had one,” anyone outside the Democrat bubble recognizes it as Romney contrasting his business experience with Obama’s lack thereof.  The vast majority of jobs Obama has held have been government jobs, including the top one… and how’s that working out for everybody?  The Obama recovery is among the worst in modern history — and not because we had a sharp recession due to a financial panic.

Consider Obama’s big economic ideas.  Obama and top Democrats hyped their government stimulus plan, but field studies bear out the general perception that it failed.   Indeed, the stimulus became the butt of a joke from Obama himself, not Mitt Romney.  Many Americans, from the unemployed to those whose taxes were wasted, found it unfunny.

Obama’s other economic hobby horse has been government-driven “green jobs.”  Aside from scandals like Solyndra, this initiative has been criticized by Congressional Democrats and the Brookings Institution.  Obama’s most recent “jobs bill” was also panned by Congressional Democrats.  Thus, it’s no surprise that most people disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy — according to the Pollster.com average, not Mitt Romney.   Obama’s campaign to convince voters that “America is back” is a dud (even self-identified Democrats barely believe it) — according to Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg, not Mitt Romney.

As for Obama being a left-winger, most people do not think he has been very stealthy about it.  On top of the unpopular stimulus, Obama helped a Democratic Congress ram through an expansion of government control over the healthcare sector that was both vast and politically damaging to its supporters.  Poll after poll shows more want to repeal Obamacare than keep it; overwhelming numbers think its mandate is unconstitutional.  Obama’s preferred cap-and-tax energy policy was too extreme to pass a Democratic Senate.  TNR’s Noam Scheiber (not a wingnut) suggests Obama may let the Bush tax cuts expire if he is reelected.  A majority of Americans see Obama as too liberal.  Americans see the ideology of the GOP candidates — including Bachmann and Santorum — as closer to theirs than Barack Obama’s ideology.  Even among so-called independents, only Bachmann scored as more extreme than Obama.  Only 37% of likely voters identify more closely with Obama than with his Republican rivals.

According to Gallup (not the GOP), Obama’s most recent approval rating with “pure independents” rests at 34%.  Is this because of Obama vast experience creating abundant jobs with decent wages?  Or is it because of his moderate approach to government?  I don’t know how Bernstein would answer these questions, but I blame Fox News Channel. And Booosh!

If Bernstein thinks the GOP imagines a fantasy Obama, he might try looking on the left side of the aisle.  Their fantasy Obama “saves or creates” jobs in self-fulflilling CBO simulations instead of net jobs in the real economy.  Their fantasy Obama is imagined by those who thought Obamacare would be popular once everyone found out what was in it.  Their fantasy Obama never met a problem that couldn’t be solved by speeches (which failed to move public opinion).  Their fantasy Obama is the product of a series of narratives that do not stand up to serious scrutiny.  Their fantasy Obama is imagined by the people who will conveniently overlook how many of the sources I have just linked are Democrats, lefty pundits and neutral sources.

Sooner or later, Barack Obama will leave the White House.  The fantasy that only Republicans have an echo chamber may never disappear.

–Karl

65 Responses to “The real fantasy Obama”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  2. Amen

    JD (0e9826)

  3. “(b) The Secretary of each agency delegated authority under subsection (a) of this section (resource departments) shall plan for and issue regulations to prioritize and allocate resources and establish standards and procedures by which the authority shall be used to promote the national defense, under both emergency and non-emergency conditions. Each Secretary shall authorize the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, to place priority ratings on contracts and orders for materials, services, and facilities needed in support of programs approved under section 202 of this order.”

    Colonel Haiku (a4a9d6)

  4. Well said, as usual, Karl.

    Colonel Haiku (a4a9d6)

  5. ==If Bernstein thinks the GOP imagines a fantasy Obama, he might try looking on the left side of the aisle. Their fantasy Obama “saves or creates” jobs in self-fulflilling CBO simulations instead of net jobs in the real economy. Their fantasy Obama is imagined by those who thought Obamacare would be popular once everyone found out what was in it. Their fantasy Obama never met a problem that couldn’t be solved by speeches (which failed to move public opinion). Their fantasy Obama is the product of a series of narratives that do not stand up to serious scrutiny. Their fantasy Obama is imagined by the people who will conveniently overlook how many of the sources I have just linked are Democrats, lefty pundits and neutral sources==

    There’s lttle anyone can add to this gem of a paragraph, Karl. Kudos. Your post deserves to be linked far and wide.

    elissa (b5cd37)

  6. Col.,

    If both Ed Morrissey and William Jacobson aren’t concerned, maybe that’s not panic-worthy.

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  7. JD, Col, elissa,

    Thanks, as always.

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  8. bow to Big Zer0
    Cult of Personality
    all hail His Grateness

    Colonel Haiku (a4a9d6)

  9. And the left doesn’t have a fantasy Obama? The great uniter, orator, healer of oceans, fixer of economies, brutal warrior (who singlehandedly took out bin laden), constitutional scholar…

    Anyway, Karl, I’m glad Ed isn’t worried about it, but there is added language in the new EO, congress is already irrelevant, the rule of law means nothing… Giving this president an inch when he’s already taken 14 billion miles is not something we should be willing to do.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  10. Karl, you forgot the fantasy Obama who will prevent Iranian nukes by sheer force of will, and will refute Islamic fanaticism by championing moderate Muslims from Libya to Egypt to Pakistan and beyond. This is something that even the Nobel Fantasy Peace Prize committee saw early on.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  11. …and the fantasy that he respects religious grounds of all people,

    “Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on preventive services policy.” Translation: President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are moving forward with their controversial contraception mandate, which requires even religiously affiliated employers to provide their employees with insurance that covers contraception — even if those employers object to contraception on religious grounds.

    But don’t worry: Secretary Sebelius says your religious liberty is assured, so it is assured.

    “The President’s policy respects religious liberty and makes free preventive services available to women,” she said. ”Today’s announcement is the next step toward fulfilling that commitment.”

    Dana (4eca6e)

  12. Ha! I forgot the Peaceful president in my list, too. Just this morning I saw an Obama bumper sticker where the O was a peace sign.

    Closest I’ve been to vehicular manslaughter in my life.

    Ghost (6f9de7)

  13. Nadia Naffe and Tommy Xtopher are f@cking clumsy liars, BTW.

    JD (318f81)

  14. “The President’s policy respects religious liberty and makes free preventive services available to women,”

    Lies, on multiple levels.

    JD (318f81)

  15. “and the seas shall recede and the waters shall be troubled no more…”

    - Baraka Obama0

    Colonel Haiku (a4a9d6)

  16. “Yea, verily, there shall be no blue states or red states for they shall cleave unto one another.”

    - Baraka Obama0

    Colonel Haiku (a4a9d6)

  17. Born under Bad Sign
    a Feces with Moon rising
    the Slow Joe Biden

    Colonel Haiku (a4a9d6)

  18. We’re in ‘that word you are using’ territory, also
    the ‘Argument Clinic. It’s dissapointing because he’s not nearly as much a hack as Yglesias, Klein,
    Drum, et al.

    narciso (473003)

  19. It’s interesting to debate lefties on sites where that can still be done. It helps to see their fantasies are real ones. They don’t accept reality. For example:

    “deisde1 wrote, in response to MichaelKennedy:

    You don’t have to lecture me. My church (predominantly white), was instrumental in helping my single mother raise my sister and I. I know first hand and have benefited first hand from the well meaning benevolence of white people. I get it, I really do. Ironic to your point, my mother is an immigrant from Jamaica and just as you chronicled, experienced her race very different and raised my sister and I with different perceptions about our race relative to my African-American friends. I understand that there are contextual differences to how race plays out. The black community is no monolith where every experience with race relations is just the same.

    However, in your response you reveal exactly what I have been saying and the true complexity of race relations. The history of the United States, influences how people of color perceive their world, for better and for worse. Up until college, I was oblivious of race and some people of color will go their entire life oblivious to the fact. Just because they don’t see how race affects them, does not mean that their race is still not affecting them. It’s like the old adage, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? There are some people of color who do see how race affects their lives and they are the ones who raise issue with it.

    You seem so caught up with this notion black people making up racism. I very much wish I did not have to deal with it at all. Why the heck would I make this stuff up or be so concerned with it? Why would I make up that security watches me when I walk into stores or that my classmates don’t think I am fit to be sitting in class with them. I can assure you that if these things did not happen, I am not conniving enough to think them up. Are you really into blaming the victim given your profession? Yes, people of color play into, play up and play on race relations. Some with sinister motives and some to take advantage of white people. I don’t support that but acknowledge that it happens. However, you taking it to the extreme and stating that black people make it up, is highly, highly problematic.

    I’m glad you can list off instances where you have deconstructed white oppression. I retract my earlier statements, stand corrected and apologize for making a hasty assumption. With that being said, both you (hopefully) and I know that if the actions that you recounted above were indeed happening consistently across our country, race relations would be much improved even beyond where they are today. I always arrive at the question if white people think so highly of themselves when it comes to race relations, then why are they so apt to challenge and discount issues that black people find important? If the black community thinks affirmative action is still necessary and 99% of white people are well meaning, then why is there such an uproar still?

    Why is it okay for you to discount people’s stories call them deluded when they say they have experienced racism? 99% of white people are well meaning right?

    Why is gentrification more based off of skin color then SES? 99% of white people are well meaning right?

    Why is Dr. Bell or Rev. Wright painted as a radical by you and others on here? 99% of white people are well meaning right?

    What it seems given your response, 99% of white people are well meaning ONLY to those people of color that they deem fit to or worthy of being well-meaning too. If they are a part of the black panthers, or subscribe to CRT or received a lower score on the MCAT and thus did not deserve to be in the same med school as you, those people of color do not deserve the well meaning actions of whites?

    Please help me see how in just these few instances, the well meaning intentions of white people is on display? That is a sincere question.

    Give me a break. Your logic is so flawed that it is scary. Continue to pat yourself on the black for your good deeds while structural oppression continues unabated. If you ever stop to wonder why things are getting better at such a painstakingly slow pace, reread your post.

    Lastly, I actually admire Clarence Thomas. I disagree with him on some of his stances and agree with him on many more. You would be wise to stop trying to box people of color into your stereotypical “bad, radical, liberal, black person”, vs. “good, international, conservative, thinks just like me black person” boxes.

    This is one response from a lengthy exchange about Critical Race Theory. He does not understand that whites are almost uniformly neutral to or uninterested in someone’s race. Sorry for the length but this is a fragment of a days-long debate.

    Mike K (326cba)

  20. The one thing that unites Washington Post reporters and columnists seems to be their reluctance to view Obama as anything less than perfect. Even his failures are called evolution.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  21. DRJ – that kind of highlights the lies when Teh One blames Boehner for Bar ky’s own disingenuous negotiation tactics, no?

    JD (318f81)

  22. Was it Broderick Crawford, who said ‘what we have here is a failure to communicate’ because this is really are ‘Darnok at Tanagra’ situation,

    narciso (473003)

  23. A liberal friend of mine posted this to Facebook the other day: “I still believe he is a great man. Maybe not the president we had envisioned he would be, but a great man still.” She is disillusioned that he turned out NOT to be Teh Messiah, yet he is still great in her eyes because he continues to espouse the bleeding-heart class warfare race-baiting “war on women” ideology. Lack of accomplishment is all right just as long as you tried to accomplish the correct tasks. Everybody gets a trophy.

    Icy (820f58)

  24. Teh Won is a post-partisan post-racial uniter who will stop the oceans from rising and heal the universe.

    JD (318f81)

  25. Two other lefty fantasies: BO is the smartest man to ever be president (He was a Law Professor!!! He was President of the Harvard Law Review!!!) and I heard this on on NPR the last time I listened to it about a year ago: He is the most athletic president ever. I think they were discussing his basketball playing. Someone I know who said they saw his golf swing up close was not impressed. Hell i think he scored a 120 or something in bowling. Yep the best ever.

    Ipso Fatso (7434b9)

  26. Narcisco, it was Strother Martin in Cool Hand Luke.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fuDDqU6n4o

    [Released from filter.]

    Gazzer (72d05a)

  27. Was it Broderick Crawford, who said ‘what we have here is a failure to communicate’

    Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  28. Strother Martin, Cool Hand Luke

    [Released from filter.]

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  29. Hmmmm. Moderation problem.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  30. But, but, he IS the most athletic president evah!

    No one has bowed to more foreign scumbags.
    No one has worked out his eyeballs more on the TOTUS.
    No one has covered as much ground backtracking on his promises.
    No one has played as much golf — well, maybe Ike, but that wuss used a cart.

    Anyone else ever dunk a basketball while simultaneously smoking a cigarette AND texting his “friend” Scarlett Johansson on his Crackberry?

    I didn’t think so.

    Icy (820f58)

  31. The big difference between conservative criticism of Obama and liberals Bush Derangement Syndrome is that conservatives tend to fall into one camp or the other: 1) Obama is a basically good man who is in over his head due to lack of experience, or 2) Obama knows exactly what he’s doing and is doing it on purpose. I fall into camp 2. I have never seen any one conservative ever make both arguments.

    When it came to Bush, though, oh it was very common for the same liberal to rage against that stupid, borderline retarded, dry drunk imbecile who couldn’t wipe his own ass without Dick Cheney’s permission, EXCEPT when he was an evil genius who planned and carried out 9/11 all by himself. I’m not exaggerating either. I actually had that conversation with a co-worker one day. After he went on about how stupid Bush was I pointed out that he had a higher grade point average than both Al Gore and John Kerry, he went straight into the Evil Genius scenario. When I pointed out that he had just said that Bush was a dry drunk who was incapable of a independent thought he went right back to that argument. Liberals are clueless.

    Jaynie59 (058ebb)

  32. And how can we forget this JibJab video from 2009?

    Has anything really changed?

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  33. Obama laughed. Then he joked that maybe the trigger should be his own removal from office. Biden deadpanned: Republicans might just go for that.

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    Neo (d1c681)

  34. Their fantasy Obama is Columbus one day Lincoln the next. Their fantasy President laughs at President Hayes, who installed the first phone in the WH as every WH tour participant knows, as being befuddled by the device.

    pat (0833d4)

  35. Of course the Left has a “fantasy Obama”, for they live in a fantasy reality.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8a6158)

  36. Comment by narciso — 3/18/2012 @ 10:49 am

    No, it was Strother Martin in “Cool Hand Luke”!

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    AD-RtR/OS! (8a6158)

  37. Comment by narciso — 3/18/2012 @ 10:49 am

    No, it was Strother Martin, in “Cool Hand Luke”!

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    AD-RtR/OS! (8a6158)

  38. “The enemy of my enemy is my frenemy”

    - Baraka Obama0

    Colonel Haiku (775b89)

  39. Comment by Ipso Fatso #25
    I saw his bike riding. LOL.

    But let us review the assertion.

    Gerald Ford.
    Captain of his champion High School football team. All American at Univ. of Mich, playing two positions, center/linebacker. Scratch golfer. Pictured by the MSM as a clumsy fool.
    George H. Bush.
    Captain of the Yale baseball team. Two college world series. Scratch golfer in his day. Hall of Fame inductee. Still parachute jumping. BTW. Graduated from Yale in 2.5 years, Ph Beta Kappa. Still parachute jumps. Pictured by MSM as a dull witted clod.
    Dwight Eisenhower.
    Football at West Point. Scratch Golfer. May have been a semi-pro baseball player. Golf Hall of Fame. President of Columbia Univ. MSM later found his personal habits lacking in comparison to the youthful JFK…who had absolutely no athletic credentials at all or academic credentials in the caliber of Ike.
    Ronald Reagan,
    College football, Captain of the swim team, Student Body President, double major, including a full major in economics. Reagan worked every summer as a life guard. He is credited with an incredible 77 saves and was a legend in town. MSM response: failed actor and his father was a drunk. Senility set in when he was in late 40′s or something.

    Barrack Obama:
    High School Basketball, 6 or 7 on depth chart, valuable but not top player. College sports, none. Golf scores unknown. MSM reportage? The greatest athlete ever to serve as President.

    Hmmm.

    pat (0833d4)

  40. Objectively racist, pat.

    JD (318f81)

  41. Pat must be sent to remedial narrative class! STAT.

    elissa (b5cd37)

  42. Attack watch has been notified

    Icy (820f58)

  43. “Was it Broderick Crawford, who said ‘what we have here is a failure to communicate’”

    Comment by narciso

    No, you’re thinking of Strother Martin. Crawford was famous for “up against the wall, you lousy punks”…

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    Colonel Haiku (775b89)

  44. Good night JD, lol

    pat (0833d4)

  45. Excellent post, Karl. Seriously, this should be referred to during the coming campaign.

    Book (5b3f1d)

  46. Good post and knockdown of Bernstein. Mitt is in a much better position than he is being given credit for by the pundits. Certainly as compared to Obama at this point in 2008 … http://bit.ly/qVdDUt

    ombdz (2a81ef)

  47. Comment by narciso — 3/18/2012 @ 10:49 am

    “What we have here is a failure to communicate”, was delivered by Strother Martin in “Cool Hand Luke”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (88b8dd)

  48. The first is basically a fraud who never held a job before he somehow wound up the Democratic nominee in 2008. The other is a scheming, nefarious, stealth left-winger who any day now is going to unleash his radical socialist agenda.

    As many have noted, these two Obamas are somewhat at odds with each other.

    They’re not at odds with each other even a little bit, unlike the contradictory Bush narratives. Maybe the idea that Obama is flat out stupid contradicts the scheming radical idea.

    My opinion which I think is what most conservatives say is:

    1) He shows no signs of being this towering intellect that libs see him as, in an astonishing real life Emperor’s New Clothes type phenomenon.

    2) He’s remarkably uninformed about history and economics, among other things, for someone in his position. The economic ignorance goes hand in hand with hardly having any private sector jobs; the point Romney made.

    3) He hasn’t demonstrated any ability to run anything, either prior to being POTUS or since, based on what can be gleaned from various sources. The fact he has experience now doesn’t change that one iota.

    None of those contradicts the idea of him as a radical schemer.

    Gerald A (cc0aaa)

  49. Karl, you had me with this post’s first parenthetical. Nice job.

    Beldar (a1e7c4)

  50. AD, I posted the youtube vid up stream.

    Gazzer (72d05a)

  51. ________________________________________________

    the Democrats spent about a decade painting George W. Bush as an incompetent ideologue

    Moreover, it’s fascinating and ironic to me that just about every Republican president since the 1930s, including Bush Jr, can trace his greatest error to when he leaned left and was more of a Democrat than a Republican.

    Herbert Hoover had his huge tax increases (a preview of FDR’s policymaking), Richard Nixon had his peculiar agenda (and that he was eulogized most lovingly by very liberal columnist Robert Scheer in an LA Times op-ed piece several years ago speaks volumes), Ronald Reagan had his secret dealings with a hostage-taking nation, George Bush Sr had his read-my-lips tax increases and appointee David Souter, and Bush Jr had his failings as “compassionate” enabler to bloated budgets and ideas regarding illegal immigration and major new drug benefits to seniors.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  52. In retrospect, the idea that there was no follow up,
    to Jodi Cantor’s piece that should have opened up what Obama’s nature, in fact the closest inquiry
    was Palin’s query into community organizing the following month, Jeremiah Wright wasn’t an outlier,
    nor was Michael Phleger, there were the pattern,

    narciso (473003)

  53. _______________________________________________

    I’m not exaggerating either. I actually had that conversation with a co-worker one day.

    I find myself less bothered by such people if they’re rather young, certainly in their teens or perhaps not much older than their late 20s or early 30s. But when someone is quite liberal and getting up there in years, and is well into his or her 40s, much less 50s, I sense there’s something intrinsically deficient there.

    It’s pretty much like the case of a person who has never matured and evolved physically and emotionally. A person who remains trapped in the mindset of when he or she was attending college or, worse, still in elementary school and living at home.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  54. And yet this silly notion set in, now somewhat counteracted;

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/03/18/george-will-i-never-said-the-white-house-wasnt-winnable/

    narciso (473003)

  55. ‘what we have here is a failure to communicate’

    It was Strother Martin in “Cool Hand Luke”.

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    Mike K (326cba)

  56. Gazzer, I had three postings on Strother gobbled up by the moderation gremlins – had to email Patrick to get one out.

    AD-RtR/OS! (88b8dd)

  57. Book, Beldar,

    Thanks!

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  58. Let me be quick.

    If you don’t recognize Obama for the bag of crap dishonest Marxist hack that he is.
    You don’t know who Bill Ayers is.

    Gus (694db4)

  59. “That show [Red Eye] that comes on late at night with the tiny Jew host and the mid-time Jew in the other room who sometimes is also hosting and the sidekick of repulsion. Truly, they are making me have the giggles and I am loving the videos with the kitties. Also, is Bill gay? I cannot decide. Anyway, death to America.”

    - Osama bin Laden

    Colonel Haiku (cce80a)

  60. OT, what explains the fact , besides the timeslot,
    how Red Eye is enormously entertaining, and the Five is often ‘dead air’

    narciso (473003)

  61. Obama’s poll numbers drop, George Will locates his misplaced nutsack. Perhaps it was hidden under his rug.

    Icy (682dee)

  62. 2008 was all about “Fantasy” Obama. The media and the Obama campaign presented us with an Obama that never existed and never would exist.

    We got an incompetent with no clue about all the issues that he’d prattled about.

    The issue in 2012 is whether or not we can get past the media Fantasy and remind the American people that the Obama they got is a clown.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  63. The wonder is SPQR, how little it really took, any examination of what he had done for a living, would have yielded what a fraud he was, conversely any
    real review of Palin’s record, would have shown how much she had done in a fairly short time, We’ll leave out McCain, since he did a good job or excising himself from the proceedings.

    narciso (473003)

  64. Scheiber is a Journolist, flacking his apologia for the Administration, ‘the Escape Artist’ known particularly in the campaign, for penning a profile
    of Palin for the New Republic, ‘brimming with resenttiment, more appropriate for Obama.

    narciso (473003)

  65. “As many have noted, these two Obamas are somewhat at odds with each other.”

    Well, then they’re idiots because those two groups of things aren’t at all at odds with each other.

    I assure you that’s it quite possible to be a fraud, a life long leech on society, a person who has never had a PRODUCTIVE job, and also be a scheming, nefarious left-winger who is now trying to ram socialism down our throats.

    And pretty much no one is saying that Obama has a secret agenda that he hasn’t unleashed YET. That’s a big fat lie.

    Dave Surls (46b08c)


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