Sep 06 2009

Obama’s Credibility Problem And The Electronic American Soul

Unemployment. It was the first issue the liberal Democrats in DC claimed they had answers for, and they even mapped out their plan for success in taming our beaten economy using government spending programs. To see why the Democrats are not credible takes only one simple, powerful picture:

Click to enlarge. That dark blue line along the bottom is the Democrats’ bogus commitment. Those rising red dots are reality. That grey line is what might have been if the Dems did nothing and let the economy right itself (as it has in all the nations who did not go the massive deficit spending route).

The Democrats promised the historic and frightening levels of national debt being wracked up this year would be worth all the future pain and suffering to pay it back because it would turn our economy around and lower the deficit. They were naive and wrong. They believed the liberal fiction that emanates from socialist propaganda and simpleton grasps of a complex and dynamic modern world. And it is because they screwed up so badly on this that it is now assumed the liberal fiction underlying all their other plans are going to screw up as well.

Take a moment to look at how Charlie Cook ‘frames’ the events that have the Democrats circling the political toilet bowl:

What’s going on? While political analysts were fixated on last fall’s campaign and on Obama’s victory, inauguration, and first 100 days in office, two other dynamics were developing. First, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression scared many voters, making them worry about their future and that of their children and grandchildren. And the federal government’s failure to prevent that calamity fundamentally undermined the public’s already low confidence in government’s ability to solve problems. Washington’s unprecedented levels of intervention — at the end of Bush’s presidency and the start of Obama’s — into the private sector further unnerved the skittish public. People didn’t mind that the head of General Motors got fired. What frightened folks was that it was the federal government doing the firing.

This is all true and factual and the core of the Democrats’ current loss of support. But then we get this:

Many conservatives predictably fear — and some downright oppose — any expansion of government. But late last year many moderates and independents who were already frightened about the economy began to fret that Washington was taking irreversible actions that would drive mountainous deficits higher. They worried that government was taking on far more than it could competently handle and far more than the country could afford. Against this backdrop, Obama’s agenda fanned fears that government was expanding too far, too fast. Before long, his strategy of letting Congress take the lead in formulating legislative proposals and thus prodding lawmakers to take ownership in their outcome caused his poll numbers on “strength” and “leadership” to plummet.

Emphasis mine. Conservatives do not ‘fear’ government run disasters, they just know from centuries of experience the worst place to solve a national problem outside defense is inside the government. Government run health care, auto industries, banking, mortgages all have failed. This is not fear, it is simply noting reality verses liberal fiction.

Furthermore., I take issue with the words “fret” and “worry”, which imply reacting to events that have not yet taken place, and may not take place. Sorry to point this out to you Chuck, but Obama and the Dems in Congress HAVE ALREADY “taking irreversible actions that would drive mountainous deficits higher”. The liberals in DC HAVE ALREADY taken “on far more than it could competently handle and far more than the country could afford”.

The DC Political Industrial Complex is still coming to grips with an ever observant, vastly more capable, far more experienced and completely wired nation. The internet and the bloggers represent a grass roots movement (more accurately set of movements) that dynamically build coalitions and consensus around events and policies of the day. The internet harnesses and amplifies tens of thousands of very bright minds every day on these issues.

And it is this wired collective of American experiences that sit in judgement on now on DC and its motives, actions and results. The liberal media is a conduit for information, but it too is being judged and evaluated. Put out a crappy and biased product and a new organization will find itself in one of Obama’s endless unemployment lines.

The fact is, the millions of us who watch, analyze and comment on the events are actually performing the act of distilling out consensus in the general public. It is not one or two of us. It is not the largest. In fact I would wager this happens best when the largest note the bottomless brilliance of the smaller bloggers with new and fresh perspectives. It’s definitely not me!

But when peruse the net and see the comments, perspectives, inside dirt, excellent analysis I can see the collective mind at work. It is truly incredible, and nothing like this has ever existed on this planet before.

The news media needs to learn its role in disseminating facts, figures and information and the reporting on how that plays on the public. Forget trying to shape it – trust me you don’t have the collective IQ or experience base to fight ‘the mob’. And politicians also need to learn their place. They need to listen to the ebb and flow of the American electronic soul, as it debates and builds up a consensus view and opinion. Some on the left will hold sway, some on the right. But if the right solution pops out of this distilling process – who cares? I will never be surprised by a great idea coming from any corner, or an incredibly dumb one. That is what makes us human.

I think most senior politicians, talking heads and power brokers are on the way out, their waning skills built on controlling the message, not riding the electronic waves like a wind surfer and seeing the currents and dynamics roiling an issue. But future ones will need to learn that a collective electronic soul made up of millions of attentive and concerned Americans is not a thing to be scared of – or controlled. And that is when we will have a huge positive shift forward in this country politically. When the dinosaurs are finally gone and the next new age shows up.

Update: Seems the faux Stimulus Bill is running out of gas (since it has not spent much money) and one time examples of its success are now examples of its failure:

It was just five months ago that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. made the New Flyer bus factory here a symbol of the stimulus.

But last month, the company that administration officials had pictured as a stimulus success story began laying off 320 people, or 13 percent of its work force, …

Yep, the dream is dead, now reality is destroying all the liberal fiction and stagecraft.

15 responses so far

15 Responses to “Obama’s Credibility Problem And The Electronic American Soul”

  1. AJ,

    I said this in another post of your’s but it applies just a swell here.
    Obama and his inner circle have a “John Sununu problem.” They have let themselves get cut off from the number one issue on the minds of the American people – the Economy.
    Pres. George H.W. Bush got into similar trouble with the American public when he had James Baker become Sec of State and White House Chief of Staff John Sununu cut Pres. Bush off from the outside world.
    This left Bush 41 without a “Reality check guy” who was both in touch with Pres. Bush and outside reality and had the credibility with Bush41 to be listened too. The lack of a “reality check guy” allowed Democratic candidate Gov. Bill (“It’s the Economy, Stupid”) Clinton to paint Bush 41 as not being engaged on the economy.
    I mention this because it is blindingly obvious that the Obama Administration lives or dies with the economy, and unemployment is hitting 10% nationally. It is political death for a President to seem oblivious to the concerns of ordinary people, and a perception that he is not even trying to address their No. 1 concern does that.
    IMO, the Obama Administration has created the perception among growing numbers of Americans — via placing so much emphasis on its non-economic policy objectives like Health Care, Cap & Trade, etc. — that President Obama not only doesn’t care, but is actively oblivious to the economic pain suffered by ordinary Americans during this recession.
    (Think of Obama’s Vacation trip to Martha’s Vineyards, and the news in the alternate internet media as to how much it cost the Government for him to stay there.)
    Ordinary Americans who have not, and will not, buy mealy-mouthed explanations that global warming and changes in national health care will somehow fix the economy. That claim is dead on arrival.
    So, again IMO, the Obama Administration now has a rapidly closing time window to reverse this growing public perception that it does not care about them.
    This can only be done by dropping the Obama Administration’s global warming and health care changes goals, and loudly focusing on issues that the public believes might address their economic woes.
    (Think in terms here of the way Pres Clinton listened to Dick Morris and abandoned Health care for Republican Welfare Reform.)
    Which would put it on a collision course with the Democratic base, who truly do not care about the concerns of ordinary people, particularly that so many of the public are unemployed, but do vociferously believe in global warming, a national single payer health system and the CIA as the root of all evil.
    Right now it seems like the White House has only the latter sort of people in it, without a Dick Morris type who saved Pres. Clinton’s reelection.
    We’ll know for certain that is the case if Obama doesn’t refocus on the economy before Thanksgiving.

  2. AJStrata says:

    Excellent observations Trent.

    I agree, if Obama focused on tax cuts, pulling back the stimulus bill disaster, figured out how to help people keep their homes he would be back on track.

    Problem is, he can’t. He’s not that strong. And he made the mistake of giving the far left hope they would finally be able to change America into their twisted fantasies.

    Obama will be another victim of the nation trying to come to grips with its awakening process. It has been in a stupor for years. 9-11 woke it up again, and made it remember it has a leadership role (outside of being the lead consumer).

    We will have to suffer a few gyrations to clean out the cobwebs and the extremists in DC. But things will settle down eventually.

  3. AJ,

    The biggest thing Pres. Obama had to do was act to stabilize the banking system, establish a Resolution Trust Corporation type Federal mechanism to wind down the American mortgage credit bubble and be seen as publicly going after political corruption that inflated the mortgage bubble in the first instance.

    The issue is that as a Chicago politician, Pres. Obama;
    1) Sees such public political corruption as normal,
    2) Most of the biggest players in the credit bubble are Democrats or their money men, and
    3) Writing off of the inflated mortgage values would cripple the property tax base of Blue state and urban Red state big government — and Democratic party funding government labor unions — for a generation.

    So Obama can’t go there given who he is and the nature of the people around him.

    This has consequences when the Main Stream Media is in your back pocket and won’t give you meaningful critical feedback.

    The Bush 41 to Obama parallel was Obama’s Vacation trip to Martha’s Vineyards, and the news in the alternate internet media as to how much it cost the Government for him to stay there per night. It was played in those media venues very much like Bush41’s speed boat fishing trips to Maine were by the Main Stream Media were in 1991 to frame Bush41 as clueless on the economy.

    The “Army of David” effect of this will show up for Pres. Obama much like it did for VP Al Gore in 2000. Gore lost Tennessee in large part because a lot of local Tennessee papers picked up a World Net Daily series on Gore family political corruption that the Main Stream Media ignored.

    Thus the Gore for President campaign ignored Tennessee — who needs to defend his home state — until late election Democratic internal polling suddenly showed Bush43 was leading there by an unbeatable with remaining Gore resources margin.

  4. AJStrata says:


    You just began a great post on what Obama did wrong and what the GOP should run on in 2010. Along with the contract with seniors on health care I think cleaning up the mortgage mess is priority 1, followed by deficit reduction and continuation of the Bush tax cuts.

    If you write a post on cleaning up the mortgage stuff I will definitely link to it!


  5. crosspatch says:

    “Problem is, he can’t. He’s not that strong. ”

    See, that’s the thing. It appears that the Obama administration is a puppet show. Obama is a marionette as was Jones. Rahm Emanuel is the stage director. I just wonder who the playwright is.

  6. crosspatch says:

    Another thing, it seems that they are acting as if they won some sweeping mandate when Obama won by no more than Bush did in 2004.

    It appears that they are attempting to create an illusion of some sweeping mandate by simply saying so and acting like there is. It isn’t working.

  7. momdear1 says:

    You guys are missing the main point. Obama and his cohorts don’t care about any of those things. They have the keys to the treasury and they are looting it. Just like his predessor despots in Africa, he and his minions are getting rich while the country gets poorer. By the time he finishes his first term in office we will be lucky if this country doesn’t look like Zimbabwe. Check it out. Bail out 1…Where’s the money? Bail out 2…Where’s the money? Bail our 3….Bailout 4…Don’t worry. If they haven’t passed them already, they soon will. They have the power. They can do as they please.

  8. dhunter says:

    The end game here folks for a bunch of Liberal academic types is COMMUNISM!
    David Horowitz an avowed former Communist, had an interview with Glenn Beck saying as much. Find it and learn it.
    Pelosi, Reid, Obama literally danced a jig when they pulled the wool over McCains eyes and passed Tarp with his help, selling out capitalism and free enterprise. The Left believes capitalism is dead and is going about their business of doing their best to bury it.
    Again they said so when they suckered McCain into joining them and ripping off the American taxpayer to pay off their big banking and Wall Street buddies. They protect their Cash cow Fannie and Freddie who were at the root of a crisis they made worse by their taxpayer rippoff.
    They did the same with the bailout of the Automaker UNIONS and subsequent ownership of two of the big three. The two who by the way did the worst in the next taxpayer (buy you neighbor a car) ripoff.
    Their grand scheme will be complete and Communism will pound the final nails in the Capitalism coffin if they can ram anything even remotely close to Single payer Healthcare through, including a trigger scheme.

    By socializing 1/6th of the American economy and bringing those jobs, programs, rescources, and assets under Government control they will control roughly 1/2 the marketplace, your ability to provide for you and your families healthcare and the things you are able to eat, drink and recreate will be shaped by government, in addition to their being able to confiscate ever increasing amounts of your earnings to provide for others they will shape the very lives you live. No fatty foods, or no heart bypass, no alchohol or no liver transplant, no obesity or no diabetes treatment unless of course you are one of their favored class. They will have this control should they choose to use it.

    The other insidious scheme here is destruction of the great wealth and earning ability of Insurance Companies. The Communist wannabees own Banks, Mortgage Companies, Car makers, Investment firms and will consolidate their banking control as the big banks buy the smaller ones going bankrupt because of forced affirmative action mortgages.

    Once Insurance Companies are driven from the HealthCare market by the Government option, whatever they choose to name it and however they disguise its’ implementation they (Insurance Companies) will be on the road to bankruptcy and Nationalization by Government.

    The last link is Energy. Does anyone remember Obama saying he would bankrupt Coal industries, and numerous Congress Critters calling for Nationalization of Big OIL. Think environmentalism is the real reason Oil Companies are not allowed to drill domestically?
    No, once Cap and Tax passes Energy will be driven into bankruptcy also and big Communist Government will own Big Energy and the domestic drilling we have sought will commence.

    The idea is to Bury Free enterprise and Capitalism in favor of Communism! The only fair way to REDISTRIBUTE THE WEALTH!

    You had better believe it beacuse ineptitude does not explain the ways we are being assualted, only the above does.

  9. WWS says:

    I disagree with you about the end game being “communism”; not even the left truly believes in that anymore. No, we are being steadily pushed into something much more insidious.

    from the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics:

    “Where socialism sought totalitarian control of a society’s economic processes through direct state operation of the means of production, fascism sought that control indirectly, through domination of nominally private owners. Where socialism nationalized property explicitly, fascism did so implicitly, by requiring owners to use their property in the “national interest”—that is, as the autocratic authority conceived it. (Nevertheless, a few industries were operated by the state.) Where socialism abolished all market relations outright, fascism left the appearance of market relations while planning all economic activities. Where socialism abolished money and prices, fascism controlled the monetary system and set all prices and wages politically.”

  10. dhunter says:

    Thank-you WWS I agree that Fascism is a better descriptor.
    The point Horowitz made in the Glenn Beck interview was that the modern day Fascists are the 60’s radicals and communists most with ties to the old 60’s Communist orgs. ie. SDS, Black Panthers and others I can’t think of.
    Obamas Czars are almost all of the same persuasion, all his advisors are far left academics or have ties to the old Communist orgs.

    The 60’s hippies are takin over and the baby boom and generation X’ers had better stop them.

    They were a disaster then (Vietman) and are a disaster in the making now!

  11. AJ said:

    >You just began a great post on what Obama did wrong
    >and what the GOP should run on in 2010.
    This isn’t a matter of what Obama did wrong.
    It is much larger.
    The Democratic Party’s presidential selection process, and the main stream media (MSM), no longer weed out destructive extremists inside the Democratic primaries.
    The only way the public can be sure a Democratic nominee would be a safe President is to select only successful incumbent Governors.
    The problem is that the Leftist extremists have made sure no such candidate can make it through the Democratic primaries and caucuses.
    Obama’s Administration is merely an extension of this problem.
    None of Obama’s various Czars has any vetting done for them what so ever.
    That means every one of these Czars is potentially as a big a political extremist time bomb, vulnerable to the same sorts of Ailinskyite take downs that Van Jones went through.
    Fox New’s Major Garrett just tweeted the following:
    MajoratWH Van Jones did not fill out WH questionnaire. No czars do, WH says.
    He also said this on video here:
    The MSM’s refusal to vet any of Obama’s appointees means they are reducing Obama’s effectiveness while at the same time trading away both their power and credibility to the alternate media for the 2010 and 2012 election.

  12. WWS says:

    Trent, re: the lack of vetting;

    A potentially fatal weakness in this administration has just been exposed.

    A manager vettes people as a means of self-protection, so that he won’t be blamed if they blow up. Without it, the manager will always be vulnerable to charges that not only did he exercise bad judgment, but that he simply did not do his job. Not to mentiong that since he did not do any vetting, he now has no idea where the landmines are located under the thin veneer of respectability. No knowledge = no control.

    Since no vetting was done on any of these appointees, Obama has exposed a huge vulnerability to his political enemies. Now they (like Glenn Beck) have the opportunity to expose any of them at a time of their own choosing. He who can control the battlefield can control the outcome. And suppose an attack doesn’t work? No matter, there are many targets. Pull back and move on to the next, never lose momentum.

    Obviously, there is no point to exposing them in bulk. Knock out one – like Van Jones. Let the country stew about it a while. Then pick the next most vulnerable, then the next, then the next. Keep the drumbeat of incompetence going, keep the administration on the defensive constantly. Never let up, not a single day this regime is in power. Make this administration scared of it’s own shadow, not knowing where the next attack is coming from. And as the exposes wear on, the credibility of this administration will shrink to zero, and they will find it absolutely impossible to act on even the simplest measures.

    This is how the left has always played when they were out of power.

    Our turn now.

  13. dhunter says:

    Thanks Trent for the “Good News”!
    However, I am worried Obama and the Democrats have no intention of facing the voters in a Free and Fair election much like they dodge the Townhalls, they may use the vast funds allocated to ACORN and other extremist groups to stack the deck and corrupt the process such they they are not subject to being thrown from office.

    We’re taking Alinsky disciples and Fascists here who think power was stolen from them in 2000 and have no intention of allowing that to happen again. They may believe it is now or never to bring their Fascist dreams to reality before the American voter is sufficiently awake to thwart their aims.

    How many czars appointed, how many businesses taken over, how many capitalist institutions destroyed and how much of HealthCare and Energy taken over before the trend is irreversable?

  14. DHunter,

    When the Obama Administration called for violence against the Tea Party movement via “hitting back twice as hard (by SEIU, ACORN and other Leftie thugs), they crossed the Rubicon.

    I am not aware of any prior Presidential Administration — in my lifetime — authorizing violence against ordinary Americans to deter them from petitioning Congress for the redress of grievances.

    That was an impeachable offense.

    The stakes in 2012 are now freedom versus tyranny.

    And like you, I don’t think the Obama Administration intends that 2012 to be a free election.

    It is why I see a re-run of the Spanish Civil War in America’s future.

  15. BarbaraS says:

    Only a fool or someone entirely devoid of history expects the dems to bring us out of a recession or even a dip in the economy and be fiscally responsible. They have mucked up every iniative they have taken. Everything they do has a downside that is disastrous. Their biggest problem is their pie in the sky attitude and their lack of knowledge of economics (and trust me, I don’t count Paul Krugman as an economist.)