The Not Ready for Prime Time President

If former NY Governor Elliot Spitzer’s escape with the whore did nothing else, it introduced me to the word schadenfreude, because after hearing for the past year that change is coming and that we are the change we’ve been waiting for and ch-ch-ch-changes (turn to face the strange), schadenfreude is the only way to describe watching the flailing White House and all those poor little progressives – who actually believed he would walk on water – realize, “so, apparently Hillary had a point.”

People on the left and the center right are starting to see it. And while The President can blame Republicans for anything he feels like, it doesn’t change the fact that he owns the White House, the Senate, Congress, NBC News, the New York Times – really, most of the media outside of Fox News – and still doesn’t have the leadership to sell his message to the American people why they need this massive piece of legislation (in this instance, ObamaCare) that they aren’t crazy aboot.

What’s even most shocking is that it’s shocking in the first place. Jay Cost recently gave five examples why:

(1) For the months between November and January, we were treated to endless comparisons of Obama to the great presidents of the days of yore. One of them was Franklin Roosevelt. Question: who stopped the New Deal dead in its tracks after 1938? It wasn’t the Republicans alone. It was Southern Democrats working in alliance with the Republicans. Who are the marginal members standing between Obama and a health care bill…Southern Democrats! Generally speaking, the internal cleavage within the Democratic Party (North v. South; left v. right) is really one of the most significant features of the political landscape since at least the Great Depression. After eighty some years and dozens of failed attempts at liberal reforms, there is no excuse for a President not to anticipate it rearing its head again.

(2) Much of last year was dominated by that famous primary brawl between Obama and Hillary – and all through these states (Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, etc.) the former First Lady made mincemeat of the junior Senator from Illinois. Then, when the general election rolled around, these states voted against him again. Historically speaking, these states usually vote for a winning Democrat. Obama should be very familiar with his struggles in this region, and not terribly surprised that the large number of Democratic members from it could create such problems for bills drafted by coastal liberals.

(3) How many of these members did Rahm Emanuel recruit? Fourteen of these seats changed hands in either 2006 or 2008 when Emanuel was in a leadership position in the House. Is this not a sufficiently representative sample to know that there could be trouble?

(4) Congress usually fails to find compromises on big solutions to big problems – exactly like what is being debated now – regardless of whether the legislature is under control of a single party or if it is split. This means that internal cleavages can do just as much damage to reform efforts as the partisan divide. This should be especially evident for an item like health care reform: Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton failed to deliver anything approaching the scope Obama is envisioning, even though the Democratic Party had complete control of Congress for at least parts of their terms.

(5) As stark as this map looks, the landscape in the Senate is even starker. Thirteen Democratic senators come from McCain states.

The entire article is worth your read (especially the charts), so I’d highly recommend it. I will how ever leave you withe the money shot…

It’s almost as if the President has absolutely no experience in dealing with the United States Congress whatsoever.

That’s so puzzling, considering how Democrats turned down the fresh-faced newcomer who could turn a good phrase on the campaign trail for the old-hand who had been in Washington for 15 years by the time of the nomination battle. Oh wait…

UPDATE: Hope and Change…


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