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Bill Kristol says there is actually some value to this presidency – as a teachable moment.
How to introduce students to conservative thought? It’s hard. The colleges and universities aren’t interested. The media and popular culture are hostile. What if young Americans nonetheless become aware of the existence of such a thing as conservative thought? How to convey its varieties and complexities? Even tougher. You can write articles and put things online, but there’s an awful lot competing for young people’s attention these days.
But there’s good news nonetheless. Help has arrived. Its name? President Barack Obama.
The decomposition of the Obama presidency has created what Obama might call a teachable moment. This is, needless to say, a loathsome phrase, reeking as it does of liberal sanctimoniousness and professorial condescension. Still, who can resist appropriating it, if only for this one occasion? Because it is, really, a moment. It’s a moment when minds can be opened to conservative truths, ears can be induced to hear conservative insights, eyes can be fitted with contact lenses so as better to see conservative arguments. …
Along those lines, Jennifer Rubin says President Bystander has ruined things for inexperienced candidates.
… In a real sense, President Obama ruined things for the young, unaccomplished and inexperienced fast-talkers out there. Before he came along, wowed people with eloquence and then faltered again and again, voters in the 24/7 era had come to think of being president as, yes, commander in chief, but mostly as the giver of big speeches, a traveler abroad and the reader of a much-too-long State of the Union address. The Obama experience has reminded people that that is a fraction of what the president really does. And that’s where the unprepared president faltered. The bias toward governors — as we say, any governor over any senator — increases as the incumbent president collapses in rubble of his own making. Truth be told, anyone can write a speech for a candidate, but governing is hard and messy. …
Don Surber says;
… Every single thing this president has tried or promised has failed. The economy? Fail. Transparency in government? Fail. Easing racial tension? Fail. Ending war? Fail. Winning Afghanistan? Fail.
Hell, he could not even pull off the Beer Summit between Professor Gates and the white cop. It ended with no one conceding anything.
The only two things he got right in nearly 6 years is his 2009 NCAA bracket and killing that fly on TV.
The Democratic plan was simple: Hide behind the black guy, pass a bunch of socialist crapola and wait for the crowd to applaud. Anyone who doesn’t like it will be branded a racist.
There was just one problem with the Democratic Party programs: They didn’t work.
I hope to hell the election is referendum on this president’s policies because not one has worked. Not one.
In the Corner, John Fund asks if the prez is his party’s worst enemy.
Is President Obama subconsciously sabotaging his own party in the mid-term elections? He took to the stage at NorthwesternUniversity in Chicago yesterday to defend his economic record and declare: “I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”
The Washington Post noted that those words must have sent a chill down the spine of several Democratic Senate candidates from red states who have “spent much of the campaign insisting that this election is NOT about Barack Obama, that it is instead about a choice between themselves and their opponents.” You can bet Obama’s words will find their way into 30-second attack ads against those Democrats soon enough.
Power Line says perhaps he doesn’t like his party.
What to make of Obama’s head-scratchingly counterproductive statement that while he is not the on ballot next month, his policies are—every single one of them. Every red state Democrat is running for the hills, because they all know they are in trouble more because of Obama’s policies than Obama himself. If Obama’s approval ratings were based solely on his policies alone rather than the residual respect many Americans wish to maintain for all presidents, and especially our first black president, he might be down in the 20s somewhere.
Here’s one hypothesis: Maybe Obama really isn’t a very good politician after all. Sure, he was a great candidate in 2008, and lucky enough to run against a Republican with even more marginal political skills in 2012 (thus becoming the first president ever re-elected with fewer votes than his first election), but as Noemie Emery pointed out in 2011, look closely and you’ll see someone who isn’t very good at politics and doesn’t even like politics very much. …
And John Fund says many Dems are bailing.
Democrats are still reeling from President Obama’s statement last week that “I’m not on the ballot this fall . . . but make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot — every single one of them.” Republican attack ads are already making hay with that invitation to send Obama a message in next month’s election.
A growing number of Democrats are already speaking as if the Obama administration is a spent force, with no agenda it can reasonably implement in its last two years. “It is safe to say that Obama has been a huge disappointment,” admitted Democratic columnist Kirsten Powers on the Hugh Hewitt radio show last week. “I really don’t think there’s any comparison between him and Bill Clinton. I don’t think we’re even talking about the same universe.” …
Victor Davis Hanson says now Harding is looking good.
Many have described the Obama departure from the 70-year-old bipartisan postwar foreign policy of the United States as reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s failed 1977–81 tenure. There is certainly the same messianic sense of self, the same naïveté, and the same boasts of changing the nature of America, as each of these presidents was defining himself as against supposedly unpopular predecessors. But the proper Obama comparison is not Carter, but rather Warren G. Harding. By that I mean not that Obama’s scandals have matched Harding’s, but rather that by any fair standard they have now far exceeded them and done far more lasting damage — and without Obama’s offering achievements commensurate with those that occasionally characterized Harding’s brief, failed presidency.
The lasting legacy of Obama will be that he has largely discredited the idea of big government, of which he was so passionate an advocate. Almost every major agency of the federal government, many of them with a hallowed tradition of bipartisan competence, have now been rendered either dysfunctional or politicized — or both — largely because of politically driven appointments of unqualified people, or ideological agendas that were incompatible with the agency’s mission.
The list of scandals is quite staggering. In aggregate, it makes Harding’s Teapot Dome mess seem minor in comparison. …
WSJ reviews a new history of Washington concentrating on the years between the end of the war and the adoption of the Constitution.
… If never considered exactly wilderness years, the span between the end of the war and Washington’s presidency is often seen as a hiatus in which the Virginia planter put his estate in order and then shed legitimacy on the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia solely by his taciturn presence. But Mr. Larson, a history professor at PepperdineUniversity, engagingly argues that the stretch between 1783 and 1789 was as important to Washington—and to America—as all that preceded and followed it.
It is not that Washington wasn’t quite sincere in his wish to recede from public life and, as he wrote, “become a private citizen of America, on the banks of the Potowmac; where under my own Vine and my own fig tree—free from the bustle of a camp & intrigues of a Court, I shall view the busy world, ‘in the calm lights of mild philosophy.’ ”
But once he got under his fig tree he was vexed with worries about his fledgling nation. At first these took the form simply of wanting his former troops to be paid, and not in the increasingly debased paper money that the new states were spewing out. He had fought for his country from New England to the Carolinas, and his travails had given him a truly national vision. He wrote to Congress, then trying to wield the feeble powers established by the Articles of Confederation, that “it is indispensable to the happiness of the individual States, that there should be lodged somewhere, a Supreme Power to regulate and govern the general concerns of the ConfederatedRepublic.” …