Poor Evan Thomas will never live down his ludicrous comment that President Obama was “sort of God.” What seemed like slobbering now seems outright dumb, given the president’s performance. And don’t take my word for it.
Left-wing pundits have discovered he’s sort of like Jimmy Carter. Others now comprehend he’s remote and cold. Still others recognize he is weak and ineffectual (“strangely powerless, and irresolute, as larger forces bring down the country and his presidency”).
It’s not strange at all. Conservatives have been saying the same thing for several years (ever since the 2008 campaign got underway). We noticed his contempt for his fellow citizens who “cling to guns and religion.” We noticed when his response to the Fort Hood massacre was oddly disengaged. Even the death of his political patron didn’t evoke any real emotion.
And what is more, conservatives have noticed that despite his Ivy League degrees he’s not truly an intellectual and lacks smarts in some key areas. And his understanding of history is, well, Bachmann-esque. In other words, “the perhaps somewhat exaggerated acclamation he received during his Harvard and Chicago years taught him to harbor a peevish faith in the superiority of his own intelligence.” Conservatives weren’t even taken in by the neatly pressed pants or his prowess in philosophy.
The idea of Obama is proving much more satisfying to the left than the reality of Obama, in part because he lacks the competency and strength to advance the left’s agenda. What good is he if he’s going to wimp out and deliver embarrassing denials of responsibility?
The criticism running through much of the liberals’ complaints never acknowledges, of course, that the problem is not simply Obama but the ideas he advances. That, of course, would be much more problematic than one failed president. Given a choice between blaming Obama and blaming Keynes, Obama is going to lose every time.
You have to wonder: If and when Obama ever gets around to proposing real entitlement reform, will his base desert him? After all, he’s already betrayed the left’s dogma by keeping the Bush tax cuts in place in 2010, agreeing to additional spending cuts in the continuing resolution and signing on to a debt-ceiling deal with no tax hikes.
In 2008, many conservatives figured (wrongly, I would argue) it was better to risk an Obama presidency than to go all out for an inconsistent Republican who would very likely promote things with which they disagreed. They’d come back in 2012, they reasoned. I can imagine there are some Democrats (Clinton fans, especially!) who are mulling over a similar notion now.