The man is slipping from the limelight. The marquee man from MSM and Hollywood and Vine is headed for Sunset Boulevard.
Right from the start of his 2008 campaign, the MSM gave Obama the star treatment. He was their main event. He was billed as a transformational figure — a visionary who would (1) unify the country and (2) lead us to a fairer economic prosperity and (3) bring us respect abroad in a world of lessened tensions.
In 2009 Newsweek editor Evan Thomas summed up the MSM adoration of Obama when he said, “I mean in a way Obama’s standing above the country, above — above the world, he’s sort of God.”
The god-factor resulted in a de facto “don’t ask don’t tell” pact between Obama and the media. The media didn’t ask Obama to detail his hope and change and he didn’t tell. Gods don’t have to explain themselves. It was just hope and change — trust me (“Just give us our orders” Chris Matthews). That gave Obama an air of mystery that simply enhanced his front-page appeal.
The mystery element has been crucial to Obama’s success. It made him impervious to conventional political attacks and attacks on his person. A twenty-year association with an America-bashing Reverend Wright? His association with Ayers? His college records? How petty. How droll. These might be questions one asked of an ordinary politician, but not a man of high-minded vision who would unite us on our path to his mysterious place where all of us get a fair shot and a fair shake and leave our petty biases and prejudices behind.
Moreover, his demeanor was that of a leader above the fray and hurly-burly of beltway politics. Not only was he a man of style and grace with a captivating smile, but a seer whose political vision was neither of the hackneyed leftist or rightist variety. Obama was charting a new “centrist” course through the Scylla and Charybdis of the old antagonisms between left and right. One doesn’t ask such a figure for his passport or birth certificate.
The de facto “don’t ask/don’t tell” pact Obama had with the media began to crumble as far back as 2011 with this outburst from HardBall Matthews
There’s no Peace Corps, there is no Special Forces, there is no 50-miles hikes, there’s no moon program, there’s nothing to root for. What are we trying to do in this administration? Why does he want a second term? Would he tell us? What’s he going to do in the second term? More of this? Is this it? Is this as good as it gets? Where are we going? Are we going to do something the second term? He has yet to tell us. He has not said one thing what he’s going to do in the second term. He never tells what he’s going to do with regard to reforming our healthcare systems, Medicare, Medicaid, how is he going to reform Social Security? Is he going to deal with long-term debt? How? Is he going to reform the tax system? How? Just tell us. Why are we in this fight with him? Just tell us, commander, give us our orders [italics added] and tell us where we’re going,
By 2011 even [sic] Evan Thomas felt comfortable blasting his former “God.”
He’s not being honest about just how bad this is going to be — no, he was partisan. He was God [bleep] Democrat! He was just, you know — being a party guy.
Since then it has became harder and harder for MSM to spin Obama as a visionary and unifier with transformational powers in domestic or foreign policy.
(1)The great unifier?
Obama the great unifier who is above the fray of politics-as-usual? In fact, it is readily apparent that he is just the reverse. When it comes to getting out the vote, it’s identity politics in spades (Okay — choke on that). Out comes the community organizer — resentment mongering, class warfare, evil bankers.
As Karl Rove recently wrote in a WSJ article,
President Obama likes pretending he floats above politics. In fact, he is the most compulsively partisan president in modern times. Everything he says and does is better understood through a partisan lens.
(2)Leading us to a fairer economic prosperity?
The domestic policies he has put forward so far have all the innovative cachet of a plain old tax-and-spend left-wing Democrat. They might as well be the initiatives of a Carter or even a Johnson. How does Obama’s war on poverty differ from President Johnson’s? Granted the level of nastiness and coercion, especially from Holder’s DOJ, has risen to a Mafia-like shakedown level but the economics are basically the same. His latest “compromise” budget proposal has even drawn ire from both sides of the aisle. If his own party is willing to take him to task he has definitely lost his transformational status.
(3)Respect abroad in a world of lessened tensions?
As regards his foreign policy, which was to create “mutual respect” between the Islamic world and the U.S., even Thomas Friedman of the NYTadmits that the Arab Spring and Obama support of the Muslim Brotherhood is a bust. And as for in general improving the image or status of the U.S. abroad by leading from behind — well, it doesn’t seem that Russia, China, or North Korea have quite got the respect part. What the president has accomplished is alienating and diminishing our status with former allies. To wit, the recent snub of the legacy of Margaret Thatcher which just makes him seem small and unpresidential.
It’s hard to spin any of this into superstar status. It has become well-nigh impossible to see anything special or visionary about Obama’s presidency. Clearly, he is on the path from being seen as a transcendent, transformational leader to being seen as a humdrum, run-of-the mill progressive with all the charisma of a Dukakis. Next we will see a cartoon from Ramirez with Obama’s head sticking out of tank emblazoned with “tax-and-spend.”
But the decline and fall of the MSM spin is giving some rise to the “fringe” CPA spin on Obama. The CPA thesis (spin) is that Obama, like his classmates in pre-law at Columbia (class of ’83), was smitten by the Cloward-Piven-Alinskyite strategy to bring down the white-power, racist capitalist system and turn America into a socialist state. The CPA plan is that America could be destroyed from within by overwhelming the system with debt, welfare, and entitlements. This would proceed by inducing more and more of the American populace to become dependent on welfare, food stamps, disability, and unemployment. The resulting collapse of the system would trigger the crisis needed to bring in a socialist state as the saving alternative to the failed, evil capitalist system. Indeed, that may be what motivates President Obama. But all of that is dismissed by MSM as lunatic hysteria.
But the CPA spin, if anything, is beginning to seem less looney and the MSM spin of Obama, as the transformational visionary who would bring us unity at home and abroad, is looking more and more like a stupid teenage crush.
Even the thoughtful and fair-minded Ben Stein is troubled with the vision of a CPA President,
And what will become of America when Obama has disarmed us, as he openly plans to do? There will be no more glorious America. These truly may be the final days, the end times. I guess at some level, possibly a very deep level, Mr. Obama does not want America to survive. The Manchurian Candidate. I pray I am wrong.
So the MSM is stuck. The CPA spin is looney and their own spin has unraveled. For the MSM, Obama might as well be Humpty Dumpty. All the MSM horses and the MSM men can’t put the spin back together again. The MSM is locked into a position where Obama is neither demon nor savior. There is no story there. They are stuck with their Beau Brummell in the White House looking more and more like just another hackneyed leftist politician of the Carter-Mondale variety who never really had anything new to offer. The MSM is left with a red face and a would-be in the attic.