Obama ‘12 And The Attack On Idealism

Barack Obama announced his reelection campaign. He plans to raise one billion dollars. I don’t think he will win and beyond that, based on the successful cynicism that got him elected in the first place I hope he doesn’t win.

Yes, the Republicans could screw this up but if they nominate somebody who has any appeal at all to independent voters, Obama is a one term president. My reasons for believing this go beyond any discussion of ideology or policy. President Obama has deflated his once passionate base by revealing that Candidate Obama was a will-o’-the-wisp; a husk that was conjured up to win the vote and discarded the day after the election.

When I say that this goes beyond ideology, I mean this is a mistake that could have happened to anyone from any part of the ideological spectrum. Some of you may argue Obama is a socialist, Communist, fascist but I think you’re actually giving him way too much credit – he’s an opportunist. In practice, he’s even more of a pragmatist than Nixon was. People can accept presidential pragmatists and even reelect them. What they won’t do, I believe, is reelect a pragmatist who they elected because they thought he was an idealist and a reformer — particularly a pragmatist whose practical results have been fairly dismal. There’s something very compelling about a leader who shows vision and it almost doesn’t matter what that vision is.

This is the thing that I think most scares the political establishment – both Democratic and Republican – about the Tea Party. They seem to mean what they say. They seem to have an actual reform agenda that they actually plan to stick to. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be some compromise along the way but the Tea Party has shown they are keeping their eyes on the prize… which implies that they believe there is a prize.

The attacks on the Tea Party by the White House, the Democratic Party and a complicit press corps are not just about ideology; they are about attacking idealism. They are attacking the very notion of holding a consistent viewpoint and fighting for it. That’s why there’s a drumbeat against "extremism" without ever defining exactly what that extremism is. Having abandoned ideals, the Democrats need to mock, ridicule and destroy the very concept of idealism itself.

It’s the most nihilistic political move one can imagine.

How is Obama playing with his own base? Look at how MSNBC / The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur response to Barack Obama’s first 2012 campaign commercial. If you’re not a liberal, try to set aside for a moment any ideological differences you may have with Cenk and just focus on how bleak, cynical but realistic his assessment is.

The money quote there is…

Actually do things you believe in…if there are, in fact,things you believe in.

This is a point that I touched on about a year and a half ago when I announced I would no longer be able to support Barack Obama – I simply didn’t know what he stood for. Nothing’s happened in his presidency that clarifies that for me yet either.

Here’s the video I made in January, 2010.


I’m not saying that Obama won’t get most of the Democratic vote. He clearly will. However, he can’t count on fired up vote and if this is the way part of his liberal base is feeling, then he has absolutely no hope with independent voter.


  1. While I voted for Palin (and the old guy she was running with), it had a lot to do with my belief that Obama was much more of an ideological socialist than he turned out to be. He turned out to be, to my way of thinking, very pragmatic. Which I like. And I’m actually willing to vote for.

    So, given that I’m likely to vote for him unless a Republican I love is running (and Chris Christie has shown no signs of running in 2012), I’d vote for Obama. I say that as full disclosure for presenting my belief in the power of historical trends in regards to the election of the president. And it’s this: the incumbent usually wins, when it’s a race between the opposition party and the incumbent, and that’s it.

    While it could be causative, or correlative, the reality is that incumbents are likely to lose when they face a primary challenge, or a 3rd party challenge, or (as Jimmy Carter kind of did, and George H.W. Bush definitely did) both, incumbents that run unopposed from their side (no primary challenge, no 3rd party candidate that courts their base and independents likely to swing in their direction) tend to win. Right now, it looks like that’s going to be Obama. As such, Obama is that much more likely to win (while having, it seems to me, very little in the way of coat tails).

    But I agree on the general principle: clarity and vision help individual politicians and political parties, collectively.

  2. IF unemployment is still above 8% this time next year, and
    IF gas is still around $4/gal, and
    IF U.S. troops are still in Libya,
    THEN the Reps could run the reanimated zombified corpse of Richard Nixon, with Vlad the Impaler for a running mate, and still have a better than even chance of not effing it up.
    BUT IF this new Congress actually does the job that we sent it there to do, there is at least SOME chance that one or more of those things won’t still be true.
    That was a lot of words for saying “I dunno.”

  3. I don’t buy what you’re selling, Kevin, that you voted for Palin, and then suddenly came around on Obama. That would make you statistically, what’s the word, nonexistent.

    I love watching that Turk fellow’s face, seeing how angry and disappointed he is, his condescension for “those Republicans” very palpable, but to see how horribly disappointed he is in The Anointed One…it just makes me giddy.



  1. Opportunism vs Idialism « Windy Recyling Day - [...] This blog post of his is an example of someone who certainly leans Left who actually figured it out…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *