Commenter Wolla Dalbo wrote of the situation we find ourselves in lately:
I have been arguing here that most of us in the U.S. are applying the old, traditional, and fatally wrong template, the calculus of the usual and the expected, of our past history, the calculus that just assumes a President’s good faith, respect for and adherence to Democracy and the Constitution to Obama and his presidency—and, by doing so, can make little sense of his startling and rapid actions–and that to really understand his actions, we need to apply a new template, one that, unfortunately for us, fits much better, the template of Tyranny, of Dictatorship and of Socialism, Fascism or Marxism for, if we do this, Obama’s actions then become all too understandable, and very ominous; a reality calling for a totally different response from us than usual.
I have come, albeit very reluctantly, to agree with Wolla Dalbo’s evaluation of Obama’s motive and methods. The dilemma is that, once one has crossed over that line into the mindset that Wolla Dalbo describes, what is there to do?
I’m not advocating some sort of armed insurrection. I believe Obama can, and must, be defeated at the polls, and that the same thing has to happen to a significant number of Democrats in Congress. It seems an urgent matter to work for this.
But the blogosphere represents only a small minority of the population. What we have in common here is that we pay more attention than the average person to political and world events; otherwise, we wouldn’t be spending all this time at our computers reading and writing. Whether as a group we’re more intelligent or wiser than people who don’t do this is unknown and unknowable, but we are at the very least more well-informed and more strongly motivated.
Some here (such as Wolla Dalbo, for example) saw Obama as a radical almost from the start of his candidacy, or at least early on. Others (and here I include myself) were troubled by the evidence as it began to amass, but only in the last few months have come over to believing the worst.
And what is “the worst?” For some of us, it’s that Obama is a puppet run by others on the Left who have nefarious plans of various sorts. For some (and again, I’m in this group I’m about to describe) he is mostly his own man, an ideologue of the Left who has grandiose ideas of how he will make this country into something between a European welfare state and Chavez’s Venezuela, grabbing greater and greater power for the executive branch, and cooking the election rules (through redoing the census, relaxing voter registration laws even further, and enlisting the help of ACORN in outright fraud) so thoroughly that he hopes that his wing of the party will never lose control. As for foreign policy, whether Obama be the pawn of others or the master of his own fate, his plan appears to be to weaken the US and its influence on the world stage, bowing to international groups such as the UN and other organizations that feature a preponderance of tyrannies, as well as selling out Israel.
To most people in this country, however, this sounds not only absurd but unhinged. There’s no question that Obama’s approval ratings have fallen, but they are still high. There’s also no question that more and more people have become greatly disillusioned with him, but mainly about his competence in handling the economy (some of them are even on the Left; they’re angry that radical health care reform hasn’t sailed through yet, but I will ignore them for the purposes of this discussion because they would consider the new template a feature rather than a bug).
The gap between the slightly negative point of view that’s growing among the general middle-of-the-road population and the new template I’ve been describing here is far more profound than the difference between “slightly disapprove” and “strongly disapprove.” The “new template” folks have made a leap of non-faith, a statement of lack of basic trust, not just dissatisfaction with the details of one program or another.
I don’t think there’s any way to bridge that gap. The only thing to do is to keep stating the facts and hope that people will come to their own conclusions, sooner rather than later.
But I’m not sure it’s not even necessary to bridge the gap in order to defeat Obama. If enough voters decide, for whatever reason, to turn on the Democrats in Congress in 2010, Obama will find it more difficult to enact his program. And then, in 2012…there’s “hope” that the “change” that year will be his defeat, and the undoing of many if not most of the worst excesses of his time in office.