August 18th, 2009

Trusting Obama: fooled us once, fooled us twice, fooled us…

President Obama may not understand what’s been happening to him lately, as his disapproval ratings climb and his approval ratings sink.

After all, Obama made and broke promises during the campaign, and he learned that it didn’t seem to matter. Campaign financing was the biggest one, but he asked us to trust him and plenty of people did.

The press didn’t press him. His opponents—be they Hillary Clinton or John McCain, Democrat or Republican—couldn’t seem to find an approach that worked for them or a charge that would stick to him. They found Obama to be a moving and slippery target, protected by a personality many found attractive, an impervious coolness, a steamrolling money-raising machine, an army of starry-eyed acolytes, a blankness that invited people to project onto him whatever qualities and goals they found attractive and desirable, and an identity as a black man that made people want to give him the benefit of the doubt lest they be accused of racism.

All in all, a winning combination, electorally speaking.

But winning an election is not the same as winning support in Congress, and a campaign is not a presidency. One of the main differences between a campaign and an administration is that presidents, unlike candidates, must produce more than rhetoric. Although they may take credit for their successes, they must ultimately also take responsibility for their failures.

If they like you, the public forgives—but not everything, and not forever.

The other day I compared disillusioned Obama voters to disappointed lovers. This is true whether they are on the Left, and disappointed because Obama hasn’t turned out to be radical enough to suit their tastes; or more to the center, and frustrated because he’s been insufficiently moderate. The betrayed lover metaphor is strangely apt (even Obama-supporter Ed Koch seems to be using it; see his recent piece entitled “Falling out of love with Obama”) because it contains elements that match what has happened and is still happening to a growing segment of Obama supporters: a relationship begun in the glow of the fantasy of perfection and wish-fulfillment meets the flawed and sometimes deeply disappointing reality of who the lover actually is. Sometimes, that lover even turns out to be a con artist, a narcissist, and/or a liar.

But because love is deep and love can be very irrational, it can take time—and a lot of lies and a lot of deception—to break the illusion. But once a person internalizes the idea that he/she has been betrayed, then the trust so basic to a relationship is broken and it’s almost impossible to earn it back.

And so it appears to be dawning on an increasing number of Americans that President Obama cannot be trusted. There are two reasons for this. The first is that so many of the things he promised during the campaign—transparency, bipartisanship, unity and an end to blaming, a post-racial presidency, no catering to special interests and lobbies, and posting of bills in a timely fashion online, to name just a few—have not only been violated, but have been boldly, flagrantly, and shamelessly violated. The second thing is that his pre-election stance as a moderate is seen to have been a lie as well, and that’s even more basic—at least for the moderates and Independents who gave him the support he required to put him over the top and guarantee his election.

One can talk about this policy of Obama’s or that one, and agree with certain elements of his program and disagree with others. But although these are very important issues, they are not the issue. Trust is.

During the campaign, Obama’s personal characteristics accounted for much of the bedrock of his appeal, despite the fact that he had almost no track record of action to point to. Now that he has amassed an actual record of sorts, albeit a short one—especially the stimulus bill, its false promises and then the false spin about how it’s helped, as well as the health care reform proposals and the failure to explain the details of the policy involved or why it would help—the public is left with a sense of distrust and unease. And the public is now able to connect the dots because we’ve been treated to more than a repeating stump speech. We’ve experienced the man over time.

Will Obama be able to win trust back, as commenter huxley posits when he writes: “Today I read an interesting theory that Obama will spend the first year or so swinging for the leftist fences then tack back to the center in time for the economy to get better and for him to be re-elected in 2012?”

I don’t think it’s about Obama’s tacking to the Left and then to the Right, although I suppose he may end up performing that maneuver if he feels he has absolutely no choice. Clinton—who was less ideologically committed to the Left in the first place—did so, but he managed it before he’d been caught in a flagrant lie that the American people could not ignore. And even later, when Clinton was busted, the lie was about his personal life rather than policy, so quite a few people considered it more between him and his wife rather than between him and us.

It’s almost incomprehensible that Obama would cheat on his wife; he’s too controlled, for one thing. But he’s cheated on the rest of us time and again, and it’s my belief that the American people will take that far more personally—as they should.

obamapinocchio.png

52 Responses to “Trusting Obama: fooled us once, fooled us twice, fooled us…”

  1. vanderleun Says:

    Cue the old, old song:

    “Trust me once,
    And trust me twice,
    And trust me once again,
    It’s for a long, long time….

    Havent felt like this, my O
    Since I can’t remember when
    Its gonna be a long, long time… “

  2. Gringo Says:

    Simple talking points repeated will help, which as you point out is basically the contradictions between what he said before 2009 about how he would do things, and what he has done once in office.

    We don’t need to convince ALL who voted for him, just enough in the moderate middle. It is possible that eventually some of the libs will be shamed into changing, but I doubt it.

  3. Darrell Says:

    Neo, beautiful post that is going to leave a bruise, “have not only been violated, but have been boldly, flagrantly, and shamelessly violated”
    That pretty much sums it up succinctly. Recommend you have your accountant prepare for an audit or get all your turbo tax backups dusted off. :)

  4. kcom Says:

    “Today I read an interesting theory that Obama will spend the first year or so swinging for the leftist fences then tack back to the center in time for the economy to get better and for him to be re-elected in 2012?”

    He’s going to have to tack back a lot quicker than that if he wants to preserve his majorities in Congress. Bill Clinton apparently only fully realized his problem after the crushing Congressional defeat in 1994. He tacked back then, but it was too late in the sense that the Democrats never had control of either house again while he was president. Imagine the difficulties Obama will face with either 1) Republican control of either or both houses or 2) narrow majorities in one house or both. He’s already having trouble passing his plans with solid Democratic majorities in both houses. Imagine if that advantage disappears.

  5. A Mom Says:

    Interesting comment about him not cheating on his wife because “he’s too controlled”… at first I took it at face-value (he’s too SELF-controlled) and then I chuckled… too controlled by whom?!? :)

  6. Retardo Says:

    When you talk about Obama breaking promises, I’m reminded of conversations I’ve had with progressives I know. Their view is that politics is the process of banding together in groups according to gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. The groups then compete for control of the government, which they use to take money from other groups’ members and transfer it to their own.

    I keep trying to explain that, while you can’t entirely abolish that kind of thing, it’s really bad. Everybody’s much better off when people have to personally produce something of value in return for what they get. Also, the identity stuff fuels group hatred, which is ugly and destructive. The smaller the government is, the less scope there is for that kind of crap.

    They don’t get it. They CAN’T get it. In their minds, “who controls the government’s money” is the only question there is. This is why they’re obsessed with politics.

    So, who cares if Obama lies? They trust him to steal from you and give them the money. He makes pretty noises while he does it, but the content of those noises is irrelevant window dressing. If you care about the content, you’re some kind of naive and foolish hillbilly.

  7. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Huh. I just commented above about this lover anaolgy you used recently.

    Don’t we sound like parents, then, asking our teenager about her new boyfriend. Character matters. Does he have a job? What do we know about him? What are his friends like? Do we know his family? I know he’s handsome and talks pretty, but how does he treat you.

    And the Democrats said “Oh Dad/Mom! You just don’t understand!”

    ….

    Huxley’s worry worries me, too, that he will successfully give the appearance of tacking back to the center, and fool ‘em all over again.

  8. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Retardo – that’s evidence of my contention that Democrats always say they will fight for you, Republicans that they will work for you.

  9. Baklava Says:

    I believe Obama admires Hitler. :)

    On a serious note:

    There are two huge reasons Obama is the wrong person to be president:
    1) His word means nothing
    2) The things he does is the virus (the opposite of the prescription) for what ails this country on almost every topic (health care, economy, etc)

  10. alanstorm Says:

    “Sometimes, that lover even turns out to be a con artist, a narcissist, and/or a liar.”

    Or, like now, we get all three.

    Obama is the ultimate triumph of style over substance, form over function.

    And, AVI, to carry the analogy further the parents (with experience) see things the teenagers (without experience) do not.

  11. dane Says:

    I would put nothing past Obama . He is constrained only by what he perceives will be damaging to his career. I have no doubt if he felt he could get away with it (in other words not be held accountable) he would do just about anything. And in the respect of gauging that I believe he is a master. I actually see in him a lot of traits of the sociopath.

    1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them
    2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them
    3. Authoritarian
    4. Secretive
    5. Paranoid
    6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired
    7. Conventional appearance
    8. Goal of enslavement of their victim(s)
    9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim’s life
    10. Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim’s affirmation (respect, gratitude and love)
    11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim
    12. Incapable of real human attachment to another
    13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt
    14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose
    15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world

    Maybe I am wrong – but how would I know. The only clue I have is how he (mis)used some of his family members and associates – like accusing his grandmother of racism and distancing himself from Wright and Ayers. And that seems to fit the picture.

  12. gcotharn Says:

    This is a minor discussion, and I think I’ve said it before, but: Barack is EXACTLY the kind of man I expect to cheat on his wife. I wouldn’t waste a dime betting that he has not already cheated on Michelle.

    Barack is motivated by malignant narcissism. He is “controlled” only in his adherence to the requirements of his narcissism. His narcissism requires him hiding his true self, and therefore he is controlled – and expert – at hiding himself.

    However, his narcissism does not require that he not cheat on his wife. Not cheating is a statement about the power of marriage, about the power of relationship, about the power of commitment, about the power of keeping one’s word. Barack has no particular belief in nor adherence to any of that. Barack adheres to the power promised by seducing and coercing other people to love him.

    Anytime Barack is not cheating on Michelle, it is b/c he has neither the energy nor the creativeness to cheat and not get caught.

  13. gcotharn Says:

    Also, as another aside, I’m pretty sure comparing a half black man to Pinnochio is racist.

  14. Don Rodrigo Says:

    “”"Imagine the difficulties Obama will face with either 1) Republican control of either or both houses or 2) narrow majorities in one house or both.”"”

    In the 1938 mid-term elections, Republicans made major gains ion both houses, although Democrats still kept control of both. The results were said to be profound: no more major New Deal legislation was passed after that. All the radical New Deal stuff had been in FDR’s first term-and-a-half.

    As to Obama’s marital fidelity, don’t be so sure. There were rumors that a female staffer/traveling companion in the campaign — or his past — may have been more than just a “staffer.” Rumors only, and perhaps unfounded, but NEVER assume that a major narcissist male like Obama would not have any affairs.

  15. gcotharn Says:

    Because, Pinnochio is a wooden puppet, and slaves were puppets of their masters, and comparing a black man to a puppet is code language. That you fail to see something so obvious only proves your heedless, uncaring, unconscious racism.

    Also, have dressed him up in nose face, with it’s obvious implications and references to size, with which implications you are casually slapping us. If you were more caring, you would be more sensitive. Some persons are surely offended by this, are hurt, are in tears, and likely will never get over it.

  16. E Says:

    Somehow, I suspect the last thing Obama really wants is to be a real boy…

  17. E Says:

    …and another thing – who’s the Blue Fairy? Nancy Pelosi? Or maybe it’s Barney Frank?

  18. Roy Lofquist Says:

    Dear Neo,

    That is precisely the point that I have been trying to make to my friends fot quite a while now. Look out Inboxes!

    Regards,
    Roy

  19. huxley Says:

    If the economy came roaring back, I suspect that Obama could regain much lost ground. He could never be The Messiah again, but he would be a respectdable force.

    However, I just don’t see that happening — barring the invention of Mr. Fusion portable power generators — and Obama’s own policies are at much at fault as anything.

    His best hope is to become an average, embattled President, and fight from that reduced role, but I don’t think his ego will allow it.

  20. Baklava Says:

    http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/08/black-conservatives-protest-st-louis.html

    Kenneth Gladney news

  21. Baklava Says:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential/If-youre-married-you-dont-approve-of-Obama-53557832.html

    Married people are more likely to not approve of Obama

  22. br549 Says:

    Can you imagine the size of the bus it’s going to take to throw 305 million people under?

  23. nyomythus Says:

    Okay okay I made a minor mistake. I get the picture! But …the competition sucked…

  24. Baklava Says:

    The competition had the prescription

    1) Corporate tax rate reduction
    2) Income tax rate reduction
    3) Capital gains tax rate reduction

    Please don’t let statements about God on our currency cloud your judgement again…..

  25. John Says:

    Neo don’t you think the far left is feeling a little of that “increasing dissatisfaction”? After all they knew all that running as a moderate was just a charade. They didn’t believe it for a moment. Now in spite of the Cap and Trade Tax bill and the push to take over health care he still isn’t pushing the envelope far enough left for most of them.

  26. Charles Says:

    Obama hasn’t cheated on his wife and kids; And we know this for sure because the “unbiased” media would be tripping all over themselves to break the story if he did, right?

  27. John Says:

    This is off subject, but just in case you all haven’t seen this.

    Obama Joker artist unmasked: A fellow Chicagoan

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2009/08/obama-joker-artist.html

  28. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    br549 – coffee spray, keyboard on that one.

  29. J.L. Says:

    kcom Says:

    “Imagine the difficulties Obama will face with either 1) Republican control of either or both houses or 2) narrow majorities in one house or both. He’s already having trouble passing his plans with solid Democratic majorities in both houses. Imagine if that advantage disappears.”

    kcom, you have just described my hopes and dreams for 2010 and after. I’m practically waiting in anticipation for the 2010 elections. I’m waiting for it like a child waits excitedly for a trip to Disney World. I’m already getting much pleasure out of knowing that many leftist hearts (and many naive liberal hearts) are breaking now (secretly) as their hero loses his aura. It will be a superb pleasure to smack them accross the face with the cold reality of a GOP dominated House, and a Senate with at least an increased GOP presence… and then watch the One twist slowly slowly in the wind.

    You have no idea what an enormous smile I got on my face as I wrote that last paragraph.

  30. MikeLL Says:

    So who is pulling PinocchiObama’s strings? Also, doesn’t Pinocchio get turned into a donkey? Ha! Apt in so many ways.

    But I think Pinocchio was Italian. Everybody knows Obama is Irish.

  31. Mr. Frank Says:

    It appears that Zero tried to tack to the center on the health bill over the weekend and got slapped by the lefties. His options are pretty limited right now.

  32. MikeLL Says:

    Yes! I knew he turned into a donkey. Check out this quote from Wiki:

    Pinocchio goes along with him and they have a wonderful time in the land of Play—until one morning Pinocchio awakes with donkey ears. A mouse tells him that boys who do nothing but play and never work always grow into donkeys.

    I love it. The ears. The land of “Play.” The never working.

  33. Perfected democrat Says:

    “It’s almost incomprehensible that Obama would cheat on his wife…”

    Ha ha, that’s funny…

  34. Gray Says:

    Well, you know the old saying:

    Once burnt, twice burnt! Burnt again! Roasted! Incinerated! Blistered! Carbonized!

  35. michale Says:

    Someone good with photoshop (maybe the guy from Chicago) needs to do the Obama poster with the Pinocchio nose. It should be made into teashirts that people wear to rallies and town halls.

  36. joe buzz Says:

    Well stated piece Neo. This is the reason Team 44 is often found reverting back to Campaign mode when times and issues get tough. They correlate that to a time when they were loved. That and during the long campaign they didnt have to explain decisions or stances because the fawning MSM didnt question them.

  37. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    Neo, Neo, Neo. Surely you know that The Won’s promises come with expiration dates?

  38. br549 Says:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26251.html

    What a coinky – dinky. It just so happens that I want to know the same exact information about our lawmakers.

  39. joe buzz Says:

    Drudge just linked to a great little article in Bloomberg Here are the money quotes:

    The proliferation of Obama’s gaffes and non sequiturs on health care has exceeded the allowable limit. He has failed repeatedly to explain how the government will provide more (health care) for less (money). He has failed to explain why increased demand for medical services without a concomitant increase in supply won’t lead to rationing by government bureaucrats as opposed to the market. And he has failed to explain why a Medicare-like model is desirable when Medicare itself is going broke.

    The public is left with one of two unsettling conclusions: Either the president doesn’t understand the health-insurance reform plans working their way through Congress, or he understands both the plans and the implications and is being untruthful about the impact.

    Neither option is good; ignorance is clearly preferable to the alternative.

    (Caroline Baum, author of “Just What I Said,” is a Bloomberg News columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.)

  40. stan Says:

    I think the lack of trust toward Obama extends beyond the dishonesty. I think more and more people are concluding that he’s incompetent. People don’t trust him to be able to do what he says, even if they believed him.

    The stimulus bill was a porkfest orgy on steroids that had nothing to do with stimulus. The cap and trade bill passed in the house was a porkfest orgy on steroids that explicitly disavowed the only reason that cap and trade has for being implemented. Cash for clunkers has been an administrative nightmare. How hard can it be to give away free money?

    Obama has clearly screwed up the practical politics of Obamacare every bit as badly as Hillary politically screwed up Hillarycare (and that was the old record for massive political screwups).

    Given that Obama has never done anything, no one should be surprised that he seems incapable of doing anything. But that is part of the “trust” factor for the public. They are beginning to sense that he just isn’t competent. He is looking like the combination of the worst qualities of Jimmy Carter, Bill and Hillary, John Kerry and Algore. [incompetence, dishonesty, corruption, lack of accomplishment, an unwarranted massive ego, and a boundless sense of entitlement]

  41. neo-neocon Says:

    stan: Good point.

  42. Hogarth Says:

    The problem in 2010 and 2012 is that no matter how damaged Obama is, the GOP candidate is likely to be worse, just as he was in 2008.

    The GOP needs to shed the “It’s his turn” mentality that gives us obsolete time-servers like McCain and offer us quality candidates. At a minimum, they should NEVER select another Senator. A Senator is groomed to find compromise; and Executive is groomed to LEAD.

    Unfortunately, even if the GOP gets that message, they will succumb to the temptation to try to steal a page from the Dem Handbook and select a candidate that satisfies at least one of the requisite categories. They will select a candidate based on race or gender, not on qualifications.

    As if Obama himself wasn’t the most definitive argument EVER against affirmative action in politics. It worked once for the Dems, but it is unlikely to work again, and definitely won’t work for the GOP.

    The GOP will not pick up on that subtle fact until it is too late. If they ever do.

  43. Daniel in Brookline Says:

    It’s almost incomprehensible that Obama would cheat on his wife; he’s too controlled, for one thing. But he’s cheated on the rest of us time and again, and it’s my belief that the American people will take that far more personally—as they should.

    Neo, you’re trained in this sort of thing, as I recall. Could you elaborate, please, on why you can’t imagine President Obama cheating on his wife? Because I just don’t see it.

    To me, Barack Obama looks just like the sort of happy-go-lucky kid, drunk with his newfound power, who thinks he can do anything. Think of Kennedy; think of Johnson; think of Clinton. (Think of Roosevelt too, if you like, but for different reasons; he just didn’t seem to think that other people’s rules applied to him.)

    I can’t think of a single argument against Obama cheating that wouldn’t have applied just as well to Kennedy.

    respectfully,
    Daniel in Brookline

  44. Baklava Says:

    Stan wrote, “I think more and more people are concluding that he’s incompetent.

    Yep.

    I couldn’t convince enough people fast enough before the election.

    He had the economic virus. As well as the health care virus, the energy virus, the foreign policy virus, etc.

  45. PCachu Says:

    I can’t think of a single argument against Obama cheating [on his wife] that wouldn’t have applied just as well to Kennedy.

    Well, there’s always the obvious one: when M’chelle found out — and she would find out — she’d use those awesome pythons we keep reading about to SNAP HIM IN TWO.

    Which I’m sure is an outcome he’d like to avoid.

  46. huxley Says:

    I can’t think of a single argument against Obama cheating that wouldn’t have applied just as well to Kennedy.

    I’ve no faith in Obama’s character in the moral sense, but his writing reveals a secretive young man who prided himself on his ability to obtain the trust of white people and others based on control of his own image.

    I don’t think Obama is comparable to Kennedy, Clinton or anyone. He is a whole new and weird breed of cat to have in the White House.

  47. Baklava Says:

    I agree with you huxley.

  48. Rgutie Says:

    Dear Neo and retardo,

    Did you read my mind?

    My additional quote would be;

    “The new slavery=taking from the productive and giving to the non-productive or social justice”

  49. Thomass Says:

    Daniel in Brookline Says:

    “Neo, you’re trained in this sort of thing, as I recall. Could you elaborate, please, on why you can’t imagine President Obama cheating on his wife? Because I just don’t see it.”

    I’m not (trained) but I’m not sold he is an actual narcissist. Could be a high functioning schizoid… the outer demeanor is similar to a cerebral narcissist but there is a willingness to follow others and conform to ideologies.

  50. Telling Signs « Obi’s Sister Says:

    [...] when it applies to the most powerful man in the United States. The broken promises are mounting as fast as his deficit numbers. But once a person internalizes the idea that he/she has been [...]

  51. Telling Signs - Obis_Sister’s blog - RedState Says:

    [...] when it applies to the most powerful man in the United States. The broken promises are mounting as fast as his deficit numbers. But once a person internalizes the idea that he/she has been [...]

  52. jodetoad Says:

    I hope the problem is incompetence. Because the only other explanation I see is hate for the country.

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