Friday, August 27, 2010

Michael Berry: Obama’s Actions Say, “I don’t feel your pain, but I’m having plenty of my own”

Obama’s Actions Say, “I don’t feel your pain, but I’m having plenty of my own”

by Michael Berry

Bill Clinton famously felt your pain. Not literally, of course, but figuratively. In politics, that’s enough. Empathizing with people who are struggling financially was perhaps Bubba’s greatest gift. Barack Obama has no such empathy. His wife reprised Eva Peron’s tour of Spain, this time more as a queen than a political wife, feasting and frolicking like royalty. She took a break from lecturing us on fatty foods to eat quite a few herself.

Now Obama’s ongoing vacation continues, this time to tony Martha’s Vineyard. He hopes to hide from media coverage, after courting it for years. He appears haggard, drawn, and gunshy. The ongoing, unavoidable release of data on the economy, unemployment, the deficit, and debt calls for an answer from the administration. They have no stand-in, certainly not the veep, and rumors are swirling that press secretary Robert Gibbs wants out.

The president’s policy positions have caused his approval ratings to plummet, so much so that he almost claims that validates his agenda. Apparently, doing the “right thing” causes Americans to disapprove of him. Which is odd logic, considering that a mere two years ago who appealed to the wisdom and nobler ideals of the American public. His lurch to the left after his election has caused many of the voters to disapprove. His personal behavior, and lavish lifestyle, are out of touch with middle America.

Then there is the question of party leaders. Nancy Pelosi wants the opposition to the Ground Zero mosque investigated. Harry Reid is in danger of losing his own seat. Maxine Waters is under investigation, and Charlie Rangel is embarrassingly defiant. Barney Frank is . . . well, Barney Frank. All the while, Hillary is suspiciously quiet, seemingly riding out this storm and keeping her distance from this White House. Bill Clinton appears keen to show distinctions with this administration on their vision and their version of current events, most notably the Sestak scandal.

The Democrat brand has fallen faster than British Petroleum’s stock after the Gulf spill. Obama was the savior, and spokesman, of the party; indeed, he was the rock star. Now, many insiders feel he seems ready to step down and move on.

Tony Hayward was no longer enjoying his reign as chairman of BP after the heat following the Gulf oil spill. He was surprised that his attempts to connect to the “small people” were considered in poor taste, and he wished for an end to the mess, so he could “get [his] life back.” He stepped down, preferring to move on and leave the hard work to someone else, presumably to go back to his passion of yachting.

One wonders if Barack Obama isn’t envious of him. A loss in 2012 will free him of the hassles, and responsibilities, of being president. He’ll give speeches for big money, he’ll ink a big book deal, he’ll play golf, and he’ll only associate with sycophants. From community activist to bon vivant fat cat. Too bad for America he had to be president to get there.

BP needed Hayward out of the way to rebuild their “brand.” Obama’s vacation isn’t solely because he’s tired from all his fundraising and politicking. It’s an attempt to get him out of the news, to keep him from empathizing with mosque-building near Ground Zero, because his every word is a rallying cry for the Tea Party and a growing number of working Americans. After a big loss in November, watch for Democrats to start looking to remove Obama from his perch atop the party, so they, too, can rebuild their brand.

Usually Obama’s lapdog, Harry Reid showed a rare public break with Obama over the Ground Zero mosque. His Tea Party challenger’s strong standings in the poll may have forced his hand. Former DNC chairman Howard Dean emerged from obscurity to do so as well, and far more emphatically.

Don’t be surprised if, after the November shipwreck for Democrats, they realize they can no longer blame Bush. And they start blaming Obama. We can only hope that a national media intent on enacting a liberal agenda may realize Obama is hurting their cause and begin objectively covering this administration. It may be their only hope to plug the leak of ratings for the alphabet soup of networks and to earn back a few subscribers for newspapers whose circulations are dropping while losses mount. This should get interesting.

Maybe the president who loves vacations and golf so much will soon have plenty of time for both. I almost wonder if he wouldn’t prefer that. I’ll bet many Democrats will be glad to see him go.

Posted with the author’s permission.

Michael Berry is the host of the Michael Berry Show, a daily radio talk show, in Houston.  You can read his blog here or his Facebook Fan Page here.


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