The Corner

Politics & Policy

Not Just a Rejection of Washington, a Rejection of Obama’s Washington

If Democrats are wondering how they got here… perhaps President Obama should have negotiated on Obamacare.

Maybe when Jonathan Gruber declared that Obamacare depended upon the “stupidity of American voter,” Democrats like Obama and Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine should have recoiled in shame at the naked cynicism displayed.

Maybe instead of touting “Recovery Summer” and all of the consecutive months of job growth, President Obama and Hillary Clinton should have recognized that talk of  a recovery would sound like out-of-touch happy-talk to the struggling corners of America.

Maybe she should have listened when Bill Clinton reacted to the State of the Union address, “Why is it such a wacky election? Because millions and millions and millions and millions of people look at that pretty picture of America he painted and they cannot find themselves in it to save their lives.”

If Democrats are stunned by the anger at Washington, maybe it would have been mitigated if President Obama had fired some high-level, recognizable figure over Fast and Furious. Or the IRS scandal. Or the $2 billion spent building Healthcare.gov. Or the Veterans Administration letting veterans die waiting for care. Or the Office of Personnel Management hacking. Or the dishonest explanations about Bowe Berghdahl deal.

Maybe when the country witnessed horrible shootings, President Obama shouldn’t have rushed to the cameras to contend that those who opposed to his preferred gun-control laws bore some of the responsibility.

Maybe when a judge issued an injunction stopping an executive order suspending deportations, Obama should have recognized he was seen as surpassing his authority. Maybe he should have recognized that declaring, “I have a pen and a phone” would be seen as refusing to recognize Congress’ role in governing.

Millions upon millions of Americans feel like they “work hard and play by the rules” as Bill Clinton said in 1992, and they’re losing ground. Meanwhile, they look to Washington, and see one high-powered figure after another break the rules, break the law, and stumble around in incompetence and get endlessly rewarded.

Hillary Clinton probably personified that more than anyone. We’ve all heard the litany of scandals. She always walked away unscathed, to another lucrative book deal, to more insanely large speaking fees, to more power and influence and gushing press profiles.

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