The Corner

The Unserious Get Serious

From my USA Today column:

“Repeatedly stabbing the air with his finger,” a  visibly frustrated Barack Obama complained to Rolling Stone: “It is inexcusable for any Democrat or  progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election.” The very “idea that we’ve got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that  people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible. … If people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.”

Well, it took him long enough. Some of us could have told him these people weren’t serious two years ago. Back then, enthusiasm for Obama jumped the rails of sanity. A San Francisco Chronicle  columnist insisted that Obama was a semimystical “lightworker.” George Lucas insisted he was a Jedi Knight. Author/spiritualist Deepak Chopra said Obama represented a “quantum leap in American consciousness.” Oprah merely insisted he was “The One.”….

Now, Obama seems to think these same voters are less serious because they don’t believe that nonsense anymore. Obama whines that he wishes he didn’t have a weak economy. Vice President Biden actually calls Democrats whiners for complaining about the weak economy. But, as Ramesh Ponnuru wrote on National Review Online, it is “precisely the weak economy and weakly engaged voters that resulted in his big margin and padded congressional majority in the 2008 elections. Take either out of the picture, and Obama still wins but lacks the votes to screw up American health care. Take the good and bad together, Mr. President. “It’s almost as if Obama is stunned and disappointed to discover that people who can be won over by a Pepsi-style ad campaign might be lost by 20 months of economic decrepitude, nearly 10% unemployment and the worst summer unemployment rate for young people since 1948. Or, perhaps they lost their ardor because Candidate Obama and President Obama are very, very different people. Candidate Obama was a passionate bipartisan. He was hopeful; he promised change. President Obama has been the most partisan president since World War II. He’s not hopeful anymore, he’s literally a finger-wagger who spends a shocking amount of time complaining about how unfair his critics are, how bad his press is and how hard he’s working despite countless vacations and golf outings.

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