Slowly, ever so slowly, Big Media elites pretend to attempt to understand the anger in the body politic. Even dimwitted Politico is in flux and slowly shifting its orbit away from its Obama sun cosmology.
“Change is Barack Obama’s political calling card and the fuel that propelled his never-waste-a-crisis agenda — but change is boomeranging big time on the president in a turbulent and unpredictable 2010.
For the first time since he emerged as a national political figure six years ago, Obama finds himself on the wrong side of the change equation — the status quo side — with challengers in both parties running against him, his policies or his handpicked candidates. [snip]
If the results of Tuesday’s night’s grab bag of Senate and House elections prove anything, it’s that Obama didn’t copyright the anti-Washington change message. At a time of nearly 10 percent unemployment, anxiety about the economy, two wars and fury about bailouts and Beltway pay to play, the message of change is bigger than any one cause, one party or even Obama himself. [snip]
Obama has become so synonymous with the Washington establishment these days that a top Democratic consultant joked, “What the White House needs to do is endorse the candidate they don’t want to have win, then the candidate they want to win can run as anti-establishment.”
Before Tuesday’s election Mark Halperin cast an analytical eye towards what is happening in the body politic as it awakens to the fact of the multiple Obama treacheries:
“Nothing has the potential to cleanse the body politic as fully as the sacking of incumbents and Establishment favorites.[snip]
When the electoral soap operas are this darn interesting to activists and the media, it is especially easy to forget that the point of politics is not campaigns as sport but to determine who governs. Anger is the word of the year in America in both politics and government — anger at President Obama, Congress, incumbents, Wall Street and, most of all, Washington. Incumbents and Establishment candidates generally have reacted to the threat of this passion by doing combinations of three things: co-opting the rhetoric of rage, adopting populist positions on the hot-button issues of the day and deploying (without irony or hesitation) old-fashioned negative political attacks to try to destroy their opponents.”
Surprisingly, Halperin notes the anger that is apparent to all but the Hopium befuddled and discusses the deeper meaning and the deeper crisis:
“So the real question remains: How do politicians in office now, and after the election, respond to this overarching anger and address the will of the people?
It would be great — if not overly idealistic in rhetoric or reality — to see politicians actually try to figure out why so many Americans are unhappy and look for ways to address their real concerns. This won’t be easy, of course, because the animating rationale of the anger is both diffuse and contradictory. [snip]
Specter won’t have been defeated just because he switched parties. If he loses, it will be because, as a devastating last-minute Sestak television ad says, he became a Democrat to “save one job — his, not yours.”
Indeed, much of the bitterness across the country stems from a fundamental anxiety about jobs and the economy, and the belief that Washington isn’t doing anything to fix things. Immigration, health care, deficits, taxes — all of these issues are, at bottom, connected to the short- and long-term concern that the U.S. lacks a serious plan for creating a solid economy for current and future generations. What Americans want and need are politicians who recognize their fears and grapple with the issues in a serious way, even at a time of extreme partisanship in our politico-media culture.”
We addressed that lack of a plan in article after article during the “stimulus” and bailout debates. It was clear to all but the Hopium befuddled that the Obama plans were not plans at all but a “throw money” at the problem tactic to create the impression that something was being done and that he really cared. Like Specter, Obama only cared about one career, “his, not yours”.
It’s that lackadaisical cheap “cool” towards the jobs and lives of “bitter” “clinging” Americans and the so very obvious concern about his own well being and partying, along with his cocktail dress wife, that has long time Democrats forced to admit the Katrina nature of Obama’s self obsession and narcissism “politics”.
“They are risking everything by this ‘go along with BP’ strategy they have that seems like, lackadaisical on this,” Carville told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Friday. “They seem like they’re inconvenienced by this, this is some giant thing getting in their way and somehow or another, if you let BP handle it, it’ll all go away. It’s not going away. It’s growing out there. It is a disaster of the first magnitude, and they’ve got to go to Plan B.”
Even David Brooks, that great admirer of Obama’s creased pants (“I remember distinctly an image of-we were sitting on his couches, and I was looking at his pant leg and his perfectly creased pant, and I’m thinking, a) he’s going to be president and b) he’ll be a very good president.“) , realizes that the anger is real and it is righteous. Brooks imagines (he imagines it because Brooks does not know, and certainly does not hang out with, any of the “bitter” and “clinging” angry Americans “I divide people into people who talk like us and who don’t talk like us...”) a man called Ben:
“Let’s imagine a character named Ben. A couple of decades ago, Ben went to high school.
It wasn’t easy. His parents were splitting up. His friends would cut class to smoke weed. His sister got pregnant. But Ben worked hard and graduated with decent grades and then studied at East Stroudsburg University and the University of Phoenix.
That wasn’t easy either. Ben would like to have majored in history, but he needed a skill so he studied hotel management. Others spent their college years partying, but Ben worked hard. After graduation, he got a job with a hotel chain. A few years later, he got a different job and then a different one.
He didn’t have lifetime security or a fabulous salary, but Ben worked. He filled in for the night manager, hired staff and cleaned up the breakfast area when that needed doing.
In other words, in school, he labored when others didn’t. At work, he sacrificed when others didn’t. He bought a house he could afford when others didn’t.“
We can almost see the sneer on Brooks’ face as he wrote “University of Phoenix”, that online school, and not Harvard or Yale. As much as he tries to sympathize, Brooks has naught but contempt for “Ben” and his ilk. But at least the sympathetic pretense is in the right direction, not aimed at creased trousers.
“This wasn’t a robotic suburban life. It was a satisfying, moral way of living. Ben lived according to an ethos of what you might call “earned success.” Arthur Brooks has a good description of this ethos in his new book “The Battle.” As Brooks (no relation) observes, the key to happiness is not being rich; it’s doing something arduous and creating something of value and then being able to reflect on the fruits of your labor.
For Ben, right and wrong is contained in the relationship between effort and reward. If people do not work but get rewarded, that’s wrong. If people work and do not get rewarded, that’s wrong. But Ben believed that America is fundamentally a just society. He loved his country because people who work hard can usually overcome whatever unfairness is thrust in their way.
But when Ben looked at Washington, he saw a political system that undermined the relationship between effort and reward. People in Washington spent money they didn’t have. They just borrowed it from the Chinese. People in Washington taxed those with responsible homes to bail out people who’d bought homes they couldn’t afford.
People in Congress were caught up in a spoils system in which money was taken from those who worked and given to those with connections. Money was taken from those who produced and used to bail out the reckless, who were supposedly too big to fail.
This was an affront to the core values of Ben’s life.“
The rest of Brooks’ column is wasted on his political hallucinations. But the idea of “Ben” is a good one. Ben is the type that Brooks and his finger bowl crowd sneer at as “teabaggers”. In that fight, we side with Ben.
What’s laughable is that Brooks, the admirer of Obama’s creased pants, does not realize the real anger that “Ben” has nor that Obama is the embodiment of “Ben’s” anger. But oddly, Brooks does accurately describe how “Ben” got suckered by Obama and Obama lovers like Brooks. But super intelligent Brooks does not see the underlying self denunciation in his own analysis:
“In a few years’ time, Ben is going to be disappointed again. He’s going to find that the outsiders he sent to Washington just screamed at each other at ever higher decibels. He’s going to find that he and voters like him unwittingly created a political culture in which compromise is impermissible, in which institutions are decimated by lone-wolf narcissists who have no interest in or talent for crafting legislation. Nothing will get done.”
“Ben” voted for Obama on the advice of fools like Brooks. Now “Ben” is very angry against Obama, the “lone-wolf narcissist” and against Brooks’ friends who got bailouts. Obama and his apologists will respond that indeed they did get things done, legislation passed – but none of that has benefited “Ben”. Thus far Barack Obama has benefited himself and his friends and Brooks’ friends.
“Ben” is the body politic. “Ben” is Jane and Jill and Jack and Bill and the feverishly anger “bitter”:
“So far in 2010, an average of 23% of Americans have been satisfied with the way things are going in the United States. That is well below the 40% historical average Gallup has measured since 1979, when it began asking this question. The 2010 average is also the lowest Gallup has measured in a midterm election year, dating to 1982.
Satisfaction with the way things are going is a key indicator to watch leading up to Election Day in November. Low satisfaction ratings have typically been associated with greater net seat change between parties in Congress in midterm election years, as was the case for the 1982, 1994, and 2006 elections. In each of those years, the average satisfaction rating was no higher than 33%. In 1994 and 2006, as is the case this year, the same party controlled the presidency and Congress heading into the elections, and party control of Congress changed hands after Election Day.”
The anger, the fever in the body politic is only going to grow higher. “Ben” and the “bitter” will not go away soon. The ranks of the “bitter” and “clinging” are about to grow.
Forget about the demographics Dimocrats boast about. The “bitter” “Bens” will only grow angrier and more feverish after November’s elections. It’s not just the political elected class that must be thrown out as bums. The Big Media Obama Cult must be flung into the swamps of Washington and Chicago too.
The fever anger is not just against Barack Obama – the fever anger is also against those who enabled Obama. They all have to go before the fever can abate.