Obama & The Real Story
The real story for Obama is grim right now: unemployment is at new-century record highs, his first six months in office are a failure, his budget is delayed, transparency is delayed, health care reform is on the rocks, and dissension within his caucus is at an all time high as they wind down toward recess.
If the real story were front page and center now everyone would be focused on the house and the splintering over health care going on there. The press would be dissecting the bill and the points of contention for the public with a bit more vigor than the shorthand of triggers and public options. It’s at the point where there could be a rebellion and coming leadership change in the Democrat caucus if things continue this way. Even though there are outward signs of unity, this is surface only, and with elections looming in 15 months more is on the line than it would seem at the moment.
True to form when faced with real opposition and a bad news cycle, President Obama has a habit of changing the subject. That’s why the Gates gaffe was made and in my opinion it was intentional. It’s also probably not a coincidence that nirtherism is front and center in the news again, even though left, right, and center are all calling birth certificate conspiracists marginal and crazy.
These things take the focus off of what’s important and change the subject to topical and idiotic irrelevancies. These are very skillful distractions, everyone has an opinion on racism – with the public in overwhelming agreement that it’s bad — and they all want to talk about it. Much more fun than talking about the boring points of a trillion dollar health bill, n’est ce pas?
It’s also always more fun to talk about marginal nutballs on the right than the unemployment picture too.
Obama is very skilled at these smoke and mirror tricks and by making himself the lightning rod he’s managed to take the focus from the real story for a moment: but his first six months are still not sitting well with the public, and his health care reform is a boat on the rocks of a distant shore.