JUNE 4, 2013
The death of a faithless dog
BY WES PRUDEN
Nothing recedes like success. That’s the oldest and most unforgiving rule of politics, and Barack Obama is living proof.
His stunning re-election last year erased all the fears that public adoration for him had cooled. Now, we were told, the romance would be as hot as ever. The Democrats would have a permanent majority; the pitiless application of state power would destroy the hated conservatives once and for all, with their pathetic obsessions with God, the Constitution and the traditional family, and it would be smooth sailing to an American welfare state, with everybody dependent on a government run by Democratic liberals, radicals and opportunists.
But that was before success began to recede. The president is not out of the game; presidents, with all the trappings and opportunities of power, never are, particularly a president with years left to control and manipulate the government. But this president is weakened to the point of ineffectiveness and his gloomy media chorus, if not yet silenced by cold reality, must now sing a different song.
No one, except for the vicious sopranos in that chorus, will be tempted now to accuse quite so loudly the president’s critics of racism, bigotry and intolerance just for pointing out the flaws in his agenda or taking note of his personal and presidential shortcomings. That dog, in the telling bucolic cliché, won’t hunt now. That dog is dead (and dead dogs smell bad).
The current scandals – Benghazi, IRS and the hounding of The Associated Press and other organs of the press – only emphasize what ails Mr. Obama and his administration, of the corruption and above all the incompetence. None of the scandals touch the president personally, nor are they likely to. Every president has a guard around him to make sure the dirt won’t stick to him. But it’s the accumulation of the dirt around him that renders him ineffective, impotent and what the English call “wet.”
The president was elected in the first place because the nation embarked on a guilt trip, with millions of white voters out to show contrite repentance for the sins of segregation and decades of racial oppression. Barack Obama looked like the perfect candidate for the guilt-trippers: attractive, well spoken, educated and what Joe Biden called “clean.” (This last could be construed as a bit racist, but Joe usually runs his mouth just to see what comes out of it, so he gets a pass). No one was willing then to look very hard at Mr. Obama’s background, his friendships with left-wing radicals and domestic terrorists, and his work as a “community activist” promoting left-wing causes. To look very hard would have ruined the thrill of a romance.
Wes Pruden is the Editor Emeritus of the Washington Times