Originally posted at Monty Pelerin’s World blog,
Is Obama through? That is, have his lies and incompetence finally caught up with him and emasculated what remains of his effectiveness. Has he taken the concept of “lame duck” to new levels?
Dan Henninger describes Obama’s credibility problem:
Bluntly, Mr. Obama’s partners are concluding that they cannot do business with him. They don’t trust him.
Henninger’s observation does not bode well for US – International relations. Nor is it likely to provide support for new domestic initiatives.
The International ramifications are especially dangerous. It is difficult to think of one ally that supports the US as strongly as it did when Obama took office. More damaging is the spectacle that the US has become for the rest of the world. Obama, supported strongly upon election by most of the world, is now held in lower esteem Internationally than in the US.
Nations that thought of the US as a model of democracy, economic strength and leadership justifiably are questioning these assumptions. Some now see us as just another country moving toward Banana Republic governance.
Domestically, matters may be worse for Obama. Republicans, who distrusted him from the beginning, are even firmer in this belief as a result of the budget shutdown and other false promises. Democrats see the tactics and competence of the man and his Administration. As he is perceived to shift from asset to liability, their loyalty will shift.
Political ideology is not absolute. Democrats love liberalism and progressivism but not nearly as much as they love their office and place in power. If it comes to a choice, ideology and political loyalty will be abandoned in order to retain office.
Mr. Henninger’s quote limited his observation to “partners,” which can be construed as other political leaders or figures. However, Mr. Obama still has most of his voter support. Obama still has the ability to lie and much of his support base is too disinterested to care. Many are incapable of understanding politics beyond the cult of personality and “what’s in it for me.” Many would vote for Ted Cruz if he convinced them he would provide more freebies than Obama.
While Obama’s cult status is gone, his popularity among the masses remains. He has lost his ability to work with “partners” but not with the masses. What remains may still be enough for Obama to continue to weaken the US economically and politically.
His popularity always was dependent on his unusual and unconscionable ability to lie and convince people that there was a “free-lunch” if they supported him. His messianic overtones were merely Hollywood enhancements to his mendacity.
How much remains of Obama’s ability to remain effective depends on what the “uninformed” followers believe. Some of these will never question him. Others may be influenced by the shallowness that passes for today’s media. The media have been Obama’s most loyal ally. Whether that continues in the light of the ObamaCare fiasco is moot.
It is going to be hard to support ObamaCare for the media when Obama supporters experience the sticker-shock at enrollment (if the enrollment system ever gets fixed). Many believe they are going to get free health care. Most believe they are going to get large savings and better plans. All are in for rude surprises.
The failure of ObamaCare likely means the end of media protection for Obama. Survival for them is just as strong a motivation as survival for politicians.