Krauthammer on the Obama Fall

by Sal on January 16, 2010

in Politics

Worth a read is a piece in today’s Washington Post by Charles Krauthammer, chronicling Obama’s fall from grace among the American electorate.  Krauthammer points out what many of us have been saying since the election; that the American people did not elect Obama for  his liberalism, but rather for hope and change from the previous administration which had ended in financial collapse.  Where I disagree with Krauthammer is this statement:

In the end, what matters is not the persona but the agenda. In a country where politics is fought between the 40-yard lines, Obama has insisted on pushing hard for the 30. And the American people — disorganized and unled but nonetheless agitated and mobilized — have put up a stout defense somewhere just left of midfield.

For the most part, Krauthammer is right.  Yet a special person, a special president can take the ball and run it into the 30 yard line.  Reagan did this in the 1980s, leading to the first serious halting of New Deal policies in 50 years.  The right Conservative leader (and perhaps the right liberal leader as well, but Obama is not that person) could successfully move the ball past mid-field.  The key is to bring the American people with him by persuasion.  Blaming your predecessor for all of the ills of the nation, utilizing the Washington system of pork and backroom deals to get things done is not going to do that.  Obama’s failure as a President is linked to his agenda as Krauthammer said; but we should also be fortunate that he is not the leader that many assumed he would be during the campaign.  In this electoral climate, a new FDR could have been disastrous.

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