As I was at the store the other day, looking at the wall of magazines covered with Obama’s smiling, upturned and heroic face, I felt a sudden pang of sympathy – for his press people.
Think about it. This is as good as it gets. You can’t sustain this kind of fawning press coverage for ever. At some point Angelina and Brad will either get married or break up, Jennifer Aniston will do something, etc., and the public’s attention will wander off.
Anyone taking the helm of the Obama media operation has to know that they are at the peak – their task is merely to cushion and try to retard the fall as much as possible. At some point “hope and change” turns into actual decisions, and when that happens, you will piss people off.
A lot of people are making the worn-out Hitler or Stalin comparisons. The former have some basis in the creepy kind of personal-loyalty pledges from Aston Kutcher and the Obama Jugend videos, and of course Obama’s folks have gone out of their way to mimic 1930s Communist art styles, but I think both miss the mark. Obama has not yet shown himself to be the equal of either man in terms of ruthlessness.
His primary accomplishment has been to coast into the Whitehouse on a massive tailwind of public hope that he is something they’ll like. He certainly campaigned on being everyone’s everything, but as we know, can’t be done.
If anyone, he reminds me of Nicholas II, Czar of the All the Russias (until his overthrow and execution). “Nicky” was that curious thing, a vacillating tyrant, and I sense the same impulses with Obama. He doesn’t relish decisions, but rather prefers to buy time and split the difference. Yet at the same time, he wants control, lots of it, and suddenly our civil liberties paragons are going to find that Mr. Hope and Change has zero problem with wiretaps so long as his the one listening in.
Anyhow, back to the press room, two items for consideration.
The first is that Obama now wants to raise emissions standards. So much for the Big Three. It takes a rare talent to look at the mess that is California’s environmental standards and want to do the same thing to the rest of the nation.
Meanwhile, according to Mickey Kaus, The UAW is figuring that it probably doesn’t need to offer any wage concessions to GM. After all, (non-union) Toyota workers aren’t having their wages cut.
As Kaus points out, however, Toyota can actually pay all its bills. Anyone want to bet on how the public will react to government tax dollars subsidizing demonstrably overpaid autoworkers during a recession? Even in Michigan, I think that will go over like a lead balloon.
Factor in the Bill Clintonesque “middle class tax cut” (a Democrat code phrase for tax increases), and Obama’s sky-high approval ratings will fall to earth in a spectacularly rapid fashion.
And who will he blame? The White House press office.