Our New Political Reality

  Some interesting signs from the headlines this morning. All point to a White House trembling with fear when confronted by the big bad Republican machine.

 “Obama acknowledges his message didn’t get through.”

“GOP gains set stage for national security battle”

“White House signals compromise on tax cuts”

Translation:  The President is admitting he was unsuccessful, that he failed (making him look weak) in communicating his economic plan to the American people.  So, he’s caving in (looking even weaker) on not extending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy rather than slugging it out with the  Republicans who are threatening to shut down the government rather than compromise in their ongoing effort to destroy Mr. Obama and his party.  Observers think the new congressional mix could also mean the President may not be able (weaker still) to deliver on his pledge to draw down troops from Afghanistan and pull in the reigns on Pentagon spending.

From weak to weaker.  Never underestimate the power of image.  Is the President to blame, or is something else at play?

I don’t recall a President of the United States over the past 20 years or so, who has so frequently been referred to using only his last name.  With Dubya Bush, it was nearly always “Mr. Bush” or “President Bush.”  Increasingly, the media refers to Mr. Obama, as plain old “Obama.”  It’s “Obama” said this, or “Obama” did that.  He’s not really the President, he’s just “Obama.”

It diminishes the man and the office and make you wonder if what we’re witnessing isn’t covert  racism bubbling up from the depths of the national psyche.  There, I did it.  I used the horrible “R word.”  Former President Carter, is among the few who have had the courage to talk about it.

“When a radical fringe element of demonstrators and others begin to attack the president of the United States as an animal or as a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler or when they wave signs in the air that said we should have buried Obama with Kennedy, those kinds of things are beyond the bounds.” -President Jimmy Carter

When was the last time a President had so much trouble getting legislation passed, even though he held a majority in both houses?  When was the last time a chief executive was shouted down as being a “liar” while addressing a joint session of Congress, or portrayed as a Nazi or an animal?  Even the old “Solid South” (as it was switching from being solidly Democrats to solidly Republicans) had a different feel to it, as southerners rallied against LBJ’s push for civil rights.  Oh, they had a problem with Lyndon Johnson, to be sure,  but they still appeared to maintain a degree of respect for the Office of the President.

What’s happening now has a different “feel” to it.  And an air of denial about it.

Welcome our new political reality, some of which appears to be a carryover from a past we should have gotten rid of long ago.

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