Obama the Divider

 

An absolutely must-read piece in the WSJ this morning by Pat Caddell and Douglas Schoen, long-time liberal Democrats and pollsters for, respectively, Carter and Clinton. Read it here. (Or, if the link doesn’t work, find it on RealClearPolitics.)

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  1. Profile Photo Member
    @AaronMiller

    Pat Caddell was always my favorite liberal guest on Fox News. Unlike the others, he always has a genuine argument and he’s willing to criticize both parties.

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  2. Profile Photo Member
    @

    I found the article kind of puzzling myself. As consummate political insiders were they really that naive about Obama-The-Uniter? Did he see any evidence of this during the campaign?I would like to read someone’s assessment of this theme at a deeper level.

    For example, I think Obama really believes this about himself because he is so incredibly ideological, he fails to see how far left his views are. I think he really sees his perspective as being centrist and therefore he sees Republican objection as illogical and therefore purely partisan. I think he really believes the narrative that he tried to be inclusive but the Republicans wouldn’t play ball.

    Though I could be way off base here and it could have been cynicism from the start.

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  3. Profile Photo Editor
    @RobLong

    Well, maybe I’m naive, but I’m as surprised as Schoen and Caddell that Obama is so polarizing. He didn’t have to make that choice.

    Look, he’s the first president in eighteen years to win a solid, decisive victory. Clinton only won pluralities his two times; Bush, well, we all know about 2000, and let’s be honest: 2004 was pretty close. Suddenly, this guy comes out of nowhere and gets 53%? That, to me, was awfully impressive.

    All the more disappointing, really. What a squandered opportunity.

    Boo hoo, right? Right. But still: there’s something unsettling about a president who fails this hard, this soon.

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  4. Profile Photo Contributor
    @SteveManacek

    Rob — couldn’t agree more. It’s what I’ve found most puzzling about this very puzzling individual. By giving a few inches here and there, bucking the Liberal Establishment on a couple of issues, and ixnay-ing all the hyper-partisan language, he could have kept a sizeable chunk of support in the center without losing more than a sliver of Naderite support on the left and solidified his position as a true national leader. But either he’s so ignorant of the nation, its people, and their beliefs that he thinks he has tried to be a uniter (per Trace, above) or his intent from Day 1 has been to say whatever he had to say to get elected, then enact as much of a Left agenda as this liberal Congress would allow and damn the consequences, on the theory that repealing it would take a Herculean political effort beyond the capacity of the Right (the “Krauthammer thesis”). In which case, his entire capaign was a bald-faced lie.

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  5. Profile Photo Member
    @AaronMiller

    Obama is a true believer. It’s worth remembering that such people exist and can rise to power. If Ahmadinejad is such a person, Iran’s nuclear facilities each have a map of the Middle East with a big target painted over Israel.

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  6. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Steve — For what it’s worth, I am knee-deep in a regulatory process at the Dept. of Education where true-believers have set about it seems to drive the for-profit post-secondary business (vocational schools, online universities, etc) out of business. What began with my being inclined to blame a few ideological political appointees and trust that the White House and the Secretary were aiming for a moderate course has left me convinced that this is a full-fledged (and brilliant) left wing campaign. I have heard from former policy staffers in the White House that this effort was designed and orchestrated by them from the beginning. So in this one tiny microcosm I see real evidence of what Aaron is describing. To understand what this will do and feel powerless to stop it is incredibly frustrating.

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