Obama Agonistes

Barack Obama and a liberal.

Liberals who talk about what a brilliant political strategist President Obama is are on a par with conservatives who talk about what a great war leader George W. Bush was. Consider the recent incident in which the plane carrying Bolivian president Evo Morales was diverted and forced to land, supposedly because somebody thought Edward Snowden might be on it. What did Obama hope to gain by doing this? (And it’s pretty clear that Obama must have been behind this.) Did he wish to show the whole world that he is willing to trample on international law just to punish a whistleblower? He just made himself look petty and ridiculous.

Or consider Obama’s recent decision to delay until 2015 implementing the requirement of the Affordable Care Act that companies with 50 or more employees supply them with health insurance. One website has hailed this as a brilliant tactical move that will rob the Republicans of a talking point during the 2014 congressional elections. In fact, the decision makes Obama appear weak. Also, it suggests that he lacks confidence in his own much ballyhooed health care bill. And then there’s the obvious fact that this decision is a betrayal of all those people who thought they were going to get employee health insurance in 2014. (I guess they will just have to cross their fingers and hope that they don’t get sick for another year.)

The sequester that Obama foolishly agreed to will likely kill off the weak economic recovery. The president and his party will be blamed for this, and the result will be Republican victories in congressional and local elections. That means more Republican officeholders with their reactionary social views and their anti-labor legislation.

Ah, but nothing can shake the admiration that some liberals have for Obama. Decades from now, liberal historians will be talking about the strategic brilliance of a president who accomplished virtually nothing.

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