Comment of the Day: “Nobody Should Be Cheering The Poll Showing President Obama As Regarded As ‘The Worst President Since World War II'”

ObamaVeteran Ethics Alarms commenter Glenn Logan scores his fourth Comment of the Day, but his first in two years. (He’s been busy.) Here are Glenn’s observations on the recent post regarding a poll showing widespread public disappointment in President Obama’s performance, and the conservative gloating about it in some quarters. The post was Nobody Should Be Cheering The Poll Showing President Obama As Regarded As “The Worst President Since World War II”

Two things strike me about this:

1. The problem is, we put too much on Obama’s shoulders. We (collectively) asked him to change the culture of Washington in return for our vote. Failing to do that was inevitable, and our seeing is as his personal failure is more a reflection of our own incompetence as voters (we are the only ones who can change Washington) and the imputation of superhuman status to an iconic (i.e. “post-racial” president) than Obama’s.

2. There is a heck of a gap between failure and excellence. The problem is, Obama’s hubris, which is at the root of all his problems, has produced in his presidency exactly what it usually produces in other walks of life: Misjudgment, tone-deaf partisanship, arrogant dissimulation, and a complete failure to lead. This is objectively where he went wrong, rather than merely running afoul of unfairly elevated expectations and partisan infighting.

We asked Obama to do what we are charged with doing. That was our failure. President Obama failed to execute his office with even minimal competence, and then blamed everyone but himself. Not only that, the American people invested so much in the idea of “change” that his allies felt could not afford even a semblance of disagreement.

So collectively, they did what people almost always do in that situation — circled the wagons and acted like the failure was success in hopes of convincing as many people as possible. They are still certain (because they think they can’t afford not to be) that Obama’s presidency is fully dressed, despite the evidence of their own eyes.

It’s always bad for us when our leaders fail, and schadenfreude is an inevitable, if unfortunate reaction. The irony of celebrating failure and the concomitant lessening of our country is tragic comedy worthy of Shakespeare.

5 thoughts on “Comment of the Day: “Nobody Should Be Cheering The Poll Showing President Obama As Regarded As ‘The Worst President Since World War II'”

  1. Actually, he volunteered to change the culture of Washington. We were looking for someone to lead the country, and that’s what he put forth as his offer. We took him up on it – more the fools we – and in many ways, he’s delivered. Either he’s brought the muckraking out into the sunlight, or created so much of it that it’s spilling forth – or both, I suppose.

    He’s far too prone to shrugging off responsibility – I’ll not do it for him. He is a failure as a leader.

  2. ” The problem is, we put too much on Obama’s shoulders. We (collectively) asked him to change the culture of Washington in return for our vote. ”

    Bullshit.

    Obama came out of left field with a message of change in Washington. “Yes We Can, Yes We Can!” Nationally, no one knew the Junior Senator. He was interviewed, made promises and volunteered issues that separated him from the pack. So much so, that the masses, not knowing it was a giant pile of bull, decided to give him a chance. And now that he’s failed, spectacularly, to do what he said he would…. You want to give him a pass because our expectations were too high? Expectations that he do what he said he was going to do, based on promises he made to get to the top spot in the nation?

    If your point was that we need a more knowledgeable electorate, and have more reasonable expectations, I agree. But I refuse to take any amount of blame for being lied to.

    • 1. I don’t think Glenn is arguing that O isn’t accountable. He’s arguing that “we” projected impossible expectations on a blank slate. Actually, this isn’t that unusual at all in our history. Washington, Jackson, Grant, Ike, Kennedy…it was the same thing.

      2. I do think Obama was trapped by circumstance. He ran for practice and exposure…who knows? Maybe if he had spent another term or so in the Senate, he might have been better qualified when he ran for President. As with this cycle, everyone assumed Hillary would just coast in. He was elected before he was ready, and couldn’t rise to the occasion.

      • The thing is…. Hillary FOUGHT for that nomination. At any point, Obama could have dialed it back a little and waited eight years to gain more experience. He made the decision not to. I doubt it would have helped though (figure 1.1 below is an ascii diagram of Obama’s learning curve.).

        Figure 1.1
        President Obama’s Learning Curve

        ———————————————————————————-

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