Obama should make good on rhetoric

By Alan Henry, Special to the BDN
Posted Nov. 08, 2010, at 2:52 p.m.

I give the Obama phenomenon a grade of D — for divisiveness, disingenuousness, demonizing and subsequent dishonor. This outcome is a far cry from the hope and change that was the Obama machine’s sloganeering mantra during his election campaign.

Now, with midterm elections over, that sloganeering begs the question, what kind of “change” and “hope”? Was it, as he stated, his objective to “fundamentally change America”? And, to what? Or was it disingenuous sloganeering, given Obama and the Democrats’ rhetoric and style to bludgeon through their process with bribes, threats, bullying and even lies, while demonizing those who dared to disagree.

The real, initial substance that the Obama administration brought to our nation, and its capital, was good old-fashioned, recognizable, dirty Chicago politics — an embodiment of the style of Al Capone and company (look good, talk good, smell good, but in the final analysis — no good).

Studying Obama’s supporting cast of enablers and his own style of self-promotion, with questionably attainable pronouncements of goals and soaring rhetoric behind a likable and charismatic style, it’s not hard to see why he won the election. Maybe he should have, but campaigning and governance are two different disciplines. In governance, he has failed, and in so doing he has pulled his party, and the nation, down to the level of his incompetence.

Likability is not leadership, and charisma offers little in displaying competence. The style of Obama’s campaign was using heated exaggerations and outlandish fantasy and to charge that those who opposed his goals had some deep conspiracy hidden within their rhetoric. We have learned, sadly, that the conspiracy that existed, if any, was within the Obama campaign itself, masking its real intentions. This finally surfaced with “Joe the Plumber,” in what is now his famous question, and Obama’s infamous, divisive, convicting answer of his intentions to “spread the wealth.”

The latter is a major part of the basis for the current political and moral unrest that has swept over our country. Part and parcel of that unrest is the resulting 9.6 percent unemployment rate and the health care issue, advanced by elitist bravado and ignoring the wishes of 65 to 70 percent of the electorate.

Then there is cap and trade, big and bigger government, immigration reform, the national debt, tax relief, if any, and that’s just the beginning. All this is played out irresponsibly with elitist and statist bravado.

The electorate has turned against not only the Obama leadership style (“Teleprompter Barack”), but also the mainstream press. In their case, they are in no small measure responsible for a good part of the tea party movement, in part for choosing to ignore the massively swelling national debt.

As for Obama’s “newfound” message in harsh rhetorical musings and blasphemy against those that disagree with him, don’t support him, or his administration, they are now subjects for comedic relief on cable. Obama has not yet earned the trust of the American people, as his disapproval percentages document.

The midterm elections were more than a vote on local issues. There is far more at risk today. It is the rekindling of our nation’s heritage, direction and the political road its electorate wants it to travel, domestically as well as in foreign affairs.

It boils down to this: “The president proposes, Congress disposes.” Obama is but part of the problem, the other part is the legislators we send to Washington.

Alan Henry of Northport is the retired CEO of Anchor Media.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/11/08/opinion/obama-should-make-good-on-rhetoric/ printed on July 28, 2014