For four years, Congressional Democrats rallied around Barack Obama and his initiatives with undying loyalty – and without question. Now, as his fifth year comes to an end, those heady days appear to be over.
The time when Obama’s fellow Democrats automatically fell into lock-step line to do battle with Republicans over the direction of the country has been replaced by a sense of frustration among Democrats now weary of his indecisiveness, confusing and often changing messages, and overall lack of leadership. As a result, they are increasingly willing to defy him [with the exception of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, of course].
In recent weeks, disgruntled Democrats, particularly far-left liberals, have bolted from the White House on issues like National Security Agency surveillance policies, a planned military strike on Syria and the potential choice of Lawrence H. Summers to lead the Federal Reserve. In private, they often sound exasperated describing Obama’s operation; in public, they are sometimes only a little more restrained, as reported by The New York Times,
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, believes that a lack of strong leadership from the White House has created a vacuum:
“If you read the papers, you almost think the Republicans are in control. They’re constantly on the offensive. Democrats are on the defensive.
I think you’re going to see more independents saying, ‘Mr. President, we look forward to working with you, but we’re not simply going to accept your leadership and your ideas. We’re not going to follow you. You’re going to have to work with us.’”
As to be expected, the White House rushed to discount suggestions of trouble with Congressional Democrats, suggesting that all is well in Obama’s party, according to Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser:
“has received unprecedented support from his party in Congress. Of course we won’t agree on everything all the time — every family has its squabbles — but the periodic disagreements in the pale in comparison to the epic existential civil war for the soul of the Republican Party that is leading to so much dysfunction.”
This statement is humorous for several reasons.
First, it’s not true. Unless, of course, “unprecedented support” means breaking from Obama on Syria, refusing to be seen with Obama at 2012 Congressional campaign events and running as far away from ObamaCare as possible – except for Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid, that is.
Second, it’s childish. What 10-year-old, when accused of doing something wrong, doesn’t say, “”Yeah, but Billy hit Susie harder than I did!”, or “But mommy, Bobby started it!” Democrats simply cannot be criticized without reminding us how “worse” the Republicans are.
Third, it’s not true – again. The “epic existential civil war for the soul of the Republican Party” of which Pfeiffer speaks is this: Conservatives attempting to return the Republican Party to onservatism: limited government, lower taxes and a nonrestrictive business environment.(See: Obama’s attack on the coal industry.)
While Republicans may battle with Republicans and Democrats may battle with Democrats – they always have and they always will – this much is clear:
The once invincible Barack Hussein Obama who was going to heal the planet and show the oceans’ rise is no more. The clock has struck midnight. The emperor’s new clothes aren’t there after all. The “transformational” president has proved to be what his detractors said from the beginning: an inexperienced community organizer from Chicago who got swept up by Obamamania – along with far too many of our fellow citizens – twice.