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Sunday, January 24th 2010

12:16 PM

Misplaced populism

   It was not that long ago that a newly inaugurated President Obama, projecting an image of sure-footed confidence, stood on the steps of the capitol, chiding his critics about the shifting sand beneath them. Now with his poll numbers in free fall and reeling from election defeats where establishment democrats supporting his agenda were rejected despite the political clout he expended on their behalf, the president seems desperate to find solid ground.

   Being a community organizer and Senator, Obama has had the luxury of being able to call both sides of the coin. As a community organizer Obama’s job was to marshal the mob against an economic or government institution in an effort to strong-arm an executive or politician into finding a solution to some perceived injustice. In essence create a problem and force someone else to solve it. As a Senator, much like other senators he could support a certain course action with his vote then act as a bystander if the results of that action are unpopular or unsuccessful. For example railing  against “fat-cat bankers” and bailouts, but voting for the TARP legislation. Now he is President and the buck stops with him, there is no one left to organize against. Being President has exposed some serious flaws in the Obama image, for one he is visibly angered by the public’s opposition to various elements of his agenda. It is not just Health care. Cap & trade, his approach to national security, foreign policy or  immigration, Obama’s Ideas are not inline with the electorate.  In a recent interview with George Stephanopoulos the President more or less said that the people just don’t get it.

   In an effort to regain his footing and rally the pitchforks to his cause, Obama has renewed his attacks on Wall Street and the financial sector. The president has rolled out a new theme in his recent speeches saying repeatedly “that the people want their money back.”  This is curious considering that the majority of the American people were against the TARP legislation and the uncertainty caused by his attacks over the past week has been a major factor in driving the markets into negative territory, that’s real money being lost, not just by “fat cat bankers” but fixed income retires and just about any worker with a 401k. Once again, as on his inauguration day Obama has fatally misread the political landscape with his misplaced populism. The rest of his agenda will offer no salvation from his political free fall and the incessant blaming of his predecessor will only endear him to a minuscule potion of the electorate, lashing out at the Voter will endear him to no one. Obama either fails or refuses to see that the forces behind his recent setbacks are pushing in the opposite direction. The people who determined the outcomes of the VA, NJ and Massachusetts elections, organized the massive march on D.C. and overflowed from tea-parties into townhall meetings are not interested in centralized government solutions, they seek a rollback of the overbearing bureaucracy that has stagnated our economy and set its aim on the individual liberty of the citizen. 

Anthony D Dolpies
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