August 6, 2010

HE CAN'T LOSE CONGRESS FAST ENOUGH:

Obama: Not the Great Stone Face: Obama could still restore his standing with the American people if he copied the Clinton of 1995 and abandoned his unpopular agenda. But he won’t. (Victor Davis Hanson, 8/06/10, National Review)

In 1850 Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote an allegory about a series of small-town would-be heroes who the gullible public claimed resembled the Great Stone Face on the side of a New Hampshire mountain. The citizens assumed that these men would have a granite-like ability to stand firm against whatever dangers the people faced. (“About this time there went a rumor throughout the valley, that the great man, foretold from ages long ago, who was to bear a resemblance to the Great Stone Face, had appeared at last.”) The most confident and charismatic of these quick-fix characters — Mr. Gathergold, Old Blood-and-Thunder, and Old Stony Phiz — always in the end proved failures, as the people finally learned that they did not have the qualities they ascribed to the face on mountain. [...]

There is a growing desperation among politicians that the populace perceives them as pretty much alike — alike in the sense of not being appealing. In Obama’s case, the charge is doubly serious, because he made extravagant claims that our first community organizer and our first African-American to become president — and our most purely liberal president in a generation — would be different, as in bringing a new humility and competence to the office.[...]

The odd thing is that the entire country senses how Obama could restore his ratings to over 50 percent in the same way Clinton did in 1995. He would simply call in Republicans to work out a deal to balance the budget, quit his two-year “Bush did it” whine, stop suing the states, reassure business that there will be no more tax hikes, praise the private sector for its ingenuity and competence, stop trying to appeal to his base through race and ethnicity, and get engaged on Afghanistan.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 6, 2010 5:41 AM
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