Thursday, May 17, 2012

Faith: Barack Obama or George Michael?

Polls still show Obama leading against Romney. And likely, they'll continue to show that right up until Election Day, since Obama still enjoys widely favorable treatment from a great majority of the press. The process of vetting Romney has reached all the way back to 1965. Vetting Obama? We're lucky if the press goes back to 2009, now. With massive economic policy failures and all kinds of slimy deals, involving things from solar panels to vaccines, the Administration has plenty of foibles. But they're roundly ignored, in favor of pieces on Romney's conduct as a teenager.

Still, the President feels put upon, thinks he's getting hammered in the media. Somehow. Peter Wehner describes how--when questioned about the upcoming election--Obama seamlessly makes it appear that's he'll have a difficult time:
In his appearance on ABC’s “The View,” President Obama was asked how tight he thinks the campaign against Mitt Romney will be. To which the president responded, “When your name is Barack Obama, it’s always tight.”
Right. It's always tight. Except when it's not. As Wehner shows, Obama basically cruised to victory over McCain by garnering well over 50% of the popular vote and winning States like Virginia and Indiana that had been in pocket of Republicans--in Presidential Elections--for decades. Obama won his seat in the U.S. Senate with a whopping 70% of the vote. Could things have been any tighter?

So Obama still leads in the polls, despite having no record to speak of, no list of great accomplishments to run on. Indeed, as Charles Krauthammer points out, Obama's current slogan might as well be "I promise you again that I will do something that I promised you in '08.'"

Charles Blow unintentionally captures the truth of the "why" in his recent NYT article. Blow--hardcore Obama sycophant--cites a Gallup poll that shows most people think Obama will win reelection:
Fifty-six percent of Americans think Barack Obama will win the 2012 presidential election, compared with 36 percent who think Mitt Romney will win. Democrats are more likely to believe that Obama will win than Republicans are to believe Romney will. Independents are nearly twice as likely to think that Obama, rather than Romney, will prevail.
Blow makes a great deal of hay from this poll, pointing out that the American people are usually right, when their opinions on who they think will win an election are tallied (not a very surprising thing, given that they determine who wins through their votes). But regardless, there is an obvious "enthusiasm gap" between the two candidates, with other polls showing that a fair majority of Obama supporters (64%) think he deserves to be reelected. But why? No reasons are given, no list of accomplishments. Just one thing that Blow notes in his conclusion:
Many of Obama’s supporters are devout believers.
That's it, the core of why Obama still leads. Obama says things are tight because his name is Barack Obama. And he's actually right. If his name was Fred Gompers, he'd be getting creamed in the polls right now. But it's not, it's Barack Obama, the messiah, the one who will heal the Earth, who will cause the seas to recede, who will save us all.

His support is largely a matter of faith now, not reason. His most ardent supporters--many of them in the media--have helped the President successfully create a cult of personality. The quintessential reelection question--"Are you better off now than four years ago?"--that propelled Reagan to victory and has been used by incumbent and challenger alike since then is moot for Obama's supporters. As is the Clinton observation "It's the economy, stupid." Neither matter. Because you've got to have faith...faith in Obama. Period.

And in that light, George Michael's 1987 mega-hit--Faith--speaks the truth:
Before this river
Becomes an ocean
Before you throw my heart back on the floor
Oh baby I reconsider
My foolish notion
Well I need someone to hold me
But I'll wait for something more
Obama is willing to hold us, to tell us what we want to hear, to promise us whatever we want. But we'd do better to wait for something more...

Cheers, all.

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