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Obama Has Become Predictable

June 23, 2009

It’s become a pattern: Something bad happens and the President reacts reluctantly, wishing he didn’t  have to deal with such things. Then he gets some heat from his political opponents and he sends out his people to defend him. He gets some more heat, maybe even from the other side of the political spectrum. The next statement you will hear from Obama will be worded with extra care, but not particularly different from what he has said initially. Only a day or more later, if the problem didn’t go away by itself, will Obama have made up his mind and step out with a changed message that intentionally picks a side and would have satisfied everyone had he said it on the first day. Of course, the White House will claim that all the time the message was consistent.

Someone tell the President that waiting for the results of opinion polls and statistical analyses on the quality of media coverage in order to decide whether he’s on the side of the Iranian people or with their thuggish regime is not exactly leadership. On the other hand, he’s probably aware of that. He just knows that the public’s memory is short and that if it takes him a week to finally send out a reasonably worded statement on the turmoil in Iran everybody will forget that he failed to react in a timely manner. Furthermore, Obama presumably thinks that not spoiling the chances for this ‘diversion’ to just go away on its own without him having to make a decision was worth the delay.

There is a lesson for Republicans in this behavioural pattern that Obama is exhibiting. Obama claims to be principled and, at least up to the first weeks of his presidency, he also claimed to be interested in bipartisanship. But he is neither. All that counts for Obama is his popularity. If the criticism becomes too loud for too long a time Obama will cave. If the GOP wants to stop Obamacare, cap-and-trade, and all the other horrid policy plans of the Obama administration what they have to do is criticise effectively. That means a) point out to the public what the problems with those policies really are (and there is a load to choose from) b) reach a broad audience and c) keep up the criticism for as long as possible. Obama may be eager to rush through his gigantic domestic agenda, but he’s not suicidal. When the public rejects his plans he will compromise. And the public will reject his plans when they see what they really are. Unfortunately, the mainstream media likes to shill for Obama, so the job of informing the public remains with conservatives.

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