The Democratic Party of Harry S Truman has been a long time gone. It was a shell of itself since at least when Buba showed up and perhaps long before. Clever Elephants found out that they could get the Blue Collar workers to vote against their economic interests by a not so subtitle appeal to bigotry and the reptile brain. Thus was Nixxon's wedge issue politics born. It was born of anger; it was born of crass racism; it was born of anti-intellectualism; it was born of fear.
BHO has stripped his tactics right out of Tricky Dick's play book. He even found a useful idiot politician to play his attack-dog sock puppet. Mary Landrieu is channeling Spiro T. Agnew's dark and evil soul. Seeing as she is from Louisiana it is no surprise that she is also channeling Agnew's penchant for being bribed.
In an odd way it is a good thing that BHO decided to go full bore for Howard Dean. It is a good thing that he is acting like a photocopy of the shrub. Let him lie furiously, let him fear-monger and tell whoppers. Let him truly reveal his soulless technocrat personality. Let his epic hubris and cynicism be shown. Let the Progressive movement know exactly what they are dealing with. Let us finally get the memo of how naked this particular Chicago Political Operator and Emperor is.
By going after Dean, Obama finally proves how politically out of synch he is. Dean is no meek lamb to the slaughter. The man has some sharp elbows. Ask Hillary, she knows. Dean is the man that led an insurgency against official Washington before. He and his grass roots organizing acumen seized the DNC from the dead hand of the Beltway before. To borrow a phrase from Douglas Addams, this is a man you dare not cross without a team of Sherpas. Obama has misjudged Dean; he has let Rahm Emanuel deaden his political antennae. Dean has some real political chits he can call in. Remember his brother runs DFA. Remember Howard's fifty state program laid the groundwork for many up and coming politicians. More importantly Howard Dean speaks to the Democratic Party's soul. His message of rejection, his principled stand, is acid to the base metal of BHO's shallow political gamesmanship.
Since the subject is political gamesmanship, let us dispose of one of the more absurd claims made about BHO by his partisans; that he is a fourth quarter player. If what we are witnessing now is meant by Barack's last minute gamesmanship, then he is the most pathetic of sand lot players. The hapless Ryan Leaf of the epically awful year 2000 edition of the San Diego Chargers was a better field captain than Obama is proving to be. At least Leaf won his first two games.
The only good thing about Obama's first year is that it now just about over. It is hard to remember a politician who so recklessly squandered the good will of the voters of the U.S. It is hard to recall a politician who was so unschooled in the realities of political Washington. It is hard to find a man or woman in the top tier of politics who so easily surrendered the field to his or her opponents. It is long past wake up and smell the coffee for Obama, someone in the White House needs to dump a 30 cup urn of hot Arabica on his thick head.
Health care reform is dead Obama's disengaged leadership helped to kill it. He foolishly allowed the Senate its own way. Barack ignorantly telegraphed his position to hostile parties. The president early on surrendered the baby, the bathwater, the towel and the rubber duck by inviting the "principles" to participate in the process. He thought you were playing poker when what the opposition was playing was 51 card pick up. Instead of going to war against the real opponents he decided to attack one of his best ground commanders. What part of the Republican's "we hope Obama fails" did he not understand?
One of the most dangerous things a politician can do is believe their own propaganda. Obama is acting like he really believes that he is a transformative politician. He acts like he thinks that he alone will be able to solve the partisan divide. He acts like he believes that he alone will, by the force of his wonderful personality, heal the nation by enlightened compromise. He acts like he still does not understand that the Republicans are acting in bad faith. He acts like he does not understand how degraded the opposition has become; that they have fallen into viciousness, ignorance and spite.
Not being a mind reader one cannot really know what Barack Obama thinks or believes. One can only look at results. The results of the last year are of a politician far too full of himself for his own good. If the results are those of a self-absorbed, clueless politician with no moral center, then it high time to act as if that is Barack Obama's default position.