President Barack Obama is angry at God for making it rain in Chicago, and irked at the oil spill, making him pack up in between his vacations and make trips to the Gulf of Mexico. Ideologues argue about whether corporations or government tend to be the least competent, ignoring the proof that the answer is both of them. And Democrats are having their own kind of crisis, a sort of buyer’s remorse.
Messiah Fatigue is what happens when your messiah turns into a millstone, and the force that was supposed to boost you into divine and deep power seems more of an anchor instead. Democrats are bewildered.
“A lot of our people have no idea what we’re doing,” a Democratic House member told the Los Angeles Times. And David Obey complained that “Obama’s ability to use his bully pulpit to build support for health care and other crises had been eclipsed by the oil spill crisis,” causing James Taranto to note unkindly that, as the health care vote came a month before the crisis erupted, “the explosion created a disruption in the space-time continuum that is causing millions of gallons of oil to leak into the past.”
Apparently, they washed back as far as November, when they eclipsed his ability to elect Creigh Deeds and Jon Corzine as governors, not to mention eclipsing his power (in January) to stymie the fast-moving surge of Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass.
“Obama’s mixed electoral record has perplexed operatives who thought his charisma and tactical skill would yield a stronger-than-ever Democratic majority,” Anne Kornblut reported. Instead, it produced a revival among the Republicans, who just a few months ago appeared moribund.
How did this happen, if he was the anointed? Inquiring minds want to know. Inquiring minds have a few other questions, in light of the gap between promise and fact.
How did he turn health care into a wedge issue against his own party? Why are we awash in a sea of dead pelicans? Why has he so much time on his hands for fundraisers and galas?
Jonathan Alter blames the whole thing on President George W. Bush, whose bad karma neutralized Obama’s best instincts, but, based on the comments, this was too much to bear even for readers of Newsweek. The Washington Post has Newsweek on the block, perhaps for saying Obama was God once too often, at the same time the Democrats may want to unload their messiah, a lightly used model, with one or two dings.
They should put them both up as a boxed set on eBay. There may be some takers there yet.
Examiner columnist Noemie Emery is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of “Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families.”