Monday, January 25, 2010

The hubris of Barack Obama

If the Democrats suffer the sort of losses this November that they seem poised to endure, they can point to President Obama's arrogant assumption that the magnitudes encompassed within his magnificent person are enough to counter any electoral problems Democrats might be facing. Listen to what Blude Dog Democrat Representative Marion Berry had to say as Berry decided to retire rather than face a tough reelection.
Berry can’t get 1994 out of his mind, the year when Republicans gained 54 seats in the House of Representatives, sweeping to power there for the first time since 1954.

Republicans also seized the Senate, picking up eight seats.

Berry, who represents northeast Arkansas in Congress, criticizes his own party regarding current health-care legislation, calling it an “ideological effort” driven by “political ambition.”

Berry and the 4th District’s Ross credited the Blue Dog coalition of fiscally conservative Democrats, of which they are leading members, with working to tailor the House bill to take into account the concerns their constituents are raising.

Berry recounted meetings with White House officials, reminiscent of some during the Clinton days, where he and others urged them not to force Blue Dogs “off into that swamp” of supporting bills that would be unpopular with voters back home.

“I’ve been doing that with this White House, and they just don’t seem to give it any credibility at all,” Berry said. “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.’ We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.”

To underscore his point, Berry quoted former Texas Rep. Charles Stenholm, a fellow conservative Democrat, who said after the 1994 Republican landslides: “the Democrats had worked like hell to get into the minority and we were not going to give it up easily.”
"You've got me." Tell that to Creigh Deeds, Jon Corzine, and Martha Coakley. They had him also and it didn't seem to make one bit of difference. Berry's point is that the policies this president is following are what is harming Democrats. Obama just doesn't get it. Having him come spread his magnificence for these candidates won't help if it is his own policies that people are upset about.

With an attitude like that, don't expect any Clintonian sort of triangulating adjustment to electoral setbacks by this administration. Why should they adjust. The've got The One."