It’s Obama, Not the American People, Who Won’t Listen

December 2, 2016

You have to give President Barack Obama credit for one thing: consistency. Nothing is ever his fault. Nothing will ever be his fault. Faulting Fox News and the American people, on the other hand, now that’s a different story.

Do you remember when Obama traipsed around the country and desperately pleaded with Americans to vote for Hillary Clinton because his agenda and his legacy were on the ballot? He made a similar pitch before the shellacking his party took in the 2014 congressional elections.

Yet did he acknowledge after this 2014 failing that he had anything to do with it? Does he own up to his leading role in last month’s presidential election?

Let’s rewind the tape further, to Obama’s reaction to his party’s stunning defeat in the 2010 congressional elections, which was largely about Obamacare. He didn’t acknowledge any personal culpability for visiting that monstrosity on the American people through trickery and deceit. He simply lamented that he hadn’t done a good enough job getting the message out to the American people about it, despite his 50 propaganda speeches trying to persuade us to ignore our lying eyes.

Do you see the pattern here? Obama’s view is that the American people — those in the red states, anyway — are a little slow, paranoid and bigoted and need to be brought along carefully into the 21st century, where progressivism has ushered in a new age of enlightenment. His only failing has been in inadequately re-educating the bitter clingers.

Let me give you another example. Remember Obama’s depiction of the Islamic State group as “a JV team”? How about his claim, the night before the terrorist massacres in Paris, that the Islamic State was “contained”?

Did he ever acknowledge his errors there? No. Again, his only failing was in not having communicated sufficiently his counterterrorism strategies to the American people. He said his strategy against the Islamic State was working. (This was before, as I recall, his admission that he had no policy.) The problem was that saturated media coverage after the Paris attacks was fueling terror fears in the United States. He said: “We haven’t, on a regular basis, I think, described all the work that we’ve been doing for more than a year now to defeat” the Islamic State. “If you’ve been watching television for the last month, all you’ve been seeing, all you’ve been hearing about is these guys with masks or black flags who are potentially coming to get you. And so I understand why people are concerned about it.”

Again, there’s nothing to see here. It’s not a terrorism problem but a perception problem. There’s no Obamacare problem; it’s just that the American people don’t get it.

Even liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd acknowledged, in 2012, that Obama and his wife, Michelle, are condescending and aloof. The Obamas “do believe in American exceptionalism — their own, and they feel overassaulted and underappreciated,” she wrote. The Obamas haven’t disappointed Americans; “we disappointed them.”

Even earlier, in February 2010, Obama pledged to “listen” to Republicans at a health care summit. But, as columnist Joseph Curl wrote, “turns out he meant he’d be listening to his own voice. By the end of the televised event, Mr. Obama had spoken for 119 minutes — nine minutes more than the 110 minutes consumed by 17 Republicans. The 21 Democratic lawmakers used 114 minutes, giving the president and his supporters a whopping 233 minutes.”

And why do the rubes keep misperceiving Obama’s greatness? Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity.

In a recently published interview with Rolling Stone, Obama denied that he and his party overlooked the “cohort of working-class white voters” that supposedly accounted for Donald Trump’s victory. Absolutely not his fault. “Part of it,” said Obama, “is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country, but part of it is also Democrats not working at a grass-roots level, being in there, showing up, making arguments.”

The challenge Democrats have, according to Obama, is not that they’ve neglected these communities from a policy perspective. “What is true, though, is that whatever policy prescriptions that we’ve been proposing don’t reach, are not heard by, the folks in these communities. And what they do hear is ‘Obama or Hillary are trying to take away (your) guns’ or ‘they disrespect you.'”

I repeat: This guy is remarkably, incorrigibly consistent. He has made no policy errors; his message just isn’t getting through, partly because the conservative media are lying about it and partly because people are just too darned dense.

I hate to keep bringing up the past, but his war on the conservative media is nothing new, either. I wrote about it in 2010 in my book “Crimes Against Liberty.” He began snubbing Fox reporters at news conferences for insufficiently pandering. The White House blog regularly denounced Fox News and other critics. White House communications director Anita Dunn recommended a “rapid response” to counteract “Fox’s blows” against the administration, calling Fox News “part of the Republican Party.” Presidential adviser David Axelrod said Fox News Channel is “not really a news station.”

Remember when Obamacare’s principal architect, Jonathan Gruber, openly admitted that the Obama administration was able to deceive the American people about Obamacare and chalked it up to “the stupidity of the American voter”?

So go ahead and cry us a river about how the conservative media are mistreating you, Mr. Obama, and misleading the public. You have been trying to deceive us for eight years, and the public has been onto you for at least 6 1/2 of those years. Now voters have handed you your biggest spanking yet, and you still will not listen. You can’t listen. It’s not what you do. But the American people have been listening, and they do understand your policies. And it’s a new day in America.