I confess to buying into some of Dinesh D’Souza presentations of Obama’s narcissism and identity confusion. This still left me incomplete though. After Obama’s reelection I was 50% stymied and 50% shocked. “How did this guy get reelected”? The pat answers of his having ran against Romney fell hopelessly short of credibility.
David Rothkopf in analyzing the 2014 US mid-terms in Foreign Policy offered the epiphany that broke through the log jam I was suffering through.
In the wake of Tuesday’s elections, U.S. President Barack Obama cuts a lonely figure. In fact, he may end his term of office as the most isolated president since Richard Nixon. If that is the case, it will largely be a plight of his own making.
The isolation starts with the fact that from the beginning, for the president and his campaign team, it was never about the Democratic Party. It was never about the rest of their team in the administration. It was never about a network of international relationships. It was always about one man who was the product, the messenger, the mission, and the raison d’être all wrapped into one. And for the next two years, it seems highly likely that any brave post-election faces they try to put on this to the contrary, Obama will reap the results of his political and policy narcissism in a way that will not only be difficult for him personally but will be bad for America and its role in the world.
Rothkopf still persists or at least reads that way to me that Obama’s personal narcissism is the root of the problem. This is where I disagree and where I have found myself finally basking in the light I was searching for since 2006.
Barack Obama is not without his own hopes,ideas and beliefs. Although I find him pretty empty all things considered this really falls more on the ability angle than the intellectual. Obama represents a truly manufactured candidate. He was formed and vetted by others and ensconced in a shell of imagery and sound bite that as Rothkopf notes made him “the product”. In a way one could easily make a pseudo psychiatric diatribe about how a man who was a boy abandoned by his father he fell victim to folks like David Axelrod & Co. I don’t believe Obama is fully a victim in this matter though so I won’t go there,well not too much.
Like many celebrities and politicians Obama obviously bought into the hype surrounding him. I think the big difference with Obama as opposed to his predecessors is the level to which the hype was so much bigger than the man,so separated from the man.
If Obama’s ascension to the Presidency was to be viewed in astronomy terminology he truly was a supernova. This includes the thought that his potential burned out as fast as it was bright. The promise that was the product was doomed to fail regardless of Republican obstructionism. As Rothkopf captures when he states:
…from the beginning, for the president and his campaign team, it was never about the Democratic Party.
This truth manifested itself in Obama’s attitude during the early days of crafting the ACA. Folks like Dean,Daschle and Reid were resentful that the toil was so fully tossed upon them and others in the Party without the full benefit of some of that supernova energy.
Some of Obama’s other early actions further alienated the Democrats. Gitmo and other foreign policy ventures were a mixed bag and issues stemming from Eric Holder had to be concerns. I have a new level of respectful political appreciation for (D)’s who had to wonder deep down why their President and alleged Messiah was involved in matters like the Cambridge PD/Gates affair and the Olympics bid for Chicago. I phrase this the way I have to underline an appreciation for logic as opposed to the red meat rhetoric of the Right on the same matters.
President Obama is in a dark place right now but America is too. The POTUS is undoubtedly isolated from friend and foe alike. People should not confuse party dominance in Congress as being a united or even functional Congress. The idea that the need for compromise has somehow left the building is inane. The headlines question Obama’s ability to actually work with the GOP. This is a good question since Obama has not really worked well with anyone at the playground since he got there.
These are the points that matter now that November 4th is in the rearview mirror. Some of the road we have travelled still matters greatly but it is what is up ahead that needs to draw our focus now.