From Daniel Henninger:
Here’s a quiz: For which of the following reasons is the 44th president of the United States bad-mouthing Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, bankers, mine operators, insurers, Glenn Beck, the tea party, the Supreme Court and whoever he hammers as we go to press:
a) He’s rallying his base.
b) He’s rallying the Democrats’ base (one overlaps but does not equal the other).
c) He’s changing the subject from 9% unemployment.
d) To reverse his sinking approval ratings.
e) It’s what Saul Alinsky would do.
f) It’s what Barack Obama likes to do.
Astute readers instantly saw that the answer is, all of the above.
There may be any number of good, political reasons for Mr. Obama to let it rip. But let’s cut to the real reason this is happening. The answer is (f): It’s what Barack Obama likes to do.
And it’s a mistake.
Even Achilles had a heel, and Mr. Obama’s may be his decision to be his own Saul Alinsky. Defining, demonizing and making a mockery of one’s opponents was one of Alinsky’s main rules for community organizers. But community organizers, though often charismatic, can also be annoying jerks.
The only Barack Obama the American people have ever known is the one presented to them from January 2007 onward—the amazing, improbable fellow in “Dreams from My Father.” Candidate Obama was about as perfect as it ever gets. The best since JFK.
JFK, an imperfect man, worked hard to stay perfect in public. So did FDR and Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. For Barack Obama to believe that any persona he offers the public will be OK with them is hubris. Showing voters a side of him that he enjoys, but many of them may not, is flirting with disaster. If all the positive vibe that held up his presidency on its first day ever breaks, the fall could be fast.
And why does Obama like to be a jerk to these people? I think it is more accurate to say that he sees these people as the jerks and, therefore, feels justified in fighting back in a jerky way. But why does he see them as jerks?
To Obama, solutions to society’s problems abound. This is one of the defining characteristics of Leftism. And these solutions are all achievable but for the insurers and the bankers and the Sarah Palins and the Rush Limbaughs and the Glenn Becks that stand in their way. Obama has no concept of the tragedy of the human condition. He has no inkling that these people have a completely different conception of knowledge and solutions which, to them, are almost always only trade-offs. If he did—if he actually understood how and why they come to the conclusions they do—he would cease seeing them as jerks.