The gentle currents of liberal discontent have now churned into a full-fledged vortex that threatens to further suck President Obama’s already dwindling support down to irrecoverable levels.
Clinton strategist James Carville has sounded the red alert by declaring that President Obama must “Fire somebody. No—fire a lot of people. This may be news to you [Mr. President] but this is not going well.” Carville’s immediate advice to Mr. Obama: “Panic.” As Carville puts it: “For God’s sake, why are we still looking at the same political and economic advisers that got us into this mess? It’s not working. Furthermore, it’s not going to work with the same team, the same strategy and the same excuses…It’s time to show them the exit. Wake up—show us you are doing something.”
Similarly, liberal economist Jeffrey Sachs crushed Leftist hearts on Obama’s economic leadership (lack thereof) when he announced on MSNBC of all places that:
“We’re almost three years into this administration, and there’s never been a plan. And that’s what everybody feels. And the president didn’t lead. He waited. The quintessential image, sadly, of an administration that I supported and hoped for much better, is the president waiting by the phone to hear what Congress calls to tell him. It doesn’t work in this country that way….We’ve been drifting down. And we had a short-term plan that failed. A short-term stimulus that was supposed to get the economy back on track, but it failed. And now we have nothing behind it. And we have no agreements, and we have no leadership. And, frankly, I do think it’s pretty odd the president’s on vacation right now. Normally I wouldn’t care about such things, but the world markets are in deep crisis. It’s no joke. This isn’t just an up-and-down little blip. This is a very serious situation.”
Adding power to the vortex is a new book by Ron Suskind, Confidence Men, that quotes Obama’s former Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers as telling Obama’s former OMB Director Peter Orszag that “we’re really home alone. I mean it. We’re home alone. There’s no adult in charge. Clinton would never have made these mistakes.”
Then there’s far Left economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman who recently confessed that America is “already in something that is functionally a depression.”
Even Mr. Obama’s electoral stronghold—support among his African American base—has begun to add power to the whirlwind. Congressional Black Caucus member Congresswoman Maxine Waters has said that the Obama economy’s creation of “Depression Era levels” of black unemployment are “unconscionable” and that Mr. Obama must speak directly to black America’s present economic freefall and the disappearance of America’s black middle class.
Other Black Caucus members, like Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, are also at the end of their rope with Mr. Obama but have thus far withheld their fire for fear of emboldening the president’s opponents. Still, says Congressman Cleaver, “If Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House.”
Black liberal discontent among those in academe has also joined the chorus of Democratic discontent. Princeton Professor Cornel West has dismissed Mr. Obama, whom he backed for president in 2008, as “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”
If Mr. Obama thought the announcement of his latest jobs bill was enough to still the roiling waters, he was wrong. Even as Mr. Obama stumps across America attempting to build support for his $447 billion stimulus plan and tries to use the plan as an electoral bludgeon against Republicans, members of his own party, not the opposition, are proving to be among his most vocal critics. “I think the American people are very skeptical of big pieces of legislation,” says Democratic Pennsylvania Senator Bill Casey. “For that reason alone I think we should break it up.”
Another Democrat, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu, has taken issue with the bill’s tax on the oil industry, an interest vital to her state’s struggling economy. “I have said for months that I am not supporting a repeal of tax cuts for the oil industry unless there are other industries that contribute.”
The Democratic senator who once ran a campaign ad featuring him blasting a rifle at the Obamacare bill, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, is now verbally blasting away at Mr. Obama’s new jobs plan. “I have serious questions about the level of spending that President Obama proposed.”
On the House side, Mr. Obama is also drawing Democratic fire. Congressman Peter A. DeFazio of Oregon is against the plan because it offers tax cuts. Others, like North Carolina Congressman Heath Shuler, have been noncommittal.
Further pulling Mr. Obama into the whirlwind is a growing movement within his own base that wants to see him face a serious primary challenger.
And as if all that weren’t devastating enough, the editor of Mr. Obama’s hometown newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, is now calling for Mr. Obama to withdraw from the 2012 entirely.
The velocity of the vortex Mr. Obama finds himself in will only strengthen as congressional Democrats draw nearer to the 2012 election; Democrats locked in tight races will increasingly need to distance themselves from—and in some cases outright reject—the president and his failed policies.
For all his GOP-bashing rhetoric, perhaps Mr. Obama’s real target should be the growing legion of liberals who stand ready to reject him. After all, it is their voices, not Republicans, powering the vortex that is pulling this president down deeper into the electoral abyss.