Thursday, January 7, 2016

When Ego Runs Amuck, Here's What Happens . . .

It's quite clear now.
Quite clear to anyone who's paying attention, anyway.
Yes, it's quite clear that President Obama has no intention of ceding center stage.
Even though Obama may be entering the last full year of his presidency, he's reluctant to give up the spotlight. So, for him now (when he isn't golfing, soaking up the sun in Hawaii or Martha's Vineyard or hanging out with celebrities) every day is an increasingly desperate struggle to stay front and center.
The thought of no longer being The Star, The One, The All-Pervasive Obama haunts him as it would anyone with such deep-seated insecurities coupled with an overblown, glorious view of himself. Because, you do understand that these two go together, don't you?
So now we have Obama seizing the Big Moment (as Big Media cooperate) on the faux issue of guns.
Yes, we say "faux issue" for two reasons: 1) The overall rate of gun deaths in America has actually gone down in recent years and even many of those deaths are suicides and; 2) If Obama wanted gun control legislation he probably could have easily accomplished it in one form or another during his first two years in office when he had no impediments to legislative action since he enjoyed Democrat majorities in both the House and the Senate.
But Obama conveniently ignores the facts about gun violence and he chose not to move decisively for gun control from 2008 to 2011 because he was obsessed with Obamacare. That's all he really cared about. He wanted Obamacare not for you or I or any reliably valid reason. No, he wanted Obamacare for himself -- for his legacy; to feed his own vainglorious quest for Historical Significance.
Because with Obama, it always comes back to him.
That's why he's never embraced true coalition-building with Congress; why he's never attempted to craft any sort of compromise. That would be hard work. That would require give and take and heavy lifting. And this immature, petulant, self-absorbed man simply not cut out for that.
As for the tears that Obama shed earlier this week while surrounded by the families of the victims of gun violence, let's give the president the benefit of the doubt and say they were sincere, heartfelt tears. Let's say that his tears and his anger ("I get mad," he said) were genuine. Okay, then we must ask ourselves: Where were the tears for the victims of Benghazi? Where were the tears for the victims of the San Bernardino massacre? Where are the tears for the American service personnel killed in Afghanistan since Obama declared our mission there over? Where are the tears for the countless Christians raped, murdered, slaughtered, beheaded by Isis?
Where were the tears?
No, with Obama the tears are always very selective.
And they seem to appear precisely when such drama seems to be in his interest; at just the right moment; just the right time; just when he's successfully seized the spotlight, as if on cue.
But a lame duck president is just that: a lame duck.
And no amount of manipulation can change that.
Sure, there may have to be a legal battle over Obama's brazen use of what he perceives to be executive power. And it may get messy and protracted. But, so be it.
Because time is running out.
The clock is ticking away.
And America's attention is turning elsewhere.
Many Americans (to put it mildly) have Obama fatigue. And a majority have already counted him among our less successful presidents since 1950. Indeed, they've placed him in the bottom half if not the bottom third or quarter.
Our interest is turning elsewhere -- to a new set of personalities and a new agenda.
Which simply means that Obama is entering a difficult phase.
And it's likely that his next set of tears will be similar to the tears he shed on the day after election day, 2012. Do you remember that? Do you remember how Obama openly wept as he talked to his young volunteers about his victory in the last electoral race he would ever run? Remember how he talked about the way he got started and compared himself to the young activists carefully and strategically assembled in front of him?
Do you remember that?
And the media dutifully soaked it all up; dwelling on the moment when "no drama Obama" (the original Mr. Cool) went soft and got all theatrical and weepy.
But the youthful, true believers were merely props.
It wasn't really about them.
Once again, it was about Obama.
Because for Obama, it's always about Obama.
But for America (and the rest of the world as well) it's increasingly not about Obama. Our eyes and our minds have turned.
Our thoughts and images have less and less to do with Obama and more and more to do without the next chapter, the next round, the next person.
And if that person is the right person, our hearts and our souls will settle there as well.
Inexorably, we're moving on.
And if that's a weepy prospect for Obama, then he'd better hang his tears out to dry Because he'll find no shoulders to cry on here.

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