Barack Obama doesn't let reality get him down, and he doesn't think we should, either. In the face of his failed policies, President Obama still considers himself an inspirational figure, one who can magically convince the benighted masses, through better "stories" and his power to "inspire," that our perception of reality is faulty:
The mistake of my first term – couple of years – was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times. It’s funny – when I ran, everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job? And in my first two years, I think the notion was, ‘Well, you know, he’s been juggling and managing a lot of stuff, but where’s the story that tells us where he’s going?’ And I think that was a legitimate criticism. And so getting out of this town and spending more time with the American people, listening to them and also then being in a conversation with them about where do we go tog as a country I need to do a better job of that in my second term.Blaming poor "messaging" of the policies instead of the policies themselves is nothing new. But after three and a half years, with the depressing results staring us in the face, he still insists the problem is in the marketing? Even more disturbing, the man who clearly adores the sound of his own voice plans to be even "more inspiring" in his second term. On the spectrum between con man and megalomaniac, he just shifted a bit more toward the latter. What he must think of us, so dense that even his magic can't penetrate our thick skulls. He'll have to zap us with his industrial-strength inspiro-rays next time around. If there is a next time. If there isn't, we know whom he'll blame -- everyone but himself.
Rose: A better job of explaining?
Obama: Yeah, well, explaining, but also inspiring.
Back to the interview. At the end of the clip, Michelle chimes in:
Because hope is still there.Is it? Karl Rove doesn't think so. But there's some evidence that the first lady is right:
A myth that President Obama is giving people money to pay their bills has prompted thousands of people across the country to try to pay for utilities, phone service and loans using bogus bank routing numbers. [. . .]Really bad? This lady needs a dose of Obama inspiration. Jonathan S. Tobin comments:
An aunt, Lee said, insisted that she paid her insurance and cell phone bills with one of the routing numbers she received through the grapevine.
A nephew used the system to make a car payment.
"The president didn't announce that when he was in town," Lee told them, but family members would not be dissuaded that citizens could tap into government funds to pay up to $1,000 in household bills.
"I guess because everybody needs some type of help," Lee said. "It's really bad out there."
But the willingness to believe that Barack Obama was spreading wealth like some fairy tale king speaks to something deeper in the psyche of our political culture, or at least the subset of it that bought into the “hope and change” mantra that elevated him to the White House in 2008. This is, after all, the president who promised to personally turn back the rising oceans when he accepted the nomination of his party four years ago. The messianic expectations he sought to inspire in his supporters were bound to lead to disappointment. That is what has happened as the country sinks deeper into economic distress for which he doesn’t even pretend to have an answer as he seeks another term. But deep in the hearts of some of those who bought into the magical politics he embodied is the wish that the president will save them from the consequences of his failed policies and make it all right.The success of this predictable scam is disheartening proof of how far some Americans have gone down the road to infantalization and dependency. Read the rest.
Hope and Change alert: Gallup: Youth-vote enthusiasm off by 20 points from 2008
Another: His Royal Highness issues dependency-increasing edict: Obama administration guts work requirements for Clinton-era welfare reform
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