Avoid­ing the Obama virus

Democrats fear a hand from their toxic pres­i­dent could be po­lit­i­cally fa­tal in Novem­ber

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By David A. Keene

The Demo­cratic Se­nate can­di­date in Ken­tucky re­fuses to even say she voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Demo­cratic se­na­tors run­ning for re-elec­tion in New Hamp­shire and North Carolina tell re­porters they don’t want their party’s pres­i­dent to cam­paign for them. Mean­while, the most re­cent Gallup poll re­ports Pres­i­dent Obama’s ap­proval rat­ing has dropped to 39 per­cent, a Nixon-like num­ber and comes on the heels of for­mer top ad­vis­ers writ­ing books and giv­ing in­ter­views sug­gest­ing that their for­mer boss isn’t much of an ex­ec­u­tive.

As this is hap­pen­ing, New York Times colum­nist Paul Krug­man de­clares Mr. Obama the third-great­est pres­i­dent in his­tory, rank­ing him just be­hind not George Wash­ing­ton and Abra­ham Lin­coln, but Franklin D. Roo­sevelt and Lyn­don John­son, rais­ing the ques­tion: If Mr. Obama has done such a great job, why don’t can­di­dates of his party want him cam­paign­ing for them?

The pres­i­dent’s dis­ap­proval num­bers are not driven by any dis­like of him per­son­ally — or by race, as he and some of his ad­vis­ers sug­gest — but by the ut­ter fail­ure of his do­mes­tic and for­eign poli­cies. In a bizarre mis­step prov­ing his in­abil­ity to see beyond his own ego, he re­minds us th­ese are the very poli­cies on the bal­lot on Nov. 4.

That the pub­lic still hasn’t warmed up to Oba­macare and doubts his as­ser­tions that the econ­omy is im­prov­ing un­der­score his elit­ist iso­la­tion as Americans con­tinue to suf­fer. His “re­set” with Rus­sia has been met with an­nex­a­tion of Crimea by Mr. Putin, who thumbs his nose at Mr. Obama as he con­tem­plates the re­con­sti­tu­tion of the Rus­sian em­pire.

In an adamant re­fusal to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for any bad news, lead­ing from be­hind has re­sulted in chaos and blood­shed in the Mid­dle East, which Mr. Obama blames on the in­ad­e­quacy of our in­tel­li­gence ser­vices rather than his re­fusal to be­lieve what they kept telling him. His con­tin­ual re­fusal to deal with the world that ex­ists rather than the one he wishes we lived in has been painfully ev­i­dent.

As mil­i­tant ji­hadists ap­pear on the verge of cap­tur­ing a city the pres­i­dent’s coali­tion had ear­lier pledged to de­fend, we are told los­ing it won’t mat­ter much be­cause it isn’t all that strate­gic any­way and be­sides, the Turks should save it.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­ac­tion to all this has been to re­as­sure the pub­lic that things aren’t as bad as they seem, that it isn’t their fault and that there is no need to panic be­cause the pres­i­dent and his team have ev­ery­thing un­der con­trol.

Now, as the elec­tion ap­proaches, Americans al­ready ner­vously con­cerned about the un­cer­tain econ­omy and sub­jected to daily re­ports of mind­less blood­shed, be­head­ings and threats from ter­ror­ists promis­ing that we’re next are be­ing thrown even fur­ther off-bal­ance by the prospect of a pan­demic they fear may al­ready have reached our shores.

When the first Amer­i­can to con­tract Ebola within the United State comes down sick, of­fi­cials at the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol claim the nurse must have “bro­ken pro­to­cols” be­cause, as they’ve been as­sur­ing us for weeks, Ebola is dif­fi­cult to catch and eas­ily con­tained. When ev­i­dence shows oth­er­wise, that the Texas nurse did ev­ery­thing she should have to pro­tect her­self while car­ing for Thomas Eric Dun­can, health of­fi­cials con­tinue to in­sist it was her fault be­cause, of course, they shouldn’t be blamed.

Wash­ing­ton Democrats know how to solve this prob­lem. They’ve blamed ev­ery­thing that has gone wrong since Mr. Obama was sworn in back in 2009 on George W. Bush and the Repub­li­cans, and they can’t see any rea­son to stop now. They are do­ing ex­actly that in tele­vi­sion ads run­ning in tar­geted states blam­ing Repub­li­can par­si­mony and bud­get cuts for the Ebola cri­sis. The ads ig­nore the in­creased fund­ing that dou­bled the money avail­able to the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health and the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol dur­ing the Bush years and the ad­mis­sion by CDC of­fi­cials just last week that Congress has given the agency ev­ery penny it has re­quested.

The prob­lem the Democrats face is that the pub­lic is tired of the ado­les­cent fin­ger-point­ing and don’t ac­cept the ar­gu­ment that the pres­i­dent and his party bear ab­so­lutely no re­spon­si­bil­ity for any­thing that has gone awry on Mr. Obama’s watch.

The rea­son his party’s can­di­dates don’t want Mr. Obama on the road cam­paign­ing for them is that they are afraid that when he said that his poli­cies are on the bal­lot this fall, the vot­ers will agree and take out their re­ac­tion to the fail­ure of those poli­cies on them. David A. Keene is opin­ion ed­i­tor of The Wash­ing­ton Times.

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