Don’t Mess with Messiahs

tags: Obama

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of "The Savior Generals."

In Obama’s most recent — and embarrassing — public whine, he lashed out at the once-obsequious press. In his now customary first-person I/me/my/mine lament (e.g., “They don’t do anything, except block me and call me names. . . . If they were more interested in growing the economy for you and the issues that you are talking about instead of trying to mess with me, we would be doing a lot better. . . . The critics, the cynics in Washington, they’ve written me off more times than I can count.”), he lambasted the partisan culture of Washington. He lashed out at the Tea Party, the House Republicans, his opponents in general, and all those who would unreasonably oppose his blanket amnesties, his climate-change taxes and regulations, the shutdown of the Keystone-pipeline project, Obamacare, and $9 trillion in new debt.

Apparently someone other than Obama is in charge when the IRS goes rogue, the VA implodes, the Justice Department goes after Associated Press reporters, the consulate in Benghazi is overrun, the NSA taps the phones of allied leaders, Iraq is torn apart, the Middle East melts down, or we trade five terrorist kingpins for an American deserter. Obama’s impromptu adolescent moaning was bizarre and reminds us again why he would be wiser to stay close to his teleprompter.

Obama also seems oddly to forget that when he promised to use his pen and phone to run things by his lonesome, nearly everyone took him at his word. And so he tried just that. What Obama is now angry about is not partisanship per se, but that his own partisanship and subversion of settled law have been repudiated consistently by both the Supreme Court and the American public. Were Obama’s poll ratings at 60 percent, and were the Supreme Court upholding his pen-and-phone governance, and were the Democrats on the verge of winning back their long-lost supermajority in the Senate and taking back the House, then Obama would hardly be decrying partisanship, the media, the Tea Party, or Republicans in general. “Messing” with Obama means not being convinced that his record has helped America.

So there is an increasingly desperate strain to the Obama Left, the more so in that the scandals pile up and any idea of a legacy vanishes into Carteresque caricature. One unfortunate result of the end of the “hope and change” and “fundamental transformation” agenda is a sour-grapes nihilism — a sort of “the scandals are your problem, not mine” attitude. In each case, those worried about the mounting chaos are flippantly dismissed with the assumption that they themselves are at fault for worrying about it... 

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