"He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections."
-- Michael Douglas in The American President
Michael Douglas' character in The American President was talking about a fictitious electoral opponent. But he could have been talking about our current White House occupant.
Despite being elected on a platform of hope and change, Mr. Obama has given us a worsened economic climate, and provided only occasional bogeymen to explain it away.
Even fervent supporters aren't buying it anymore.
MSNBC liberal talker Chris Matthews -- who once admitted getting a "thrill" up his leg while hearing Obama speak -- chastised the president recently over his characterization of taxes.
"He should stop saying that giving people tax cuts is giving people money," Matthews intoned. "It's their money! A tax cut is when the government doesn't take our money. It's an important distinction!"
Wow! The lights are coming on even in the far-left side of the building!
Then there was a bold challenge to the president at a town hall by a woman who not only voted for Obama but still supports him. Her polite, but stoic protestations were a shot heard 'round the nation:
"Quite frankly," said Velma Hart, chief financial officer for a veterans organization, "I'm exhausted. I'm exhausted of defending you, of defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for -- and deeply disappointed with where we are right now.
"I have been told that I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I'm one of those people, and I'm waiting, sir."
Ms. Hart, we hate to tell you this -- but if you continue to have faith in this president's anti-business, anti-capitalist, big-government, anti-individual responsibility policies, you'll be waiting a lot longer. He has yet to admit it, and may never do so because he is an unalloyed ideologue, but his approach to the economy is an abject failure. The facts speak for themselves: the unemployment rate -- near double digits -- the millions of job losses and the failure of his massive government spending to move the needle even a bit.
For the longest time, he tried to blame his predecessor. He can't anymore, and he knows it. He's tried demonizing Republicans, even though Mr. Obama has had Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.
Now word comes from an unlikely source -- the unabashedly liberal New York Times -- that his administration has been considering embarking on an advertising campaign trying to make the grassroots Tea Party movement the enemy du jour . The White House denied it, but the newspaper quickly stuck by its story.
How transparent; how detestable. The supposed president of hope yet again is scratching and clawing to find an enemy to blame for the state of things -- and may be willing to attack ordinary Americans for exercising their God-given rights to speak out and change the suicidal course the government has put this nation on. The people, we're led to believe, are the enemy of the people.
"If true," writes independent blogger W.E. Messamore, "the (New York Times ) report would mean a shocking confession by White House advisers that they have nothing to say about the causes of our economic turmoil, and prefer instead to redirect our attention to the alleged 'extremism' of the GOP's November candidates."
Mr. Obama is imploring voters to keep the faith -- while behind the scenes, reports indicate he may sack his economic team.
Ms. Hart, speaking to CNN, still clings to the belief that Mr. Obama is "an amazing leader."
We would simply ask her: based upon what? In defending failed policies by trying to demonize others, he has yet to demonstrate it.