A word about the Obama situation 9/17/2011


From Med-Events:


>There’s a lot of bad news today. The question is can Obama convince

>the American people that he is the man to turn things around. He has to

>describe to the American people how bad things are, how bad things

>were when he took over and how much is done to move things forward

>in spite of strong Republican opposition. I think when the verge of a big

>paradigm shift. I think this is going to be impressive.


I think Obama is in big trouble.  He won the election in 2008 because he

was able to articulate the possibility that a fresh guy could come to

Washington and get things done more effectively and efficiently because

his heart was pure. The public believed Obama was handed a shit sandwich

by the worst presidential team in modern history and he would have to

eat some of it but in the end he would get the job done because he

articulately said he could. I voted for him because I believed he had a

shot at it and I definitely didn’t believe McCain/Palin could do

anything better. Palin was the ultimate deal breaker.  He was swept into

office on a breath of fresh air, and the entrance of big blocks of voter

groups that jived with him. Youth and blacks.


But the reality still remained that the point was to get the job done.


Now it’s going on three years and virtually none of the things he came

to Washington to do are done. Is that because those things are

un-fixable or because he can’t fix them?  Unclear, but in the end it

doesn’t matter. The public bought into the proposition that Obama could

fix them because he was the fix-it guy and had the brains, savvy and

potency to do whatever it took. Personally, I think a lot of it is

simply not fixable.  But a big dent could have been put in some of it. A

perfect example: after Osama was dumped into the ocean, we could have

simply announced we won the objective in Afghanistan and pulled out same



The reality is that all the same shit we needed to fix (and were

promised would be fixed) in 2008 is still there. The economy is still

hurting. Not a single Wall Street criminal in the whole menagerie is in

jail and there is no evidence that any of them have mended their says.

We’re still up to our necks in a war that can’t be won. And we’re still

getting very eloquent speeches from the President that he’s working on

it. As much as it pains me to say it, the authority of those speeches is

being undermined by their ineffectiveness.


Now the Republicans, same guys that brought us all this grief, are

asking the voters to believe they can bring the same magic fixes that

Obama advertised in 2008, and it’s now their turn because Obama couldn’t

get it done. And there is some evidence to suggest that the public is

turning to that group if for no other reason than there’s nothing so

potent as something they want to believe.


So I am coming around to believe that Obama can’t get the job done and

the Jobs Bill is too little and too late. I think the Republicans have

figured out they can gain more ground by stopping the Jobs Bill just to

insure Obama will be rendered un-electable in 2012, and that’s their

plan. Nothing is more exigent that getting Obama out and they’re willing

to hold recovery hostage for the next 14 months to get it done. This

whole deal is starting to smell like Carter v. Reagan in 1980. The

economic situation is almost identical.


It’s about time for wild eyed, foaming at the mouth one-note howlers

like Eddie Brown to come forward telling me how good 2012 is going to be

for radical right wing wackos.


To that I say……not so fast. It may very well be that Obama is

slipping, partially because he believed his own hype and partially

because the public believed the impossible could be done. That doesn’t

mean the “party of no” whose only role in the last three years is to

obstruct have any ability to construct in the same circumstances. The

facility to obstruct doesn’t necessarily confer the ability to create.


Most of the GOP candidates are simply place-markers. Some are outright

clown acts. Of the three that have anything close to a politically

reasonable platform, none have put forth any plan any more convincing

than Obama’s in 2008.  The more Perry talks, there more he alienates

huge blocks of voters. Huntsman had some reasonable ideas but sank like

a rock for unclear reasons.  That basically leaves Romney as the guy

most likely to alienate the fewest voters.


Romney says that Obama is a clear failure on every level, and more to

the point, that he (Romney) has plans to reverse all those failures in

the face of a stubborn economy that got where it is from many un-fixable

factors (a service economy with no demand for services). The public is

clamoring to get the job done, Obama doesn’t seem to be able to fix it,

so they are willing now to listen to a guy with the identical rhetoric

Obama put forth in 2008?  It may very well be that the voters will

believe that an opposition party noted for just that can do magic.  I

guess we’ll see soon.


Another factor in the 2012 race needs to be considered. That the GOP can

lose by the numbers.


*  The Republicans proved in Wisconsin that they will do everything

possible to gut unions. So no rank and file will vote for them


*  The Tea Party is white, male and accumulating a racist bent. Blacks

are still enamored with Obama, not as much as they were when it was a

fresh issue in 2008, but definitely enough to insure they won’t vote for

a Republican.


*  The way Republicans have treated Hispanics in Arizona insures that

block will never vote GOP.


*  Students may or may not vote in huge blocks again, but most of them

are smart. Smart enough to see through about half of the GOP candidate

list. As a group they tend to vote Democratic if they vote at all.


*  Despite some isolated reversals, I suspect  the big, high population

States will always vote for a Democrat.


It might be a squeaker, but I don’t think there will be a major

revolution of voters for the GOP in 2008. The incumbent edge is a

powerful thing, especially in the face of mediocre opposition. 14 months

is an eternity in  politics. Much can and probably will happen.

Whether Obama is re-elected  doesn’t depend so much on him.

It also depends on the  Republicans capability of self destructing.


David Crippen, MD, FCCM


Department of Critical Care Medicine

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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