When president Obama was sworn in on January 20, he made a mistake, jumping the gun on Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts when taking the oath of office. Most people think Roberts made the error, but a look at the videotape shows that Obama made the first mistake which ended up confusing Roberts and the whole swearing in, and causing it to have to be redone the next day.
The re-do was performed without a Bible.
There are two polar ways of looking at this, just as there are two ways of looking at Obama’s presidency on his 100th day in office, which is today, Wednesday, April 29. Was the swearing-in gaffe and the Bible snafu just a simple mistake or the complete opposite, a really bad omen? Have his first 100 days been a big success or just the opposite, a hollow and cynical PR game?
Barack Obama is a strange case study in politics. He came out of nowhere – also known as corrupt Chicago – had no real experience to run on, held far-left views that were far out of the way most Americans think, and took both sides of every issue in the campaign. He has talked about fiscal responsibility and transparency, but has exhibited neither. He listened for years as his so-called preacher trashed America, and was well acquainted with a 1970s terrorist to whom the nation of Canada even refused admission.
He needed a lot of help to win because of his spotty record, and the media were only too glad to give it to him, mostly by omission. In other words, they just glossed over or dismissed whatever might be controversial like Obama’s cheap gift of 25 Hollywood movie DVDs to British prime minister Gordon Brown.
If Bush had given such a gift, it would still be fodder for the talking heads.
Thus Obama’s presidency to date has been and will continue to be a concoction of the same rabid media that trashed Bush for 8 years. Their love of Obama is equally polar to their hatred of Bush. And this is what makes Obama’s presidency so fragile. If the veil is lifted, things could turn sour fast.
When tax protester Tea Parties broke out on April 15, it was a sign that all was not well in Obama land. Never before has such organized protest confronted a new president. The media tried to slant the Tea Parties in a negative light without acknowledging that among the protesters are many Americans who now believe they made a mistake in voting Obama.
It is the media who are keeping Obama afloat because his actions are being scrutinized every day and they do not add up for many Americans, actions like spending way too much money, bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia and apologizing all over the world for America when in fact the world owes America a giant Valentine for all that we have done for the world technologically, militarily and economically.
Didn’t we save Europe from Hitler and then from Stalin? And then finance the rebuilding of Europe? Why should we be apologizing to the Euros? Are Americans really enamored of Obama for his apologies? What are they thinking in private?
A recent study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs and Chapman University found the nightly network newscasts devoted nearly 28 hours to Obama’s presidency in the first 50 days while the same gave Bush only 8 hours. The study said that 58% of the Obama evaluations were positive on the ABC, CBS and NBC broadcasts, compared with 33% in the comparable period of Bush’s presidency and 44% for Clinton.
So now that Obama has high personal popularity ratings, are we to assume that his presidency is a successful one to date?
No. Because personal popularity, job approval and policy approval ratings all are different animals and they get incrementally lower as you look into Obama. So while the media have pumped up Obama personally, they cannot continue to inflate his policies because now those policies must produce results. So, for instance, while closing down the Guantanamo terrorist detention facility is easy to do, it will be much harder to decide what to do with the terrorists there.
How about putting them in liberal districts where the people have wanted most fervently to shut down Guantanamo? How about downtown San Francisco?
These are the types of realities that Obama has not yet had to face. While we have been swamped with positive media coverage of his $800 billion stimulus plan, experience shows that such plans do not work. What will Americans think next year when the economy is still weak? When the money for infrastructure is consumed by inflated union wages instead of going to fix more roads and bridges?
When Obama promises ‘green energy jobs’, won’t that eventually bump up against the reality that reared its ugly head and proved that ethanol is a giant fiasco that only survives by government subsidy? What will happen when windmills push up the price of electricity? Will Obama still be popular?
It depends on whether the policies can be tied directly to Obama. And the media will do their best to give only positive links and no negatives.
Perhaps one of the most telling incidents in the first 100 days was the report by CNN’s Susan Roesgen on the Chicago Tea Party. When a participant did not give her a satisfactory answer to a question, she began hectoring him, and reminded him that Illinois would be getting $50 billion in stimulus money. Yet anyone with a half an education knows that the money comes directly from taxpayers in Illinois, is cycled through Washington, and will need to be paid back with interest.
In 2005 and 2006, when some were calling the American economy the very best they ever had seen it, liberals were hammering George Bush every day over what they termed his “tax cuts for the rich” policy. So no matter what Bush did, the media were pathologically against him.
No matter what Obama does, the media are pathologically for him, even with this outrageous Air Force One flyover of New York City. If that happened under Bush, he would be impeached. And when Obama released the CIA interrogation memos and set off a firestorm in the political community, the media sided with the so-called openness and sunlight that the process has brought to the debate over terrorism.
But the fact is that the terrorists now know more about how we operate and our national security is damaged. And if there is another terrorist attack, the media somehow will explain it away as the fault of their favorite whipping boys Bush and Cheney. It will take some doing, but they will do it.
Whether the public buys into the ongoing media explanations for everything is the difference between a failed Obama presidency and one that is seen as successful. And there will get to be a point where even the media no longer can invent the Obama presidency for us. At that point, we the people will have a clear picture of exactly how successful this new president has been.
Please visit my website at www.nikitas3.com for more. You can print out for free my book, Right Is Right, which explains why only conservatism can maintain our freedom and prosperity.