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    of stories about Obama’s demise about which I am skeptical.

    Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard argues that the media lovefest for Obama has weakened Obama by making him lazy:

    As a rule, the press is the scourge of presidents. They’re expected to endure unending scrutiny, mistrust, and badgering—plus hostility if they’re Republicans—by a hectoring herd of reporters and commentators in the mainstream media. But there’s an exception to the rule: President Obama.

    It’s counterintuitive, but Obama has been hurt by the media’s leniency. Both his presidency and reelection prospects have suffered. He’s grown lazy and complacent. The media have encouraged him to believe his speeches are irresistible political catnip, though they aren’t. His overreliance on words hasn’t helped….

    Absent pushing and prodding by the press, the Obama presidency has atrophied. His speeches are defensive and repetitive and filled with excuses. He passes the buck. With persistently high unemployment and a weak economy, Obama recently declared, in effect, “I have a plan. See you after my vacation.” The press doesn’t goad him to lead.

    I agree with everything Barnes has said except the conclusion.

    Obama was elected  president because of media love, and the only reason he still has a strong shot at reelection is because of media love.  That’s bad enough for me to conclude that the media love is a net benefit to Obama, because he can’t exist without it.


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    Ipso Facto | August 30, 2011 at 4:37 am

    I’ll go with the model put forth by Kerrvillian and Yackums. I believe Obama has been isolated from the negative consequences of his negative behaviors all of his life by programs such as affirmative action. As Barnes mentions, the press is now complicit in failing to properly vet him, scrutinize his actions, etc. Has this been to his detriment? Yes. The damage to his character, however, was done long ago.

    One of the unintended consequences of giving people a pass because of their race is that all of their other attributes also get a pass when this is done. Thus, if Obama was a charlatan (which I think he is), that character flaw would also be overlooked when he was allowed to walk around the turnstile everyone else has to walk through.

    Since Obama, like many others, has been granted exemption from scrutiny, due to programs like affirmative action, he never had to deal with negative feedback and thus he never learned how to modulate his behavior to satisfy others or to meet the performance criteria for any portion he held. We see this in government to a large extent. Even people other than designated minorities gravitate towards government jobs where they know they will never have to sing for their supper because they will work for an entity that will never have any competition. We also see it in the field of medicine where doctors have little concern about an ample supply of sick people to treat. In medicine, this can be seen in doctors who have poor communication skills and in administrative practices (have you ever had to wait in a doctor’s office or spend hours in the ER?) where there is no concept of customer satisfaction that most other businesses have to deal with.

    Obama developed his speaking skills because he learned early on that if he simply showed up (voting present) and he spoke without a “Negro dialect” (Thank you Harry Reid) he would advance. The problem now is that we have allowed him to advance into the Presidency, and he is simply not qualified for the job. Since Obama has little in the way of qualifications and abilities, he must resort to manipulative language to convince people of his worth. The gap between his rhetoric and his accomplishments is now just too wide to bridge. The press may have helped him, but their actions were much more beneficial than detrimental.

    The MSM or legacy journalism is absolutely terrified to be called “racist” in any way shape or form. It’s the third rail of political correctness to criticize liberal blacks like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Charlie Rangel, or anyone else they want to place under their unmbrella of protection, like Franklin Raines. I suspect it has something to do with many of them coming of age during the Civil Rights era, or being mentored by others who did.

    Notice that if a black leader is conservative, the media is astonished, and often portrays them as “traitors to their people”, or at the very least, as dupes.

    It will take overcoming a huge mental hurdle for the media to really start putting O through the guantlet he deserves.

    1. Obama was elected president because of media love, and the only reason he still has a strong shot at reelection is because of media love.

    Media love, and Republican overconfidence.

    The GOP Establishment’s response to the losses of 2006 & 2008 was to hope that the Left would make fatal mistakes, after which Bush/Rove/DeLay/Lott business as usual would resume. IMO November 2010 probably made them feel like geniuses; never mind the too-big-for-its-britches Tea Party.

    Despite some unforced errors, the Tea Party has been successful at the state and local levels, but is it ready for the prime time of a national election?

    2. The venom in politics has become pervasive. Opinions are formulated not to persuade the other side’s voters, but to insult & repel them; even independents are castigated as Unbelievers. In this atmosphere of self-reinforcing polarization, conservatives may be underestimating Obama’s prospects.

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