Jewish World Review Feb 2, 2012/ 9 Shevat, 5772
By Victor Davis Hanson
Then a strange thing happened. Obama largely went quiet. Often he was out of sight, vacationing in
Obama has now edged ahead of his potential
He even more quietly prepared to ask
Obama now rarely talks about his supposed signature achievements, whether the huge deficit "priming" or the unpopular Obamacare. Republicans have only controlled the
President Obama now campaigns on events that happened despite, not because of, him. His Cabinet has cut federal oil leases by 40 percent, subsidized money-losing and now bankrupt green companies, and in the past openly wished that gas and electricity prices would skyrocket to make alternative energy cost-competitive. But recently he bragged that we are pumping more oil than ever. Natural gas is suddenly no longer an earth-warming pollutant but welcomed in vast abundance.
Left unmentioned was the cause of this unexpected energy bounty: The economic stagnation between 2009 and 2012 has curbed energy demand, while private entrepreneurs have used new fracking and horizontal drilling technology on largely private lands to revolutionize the production of fossil fuels. Again, Obama seems to take credit for things that occurred over his opposition -- as if to say, "You will like what they didn't let me do." In the fine tradition of American politics, the successes of others are Obama's; Obama's failures are the failures of others.
Both as a candidate and early in his term, Obama blasted all the Bush-Cheney antiterrorism protocols as either unnecessary or illegal.
But as president, Obama expanded these intelligence measures, and used a beefed-up military to kill
One could almost infer that Obama is now happy that he did not fulfill his earlier promises to close Guantanamo, end renditions and tribunals, prune back the Patriot Act, and get out of
This year, Obama will run not so much on what he really did in 2009 and 2010, but more on what he wanted to do, but was stopped from doing, in 2011 and 2012. The president will tell his base that he really wished to go green in a big way while telling Middle America that lots of oilmen went ahead on their own to find new gas and oil. For his liberal supporters, Obama really did want to end the antiterrorism protocols, and for the rest of America he really did find those same protocols necessary to kill Islamic terrorists.
The message is clear: If voters do not see or hear the new un-Obama too often, if his left-wing legislative agenda is sidetracked, and if the private sector can ignore him, then voters may still sort of like the idea of him back as president.
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Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.
© 2012, TMS