As mentioned in an earlier comment this week addressed to Cress, it bugs me when right leaning blogs take a tidbit from a statement by the opposition and runs with it to the point of absurdity. Yes, usually in the body of the piece clarification is provided as well as context, but even then, a slant exists that spins the intent beyond reason. Allowances are implied, he (she) has done/said this kind of nonsense before so naturally our spidey sense tingles and the natural progression of this is ,”There he goes again”. But really, this is lazy journalism, especially when the filters are put down and statement is evaluated with attention to meaning.
Obama did an interview with Rolling Stone which came out 2 days ago, here it is. As smart as Obama is, he gets the implications of a Trump win, the total repudiation of his policies, and the damage that will ultimately ensue to his legacy, clearly a bitter pill to swallow. I was never a “He hates America” convert, but I was a “He is doing great damage to the country I love and needs to be removed” convert. And for the smartest guy in the room, rejection has to be killer.
The section of his interview I wanted to dwell on is this;
And part of the challenge, though, that we do have, and this is something that I’ve been chewing on for a while now, is that there is a cohort of working-class white voters that voted for me in sizable numbers, but that we’ve had trouble getting to vote for Democrats in midterm elections. In this election, [they] turned out in huge numbers for Trump. And I think that part of it has to do with our inability, our failure, to reach those voters effectively. Part of it is Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country, but part of it is also Democrats not working at a grassroots level, being in there, showing up, making arguments. That part of the critique of the Democratic Party is accurate. We spend a lot of time focused on international policy and national policy and less time being on the ground. And when we’re on the ground, we do well. This is why I won Iowa.
Having stupidly gone to war with Foxnews in the past, a natural reaction would be to parse out more Foxnews hatred and focus only on that, hence we have stuff like this;
He (briefly) acknowledged that Democrats did not effectively campaign in enough working class environments. Yet, he then quickly blamed the defeat on one of his favorite targets: Fox News.
Forgetting the word “part” which means a portion, headling ,”Obama blames Fownews for defeat” will grab clicks from those expecting pettiness from the president, no doubt about it.
Personally, I think Obama’s assessment is not only accurate but honest. Unlike Romney, who tagged Trump supporters as suckers, Obama understands that many of these white middle class voters supported Obama (twice) but did not support Hillary, and the fault lies with the Democrats. They dropped the ball, took many of these voters for granted and did not do the leg work the out reach that Obama did.
Now the Foxnews part, Obama is right on this as well, but probably does not understand the why. Restaurant and bar owners have Foxnews on because that is what the customers want. No secret ploy perpetrated to proselytize chicken wing eaters, you don’t alienate your clientele, keep them happy and they come back. A smarter candidate would realize this, but Hillary was too scared. Whether it be feeling that she was entitled or a total disregard for her competition ( a natural reaction, to be sure) she did not do any hard interviews or go on Foxnews to reach the other side. Trump was everywhere, all networks, anyone with a microphone and an audience, he was there. But Hillary holed up, did no interviews no press conferences, counted her victory before it happened and dissed the very voters she needed,this is all on her.
A word about Obama’s legacy. It is hard to feel sorry for a guy that is set for life financially, will constantly feed his ego with public appearances, all paid, and will, like Carter, spend the rest of his life re writing history making his legacy less stinky than it really was. Obama can always say that his heart was in the right place, wanting healthcare for the downtrodden, giving minorities more of a voice, being a compassionate open border guy and getting us out of needless wars (oops, that didn’t happen). He followed the progressive model page by page, believing it’s inherent goodness, while ignoring the realities of its failures. Much of his legacy will be dismantled, but its of his own making considering the nefarious method, using executive orders and executive memoranda to write law, something the executive branch was not designed to do, and sneakily doing an end run around congress. Another one of his failures, the guy who thought he could convince, sway, persuade anyone to his side of an argument could never work within the system and get Congress to do much of what he wanted.