January 4, 2016

Conservative strategy for 2016 - ignore Obama

President Obama is back from vacation, and reportedly fired up. He's going to do something about gun violence using Executive Orders. I thought he was supposed be a lame duck.  His job approval ratings have leveled out in the low 40's, and he's not going to get a lot of support on much from voters and perhaps from fellow Democrats.  So why isn't he acting like a lame duck?  Or is all of his bluster just for show?

Actually, none of that matters.  What Obama is really doing is looking for a way to get a bump in his approval ratings, but not for him.  He's trying to ensure that Hillary Clinton (or less likely, but preferably for him, Bernie Sanders) wins the presidential election in November this year.  He wants a Democrat to win in order to cement his legacy on things like Obamacare, on the Iran deal, and on Cuba normalization, among other things).  Should a Republican win, and the GOP manage to retain both the Congress and Senate, the next president is likely to oversee a significant dismantling of the Obama agenda items.

And that's why what Obama does (trying to glom onto gun control or any other issue that he might think will stick in order to improve his own approval ratings and thus help his possible successor), should not matter to conservatives.  The rationale - the way Obama will operate is not be conciliatory but to be confrontational in the steadfast belief that he's still the smartest man in the Capitol.  As a result, he will continue to win no friends and there is no reason to believe he can move his approval ratings in a positive direction in any significant way.  Everything he has done prior to this has followed the pattern and all it does is cement things where they are - supporters support it, detractors don't like it.

His efforts will have no impact. He's made himself a lame duck by continuing to operate in a predictable fashion.  He has learned nothing as leader.  He has personified the the difference between intelligence and wisdom.  He may have a decent IQ, but he does not learn from his own mistakes and continues to make them.  So he may be intelligent (I'd argue not really even that), but he's not wise.

What Obama does now is totally irrelevant.  Conservative pundits would be wise to ignore the president entirely this year (barring of course, new scandals) and focus on the problems with Hillary and with Bernie, as well as seasoning that with the positives of the GOP candidates.  It'll be a winning formula, helped in part by Obama's insistence on being a stubborn tactician. Who knows, his increasingly irrelevant status may push him into doing something foolish that actually hurts his own party.

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