The Obama Administration has both a light side and a dark side. Its light side is the shallow media frenzy commonly referred to as Obama's Cult of Personality, while the actual mechanism of the policy agenda represented by Obama's czars, advisors and assorted organizations such as ACORN integrated into the system, remain hidden on the dark side.
The dark side though is where the policy sausages get made. It's the side that Obama's perpetual campaign was meant to distract the public from. That side often operates outside any congressional or legal jurisdiction, through a crazy quilt network of Obama's associates and friends, and various left wing activists and organizations, structured in a variety of increasingly less formal roles, from posts created entirely for them, to the ubiquitous Czars on down to various advisers, whose actual influence is unclear, to organizations who play a major role in redistributing the actual funds produced by this deliberately convoluted policy mechanism.
These two sides, the light side, exposed to the constant glare of publicity, and the dark side, kept mostly hidden, out of public view. Instead Obama has played up the irrelevant. His casual comments about celebrities, his choice of a dog, his wife's shopping sprees-- all get played up in the media. But the actual ways in which he runs his administration remain deliberately hidden. The shallowness too is deliberately, it is about more than simply selling Americans a sugary product, it's about hiding the long list of ingredients that go into making it. And the Czars are only one of the many real ingredients that go into making the Obama Administration.
This two sided approach took Obama through the campaign and his first few months in office, and while everyone ohed and aahed at how historic it all was, the policy engine underneath was busy churning. While people watched Obama do his soft shoe routine, hundreds of billions of dollars were being spent, and the nature of government was being redefined. But that approach has now hit a serious snag, because with ObamaCare, suddenly the American people were asking for the numbers, they wanted more than a song and dance, and a few magazine covers, they wanted to actually know the details.
Socialism with Obama's smiling face hiding the gory details was the original plan. That plan depended on the majority of the American people being willing to be entertained by Obama without ever asking him any serious questions. And that plan went down in flames at the Town Hall meetings, where people showed up asking serious questions. Now Obama has hit the campaign trail again, built on the same blueprint that emphasizes vague generalities and the gosh wow power of his celebrity appearance, backed by media and celebrity firepower. And they can't seem to understand why it's not working.
Proponents of a socialist nanny state tend to view the people they rule over as stupid and incapable of serious thought. That after all is why they need to be "taken care of", to protect them from their own folly. That same contempt for the average American provided the architecture for the two layer administration, for Obama's entire campaign built on iconic logos, stylized posters and resounding but absolutely meaningless slogans. And everything that came beneath it, the shamelessly adulatory press coverage, ObamaGirl, the iPod attack ad, the songs, the celebrity posse and the entire artificial mass of artwork, social media, magazine covers and plagiarized slogans that the real campaign boiled down to.
The ObamaCare controversy and the plummeting poll numbers should have been a wake up call, but it's a wake up call that has gone unheard. Obama's tour of talk shows is a reversion to type, at a time when people want the facts, they're getting more media appearances. That is because while Obama's problem is that he has failed to seriously and honestly address people's concerns about ObamaCare, his people believe that the problem is that he is being outshouted by FOX News, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. The Obama Administration is incapable of breaking through its contempt for the American people to actually imagine them as individuals with real concerns. Instead they are rooted in a media shouting match model that assumes that whoever has the loudest microphone, the most channels and the most bandwidth, wins.
Limbaugh and so many others, on the radio, on television and online; have helped shine a light on the dark side of the Obama Administration. But it was the culture of deceptiveness and the lack of professionalism within the Obama Administration, the multitude of czars, the lack of serious vetting, the casual attitude toward professional ethics and the profusion of political radicals given the run of the White House who made sure there would be plenty of cockroaches scurrying around when the light came on. But it is not the light that is the real problem for Obama. It is the dark side, the deceptiveness, the layers of czars and advisers who answer to no one in particular, the alliances with organizations such as ACORN-- and what that entire snapshot says about the way the Obama Administration is being run that is the problem.
If business was booming and the economy was running hot, the odds are that few people would care. Bill Clinton clambered up through economic doom and glooming, and survived because the times were good. The times now however aren't good, except perhaps in Paul Krugman's New York Times column. But the American people didn't just elect Obama as a lark, or for a moment of racial healing or any of the other shallow and surface reasons. It may have been why a lot of younger people came out to vote, but for the most people concerns about the economy was on the minds of the voters. Those voters should have paid better attention to Obama's real agenda, but it was not the first time the American electorate was fooled by a charlatan. It will likely not be the last. Nevertheless what they wanted were results. And the results being produced by the dark side of the administration are not for them.
Obama's flailing media frenzy demonstrates his inability to understand that the issue is not how loudly you repeat the message, but the results you actually produce. Instead what the entire ObamaCare controversy has done is forced the public to take a much closer look at the dark side of the administration, and they don't particularly like what they see.
And despite his desire to posture as FDR, not to mention Lincoln and Reagan, Obama is incapable of projecting that same seriousness and grasp of not just rhetoric, but the details of government. The light side of Obama has always projected unseriousness, in order to protect the dark side lurking beneath. But it's the dark side from which answers come in a crisis. The White House is not a box of cereal. It cannot be purely wrapping that no plebian ever opens. And by trying to hide away the details of his administration, behind a thousand magazine covers, media appearances and glib but meaningless rhetoric, Obama has convinced those Americans who take his light side at full value of his incompetence, and convinced those who have investigated the dark side of his administration, of his corruption. That is why ObamaCare has failed the public test. It is why his poll numbers have fallen and barring a major turnaround or a new crisis, are only likely to keep on falling.