Washington Examiner column focuses on the impact of the president’s hubris

Noemie Emery of the Washington Examiner probes President Obama’s annoying habit of minimizing his own role in the problems that plague his administration.

Strangely enough, most liberal takes on the State of Obama, which is said to be perilous, come couched in the most passive tense.

The hostile Republican House just happens to be there. The Tea Party also just happens to be there, a spontaneous thing that sprang up for no reason. The same thing goes for the toxic divide now gripping the country, which Gallup calls one of the deepest rifts ever, worse than the days of Bubba and Dubya (brothers under the skin, as they will now tell you), from which President Obama had promised relief.

As with the opposition, the polarization and the toxic hostility are also presented as things that are happening to and around him, forces of nature just like the weather, over which he has no real control. Time after time, these irrational forces (that never existed before he aroused them) frustrate his plans to be the calm, moderate centrist his admirers think him. But did they just arise, or did he create them? Let us look backward and see.

Obama took office in 2009 with one of the best hands ever dealt to an incoming president: abundant good will, astounding poll numbers, the chance to build a stable center-left coalition that could last for a number of years. He could have moved to unite his liberal base with the John McCain voters who drifted his way when the crash happened, but he opened a spigot of deficit spending that set his more centrist backers on edge. …

… The first law of physics is that every act taken produces an equal swing in the other direction, which our current conditions tend to bear out. If conservatives are sometimes extreme (and they are), they are no more so than has been Obama, who bent laws and then broke them, and respected no limits in the avid pursuit of his goals.

When he tortured the rules to pass health care, he destabilized politics and created the poisoned political climate and toxic divisions of which he and his allies complain. As Charles Krauthammer says, the Tea Party was created by Obama and health care, and the fierce fight against it echoes the manner in which it was passed. The “current unrest,” as he says, is “the residue of that hubris.” He’s right.

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