Grassroots Commentary

The Campaign That Never Ends

By Joan Fischer · Nov. 28, 2012

Remember when we had a president in the White House who actually led the country?

The last good example of that state of affairs occurred in 1981-1989. Ronald Reagan was a master at communicating his beliefs to the people and then sitting down with lawmakers and hammering out policy that mirrored those beliefs. Sometimes he was forced to compromise, and sometimes those compromises were not honored by those on the other side of the aisle, but, without fail, Reagan worked, and worked hard, to see to it that America remained on the track so painfully laid for her by our visionary Founders. He was tireless. He was devoted. He was duty-bound. He was loyal to the Founders' vision. He revered the Constitution. His eight years in our White House served as a superb lesson in American leadership.

Each president who served after him – all four of them – fell tragically short of living up to his exquisite leadership model. But let's just focus on our current president and examine his seemingly polar opposite definition of leadership.

Barack Obama's main occupation prior to ascending to the presidency was as a community organizer – a politician of sorts, whose charge it is to convince the 'underprivileged' and 'downtrodden' that they deserve more from government than they are getting. Obama was apparently very good at community organizing because he played an important role in supporting and expanding the entitlement mentality. His ACORN associations resulted in banks and lending institutions being extorted into lending billions to 'underprivileged' and 'downtrodden' people who had no hopes of repaying those loans. So, at least in part, our president played a role in the housing crisis and the financial collapse that was ushered in in 2008.

He is a superb rabble rouser, a slick public relations wheeler-dealer whose over-riding talent consists of convincing people that what he is selling is good for them. And they had better demand it, or their lives will somehow be less full, less meaningful, less rich than they would otherwise be.

Now that Barack Obama occupies the White House one would think that his rabble rousing, slick public relations days would be over.

Not so. They appear to have just begun.

The amount of time Barack Obama has spent in communication and deliberation with lawmakers, statesmen and business leaders is dwarfed by the amount of time he has spent on the golf course or on the campaign trail. Most presidents meet with their cabinets at least once a week. This president often allows six months to go by without sitting down with his own appointed cabinet. How do they receive direction? How do they provide input? On the few occasions that he has sat down with his executive branch appointees he has done so because the public has been made aware that the cabinet is not being consulted. His cabinet meetings are simply meaningless window dressing arranged for public consumption.

When the Benghazi massacre was occurring, this president did not call a meeting of his security advisors, as would certainly have been the case under previous presidents. He simply went back to sleep (the four Americans were, after all, murdered at an ungodly hour on the east coast), and then jetted off to Las Vegas for a campaign rally the following morning after his good night's sleep.

This president simply does not like to inform, discuss or compromise. Such leadership abilities are entirely foreign to his character. He did not seek the advice and consent of congress when deciding to engage the American military in two new wars. He held no meaningful meetings with republicans before ramming his 'healthcare' bill through congress (and then accused them of obstructionism). He regularly ignores congress when setting policy, often dictating said policy to one of his agencies and directing the agency to institute new rules – rules that serve as surrogates for laws that should be passed by congress after significant deliberation and discussion. He issues Executive Orders and fiats at will, whether or not they pass constitutional muster.

It almost seems as though consulting lawmakers, or holding informative briefings, or talking with his cabinet, or holding press conferences, or meeting with intelligence advisors is, put simply, a bother. And it is a bother that he chooses not to confront. He shoots from the hip, without considering the justification for the shooting, or who might be in the way of his bullet.

Our president has just been elected to his second, and presumably final, term. One would think that the endless campaigning would now cease and he would sit down behind his desk in the Oval Office and begin governing. He has no more campaign rallies to attend. No more murders of U.S. ambassadors to ignore (at least momentarily) as he leaves Washington for a campaign fundraiser. No more photo-ops with hurricane victims. No more efforts to look presidential in the face of natural catastrophes.

Yet the campaigning continues. Rather than sitting down with lawmakers and seriously attempting to avert the fiscal calamity that is lurking over the horizon, or attempting to address the escalating unrest in Egypt, or attempting to deal with the massive violence being perpetrated on Israel, or attempting to answer the burning questions about his handling of the Benghazi massacre and its aftermath, or explaining any of the countless other avoidable tragedies that have occurred on his watch, this president is once again out on the campaign trail arranging photo ops, holding meetings with small businessmen and promising them the world while simultaneously planning to stab them in the backs once his tax policy is revealed, organizing town hall meetings during which he will no doubt successfully convince the useful idiots among us that he is on their side.

The eternal campaign continues. And why? Two reasons:

(1) He knows nothing else. He is incapable of genuine leadership, because leadership requires sacrifice. It requires time and effort and the ability to put oneself in someone else's shoes – to see the world through someone else's eyes. To look at two sides of a coin and work diligently with others to determine which side of that coin, if either, to trust. Barack Obama believes that his eyes are the only ones that see clearly. The rest of us, and those we elected to represent us, are insignificant in his agenda-driven grand scheme of things.

(2) He knows that there is an entity in America that is far more powerful than those we have elected and entrusted to make powerful decisions for us. An entity that is accountable to no one but him. He knows that the mainstream media can mold public opinion by ignoring news that screams to be heard and instead reporting 'news' that is destined to sway public opinion and thereby create public policy.

Thus the town hall meetings, and superficial photo-op meetings with segments of the population with whom he wants to appear to be compassionate. Our television screens will soon be filled with pictures of a weary Obama, talking with average citizens and small business people, and anyone else who is willing to be used as a pawn by his machine. Those pictures will be accompanied by descriptions of a tireless president who is seeking to know the will of the people so that he might serve them better. And then, when his policies are roadblocked by his political opponents, who have been virtually ignored amid all the staging and drama, and cries of 'obstructionism' are televised daily on our screens, the average uninformed, apathetic American will abhor those who are standing in the way of the man who is working so hard for their good.

There is no leadership in our White House anymore. It's all a public relations campaign, authored by the president, engineered by the mainstream media, and swallowed like pre-digested pablum by the citizenry. And those few genuine leaders still to be found in congress are left scratching their heads wondering why they are never consulted, never informed, never treated with the respect that they are entitled to enjoy by virtue of the fact that their constituents sent them to Washington for a reason.

There are no longer three branches of government in Washington. The executive branch runs the show by campaigning, entirely for public consumption, 24/7. There is no longer a need to seek advice or consent from congress. The mainstream media simply tell us what is in our best interest, show us that Barack Obama is working toward that end, and we stand and applaud 'leadership' that is nothing more than self-promoting, agenda-driven, pre-scripted drama.

I truly hope Ronald Reagan isn't watching the drama unfold. If he is, he is seeing it through tear-stained eyes, and he is in mourning for his America.


George Rogers Clark in Ohio said:

Ah, yes, Ms. Fischer, Ronald Reagan was the last. In my opinion, he was the first and the last. In my lifetime he was the only true conservative to hold the office. Furthermore, he was the "Great Communicator". But his messages were not just ego-boo PR. His were of substance and important to the people. In spite of his celebrity he could touch the hearts and minds of the people. Perhaps it was his humble beginnings and his personal experience with hard work and hard times.

But enough about R.R. May I congratulate you on a wonderful essay? I thoroughly appreciate your message; not because of your Reagan references, but because you so thoroughly described our president in honest terms. We are, of course, "preaching to the choir" in this context, but you have armed us with ammunition so that when we speak of what bothers us about the president, we do not have to generalize. THANK YOU.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM

joanie-f in PA replied:

Thank you for the kind words, Mr. Clark. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of Ronald Reagan. If only someone of his calber would rise to leadership now. And yet, even if there were a Reagan waiting in the wings today, it is hard to say whether he would have an opportunity to serve. The media are exponentially more biased today than they were 25 years ago, and the citizenry is exponentially more ignorant and apathetic.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Wayne in Hinesville, GA said:

The rule of law and the checks and balances built into the Republic by the Constitution has been totally bypassed by this President and his administration. The saddest part of it all is that Congress and expecially the Republicans have let him get away with it. The next four years will be even worse if Congress doesn't start standing up to him. Ronald Reagan knew how to get people to listen and understand what he was tryig to get across to them. Now the parasites just want to hear Obama tell them what he's going to give them so they don't have to earn it themselves.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

joanie-f in PA replied:

I believe you are right regarding the republicans in congress. If they continue to capitulate to this president, because they believe compromise is unavoidable and the media with paint them with a broad black brush if they don't, then America is doomed. If courage and steadfastness in leadership were ever needed, it is needed now.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 10:18 PM

George Rogers Clark in Ohio replied:

Agreed, Joan, but I believe courage is inspired and those folks seem to be getting inspiration from all the wrong places. We are just going to have to survive and try to make enough converts before 2016 to do better next time.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 10:43 PM

George Rogers Clark in Ohio replied:

Zap, Sarge, right to the heart. Another center-mass hit.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Tod the tool guy in brooklyn ny said:

Sometimes hubris can work against you, it certainly has no place in God's Kingdom; the proud will be abased, but the meek and humble will be raised up. Emperor Obongo will lead his blind sheep astray. His neo-marx ideology is pagan, proud, and reprobate, simultaneously. Fools repeat their folly, like dogs return to their vomit. Prov 26:11.I pray that God will change the Hardened hearts of the leftists, today! Ezekiel 36:26

Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 6:45 PM