Opinion » Ted Rall

Fool Us Twice?

Can Obama get re-elected?


NEW YORK­--I am fascinated by President Barack Obama's re-election bid. I'm dying to hear him make his case for another four years.

I can't begin to guess how the president can convince a majority of voters to choose him over the Republican nominee, whether he be Mitt Romney or she be Michele Bachmann. The president only has one major accomplishment to his credit: health-care reform. However--assuming Republicans don't repeal it--it doesn't go into effect until 2014, which helps Obama. After people find out how it transforms the First World's worst health-care system into something even crappier and more expensive, they'll be burning him in effigy.

"Socialized" health care has driven away the Reagan Democrat swing voters who formed half of Obama's margin of victory in 2008. The other major component of the Obama coalition, young and reenergized older liberals, see ObamaCare as a right-wing sellout to corporations. On other issues, it seems that Obama has missed few opportunities to alienate the Democrats' liberal base.

"The combination of Afghanistan and Libya could bring a bitter end to the romance between Democratic liberals and Obama," Steve Chapman writes in Reason magazine. "Many of them were already disappointed with him for extending the Bush tax cuts, bailing out Wall Street, omitting a public option from the health-care overhaul, offering to freeze domestic discretionary spending, and generally declining to go after Republicans hammer and tong."

Lefties are also angry about Obama's other lies and betrayals: keeping Gitmo open, signing off on assassinations and even the torture of U.S. soldiers (Pfc. Bradley Manning), redefining U.S. troops in Iraq as "support personnel." Just this week, he reneged on his promise to get rid of Bush's kangaroo courts and put 9/11 suspects on trial. Everyone is furious about his lack of concern over the economy.

What, exactly, will be Obama's 2012 sales pitch? I want to know. How many other presidents have been so disappointing that they distributed lists of their accomplishments so their supporters would have talking points?

Among the highlights:

1. Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending.

5. Families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB.

14. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research.

Will micro-mini-accomplishment lites be enough to pry liberal asses off the sofa on Election Day? I think not. On the big issues that really matter--war, the economy, civil liberties--Obama is a right-wing Republican. He's only a Democrat on the little stuff.

That goes double for the youth vote, a big bloc for O in 2008. From student loan debt to unemployment (which hits Americans under 30 harder than other age groups), Obama hasn't delivered. They'll sit on their hands.

"We've always known that lasting change wouldn't come quickly or easily," began Obama's official campaign announcement.

"It begins with us," will apparently be one of the slogans for Obama-Biden 2012. That's the problem Obama faces next year. In 2008, he told us it was going to begin with him.