05.20.2013 0

Arrogance is Obama’s Worst Enemy

By Rick Manning

The Obama Administration felt the backlash from liberal media sources this past week and appears to be reeling from a sudden realization that they aren’t in Kansas  anymore.

First it was Jon Stewart, whose Comedy Central “news” broadcast is must see tv for many of Obama’s under 30 voter base.  While dismissing Benghazi, Stewart goes apoplectic on Obama over the IRS and then breaking Associated Press investigations scandals.

Next, “the don’t blame me” defense fell flat with an unlikely source — MSNBC host Chris Matthews.

Matthews, who served in the Carter Administration and for six years as a top staffer for former House Speaker Tip O’Neill,  reminded viewers and perhaps Obama himself that, “He does run the IRS. He runs the Treasury Department. He runs the United States government, and he is accountable for it, and this is nonsensical.”

No solace for the Obama spin machine in that normally reliable, if little watched, outpost of the far left.

The week ended with venerable liberal old line CBS journalist Bob Schieffer stunning the White House by demanding to know, “why are you here?” of White House advisor Dan Pfeiffer who was making the Sunday show rounds, Susan Rice-style, giving the designated talking points.

Schieffer, who has covered his share of White House scandals expressed frustration and a bit of pent up outrage that Pfeiffer was replaying the role Susan Rice played in the wake of Benghazi where he reminded viewers, “The bottom line is what she told the American people that day bore no resemblance to what had happened on the ground in an incident where four Americans were killed.”

In one week, Obama’s scandal defense got sideswiped by every component of the liberal media spin machine: the primary voice to the low information young voters, bad information far left voters, and a respected messenger to the too-lazy-to-change-the-channel-for-the-past-twenty-years baby boomer and senior voters.

Quite a trifecta, and the problem Obama faces is that they have no idea how to deal with a now semi-hostile media.

Their experience has been to isolate talk radio and Fox News by demonizing them, and relying on the rest of the media to carry their water.

The past week of hard questions and outright disgust over Obama’s blatant overreaching tactics of dealing with his political enemies has left the liberal media at sea.

Obama was their guy.  It was inconceivable that he could actually be lying.

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, the newly awakened media will be tested as the Administration is attempting to make the CIA the scapegoat in the Benghazi scandal, and the Obama IRS claim that it was isolated to low-level employees at the Cincinnati office gets severely tested.

On Benghazi, it is almost impossible to believe that Obama really wants to take on the CIA, especially since their director at the time is a venerated war hero who had to resign his post for actions that Democrats excused from Bill Clinton.

What are the chances that General Petraeus sets the record straight on what happened during those fateful hours when the apparent inaction of our military led to at least two additional American deaths in Benghazi?

On the IRS front, the revelation that the person responsible for overseeing the targeting of conservative groups is now in charge of the newly minted IRS Obamacare division threatens to become elected Democrats worst nightmare.

An already unpopular Obamacare now has a face.  The face of a bureaucrat who saw nothing wrong with implementing obvious politically motivated targeting.

The IRS issue goes to the heart of the basic trust that government depends upon.  An abiding faith by the American people that regardless of political differences government policies will be implemented equally and fairly.

Now, the Obama Administration has thrown away this trust, and every decision made by the IRS, every deployment of their massive new set of agents and every complaint about unfair treatment will be treated with new legitimacy.

Compounding these two issues is the AP wiretapping.  Nothing gets the media upset like finding out they were being spied on.  This turned cynicism into absolute outrage against Obama as well as fear that Obama was using his hardball tactics against them.

No one expects Jon Stewart, Chris Matthews and Bob Schieffer to have a Damascus Road-like conversion and suddenly run blistering pieces about Obama every night.  But Obama has clearly lost the moral high ground forever.  A high ground that allowed these three and others like them to avert their eyes from actions that did not fit the liberal narrative.

It is this breached relationship with his media allies that is the greatest threat to Obama’s presidency and legacy, and it is likely that in Obama’s arrogance, he doesn’t even know it.

Rick Manning (@rmanning957) is the Vice President of Public Policy & Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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