The last few weeks have not been kind to the aura of President Barack Obama.
Internationally, he has begun to be perceived as a weak leader. None of his campaign promises have led to any results on the international stage. The detention center at Guantanamo Bay is still open. The Middle East remains a mess. Oil prices are still too high. All is pretty much the same as the day he took the Oath of Office.
The Iranians, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, the North Koreans, the Venezuelans, the Chinese and the Russians are all quite pleased that Barack Obama has replaced George W. Bush—a man they all feared—as president. They have understood, this early in the game, that the President lacks the one quality that makes for a strong leader: decisiveness. And they are taking advantage of it.
Domestically, things are not much better for the President.
As Bill O’Reilly reported last night, Obama’s approval ratings are in freefall, with only 49% of Americans now approving of the direction the country is moving under his leadership. Cash-for-clunkers, massive bailouts, cap-and-trade, increasing unemployment, health care reform, and now a plan to reform the educational system have left Americans shell-shocked and wondering when it will all end.
Naturally, the left needed a theory to explain away this precipitous drop in Obama’s popularity so soon into his Presidency. As luck would have it, they had an old one in the archives, which they have newly re-packaged and re-introduced. Only this time, it has now been put forth by the husband of its originator: former President Bill Clinton has resurrected the “vast right wing conspiracy” theory first put forth eleven years ago by his wife, Hillary Clinton.
This past weekend, Mr. Clinton was asked by David Gregory on NBC’s “Meet the Press” program about the possibility that such a conspiracy still exists (assuming it ever did), and his soon-to-be-famous answer may have shocked even Mr. Gregory:
DAVID GREGORY: Your wife famously talked about the vast right wing conspiracy targeting you. As you look at this opposition on the right to President Obama, is it still there?
BILL CLINTON: Oh, you bet. Sure it is. It’s not as strong as it was, because America’s changed demographically, but it’s as virulent as it was. I mean, they’re saying things about him – you know, it’s like when they accused me of murder and all that stuff they did. But it’s not really good for the Republicans and the country, what’s going on now….
Mr. Clinton went on to imply that the President’s popularity is falling because of lies and accusations levied against him by the extreme right:
BILL CLINTON: Their agenda seems to be wanting him to fail, and that’s not a prescription for a good America. They can take his numbers down; they can run his opposition up. But fundamentally, he and his team have a positive agenda for America.
Clinton and the Democrats can make all the noise they want about a “conspiracy,” but the reality is much different. Obama’s sinking popularity is not the result of external forces acting upon him; it is of his own doing.
The intellectually bankrupt left, however, will continue to appear on their media outlets, crying foul and blaming others for the President’s failings. As their ideology unravels, they will make even more noise. They have to, for as Shakespeare observed, the “empty vessel makes the greatest sound.”