Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Have Some Sympathy

Those readers who follow politics have probably heard that the democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, Alison Lundergen Grimes, has repeatedly refused to admit to having voted for Mr. Obama. Her refusals have reached the parodic stage, and I started to think that maybe the truth is that she actually voted for Mitt Romney or forgot to vote at all and knew that such an admission would destroy her chances of defeating Mitch McConnell. This seems an unlikely explanation, however, since she actually campaigned for Mr. Obama in 2012.

Even so, why the aversion to admitting that she voted for him? I mean, okay, a lot of people don't want to admit they voted for him, and understandably so, because he had no qualifications for the office when he ran in 2008 and appears headed for the distinction of the most incompetent president of the last 100 years, so an admission that one voted for him reflects very poorly on one's judgment. I understand that, but even so, what is she telling her fellow Democrats when she won't admit having voted for a man whose election she worked for? Is Mr. Obama really that politically toxic?

Anyway, Molly Hemmingway has come to her defense, sort of, in a piece at The Federalist. Hemmingway writes:
Here’s the thing. It wasn’t just Grimes who voted for Obama multiple times. It was literally (literally “literally,” not Joe Biden “literally”) tens of millions of other people in this country. They really did it. For real. They put up bumper stickers. They put up yard signs. They called him a light-worker and an enlightened being. They said “He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair.”

He was given a Nobel Freaking Peace Prize. The award citation reads like satire. Seriously, it’s hi-larious. If you’re ever having a bad day, just recall that President Obama once won a Nobel Peace Prize. If you’re having a really bad day, read the citation. I guarantee your mood will improve.

The media fawned over him. They got thrills up their legs. By any metric, the mainstream media was obsequious in its coverage of the president, only pulling back marginally, quite recently, and in the tiniest few quarters as the crush of scandal and incompetence has continued and grown.

Anyway, point being that it’s not just Grimes who is trying to avoid the uncomfortably truth that she played a role in electing and re-electing Obama.

Pretty much everyone who voted for Obama is looking to change the topic if it comes up. Even the crazy person who lives down my street in a house that looks haunted finally took down his Obama sign. It had been up for years. My Obama-bumper-sticker-saturated neighborhood is nearly Obama bumper sticker free these days. My Democratic friends are all talking more about Obama’s incompetence than the role they played in inflicting our country with his presidency. Yours are, too. Heck, you are, too, if you were one of the majority of voters who voted for Obama. (Or you’re shifting blame desperately in a comment thread as we speak.) Listen, I know the options weren’t great, but that’s still no defense for picking the guy who is bad at everything.

I mean, at this point, we’re down to, like, Ezra Klein and the Vox Crew when we’re counting people who are reluctantly admitting that they were in that group of people. We’re at 2006 levels of people trying to avoid talking about voting for the guy who they made president. Maybe worse. Think about that. We are in the middle of a presidency that is making the Bush administration seem like it was chock full of managerial geniuses and strategic masterminds. Of course you’re going to deny having had anything to do with the presidency that is making the predecessor look competent by comparison.

I don’t blame Grimes one bit for denying she helped elect the guy whose top hits include Solyndra, Obamacare health premiums, the assault on religious liberty, Joe Biden, ISIS sprawl, and a growing list of scandals that make Nixon, Warren G. Harding and Ulysses S. Grant look like choir boys (She might have included the failure to prepare for Ebola in this list-RLC).

So let’s lay off her. She did what she had to do. So are tons of the remaining Obama voters. They made a huge mistake. No need to vote for Grimes, obviously, but have some sympathy.
Point taken, Molly, but until I hear her actually explain why she voted for a man who pretty much just walked into the White House off the street it'll be hard to gin up much sympathy for her.