It's already leaking into the smarter corners of the media world: Obama is killing the Democratic Party. The tipping point is here.I have wondered about this, but the problem with all conspiracy theories is that it's damn near impossible to keep everyone on the same page, even in a small group, so coordinating something like a campaign to get rid of a sitting president would be almost unimaginable. Still, Lifson makes some really interesting observations:
This, not coincidence, is why several brainy Democrats, including Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, Ed Rendell, and Lanny Davis, have been providing sound bites that can be used by the Romney campaign to destroy the effectiveness of Obama's attacks on Mitt Romney. The biggest damage has been done by Bill Clinton, whose barrage includes providing the title for the current number-one bestseller about Obama, Ed Klein's The Amateur, calling Mitt Romney's business track record at Bain "sterling," and stating that the Bush tax rates should not be increased, disagreeing with Obama.
It would have to be a covert op. No Democrat who ever wants to carry a black precinct can be seen as slipping in the stiletto. It has to have the appearance of Obama voluntarily announcing that he will not be a candidate for re-election. Just as LBJ did on March 31, 1968. For the good of the country, his family, maybe his for his health. His medical records have never been released, after all.Ah, the medical records thang. But wait, there's more:
It has to be a multi-phase, multi-front strategy. Right now, we are in the softening up phase. The highly public defection of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, calling the attacks on Bain "nauseating," certainly got Obama's attention. So much so that enough pressure was exerted on the mayor that he issued a self-repudiation video that might as well have had the mayor blinking S-O-S in Morse code. Follow this with respected people and allies like Deval Patrick, and Hillary enthusiasts Ed Rendell and Bob Shrum, and most of all employ the biggest gun of all, Bill Clinton. The denials and clarifications don't matter at all. The message to Obama is unmistakable: it is war. We don't have your back.And at this point Lifson is just getting warmed up:
Senator Dianne Feinstein truly cares about national security. But I also know that she can read the handwriting on the wall. Last week, she came out and made the leaking of national security information into a scandal with bipartisan support for an inquiry. This is criminal behavior. She is far from the only powerful Democrat who sees the wisdom of disentangling herself from the Obama disaster.
The signal also has been received by the mainstream media allies of the Clintons. Many of them are already fed up with the high-handedness, venality, incompetence, and amateurishness of the Obama crowd. But now that they see that it is okay to notice when the emperor has no clothes, they can breathe the intoxicating air of honesty and start to include some of the obvious warts on the idealized image. Obama is starting to realize that his media invisible shield is starting to fall apart.So how is it gonna go down?
All of these factors paint a bleak picture for the Obama campaign's prospects, but unless there is a smoking gun about the national security leaks, nothing that would actually force a narcissist to put the interests of party and country ahead of his own. So there may be something else, something which Obama fears so deeply that he would see his own interests best served by withdrawing from his re-election bid.
We do not know what the operative issue would be, but we do know that Barack Obama is an international man of mystery, and that he has gone to great lengths to hide his documentary record. There is on the record his claim of Kenyan birth to his literary agency. It may well be that he was born in Hawaii, but used a claim to Kenyan or Indonesian nationality to gain scholarships and admission advantages at the series of elite and expensive schools he attended, starting with Punahou, the St. Grottelsex of the mid-Pacific.But what's the endgame?
Perhaps by coincidence, last week Stanley Kurtz was able to write about newly revealed evidence that in 2008 the Obama campaign lied about his membership in the radical socialist New Party. I have no knowledge of the specific circumstances of the document in question becoming available, but I would note that the offices of the federal bureaucracy, state and local bureaucracies, academic bureaucracies, and nonprofit bureaucracies are largely staffed with lifelong liberals, who were Democrats before the Obama craze hit the party, and who want the party to survive, and who may even be a little nostalgic for a president with the last name Clinton.
So, hypothetically, if someone in one of these bureaucracies happened to notice a document that proved something embarrassing about Obama, something that exposed a serious biographical lie, serious enough to put him out of the running, she might consider it worthwhile letting others know. Word gets around.
The New Party membership documentation might well be a warning shot.
But what about Hillary, you may be asking. Look at her hair! She's given up.Ah, it's the trick hair! But why would the Clintons play such a dangerous game? Our man Lifson has the answer:
If you imagine that the secretary of state is so weary that she lacks the energy to do her own hair, you do not understand the realities of her life. She has staff who do all the mundane tasks at her convenience, to her specifications. Or else. Her current down-and-out look is just another hairstyle, one calculated to provide political cover. Hillary knows that she will need the black vote once she heads the ticket, so she absolutely cannot be seen as scheming to bring about the sudden surprise announcement from President Obama that her allies are greasing the skids for right now. The worse she looks, the more convincing will be her "surprise," the more sincere her willingness to step forward and save America from a disastrous Romney presidency.
If you imagine that Barack Obama's playing of the race card against the Clintons in the 2008 South Carolina primary battle has been forgiven or forgotten, you do not understand Bill Clinton. As a Southern liberal, a big part of his personal identity is wrapped up in his anti-racism. Not just his political posture -- his sense of his own self-worth is linked to his crusade to overcome the legacy of racism. It is one of the ways he excuses the cruder aspects of his life choices. His racial virtue justifies his life.Maybe all this is true. I'm reasonably certain that the Clintons harbor lingering frustrations about the way the Obama campaign comported itself in 2008. But trying to torpedo a sitting president? I kinda doubt it.
Bill Clinton, for all his bonhomie in public, is a bitter man -- first for his impeachment, and second for the humiliation he and his partner were dealt by the Obama forces in 2008. A man prone to purple rages in private, following his heart surgery, he may be taking his revenge slowly, a moderate blood pressure, as it were, smiling when walking back the latest diss.
What makes a conspiracy theory good is that it has to be plausible. And in this case, there are plausible elements. The Clintons are smart enough to realize that disaster could be imminent, especially in the financial markets. The Eurozone is going down and it's likely that Obamacare is going down, too. I think the statute of limitations has run on blaming George W. Bush for what is happening in 2012. The president doesn't have much else to run on, so things could get grim for the Democrats soon. And if the Obama administration is the face of the Democratic Party, it could have repercussions way down the ticket.
But while I enjoy conspiracy theories, I strongly prefer Occam's Razor. And in this case, the explanation is simple -- the Clintons and their allies have concluded that Obama doesn't have his act together and they're not willing to take marching orders from his campaign. They don't have to be at war with Obama, but they can certainly keep their distance.
If Romney wins, he's going to accept a bit of a poisoned chalice. It won't be easy sledding for anyone in the next four years. If things go badly, the Clintons may be back in 2016.
In any event, one thing is clear. Getcha popcorn. It's going to be a very interesting election.