The wheels seem to be coming off this presidentís administration.†That is not always a good thing.
His budget guy has quit. His Afghan general belittled him and was booted. Word on the street is that Rahm may quit after November. Congress doesnít dare pass a budget for next year.
Democrats are backing away from the President.†If he wants their support on something he has to threaten them.†He says he will campaign for them in the next election. ďMy God, the President wants to come to some of my rallies.† Iím sunk!Ē
Meanwhile, the Blago trial spews sludge that is the lifeblood of the Illinois political machine. The machine that gave birth to this president.
Rumors fly that the family dog ate his loafers. And that his girls stick Rodney Dangerfield signs on his jacket. And that George Bush put them up to it.
Some of this stew he has cooked up himself. Pollsters tell us virtually every program he pursues is unpopular. Majorities donít like his healthcare package. They donít like his expansion of government. Or his latest Supreme Court choice. Or his attacks on one industry after another.
They donít like his snoozing on the border issue. They donít like him suing Arizona for passing a law that mirrors the federal law on illegal immigrants. They figure his strategy in Afghanistan will flop. They donít like how he hugs a thug like Chavez, but slaps Israel in the face.
And they figure he doesnít know what he is doing with the oil mess in the Gulf. They figure he should bring in experts from the oil industry instead of academics.†They figure he should allow foreign ships in to help. That means lifting a restrictions the unions prefer to keep in place.
So much for the ingredients he has tossed into the stew.† Other ingredients are perceptions.
Few of us know the man, of course. Unless you are a white cop who arrests an unruly black man, you wonít get to quaff a beer with him. Since we donít really know what he is like, we must rely on perceptions. Most perceptions of presidents are created by image-makers.
Well, they ainít doing a good job. Whether accurate or not, the perception a lot of folks have is that he is aloof.†And cold.†Stiff. The image-makers are trying to change that perception lately. By having him chow down on burgers with the Russian president. Right.
Other perceptions are that his is vindictive, petty, non-presidential. And that he is not up for the job, in over his head.†Lots of folks believe his utter lack of experience as an executive leaves him ill-equipped for what he faces.
Those are perceptions. People fling stuff onto the wall. Some of it sticks. The stuff that sticks does so because of perceptions in our minds. When Truman was in the White House critics said he was a know-nothing. That stuck. Because Truman gave that perception, with his salty language and shoot-from-the-hip style. And his lack of college education.
The reality was that Truman had read, absorbed and drew lessons from more history than most any ten other presidents combined.
No matter where the ingredients came from, this President is up to his ears in a stew.† And its temperature is on the rise.
From Tom ... as in Morgan.††††††††††††††††††
For more columns, for Tomís radio shows and new TV show (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.