COMMENTARY | American Crossroads has released a video having a little fun with President Barack Obama’s claim to be the fourth greatest president in American history, after Franklin Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and Abraham Lincoln.
Using the theme from “Masterpiece Theater” and a narrator who can talk breathlessly without seeming too over the top, the video recounts the achievements of some of our great presidents.
George Washington was the father of our country and kept the infant United States from collapse and rebellion.
John Kennedy cut taxes, helped to put a man on the moon, and saved the world from thermonuclear war during the Cuban mission crisis.
Ronald Reagan created jobs, won the Cold War, and ended the Carter malaise.
And then there is President Obama.
Mind, a president who has destroyed jobs, created malaise, brought the country closer to collapse and rebellion, and has eschewed going back to the moon might do well to practice a little humility. While it is alright to have a little self regard, it becomes off putting when it is not backed up by actual accomplishments.
An American president should not compound this folly by providing his enemies material to strike at him. Many politicians have this problem, including those who are running to replace the current president. But Obama seems to have a knack for this sort of thing that exceeds all others.
What can the president do to change this state of affairs? Doing a 180 and actually practicing humility might be a start, though it is politically risky. When one admits to mistakes, one does two things. First, one demonstrates that one is aware of one’s shortcomings, a trait that people admire. But the danger is that one also suggests that one might make mistakes in the future. That is going down the road to making the big concession speech on election night to a crowd of weeping supporters and to a grateful nation.
What Obama has to do besides admitting to mistakes is to reassure the American people that he has learned from them. He could do this by proposing a series of policy initiative that are different from the ones he has enacted previously and has failed. He can propose cutting spending and taxes, a moratorium on regulation and a rollback of the same, and, in the spirit of JFK, reverse his decision not to go back to the moon.
Of course this would mean that Obama would have to change a lifetime of bad political beliefs. But if he can manage it, he will show that he has grown in office, will have stolen most of the issues from his Republican opponents, and may well win reelection.
Sources: Great Moments in American History, American Crossroads, YouTube
Blogs bash Obama’s historic claim, M.J. Lee, Politico, Dec 20, 2011