When Barack Obama loses Maureen Dowd??  "As president, Obama always found us wanting. We were constantly disappointing him. He would tell us the right thing to do and then sigh and purse his lips when his instructions were not followed."

Losing skippers blame the boat, the crew, the wind, the race committee, everybody but themselves.
So really, he’s not acknowledging any flaws but simply wondering if we were even more benighted than he thought. He’s saying that, sadly, we were not enlightened enough for the momentous changes wrought by the smartest people in the world — or even evolved enough for the first African-American president.

“Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,” Obama mused to aides.

We just weren’t ready for his amazing awesomeness.
No, a non-stimulus stimulus and a two lies for the price of one Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and all the rest aren't going to work.  Not fifty years ago at the zenith of the Great Society, not in the early years of the current century, not ever.  And "let us continue" wasn't going to go over well.
The hunger for revolutionary change, the fear that some people were being left behind in America and that no one in Washington cared, was an animating force at the boisterous rallies for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

Yet Obama, who had surfed a boisterous wave into the Oval, ignored the restiveness — here and around the world. He threw his weight behind the most status quo, elitist candidate.

“I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have seen it coming,” [court intellectual Ben] Rhodes writes about the “darkness” that enveloped him when he saw the electoral map turn red. “Because when you distilled it, stripped out the racism and misogyny, we’d run against Hillary eight years ago with the same message Trump had used: She’s part of a corrupt establishment that can’t be trusted to change.”
That "boisterous wave" Ms Dowd had the Hawaiian basketball star surfing turned out to be more of the same warmed-over technocratic stuff that Democrats have been relying on at least since the days of the brains trust.  Why should that establishment do anything differently, no matter how exotic the messenger might be?  That might be the real message of all the down-ticket Democrat carnage during the Obama years, it's just the same stuff, different advocates.

Matthew Continetti is unsparing in his analysis.
Obama's words once again revealed his colossal lack of self-awareness. The passages of The World As It Is that [New York Times columnist Peter] Baker quotes in his piece reinforce the widespread impression of our forty-fourth president as an aloof, smug, vainglorious chief executive totally divorced from political reality. The shock, disgust, confusion, and horror with which Obama and his team greeted the election results exemplified the very attitudes toward democratic procedure and populist conservatism that fueled Trump's rise. The only lesson Barack Obama drew from the election was confirmation of his own moral superiority.

Even the former president's moments of "self-doubt" were framed as opportunities for lackeys to remind him of his greatness. Rhodes describes a ride in the presidential limousine during which Obama asked, "What if we were wrong?" A leading question no matter the situation, particularly when the man posing it is president of the United States. What did Obama expect Rhodes to say—"Yes, Mr. President, we royally screwed the pooch?"
A court intellectual won't, but a Free Beacon columnist will, identify precisely which pooches were screwed, and when.
It's not your fault, Mr. President. You didn't push too far. All you did was troll Donald Trump into running for president in the first place, stand by while Ferguson and Baltimore rioted and burned, give Iran billions in exchange for empty promises, allow Russia to establish a beachhead in the Middle East for the first time in half a century, browbeat Israel at every opportunity, ram through Obamacare after Scott Brown's election in Massachusetts, preside over the mass migration of children across the southern border in 2014, expand the DACA amnesty despite saying 22 times you lacked authority to do so, use the permanent structure of government to devastate the Appalachian economy, convince half of America that liberals were ready to take their guns (this wasn't hard to do), have your Education Department issue orders that led to the campus-assault craze and the deterioration of classroom discipline and that, months before a presidential election, mandated trans-bathrooms in schools, have your Justice Department preside over a sloppy (I'm being charitable) investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server that included, at one point, your attorney general secretly meeting with the husband of the subject of the investigation on an airport tarmac, muscle out Joe Biden, who might have won, from the race, and hand the party back to the less-likable half of America's most polarizing and corrupt political couple. Not to mention the eight years of lecturing. Oh, the lecturing.
Particularly, as that excerpt notes, the lecturing and the preening in service of precisely the wrong projects.  Roger Kimball elaborates.
In order to understand the shattering surprise that gripped team Obama, it is necessary to appreciate the sensation of absolute moral superiority that wafted them along. This was no mere election. It was a fight between good and evil. And they were in no doubt that they were the good guys. “Cuba, climate, Iran,” Rhodes says, what will happen to those things now that Donald Trump is in charge? Note that he puts forward those items as if they were triumphs for the Obama administration and not disastrous missteps.

“The irony of the Obama years,” Rhodes mused, “is going to be that he was advocating an inclusive global view rooted in common humanity and international order amidst this roiling ocean of growing nationalism and authoritarianism.” Got that? “Inclusive” and “common humanity” on one side versus “nationalism” and “authoritarianism” on the other.

This is not politics in any ordinary sense. It is a resurgent Manichean dualism in which the elect battle the infidels (despite the irony that the elect in this case are not elected). All is not lost, however, for if Rhodes is right, the rising generation “seems to share a very Obama view of the world.” It’s just that there are “retrenchment forces pushing back from the other direction who have actually gotten their hands on the levers of power now.” Imagine that!

The fascinating thing of “The Final Year” is the glimpse it affords into the engine room of a certain species of elite bureaucratic presumption. It is earnest, articulate, educated, well-meaning, and utterly, dangerously naïve. When you review the series of foreign policy disasters over which Obama presided—the names Libya, Syria, and Iran offer a good start—and then contrast it with his warmhearted rhetoric, you begin to understand why Graham Greene could warn that “innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.”
How dare those Normals turf out the Wise Experts and let slip the animal spirits?
Meanwhile, back in the real world, official unemployment is down to 3.8 percent (real unemployment is 7.6 percent and falling), black unemployment is at an historic low, the economy is buzzing along, consumer confidence is the highest it’s been in a generation, North Korea is headed to the bargaining table, Iran’s efforts to get nuclear weapons is being starved, and preposterous virtue-signaling and prosperity blighting climate change pacts have been put where they belong, on the ash heap of history. Slowly, slowly, at least parts of the soft-totalitarianism of the administrative state are being peeled back and the fresh breezes of local control and individual responsibility are making a come back.
The rapprochement with North Korea may not yet deliver, and the mullahs might yet put down the insurgency in Iran, and the tariff spats may yet bring on a recession.  And yet, the Wise Experts seem more interested in being angry than in proposing anything substantive.  Life goes on.

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