Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

Obama Up, Petraeus Down

English: Cropped version of File:Official port...

English: Cropped version of File:Official portrait of Barack Obama.jpg. The image was cropped at a 3:4 portrait ratio, it was slightly sharpened and the contrast and colors were auto-adjusted in photoshop. This crop, in contrast to the original image, centers the image on Obama’s face and also removes the flag that takes away the focus from the portrait subject. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Who’s the real General here? Obama faced daunting enemies: the GOP and its mouthpiece, Fox News. All of Wall Street. The Supreme Court’s Citizens United. Karl Rove and his political angels–Adelson, the Koches and others who threw good money after bad to cook the presidential goose. And a liberal cohort that was shaking in its boots right up to confirmation of the Prez’s victory. But look who’s left standing: Barack himself.
    Petraeus has been a conservative darling, a Bush-man of whom it was hoped might run for the Oval Office in 2016 (some wanted him to throw in his hat this time around, instead of taking the CIA). He was Gen. Clean with nary a tarnish on his chest-medals. Clothed in the armor of righteousness, he inexplicably deigned to drop his pants–a funny place, it turns out, for an Achilles Heel.
    Let’s get real, first, about the election. It was not won on ideas, as so loudly claimed. Readers know I called the race for Obama at the very beginning of the campaign, and picked Romney as the other nominee when the GOP was in love with Cain and the other temporary favorites. They also know I predicted an Obama landslide and, while heckled for that, it came close to being one–and was, in the swing states, while Republicans failed to nab many expected seats (some six others are still too close to call but are led by the Dems). The Senate is even more firmly in Democratic hands.
    Remember that a landslide does not mean a trouncing in number of votes but a coat-tail effect that brings other races into the winner’s orbit regardless of the thinness of their respective margins. And that nearly happened. Why else are we watching a chastened Grand Old Party at war with itself instead of with the President, for once?
    I’ve watched Team Obama closely since ‘08 to see if the coalition put together then was staying intact. It was, hence the smugness of the President’s army on Election Day while Fox’s analysts were turning pale. Do not be deceived: the “ground game,” not rhetoric, won the day. The only issue that people really cared about was the economy, and Romney came close enough without even giving specifics.
     But Obama scooped up a significant share of the “Evangelical” vote, given that many of them are minorities of color with whom Romney & Co preferred not to dirty their hands.
    So there is no time for gloating here. Celebrate, and knock yourself out for a few days; but things can turn around, depending on strategies going forward, and certainly in time for the next mid-term elections.
    And I have a question that the media never asked, let alone answered: why, after so many Romney gaffes early on, did Obama not have a bigger lead over him; and why did one debate shrink the lead to nothing and change the entire dynamic of the campaign? Why, when Barack seemed “listless” in the first debate was he deemed “out of touch” and “unengaged,” followed by a huge bump for the Mittster; but when Romney showed up the same way in debate number three, he was declared to be “properly restrained” and even “presidential” and the polls remained dead even thereafter?
    The Petraeus Affair is a classic example of Aristotle’s definition of tragedy–a man who has everything to be a world-beater but does himself in.
    But this mess is stranger than strange. News stories have asked who will come out of this the worst. Well, not Petraeus: have you noticed that absolutely no one dislikes him? They are sorry he goofed up, but not only will they not say a word against him, some want him back on the job–or one like it–asap.
    Suppose our mortal enemies and their spy systems had spotted his vulnerability first and induced the general to dip his wick with a real femme fatale who could wrangle secrets during pillow talk or by puter-hacking? The truth is, this was a close call and Petraeus has betrayed his country, but never mind. We are lucky, if indeed we are, that worse didn’t happen. On the other hand, hold your breath for what next day’s news might bring.
    Certainly Paula Broadwell will not suffer: her book now is guaranteed to make her rich and famous. Nor will Jill Kelley, the two-million-in-debt “socialite” (a word for party-girl) who clearly loves men in uniform and found a great way to be at their elbows, cleavage and all. Watching her sashay about for the cameras, viewers may be reminded of a character on Desperate Housewives or Jersey-bitches-whatever. She can’t write a book but there’s always a ghost who will do it for a percentage, but my guess is that she’ll go the easy way and take dough from talk shows till even her admirers are sick of her.
    No, it takes someone less attractive, though worth more than the lot of them, to be hurt and that is Holly Petraeus. For all her work on behalf of military families, she is seen as a frumpy housewife whom no one from private to general would try to sack and, if they did, they would have to learn the meaning of the word No.
    What hurts the GOP most in all of this is that, since Petraeus’ connections are military, and international at that, they can’t a chokehold on Obama. It is around his neck that they want to wrap Benghazi, pull it tight, and let him dangle at the end. But as long as Petraeus (and don’t forget Allen) and any other falling shoes are still around and have questions of their own to answer, Obama escapes conservative tentacles.
    So the real General is Obama. I’ve also said before that he’s smarter than all of his enemies and this election cycle and its aftermath show that to be true.
    In a way, it doesn’t get any better than this.

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