To paraphrase Pogo, “Barack Obama has met the enemy and it is his own party.”
The Democrats are doing all they can to see that their president is a one-termer. In only two weeks since midterm elections exposed the Democrat's vulnerability, the political party with palpable problems continues to alienate the electorate.
Through arrogance, hubris and world class public relations tone-deafness, the Democrats have managed, in less than three weeks, to convert defeat into even bigger defeat.
Last week it was Nancy Pelosi, thumbing her nose at cooler Democratic Party heads who begged her to step down voluntarily, so that fresh-faced, fresh-thinking, less- polarizing leaders could assume minority power in the House.
The soon-to-be former Speaker’s defiance of even her fondest supporters was breathtaking in its brazenness. The fact that the voters overwhelmingly rejected the nation’s liberal tilt meant nothing to Queen Nancy.
She would keep on “tilting” whether anyone liked it or not. And so she will – ensuring by her ongoing, high-profile presence that the polarization roundly rejected by the voters will continue to be alive and well in the Democratic Party.
And this week it was Charley Rangel’s turn in the bathos barrel.
To say that Congressman Rangel’s painful, pandering performance at center stage of the Ethics Committee was an “embarrassment” to the Democratic Party is like saying Senators McCain and Boxer occasionally don’t see eye-to-eye.
Rangel’s mawkish, self-pitying, stream-of-consciousness diatribe at Thursday’s hearing was beyond “embarrassing.” It was just, plain sad.
After two years of inquiry, $2 million in legal fees, a 41-page Statement of Alleged Violation, and god knows how much taxpayer expense for Committee investigators, lawyers, interviewers and all their associated hotel and travel expenses to get to the bottom of the matter of Cong. Rangel’s abuse of the system – precious little sympathy remained for the 20 -term remorseless Representative, whose name forever more will be prefaced by one word, “disgraced.”
Sad to say that despite the Congressman’s plaintiff plea, the conclusion of most voters, regardless of party, was “good riddance.”
It doesn’t take a public relations genius to understand that what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Rangel should have done – if for no other reason than the good of their own Party -- was simply to accept their fate and “go gently into that good night,” with their heads, if not “held high,” at least kept upright.
Instead, both let their misguided sense of entitlement propel them to even more unctuous levels of arrogance, taking their battered Democratic Party down even further.
Fraser P. Seitel has been a communications consultant, commentator, author and teacher for 40 years. He teaches public relations at NYU and is the author of the Prentice- Hall textbook "The Practice of Public Relations," now in its eleventh edition, and co-author of "Idea Wise."