Obama’s Never Had A Lex Luthor
All the great, iconic superheroes have an equally iconic nemesis. Superman has Lex Luthor. Batman has The Joker. The X-Men have Magneto. Spider-Man has The Green Goblin. And so forth.
The same rule often appears to apply to politics. Reagan had Tip O’Neil, Bush I had Clinton, Clinton had Gingrich, Bush had… well, you could say Pelosi but I’d argue that the American people eventually became Bush’s greatest nemesis.
Barack Obama, on the other hand, is one of American history’s more skillful politicians but with the exception of Hillary Clinton’s campaign I would argue that he’s never had a straightforward nemesis to go toe-to-toe with. When he ran for Senate, the best the GOP could eventually come up with was Alan Keyes, who turned out to be even crazier than we thought he was in the ‘90s (he abandoned the GOP and is now some kind of birther). Then Obama faced McCain and Palin who turned out to be more like characters from the Super Villain Alternate Squad than members of the Legion of Doom.
I would argue that the Tea Party was more effective against Obama than actual leaders like McConnell and Boehner, but we’re already beginning to see that 2010 may have been more of a perfect alignment than an actual movement.
And now we see the alliance of Fox News, The Drudge Report and the Romney campaign (along with their lackies at Breitbart.com) who seem to repeatedly believe that innocuous videos of Obama hugging a guy or making a speech in clear view of the public (in a video that’s been on YouTube for years, no less) are devastating truth bombs to launch from their conservacannons.
Obama’s supposed to be having a showdown with the Joker, but instead he’s got the Riddler on a bad day.
In addition to your own actions, your nemeses and the way you deal with them are what defines you. Obama has been given several gifts by that measurement, having only once been challenged by a worthy foe who nearly defeated him.
The rest have been strictly amateur hour.