It seems like months ago. But not…it was last week. Really. It was last week when President Obama challenged his detractors, and asked for a fight on health care. It was, in his own words, “A fight that I welcome”. Well, then came the knockout punch in Massachusetts…or in Obama’s words again, ‘a buzzsaw’. Be careful what you wish for, Mr. President. Mr. Obama and his much ballyhooed team in the White House have long run on arrogance and vinegar. They faced no real equal in the 2008 elections…Hillary’s arrogance was only superceded by her campaign’s incompetence, and John McCain…is John McCain. And against that competition, Obama and his cohorts seemed like a bunch of world beaters. Now, reality has set in. Well, maybe. Democrat Marion Berry (not that Marion Barry), Representative from Arkansas, provided some insight as he announced his retirement on Monday. He spoke of his disenchantment with the current White House:
“I’ve been doing that with this White House, and they just don’t seem to give it any credibility at all,” Berry said. “They just kept telling us how good it was going to be. The president himself, when that was brought up in one group, said, ‘Well, the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.’ We’re going to see how much difference that makes now.”
Um, right. If anything, Barack Obama has less political skills than Bill Clinton. While Clinton was wise enough to use political triangulation, and save his presidency, Obama appears to be following the exact opposite path. He seems to be becoming more strident in tone, and more ideological in policy. So what is Obama’s answer to the pummeling his party has taken over the last several months? First, to attack the budget deficit. Right, the same budget deficit that he blames on Bush, although by next year Obama will have more budget deficit spending than Bush had…in 8 years.
So in other words, Obama’s budget hawk talk is just that…talk. But Obama does like to hear himself talk. So he is going to spend a bulk of his State of the Union talking about budgets cuts that will cut $250 billion from the budget over 10 years. Only one problem…this year, our MONTHLY deficits have run in the range of $200 billion. And even better…Obama is proposing a three-year hard freeze on non-security discretionary spending, to last from 2011 through 2013. Ironic, since he chastised McCain for being intellectually deficient when proposing something very similar during the 2008 campaign. Additionally, the whole concept of cutting government spending goes against the grain of the entire Obama Economic stimulus plan.
His second tactic is to become a populist ala Scott Brown. He started that ‘strategery’ last week when he proposed more regulations and taxes on the banking sector. What is insane is that one of the main reasons the economy is lagging is the diminished lending from those same banks. Thus, Obama’s answer is to further reduce their ability to loan money. And this guy actually graduated from Columbia and Harvard? Well, apparently, he is going to use his high minded intellect in his State of the Union to tell us, the public…why we are angry, at least according to Robert Gibbs. Thanks, Barry, but I frankly know exactly why I am angry.
When you take a step back and look at the Obama Presidency so far, one thing is clear: on every intellectual policy discussion that we have had over the past year, Obama has lost. He passed the stimulus bill, with almost no Republican support; it is now generally thought of as a failure by the public. The health care debacle has about 30% support across the board. Obama even was able to rejuvenate Darth Vader himself, Dick Cheney. When Cheney went to war with Obama about harsh interrogations, it was Cheney’s poll numbers that improved. And now, Obama thinks that he is going to tap into the populist discontent across the country, simply by demonizing bankers? I think not.
Simply put, every real fight Obama has, he loses. So if he wants another one, I say, bring it on.
P.S. – If Obama says anything of any signficance, I will comment on it below during the SOTU.
9 P.M. – Let the fun begin!
– He gave tax cuts to everyone! As a result…our taxes have increased! Wow, the country he is talking about is certainly not the one I live in.
– We haven’t increased taxes on anyone? What is he talking about?
– Every statement about his stimulus is an outright falsehood, or a stretch of the truth to the breaking point.
– “Jobs must be our focus in 2010.” Well, glad he admits it wasn’t his focus in 2009.
– Tax cuts? Yeah, right. After he raises our taxes, he will give a little back.
– Not interested in punishing banks? Then, why tax banks that have ALREADY paid back their loans? It is ONLY for punitive reasons.
– Free trade? The same day he put import dues on Chinese products? From the man against the Columbian Free Trade agreement? Right.
– Health care is dead. At least, Obamacare is. I hope they spend the rest of the year fighting for it.
And the American people have spoken…and don’t want your health care fix, Mr. President.
– The President doesn’t understand that tax cuts do invest in the American people, more so than any government program.
– Common sense? Mr. President, that is seriously lacking within your own White House.
– Mr. Obama has not looked at his own administration…there are NUMEROUS lobbyist on his payroll.
– Never seen a President directly attack the Supreme Court directly during a SOTU address. Can’t believe the court members are happy.
– The biggest opposition of earmark reform comes from the left side of the aisle. You will note more support from Republicans than Democrats on this issue.
– Finally, Mr. President, there is a reason why there is so much cynicism and disappointment; it is because, you sir, have been a disappointment, and have not lived up to ‘Change you can believe in.’ That is at the heart of the cynicism in this country today.