In my latest post reminding readers that while as presidential candidate, Barack Obama promised he’d hold on the line on federal spending, yet delivered instead a flood of red ink as president, I noted that I may well have “belabor[ed] this point overmuch.” But, it is a point which bears repetition.
Yes, one of our critics, returning to our blog after long hiatus, started off the comment thread by sniffing,
I can’t believe you’re still flogging this nonsense. I don’t visit the site for a few months, and here you are, repeating the exact same, ridiculous B.S. that you were the last time I was here. . . .
Months ago, you offered your little internet hypothesis about people being mad at Obama for violating what you perceived to be a central promise of his campaign (it wasn’t) and now, when his polling has hit new lows for a completely unrelated reason that you refuse to acknowledge, you’re claiming vindication.
You’re wrong. No one cares about what Obama said in some debate ages ago about his net spending cut.
So, is he telling us that words don’t matter, that a candidate’s campaign rhetoric is irrelevant to his Administration? Before mouthing off on people don’t care what a candidate says in a debate which 56.5 million Americans watched (roughly 46% of the turnout in the presidential contest), he might ask voters in 1992 what they thought of George H.W. Bush’s decision to break his “no new taxes” pledge (Here’s a clue: in 1992, he won nearly 10 million fewer voters than he had in 1988).
Since our critic thinks this line was so insignificant, let’s, as they say, review the transcript (adding emphasis to make my point):
But there is no doubt that we’ve been living beyond our means and we’re going to have to make some adjustments.
Now, what I’ve done throughout this campaign is to propose a net spending cut. . . . .
What I want to emphasize, though, is that I have been a strong proponent of pay-as- you-go. Every dollar that I’ve proposed, I’ve proposed an additional cut so that it matches.
So, in front of second largest audience he’d get during the campaign, the Democrat said he’d promoted a spending cut “throughout this campaign.” Those three words tell us that this spending cut was not incidental to his campaign, but a defining aspect of it. You don’t repeat something throughout a campaign if it’s not central to your platform.
Then, Obama went out to make a promise he’d repeat in his half-hour pre-election informercial: “Every dollar that I’ve proposed, I’ve proposed an additional cut so that it matches.”
So, yes, I do repeat this notion because, well, Obama repeated it on the campaign trail. It helped him get elected. And let’s not forget, Obama himself said, “Don’t tell me that words don’t matter.”