In his July 4 post, Roger Simon wrote, “Obama is already over.”
In six short months the now-spattered bumper stickers with “Hope and Change” seem like pathetic remnants from the days of “23 Skidoo,” the echoes of “Yes, we can” more nauseating than ever in their cliché-ridden evasiveness.
When I read that piece, it struck that I had felt something similar, only that I would have used a different expression, calling the president “old news.” To be sure, there were some moments in the transition as he tapped to a bevy of moderate Democrats for top jobs in his cabinet and Administration, he genuinely seemed to be the “new kind of politician” he billed himself on the campaign trail. I now believe he sealed the fate of his Administration two days after his election, the day he announced the appointment of hard-charging Democrat and left-wing firebrand Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff.
No one interested in governing from the center and reaching across the partisan divide would have tapped such as committed partisan as his top White House aide. And while there may be some moderate faces in the Administration, most of policies have come from the liberal wish lists accumulated over the past four decades. Perhaps building on a point Michael Barone first made nearly eight months ago, Daniel Henninger noted last week that, in a world of increasing choices, the Democrat favors a one-size-fits all approach to health care reform.
This, he found, is starting to make the Administration “look totally out of sync with the new zeitgeist, the spirit of the age“
Everything about the health-care exercise is looking very old hat, starting with the old guys working on it. Max Baucus, Patrick Leahy, Pete Stark—all were elected to Congress in the 1970s, and live on as the immortals in Washington’s Forever Land. But it’s more than the fact that Congress looks old. The health-care bill is big, complex, incomprehensible and coercive—all the things people hate nowadays.
. . . our government, from the White House through Congress and so many state and local governments, seems to be demonstrating every day that they cannot make things better. They are not offering a new path, they are only offering old paths—spend more, regulate more, tax more in an attempt to make us more healthy locally and nationally. And in the long term everyone—well, not those in government, but most everyone else—seems to know that won’t work. It’s not a way out. It’s not a path through.
Emphasis added. Only offering old paths. That sounds about right. For every social and economic problem, Obama Democrats believe, the federal government must provide the solution.
Barack Obama put forward a different image on the campaign trail, but when the time came to govern, he tapped a Democratic hack to run his office and turned to a worn-out liberal playbook for ideas on the type of policies he would promote.