Perhaps the greatest evidence of contrast between the noble rhetoric of the Obama campaign and Obama’s record in office is how the Democrat repeatedly blames and/or attacks his Republican rivals while regularly vilifying the standard cast of characters from left-wing demonology.
The editorialists at the Washington Examiner observed that even in the wake of a national disaster, the president continued to play the politics of division:
Meanwhile, as Obama dawdled and oil appeared off Florida’s beaches, the president delivered a strident speech in Pittsburgh with a decidedly Nixonian twist. He should have been summoning political leaders across the spectrum to lay aside partisan concerns for the moment, but instead Obama asserted that Republicans believe that “If you’re a Wall Street bank or an insurance company or an oil company, you pretty much get to play by your own rules, regardless of the consequences for everybody else.” This libelous mischaracterization marks a new low even for a man so highly practiced in the ugly art of political demagoguery.
The art of political demagoguery? Sounds like an accusation hurled against the president’s predecessor from his critics on the left. And while that good man certainly had his flaws, he never practiced the rhetoric of blame in which the incumbent regularly engages.
Indeed, despite his scripted silver tongue, Obama possesses many of the qualities held by the George W. Bush of liberal imagination.
When Obama attacked Republicans in that Pittsburgh speech, he, well, was not being very honest, “And despite all their [Republicans’] current moralizing about the need to curb spending, this is the same crowd who took the record $237 billion surplus that President Clinton left them and turned it into a record $1.3 trillion deficit.” Actually, it wasn’t President Clinton alone who left Republicans with a surplus, but President Clinton working with a Republican Congress. And it wasn’t a Republican Congress that created the $1.3 trillion dollar deficit, but a Democratic Congress unrestrained by President Bush reluctance to use his veto pen.
Now, we have long been critical of W’s failure to hold the line on federal spending. But, back when he was president, his Democratic opponents weren’t proposing alternative budgets which would have contained the cost of government. Nor was that Republican scoring them for preventing him from doing his job.
It would be nice if instead of trying to attack Republicans, the president would instead focus on defending his policies on their merits.