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Succeeding in Passing Liberal Legislation, Obama Fails to Address Real Concerns of Americans

While some left-of-center pundit have deemed President Obama’s record “historic” given the legislative initiatives he has passed, Noemie Emery reminds us that legislative success does not necessarily mean social and economic progress.

Not just that, the problem, she writes, “is that his successes were things few people wanted to happen:”

He is failing because he has been succeeding; at passing measures that voters don’t want.

Obama has built up his line of “successes” by picking out issues not high on the public’s agenda, and handling them in a manner that most of the people dislike. After the crash of 2008, voters were eager for economic expansion, while Obama reverted to his pre-crash agenda, on the grounds that the crisis was too good to waste.

He passed a $787 stimulus package, when the public was distraught over deficit spending. He wasted a year over health care, for which no one had clamored, producing a 2,000-plus-page enigma that had to be passed by bribes, threats, and buy-offs, which no one had read.

Before the bill passed, voters in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts slapped Democrats hard in the off-year elections in an effort to stop it. Since the bill passed, it has grown still more unpopular, and unpleasant surprises appear every day.

Meanwhile, the stimulus bill is now seen as a failure and a great waste of money. Only 13 percent of the public thinks it helped them at all.

This all goes back to perhaps the most defining moment of the Obama Administration when the then-new president answered Republican objections about the size of the “stimulus” with a curt and contemptuous rebuttal, “I won.”  Yes, he did win and he ran one helluva campaign to achieve that victory.

In that campaign, however, he made sure to define himself as a deficit hawk (in contrast to the Republican Administration under whom we had been “living beyond our means“.  He promised not to follow that spendthrift path, vowing to make cut some programs to compensate for the new programs he was proposing.  Throughout the campaign, he reminded us, he had been proposing a “net spending cut.

In his campaign, he addressed Americans’ concerns about federal profligacy. As president, he has only paid them lip service.  The Democrat is failing because he saw his victory as a mandate to do what he has long wanted not to govern as he had repeatedly promised.

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20 Comments

  1. Has Obama misread the country very badly or does he believe he can do things against the majority of the people and still get re elected?
    If not for the 90% liberal “media” liberal Democrats wouldn’t even bother to run for office.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — July 21, 2010 @ 8:43 pm - July 21, 2010

  2. Some credit markets are already shutting down because of the new liabilities imposed by the legislation. I thought this administration has been whining that the economic recovery is being hampered by a lack of access to credit?

    Or, is it their strategy to place so many burdens on the lending industry that Government will have to step in, because it’s impossible for anyone to get credit?

    Comment by V the K — July 21, 2010 @ 8:57 pm - July 21, 2010

  3. “Before the bill passed, voters in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts slapped Democrats hard in the off-year elections in an effort to stop it.”

    Apparently, we didn’t slap hard enough. Let’s see how hard we can hit in November.

    Comment by Bobbie — July 21, 2010 @ 8:59 pm - July 21, 2010

  4. V the K:

    I am worried that what you are saying is true in general, that they are trying to do as much harm as possible to the economy so they can turn around and say “See? Free markets just don’t work. We’re going to have to control the economy ourselves”

    Comment by John — July 21, 2010 @ 9:06 pm - July 21, 2010

  5. Well at the time, the stimulus was controversial but not totally unpopular. The problem is people don’t feel it has had an impact on their lives and basically they now have a huge debt racked up because of it. The message war of the Democrats has been totally shut out, its rather pathetic for a campaign that was built on winning message war.

    Comment by darkeyedresolve — July 21, 2010 @ 9:16 pm - July 21, 2010

  6. DER, that is probably because, for the most part, the Stimulus was spent on keeping bureaucrats uselessly employed. I mean, maybe, if the Stimulus had been spent on roads, bridges, electrical infrastructure… there might have been some benefit. But paying bureaucrats to shuffle papers (primarily papers designed to thwart economic development) was ultimately counter-productive.

    Comment by V the K — July 21, 2010 @ 9:56 pm - July 21, 2010

  7. have deemed President Obama’s record “historic”

    Just like their budget. It doesn’t exist, but if they say it does (deem), then it exists.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — July 22, 2010 @ 8:25 am - July 22, 2010

  8. Folks you don’t get it. Obama is your BETTER. He KNOWS what’s best for you. His co-conspirators in Congress are your betters (just not better than the ONE mind you) and THEY know what’s best for you. DON’T YOU GET IT??????

    Comment by Delusional Bill — July 22, 2010 @ 9:37 am - July 22, 2010

  9. This is pretty simple. Split the electorate in half along ideological lines, half conservative, half liberal. It wasn’t at all difficult to predict that conservatives would hate Obama regardless of what he’s done, which involves doing lots of things that they cheered George Bush for doing. Conservatives never gave Obama even a sliver of a chance.

    On to the other half, liberals and independents, the only groups that were ever in play in terms of whom Obama could please. Unfortunately, this never occurred to Obama for some inexplicable reason, and he’s been trying to split the difference and chase after unattainable conservative approval, which often times means jettisoning and directly insulting the liberal half. He’s gutted all of his legislation to try to get a group of people that irrationally hate him to give even a slight nod of approval, and in the process he’s disappointed and alienated the only people (liberals and independents) who ever expected to accomplish anything.

    It’s true that he’s passing measures that the voters don’t want – liberals don’t want to have to settle for emaciated, status-quo defending policies and again, conservatives don’t want Obama to do anything. It’s not that all people are rejecting the idea of healthcare reform and economic stimulus, that’s certainly happening among conservative voters (again, predictably), but liberals are rejecting Obama’s versions of these policies because they’re needlessly weak and inefficient.

    Comment by Levi — July 22, 2010 @ 10:40 am - July 22, 2010

  10. *reads through Levi’s ‘Obama is a moderate centrist, trying to capture the right’ drivel.*

    I guess we have to understand Levi’s viewpoint, when Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid aren’t ‘liberal’ to him, I guess anyone short of Che or Bill Ayers is ‘center right’.

    Actually I’m curious now… Who are the ‘Liberal’ politicians to you Levi?

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 22, 2010 @ 11:08 am - July 22, 2010

  11. “Actually I’m curious now… Who are the ‘Liberal’ politicians to you Levi?”

    Pol Pot? Mao?

    Comment by Matteo — July 22, 2010 @ 11:33 am - July 22, 2010

  12. It wasn’t at all difficult to predict that conservatives would hate Obama regardless of what he’s done, which involves doing lots of things that they cheered George Bush for doing.

    And for which “progressives” demanded that Bush be impeached.

    And that is what really puts the lie to the silly Levi child’s desperate ass-covering statement.

    On to the other half, liberals and independents, the only groups that were ever in play in terms of whom Obama could please.

    PuhLEEZ. You admitted that Obama lied during the campaign. You supported his lies because that was the only way he could get elected, to lie to the American populace.

    Now that Obama is failing, you have to blame him. It’s just another example of how “progressives” hide their failures by blaming others. Obama took power and put in the racist, class-warfare, redistribute wealth, attack businesses, and massively expand governmental control that “progressives” have wanted for years. It failed and it failed miserably.

    The problem here is, Levi boy, that the American people have realized that “progressives” like you are fascists in disguise who think that the American people need to be ruled by wannabe despots like yourself who will drag them “kicking and screaming” into whatever you want and insist that democracy is irrelevant.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 22, 2010 @ 12:09 pm - July 22, 2010

  13. And here’s the latest example of Levi’s “progressive” views in action today.

    Why do “progressives” like you use Nazi-style tactics, Levi?

    Oh, and everyone, just in case you haven’t read ahead, Levi opened the floor for the “Nazi-style” statements. Certainly he wouldn’t be stupid and hypocritical enough to argue that comparing people to Nazis is wrong now, would he?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — July 22, 2010 @ 12:34 pm - July 22, 2010

  14. Obama and the Democratic leadership have spent the last 18-months on”their agendas”…not America’s.

    – Save the Wall street bankers.
    – Save the teachers, the SIEU and the cops.
    – Save the United Auto Workers.
    – Change health-care, not fix-it…

    The hell with Main Street, jobs, immigration, Islamofascism
    …or America’s future

    Comment by Ted B. — July 22, 2010 @ 3:09 pm - July 22, 2010

  15. He’s gutted all of his legislation to try to get a group of people that irrationally hate him to give even a slight nod of approval, and in the process he’s disappointed and alienated the only people (liberals and independents) who ever expected to accomplish anything.

    Uhm. Mo. He HAS NOT “gutted all of his legislation”… because none of this has been his legislation. It’s congresses. He left virtually all of the details to Pelosi and Reid to craft the things, which is why they turned into the steaming piles of poo that they are. He didn’t have a road map saying he wanted specifics, and the few time he threateded to kill the things because they didn’t include X, Y, or Z, he backed off when they didn’t happen. GW Bush did the same thing. The Republicans were never much involved in most of this because of the Dem majorities in both houses, he really didn’t need them. In health care, he didn’t promise to keep the abortion funding ban in place because of Republican pressure, he did it to please Democrats.

    Comment by Sonicfrog — July 22, 2010 @ 4:06 pm - July 22, 2010

  16. Only 13 percent of the public thinks it helped them at all.

    I wonder what 13 percent that is… the 13 percent that works for the gubmint?

    I guess I can claim to have benefited from the stimulus. The four unemployment checks I received from California included $25 stimulus payments. It said so right on the check.

    So, like a lot of California workers, I packed up my toys and went home. I miss the San Diego weather but I don’t miss the taxes and sky-high cost of living.

    Kansas. The land of aaahhhs.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — July 22, 2010 @ 5:53 pm - July 22, 2010

  17. Unions make up about 11%…funny that.

    Comment by American Elephant — July 22, 2010 @ 6:42 pm - July 22, 2010

  18. Levi instructs:

    conservatives would hate Obama regardless of what he’s done, which involves doing lots of things that they cheered George Bush for doing.

    Don’t bother to strain your brain, Levi, just tell us three:

    1.

    2.

    3.

    Obama for some inexplicable reason…. (Obama has) been trying to (…) chase after unattainable conservative approval, which often times means jettisoning and directly insulting the liberal half.

    Cool! Give us just a couple of examples of Obama pandering to conservatives:

    1.

    2.

    He’s gutted all of his legislation to try to get a group of people that irrationally hate him….

    Name one piece of legislation Obama gutted to get just one conservative:

    1.

    I will stop here, because I can’t challenge Levi to anything less than one.
    He can choose three from “lots of things” and then two from Obama’s “often” courting of conservatives and just one from “all his legislation.”
    This is a job so simple that a mere simpleton should be able to handle it while swimming in his drool cup.

    Comment by heliotrope — July 22, 2010 @ 10:33 pm - July 22, 2010

  19. I wonder what 13 percent that is… the 13 percent that works for the gubmint?

    Heh, here in New Jersey one-half of payroll employments are with a federal, state, county or local government or agency. And one-half of them get more than $100k in salary and benefits.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — July 22, 2010 @ 11:03 pm - July 22, 2010

  20. heliotrope,

    Considering it took Levi 109 days to admit there aren’t even two ‘successful socialist countries’ let alone ‘several’ I’d not hold my breath waiting for him to back up his statements here. Levi’s lies are well documented, as well as his constant repetition of them in the hope that, like his fellow leftists Gobbles and Stalin, if it is repeated enough, it will be accepted as true.

    Heck, that evil BP plugged the well faster than Levi could admit he was wrong, again.

    Comment by The_Livewire — July 23, 2010 @ 7:41 am - July 23, 2010

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