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Why did people believe a Chicago pol was a bold and daring reformer cut from a different cloth than other machine politicians?

“Remember,” Ed Morissey wrote yesterday with some nostalgia, those “heady days of ‘hope and change’?

That was Obama’s argument that only he could change the way Washington worked as an outsider with few obligations to the Establishment.  How voters bought that notion from a Chicago Machine politician is a matter for future psychiatrists and comedians, but Obama’s jerk to the Left and the embrace of old class-warfare arguments and policies appear to have derailed any serious attempt to curtail deficits, at least for the short term.

And the longer Obama governs, the more we see that the image he and his campaign created is at odds with his record.  Ed’s right; that people bought into it is indeed a matter for psychiatrists and comedians.

That our journalists did not delve into his record to see if it matched his rhetoric causes one to question their competency.  Sarah Palin’s daughter’s ex-boyfriend becomes a source of information on the accomplished Alaska reformer, but Barack Obama’s minister of twenty years (about as long as that ex- had been alive, much longer than he knew the Palins) is off limits.

Today, two of my favorite sources of libertarian/conservative opinion, Glenn Reynolds and the WSJ.com’s Political Diary (available by subscription) linked and/or excerpted Peter Wehner’s must-read piece on Obama’s Disquieting Heroic Fantasies.  Wehner notes how Obama created this image of this new kind of politician out of whole cloth,about which Morrissey recently reminisced, offering an image of himself opposite to the actual politician Obama has been:

I have written before about Obama’s deep, almost desperate, need to portray himself as the opposite of what he is, to conceive of himself in a way that is at odds with reality. We have seen it in all sorts of areas, including claiming himself to be a voice of civility, portraying himself as a champion of bi-partisanship, lecturing others about profligate spending, and saying he is the only responsible “adult” in Washington. (more…)

How dishonest critics of Guantanamo harmed America’s image

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:02 pm - September 27, 2011.
Filed under: American Self-Hatred,Noble Republicans

The president has also suggested that Guantanamo should be closed because it is hurting America’s image around the world. But it’s not Guantanamo that does the harm, it is the critics of the facility who peddle falsehoods about it.

Dick Cheney, In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir

A figure to bear in mind as the budget debate resumes

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:10 am - September 27, 2011.
Filed under: Big Government Follies

In his piece on the reactionary nature of the president’s policies, Fred Barnes reminds us just how much Democrats have increased spending under their watch:

Since his rebuke in last Novem-ber’s election, the president has talked up deficit reduction. His new plan, he says, will shrink the deficit by $3 trillion over the next decade. The Republican staff of the Senate Budget Committee, which has far more credibility than Obama on budget numbers, says the “actual deficit reduction” is $1.4 trillion, none of it from spending cuts. The Obama plan would leave federal spending at 24 percent of GDP in 2021, the staff said, “a stunning 18 percent increase in the size of government relative to the historical average.” And it would add $9.7 trillion to the national debt over 10 years.

Emphasis added.  The federal government doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem.

If the president is serious about deficit reduction, he’ll put forward — or at least sign onto — a plan that reduces federal spending to levels closer to the historical average.