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The most political new kind of politician

A few days ago in the Weekly Standard, Fred Barnes contended that President Obama has been “utterly transparent . . . , it’s abundantly clear that he has one thing in mind these days: getting reelected.

The Democrat showed this most recently in the back-and-forth with House and Senate Republicans over the payroll tax cut–when he dropped the surtax on millionaires.  In order to score a political point or two (and he may have scored as many as three), he offered a tax cut that wasn’t paid for.  Recall that he faulted his predecessor for giving us “tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 that were not paid for.

And now he’s gone and done the same thing.  He’s given us a tax cut that’s not paid for.

It’s all politics for him.  He postures as a tax cutter without offering compensating cuts.  He hasn’t offered a plan to cut the deficit, heck, heck, he didn’t even put forward a budget this year that could garner a single Democratic vote in the U.S. Senate.  Instead of bring people together, as he promised in his campaign, he’s dividing us — so he can rally his base and win votes.

“If Republicans had championed the payroll tax reduction,” Barnes quipped, “Obama would no doubt be accusing them of bankrupting Social Security.”

FROM THE COMMENTS:  Kurt calls the “payroll tax cut extension. . .  a ridiculous political gimmick”:

it would be laughable if it weren’t so indicative of much greater problems in our political system. How was it the press could even seriously report on the “payroll tax cut extension” being worth $1,000 a year to someone who makes $50,000 when this latest vote was only over a two-month extension, or about $166.67 of that $1,000? And when has passing legislation that expired in two months ever been a sign of good or mature governance? A serious press would have called Obama and the Democrats on their divisive attempt to pass ridiculous legislation only for the purpose of scoring a few political points.

Indeed.

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20 Comments

  1. In addition to getting more conservatives elected we need leadership that understands marketing/media. For instance, the past two days our liar in chief has been in the media saying 160 million Americans need the $40 a week “tax cut”. Why was there no republican in the media saying that the liar in chief was inflating the figure and it’s really $19 a week not $40? Also why isn’t someone in leadership out in the media pointing out how the hated Bush tax cut is worth more money to every person that actually pays taxes and doesn’t rob from the SS while doing it?

    Comment by Richard Bell — December 23, 2011 @ 11:08 am - December 23, 2011

  2. The man is an affirmative-action empty suit with a big mouth and a lot of stale bad ideas and attitudes. Campaigning is all he knows how to do.

    Comment by EssEm — December 23, 2011 @ 12:02 pm - December 23, 2011

  3. President Obama is a useless waste of human flesh & blood; I don’t think he has any real friends in his life. They are all sycophants. Worse, he has the maturity level of a toddler with about as much intelligence as one. He’s the real Peter Pan incarnate.

    All Obama knows is campaigning; combine this with his Marxist ideology & you get a terrible concoction.

    President Obama may have scored some political points, but he can’t escape his toxic record; ironically, 2012 will really be all about Obama & Obama’s record he himself is trying to run away to attempt to make 2012 on the Republicans.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — December 23, 2011 @ 2:58 pm - December 23, 2011

  4. Now that we have (d)evolved into a 4 to 6-year Presidential campaign-cycle, it it any wonder that the frontrunners are professional “campaigners” not executive/business/governance-types. Not that many years ago it was only 6 to 8-months between declaring your candidacy to the Nominating Convention to the General Election. Historically, many Presidential candidates were not even in-the-running ’til nominated at the Convention as a compromise-candidate.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — December 23, 2011 @ 3:12 pm - December 23, 2011

  5. Shame on Republicans for trying to hold out for a better deal for taxpayers! Shame on them! Shame!

    Comment by V the K — December 23, 2011 @ 4:51 pm - December 23, 2011

  6. “It’s all politics for him.”
    Do you really believe the things you write, or are you just throwing red meat to some of your loonier followers? (Hi, ND#30, how are the meds?)

    The Senate Republican leader has openly acknowledged that the Republican’s primary goal the past legislative session was to prevent Obama from being re-elected, and quite frankly though Obama is, and should be , very politically vulnerable the republicans are so morally bankrupt–Newt Gingrich rising in the polls after Cain drops out for alleged marital infidelity!!–that for the first time in quite a while I am somewhat confident that Obama will be re-elected. I am not overly impressed with Obama, but compared to who you guys are offering as an alternative, I will gladly vote for him.

    As for the payroll tax cut, the republicans have finally found a tax cut they don’t like, one that is not geared solely to serve the rich.

    Comment by Brendan — December 23, 2011 @ 5:22 pm - December 23, 2011

  7. The Senate Republican leader has openly acknowledged that the Republican’s primary goal the past legislative session was to prevent Obama from being re-elected

    A noble goal, considering that is the best way to improve the economy and debt situation as soon as possible.

    Comment by Naamloos — December 23, 2011 @ 5:28 pm - December 23, 2011

  8. “A noble goal”. Naamloos, I obviously disagree and it is fine if we disagree about politics.

    However, what I find completely dishonest is to somehow claim that Obama is acting “politically”, but the republicans are not. On the most basic level it is asinine–they are politicians and they are all making decisions with some eye toward how it plays out politically. But to claim that Obama is “the most political new kind of politician” is pure partisan hackery.

    Comment by Brendan — December 23, 2011 @ 5:36 pm - December 23, 2011

  9. The Senate Republican leader has openly acknowledged that the Republican’s primary goal the past legislative session was to prevent Obama from being re-elected

    And, of course, the Democrats, being so public-spirited and altruistic, never, ever tried to obstacle George W. Bush’s policies, or worked to thwart his re-election. Nope, Democrats would never stoop so low as to do things for purely political reasons.

    Or maybe, it’s just all right when they do it.

    Comment by V the K — December 23, 2011 @ 5:47 pm - December 23, 2011

  10. #8

    I agree that politicians are pretty much almost always guarnanteed to be disinguenuous to some degree, but Obama did promise to be “post-partisan” and practice “a new kind of politics.” And I would argue that Obama has likely been more focused on getting re-elected than governing, and I would argue that he is deliberately being divisive, when cohesion would be preferable due to the economic situation.

    So, considering that, I think the point of this post (and other similar ones) is to point out Obama’s hypocrisy – as well as pointing out that he isn’t doing his job (which should be expected of all politicians, regardless of whether there is a campaign going on).

    Comment by Naamloos — December 23, 2011 @ 7:54 pm - December 23, 2011

  11. Hey Dan

    When did you get the new sock puppet (#6)?

    Comment by Kevin — December 23, 2011 @ 9:05 pm - December 23, 2011

  12. Brendan, Republicans morally bankrupt, say what? The federal legislative chamber controlled by Republicans has passed a budget. It’s been close to 1,000 days since the chamber with a Democratic majority has done that.

    And by the way, did you even address the points I raised in the post to which you attach your comment? Mentioned that the president’s budget couldn’t garner a single vote in the Democratic Senate. Please consider that point when posting further commentary to this post. Thanks!

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 23, 2011 @ 11:56 pm - December 23, 2011

  13. The whole “payroll tax cut extension” was such a ridiculous political gimmick it would be laughable if it weren’t so indicative of much greater problems in our political system. How was it the press could even seriously report on the “payroll tax cut extension” being worth $1,000 a year to someone who makes $50,000 when this latest vote was only over a two-month extension, or about $166.67 of that $1,000? And when has passing legislation that expired in two months ever been a sign of good or mature governance? A serious press would have called Obama and the Democrats on their divisive attempt to pass ridiculous legislation only for the purpose of scoring a few political points.

    Comment by Kurt — December 24, 2011 @ 12:21 am - December 24, 2011

  14. “Mentioned that the president’s budget couldn’t garner a single vote in the Democratic Senate. Please consider that point when posting further commentary to this post.”

    Sorry can’t respond without complete sentences. Please read your first sentence. Say what? The following sentence–credit due–is slightly more coherent, but still does not make much sense. No problem, as I am certain once ND30 awakes from his thorazine induced haze, valiantly rescuing imaginary child sex slaves from Folsom Street, he can elaborate. Assuming, of course, husbear has not returned him to Texas with no return address.

    Comment by Brendan — December 24, 2011 @ 1:08 am - December 24, 2011

  15. Brendan, please address the point I made in the post above about the president’s failure to introduce a budget for FY 2012 that could garner a single Democratic vote in the U.S. Senate. Thanks.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 24, 2011 @ 1:18 am - December 24, 2011

  16. The main crimes of which Republicans are guilty (to folks like Brendan) is apparently that they actually produce budgets, as they are mandated to do, and they are trying to rein in the cost of those budgets, as is fiscally prudent.

    Comment by V the K — December 24, 2011 @ 7:34 am - December 24, 2011

  17. Brendan reacts to:

    “It’s all politics for him.”

    Brendan, Obama was elected President of all of the people of the United States from the position of political wannabe to President in fact.

    Those running to displace him are now the Presidential wannabes. Obama is the President who is required to “man the helm of the Ship of State” while convincing the people that he is needed for a second term more than any contender wanting to replace him.

    It is entirely fair to judge and criticize any sitting President whose focus shifts from the Ship of State to the nitty gritty of pure political politics. Every President seeking a second term is subject to such scrutiny.

    Reagan won the job by asking if you are better off than you were four years ago. He won a second term by presenting the flowering of his four years in the presentation of the Morning in America metaphor. The voters swept him back into office in a landslide of approval.

    Obama’s base is bleeding away and he is busily concocting divisive political strategies to hire up and fire up the usual suspects and cut the opposition off at the knees.

    Brendan, you also write:

    … to claim that Obama is “the most political new kind of politician” is pure partisan hackery.

    Do you mean to say that FDR, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and GW Bush ran reelection campaigns no different from the one Obama is running? Really? The Chicago School of political graft and thuggery is the textbook model of Presidential responsibility and decorum?

    Oh, my. Methinks you would back Tony Soprano as long as he delivered the cannoli. That is the polluted pool you float in when you are intoxicated by moral relativity. You can justify anything that feeds your desires.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 24, 2011 @ 9:31 am - December 24, 2011

  18. Poor desperate Brendan. He and his ilk made the decision to put a completely-unqualified far-left racial demagogue into office based on his skin color, and now are being dragged down screaming into the abyss, their racist stupidity nakedly exposed for all to see.

    Hence his whiny comments about me, exemplification of what the Obama Party has left: no policy, no success, nothing but personal attacks.

    Not surprising. Barack Obama is a stuttering clusterf*ck of a miserable failure (SCOAMF), with ample evidence that he is not capable of governing, not capable of leading, not capable of doing anything other than screaming racial demagoguery like his “spiritual mentor” Jeremiah Wright.

    So as is typical for a loser, when you can’t provide examples of why people should choose you, you start tearing down others.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 24, 2011 @ 2:53 pm - December 24, 2011

  19. Meanwhile, turns out, for a good chunk of wage earners, the payroll tax “cut” does not, in fact, actually exist.

    Under the terms negotiated by Congress, the law also includes a new “recapture” provision, which applies only to those employees who receive more than $18,350 in wages during the two-month period (the Social Security wage base for 2012 is $110,100, and $18,350 represents two months of the full-year amount). This provision imposes an additional income tax on these higher-income employees in an amount equal to 2% of the amount of wages they receive during the two-month period in excess of $18,350 (and not greater than $110,100).

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 24, 2011 @ 2:59 pm - December 24, 2011

  20. Thanks for featuring my comment! Here’s a piece I just came across by Charles Krauthammer which makes the same point in even more detail.

    Comment by Kurt — December 24, 2011 @ 5:09 pm - December 24, 2011

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