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Older now, but Obama is still running against the W

On Monday, when doing cardio at the gym, I looked up to catch President Obama’s speech at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton.  In the eighteen minutes that I watched the speech (until CNN cut away), I heard little but attacks on Republican policies, with frequent references to the middle class.

In a report on the speech (via Instapundit), The Washington Times‘s Dave Boyer reported that

Pausing between $10,000-a-plate fundraisers for his re-election campaign, President Obama called on Congress in a highly partisan speech Tuesday to approve a tax increase on the wealthy to pay for programs for the middle class.

This “highly partisan speech” was an official speech, allowing the president to bill taxpayers for the fundraising trip to the Sunshine State, packing the 30-minute address, as he did, “in the midst of three fundraisers in the battleground state, prompting complaints by Republicans that Mr. Obama was fleecing taxpayers for campaign travel.”

In the speech, billed by the White House, as remarks on the economy, the president offered no new policies to strengthen the anemic recovery, choosing instead to fault Republicans for gutting what he calls “investments” (his terms for government grants):

They proposed a budget that showers the wealthiest Americans with even more tax cuts, and then pays for these tax cuts by gutting investments in education and medical research and clean energy, in health care.

. . . .

Now, thousands of medical research grants for things like Alzheimer’s and cancer and AIDS would be eliminated.  Tens of thousands of researchers and students and teachers could lose their jobs.  Our investments in clean energy that are making us less dependent on imported oil would be cut by nearly a fifth.

Note the conditional of the president’s attacks.  People could lose their jobs.  Investments in “clean” energy?  Has he been paying attention to the number of such companies which have gone belly up (despite receiving federal grants and loan guarantees)?

Perhaps, he should have listened to his own words in that very speech when he offered a paean to scientists who when learn from their experiments which fail badly:

Sometimes you can learn from failure.  That’s part of the data that teaches you stuff, that expands our knowledge.  But you don’t then just keep on doing the same thing over and over again.

In promoting “clean” energy investments after all these bankruptcies sounds, he wants to do the same thing over and over again.   Guess the president hasn’t yet learned from the failure of his clean energy program.

Just as he hasn’t learned from the failure of the program, he hasn’t learned from economic history, claiming, in the most derisive of terms (normally the province of blog posts and partisan operatives) that (what he dubs) the “same trickle-down theories — including members of Congress and some people who are running for a certain office right now” are “peddling” as “broken-down theories.”  Well, that broken-down theory* did lead to a economic boom that begin in the early 1980s and lasted until the fourth quarter of the last decade.

Not just that, well into the last quarter of his own administration, he continues to attack his predecessor who has long since left office:

At the beginning of the last decade, the wealthiest Americans got two huge tax cuts — 2001, 2003.  Meanwhile, insurance companies, financial institutions — they were all allowed to write their own rules, or find their way around rules.  We were told the same thing we’re being told now — this is going to lead to faster job growth.  This is going to lead to greater prosperity for everybody.

Guess what — it didn’t.  (Laughter.)  Yes, the rich got much richer.  Corporations made big profits.  But we also had the slowest job growth in half a century.

This guy is faulting someone for slow job growth?!?!?  And note once again, in his address on the economy, he derides his opponents’ policies instead of promoting his own.  Perhaps, he’s still running against Bush because it worked so well for him eight years ago.

So now he’s trying to do to Mitt Romney what Democrats long have done to Republicans, paint him as an extremist.  ”Based on his three speeches” on Monday, writes Michael Hirsch in the National Journal

. . . as well as others he has recently made–particularly the one last week before the American Society of News Editors–Obama’s strategy seems to be this: I’m going to persuade the American people to think that you, Gov. Romney, are the reincarnation of Barry Goldwater, an extremist extraordinaire both on the economy and foreign policy. One who lost in the biggest landslide in American history in 1964.

Guess he’d rather attack his opponents than defend his record, particularly given how economic performance has become his Achilles Heel.  He won’t run on his record and he won’t run on proposals to reform (er, “change” Washington.  ”He’ll run” instead, Jennifer Rubin contends, “against prior Republicans administrations. [And w]hat he won’t do is tell us what he plans to do in a second term.

Maybe he thinks that since attacking a Republican administration worked so well four years ago, it’s bound to work again this year.  That kind of campaign does kind of tarnish his image as the candidate of change and new ideas.

—-

*As per my previous post, what Democrats call “trickle-down” economics were the actual economic policies of the Reagan administration.

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15 Comments

  1. This “highly partisan speech” was an official speech

    Given that this is the Washington Times (surely the only American newspaper more ridiculous than the New York Times given that the Washington Times has never generated a profit) saying that, I consider it a good sign that they’re attacking Obama for the speech. It must have been good if the Washington Times are being so derisive about it.

    Well, that broken-down theory did lead to a economic boom that begin in the early 1980s and lasted until the fourth quarter of the last decade.

    Selective reporting much?

    “My supposedly terrible driving skills did lead to an extremely fast journey from home to nearly three-quarters of the way to our destination!”

    Yeah, then what?

    This guy is faulting someone for slow job growth?!?!?

    As you accidentally pointed out, he may have a point. Bush’s job growth figures were mediocre at best, and ended on a massive crash.

    Comment by Serenity — April 12, 2012 @ 4:52 am - April 12, 2012

  2. This current run of speeches by Obama are clearly directed at the politically stupid.

    Comment by Richard Bell — April 12, 2012 @ 7:40 am - April 12, 2012

  3. @#3 – Richard, you are correct. Look no further than the execrable POS at #1 for exidence of of your assertion.

    Comment by Jman1961 — April 12, 2012 @ 8:08 am - April 12, 2012

  4. Yes, but Serenity, as we have repeatedly reminded our readers, the Democrats gained control of Congress in 2006–thus sharing power with W until the run-up of the market meltdown.

    And as to making it three-quarters of the way, well, bear in mind that Reagan had long since left office when the economy experienced its first major meltdown since his policies kicked on–after nearly twenty years of politicians (on both sides of the aisle) whittling away at his efforts to whittle down the size of government.

    The primary reason the boom continued into the 1990s was that the election of the Republican Congress in 1994 prevented Clinton from undoing many of the Gipper’s accomplishments.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — April 12, 2012 @ 10:03 am - April 12, 2012

  5. [...] Older now, but Obama is still running against the W [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Why 2012 won’t be a repeat of 1964 — April 12, 2012 @ 12:18 pm - April 12, 2012

  6. Serenity – I don’t know if it was the case in Florida, but the President has apparently been giving the exact same speech at campaign events and non-campaign events. Carney tried to spin it as a matter of consistency – the President doesn’t have different messages to deliver to different people – but if you’re honest with yourself I hope you’d admit that the speech any presidential candidate is giving at campaign fundraisers is likely to be “highly partisan.” If he really is giving the exact same speech at campaign events and at gatherings that are official White House business… to paraphrase Sigourney Weaver in Avatar, it would be nice if the guy at least had the courtesy to tell us it was raining.

    As for this… “Now, thousands of medical research grants for things like Alzheimer’s and cancer and AIDS would be eliminated.” Real researchers, people who have to actually produce results, are finding that bug chunks of academic research can’t be replicated and are therefore useless in the search for treatments for things like Alzheimer’s and cancer and AIDS (http://www.imperfectparent.com/topics/2012/03/29/new-study-claims-nearly-90-percent-of-cancer-research-is-wrong/).

    I haven’t heard a specific proposal from Republicans to cut government funding for medical research, but if it’s really the case that grant recipients (as opposed to researchers funded by venture capital) are cherry-picking results in order to improve their odds of continuing to receive grants, I can’t see how maintaining or increasing their funding levels is the absolute, inarguable good that President Obama makes it out to be. Also, keep in mind that government grant recipients in academia are the driving force behind the idea that computer models are a better indication of what’s going on with the climate than actual real world climate data. Instead of running from this accusation that the GOP wants to gut government research grants, it would be nice if conservatives could use it as a jumping off point for a frank discussion about the merits of funding research that exists for no apparent reason beyond securing further funding.

    Comment by AndyN — April 12, 2012 @ 4:56 pm - April 12, 2012

  7. Yes, but Serenity, as we have repeatedly reminded our readers, the Democrats gained control of Congress in 2006–thus sharing power with W until the run-up of the market meltdown.

    So the less that one year of Democrat-controlled congress (as it was at the time) gets the blame for a recession that was clearly rooted in events happening over the course of a decade or longer?

    Seriously, can you find any economists willing to assign any serious amount of blame to a congress that hadn’t even been in office one year when the recession started to happen? Both recessions and recoveries are events that happen over years, not months.

    And as to making it three-quarters of the way, well, bear in mind that Reagan had long since left office when the economy experienced its first major meltdown since his policies kicked on–after nearly twenty years of politicians (on both sides of the aisle) whittling away at his efforts to whittle down the size of government.

    You mean by the Republican congress of 1995-2007? According to your next paragraph, they were the ones stopping Clinton from undoing ‘the Gipper’s accomplishments’. Which were what exactly? Clearly not a smaller government, since you claim that were being steadily whittled away. So what did he do then?

    Also, what about Bush? Republican president and congress, for several years. Yet the government is still getting bigger? This brings me back to the point I’ve raised a few times, if the Republicans were such traitors to the cause of smaller government back then, what faith do you have the Romney et al. won’t just pull the exact same trick? It worked back then, what’s changed?

    The primary reason the boom continued into the 1990s was that the election of the Republican Congress in 1994 prevented Clinton from undoing many of the Gipper’s accomplishments.

    Well as is clear from the record, the boom did not continue into the 90s, the United States hit a recession almost as soon as the 90s started. That’s the big reason George H. W. Bush lost his bid at re-election. Unemployment hit 7.5% in 1992 and was followed by a now-familiar ‘jobless recovery’.

    Incidentally, unemployment then fell to 6.9% in 1993, 6.1% in 1994, 5.6% in 1995, 5.4% in 1996, and 4.9% in 1997. If there’s any sign of a faster fall starting in 1995 (when the new Republican congress took office) there’s no sign of it in the figures. Also, 1989, the year Reagan left office? 5.3%. Obviously a fantastic figure, especially compared to the 4.7% when Clinton left office in 2001.

    Comment by Serenity — April 12, 2012 @ 6:13 pm - April 12, 2012

  8. Seriously, can you find any economists willing to assign any serious amount of blame to a congress that hadn’t even been in office one year when the recession started to happen?

    Yup. You and your fellow Obama Party members like Paul Krugman who are screaming that the reason your Obama is such a miserable failure is the 2010 Republican takeover of the House.

    And that illustrates why we’re laughing so hard. You are sitting here having a screaming temper tantrum and fit over Bush’s “awful” jobs growth and unemployment numbers when they blow Obama’s away on every level.

    You aren’t a serious or intelligent person, Pomposity. You’re a talking points parrot that will shriek 12% unemployment is “economic recovery” and that 4% unemployment is a “depression” if your Obama Party tells you to do it. You use numbers like a drunk uses a lamppost — purely for support and not for illumination.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 12, 2012 @ 9:37 pm - April 12, 2012

  9. #6 – “Instead of running from this accusation that the GOP wants to gut government research grants, it would be nice if conservatives could use it as a jumping off point for a frank discussion about the merits of funding research that exists for no apparent reason beyond securing further funding.”

    Excellent points, AndyN.

    Comment by Richard Bell — April 12, 2012 @ 9:58 pm - April 12, 2012

  10. I keep hearing that Obama “loves campaigning.” Is that true? Or does he just love bashing Republicans, free markets, and the concept of limited Government.

    Comment by V the K — April 13, 2012 @ 6:24 am - April 13, 2012

  11. The Democrats and the DNC will be campaigning against George Bush-43 for the next 50-years, just as they have against Herbert Hoover for the last-80 years. It’s easier than having practical solutions that work in the real-world…not just sound profound inside the Beltway.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — April 13, 2012 @ 8:40 am - April 13, 2012

  12. Incidentally, unemployment then fell to 6.9% in 1993, 6.1% in 1994, 5.6% in 1995, 5.4% in 1996, and 4.9% in 1997. If there’s any sign of a faster fall starting in 1995 (when the new Republican congress took office) there’s no sign of it in the figures. Also, 1989, the year Reagan left office? 5.3%. Obviously a fantastic figure, especially compared to the 4.7% when Clinton left office in 2001.

    There is no better example of the “weeds” that liberals want to lure you into.

    Just imagine all the cause and effect that can be nuanced, implied, stated, promoted and trumpeted. Just imagine all the blame that can be affixed. Just imagine the “plain obvious” solutions that were ignored. Just imagine all the fudging, reweaving, diversion, fact invention and disputing and name-calling that can ensue.

    All you need to do is jump into the weeds and Pomposity will flail away.

    Comment by heliotrope — April 13, 2012 @ 10:50 am - April 13, 2012

  13. President Obama is running an unreal campaign since he’s pretending his term has not existed; he’s trying to run as the outsider & against Washington DC. Therefore, trying to run against President George W. Bush is par for the course for this buffoon.

    Obama is desperate. He has nothing to run on.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — April 13, 2012 @ 1:41 pm - April 13, 2012

  14. I don’t think Obama loves campaigning either. He loves the adulation with the heavily filtered union audience. Obama cannot live in the real world; he would shatter.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — April 13, 2012 @ 1:43 pm - April 13, 2012

  15. [...] In office three years now, but still running against George W. [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Obama campaign spokesman makes Romney’s point — April 25, 2012 @ 6:42 pm - April 25, 2012

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