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An Obama victory in 2012 would undermine Obama’s 2008 rationale for his election

In 2008,” wrote the Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein soon after “Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., introduced himself to a national audience as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate“,

. . . the central component of Obama’s meteoric rise was that politics had become too cynical and small, and that it was important to have a more substantive debate on the pressing issues facing the nation.

Obama was going to be a new kind of politician who did not engage in the petty politics of the past, a leader who showed respect for opposing viewpoints, who treated his ideological adversaries with dignity.

In contrast to his rhetoric in 2008, Obama today is running for reelection by waging perhaps the “lowest, meanest most negative campaign in history“.  George Will delineates the striking contrast between the Democrats’ negative campaign today with Barack Obama’s lofty rhetoric of 2008:

He on whose behalf the Soptic ad[*] was made used to dispense bromides deploring “the smallness of our politics” and “our preference for scoring cheap political points.”

Obama is trying to win by going to gutter, by leveling shameful, dishonest attacks on his Republican rival.  And yet the crux of his 2008 appeal was that he would be a new kind of politician, elevating our political discourse.  If the Democrats wins this year, he wins by playing that old kind of attack politics.

So much for hope and change.

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The Ryan/Obama contrast:
conservative competence contrasted with liberal rhetoric

Yesterday, I wrote a longish post contending that Paul Ryan is very much the “un-Obama.”  Because I fear my basic point was lost as I combined with another, I wish to make that point again here, but more succinctly.

Barack Obama became a hero to Democrats in the second half of the Bush Administration based not on the ideas he champion or the policies he proposed, but on the words he spoke and the image he projected.  His 2004 keynote address to the Democratic National Convention, which introduced him to the American people, was short on substance and long on rhetoric.

Paul Ryan, by contrast, has become a hero to Republicans on more substantive grounds.  Unlike Obama who skyrocketed to political rock star status with that one speech, Ryan has, over the past few years, gradually risen in esteem among the Republican rank and file.  And he earned our respect based on his ability to articulate conservative ideas — and to translate them into workable policy proposals.

FROM THE COMMENTS: In other words, quips  TnnsNE1, “Ryan built that. Obama didn’t”

Obama feeling heat on burgeoning debt under his watch?

Do find it interesting that I frequently find Obama campaign ads on right-of-center blogs. Last night and this morning, caught this ad on Commentary:

Seems I’ve seen it on other conservative and libertarian web-sites. Have you? And the $4 trillion by which he pledges to reduce the debt is from what baseline?  His own estimates for future spending released at the outset of his term?  Or from current spending levels?

Wonder if he fears ads like this one that I caught today while traveling in Nevada: (more…)

How does Obama plan to pay for government programs he favors?

In his post on “Governor Romney’s selection of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate“, Walter Russell Mead asks what is perhaps the defining question of the Obama administration:

The fiscal trajectory does not look good; how exactly do Democrats plan to pay for all the programs they want to protect and extend?

The Democratic incumbent seem to want to have his cake and eat it too, increasing the size and scope of the federal government while asking only “millionaires and billionaires” to foot the bill.  Indeed, Keith Hennessey finds that “the Obama fiscal path and campaign message” relies “on the false presumption that everything will be OK if we raise tax increases only on the rich and make small, mostly painless spending cuts.”* (Via Instapundit)

Hiking taxes on rich people just won’t be enough to pay for his spending increases.

Despite asking for new programs, Barack Obama refuses to give the hard facts to the American people:  to avoid annual trillion-dollar deficits, we need  to either cut federal programs or find a way to pay for them.

And having witnessed American politics for the last thirty years or so, the Democrat is wary of raising taxes; he has seen how toxic such hikes are with voters.  No wonder that, during his 2008 campaign for the White House, he pledged not to raise taxes on a families making “less than $250,000 a year“.

Just a reminder that Mr. Obama blamed his predecessor for the debt accumulated in his term because that Republican gave us a number of programs “we didn’t pay for“.  Seems he’s continued that policy.

RELATED:  Glenn Reynolds quotes Iowahawk:  “Paul Ryan represents Obama’s most horrifying nightmare: math.

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Contemporary liberalism: “blind defense of the status quo”

In his piece comparing the “party of reform” (i.e., the Romney-Ryan ticket) to the “kick-the-can party” (i.e., the Obama Democrats), Commentary’s John Steele Gordon contends that

The blind defense of the status quo that so characterizes the left these days (and, indeed, has since Lyndon Johnson left the White House more than 40 years ago) has led us to the edge of a fiscal crisis of almost unimaginable proportions. Our main entitlement programs, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, are all operating in deficit, and those deficits will only get worse as the baby boomers retire and live substantially longer than their parents did, requiring more Medicare and more Social Security. The national debt is higher than it has been, relative to GDP, since the end of World War II. We have already lost our AAA credit rating and there are ever-mounting deficits as far as the eye can see under Obama’s proposed budget (unanimously rejected by Congress).

He goes on to point out that while “Paul Ryan has produced a plan to change our fiscal course”, the liberals lack one.   Just read the whole thing.

Gordon really does get at the essence of contemporary liberalism.  It’s not about change, but about maintaining a “statist” status quo.  They aren’t promoting any bold new reforms.  They just want to funnel a little more money to the various government programs to keep them solvent.

And that’s just the problem.  The federal government just doesn’t have the money to spend.  And all too many Democrats, including the incumbent President of the United States, just aren’t putting forward plans to reform government programs.