Barack Obama, March 2013: “There’s no there, there.”We know, man. That’s what THIS guy was saying last summer! twitter.com/GayPatriot/sta…
— GayPatriot (@GayPatriot) May 21, 2013
Only days ago, Obama gave a speech in which, rather than warn us against tyranny, he warned us against the people who go around warning us against tyranny.
The IRS revelations only get worse: From the Washington Examiner yesterday (via Ed Morrissey this morning), we learn that the IRS demanded of a pro-life group – under “perjury of the law”, the IRS staffer’s words – that it not engage in legal Planned Parenthood picketing. And required another pro-life group to furnish detailed plans on its constitutionally-protected speech activities.
This is the same IRS that Obama has been beefing up to enforce Obamacare by demanding ever-greater private information of citizens.
We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
In these disparate data points, I see a pattern: Obama wants to be a tyrant – while pretending not to. My question is, do liberals really not see the pattern?
I know that some liberals have begun seeing it – and will, for example, condemn the IRS actions – but others don’t. The other day, I noted Julian Bond saying that he thinks conservative groups deserve the IRS harassment. The execrable Bill Maher has joined the fun there.
Obama maintains his democratic pretense by periodically declaring the goodness of his intentions. For example: yes, the other day he called the IRS actions “inexcusable”.
But a troubled President Nixon, as well as actual tyrants like Chavez and worse, also frequently declared their own goodness. So many of Obama’s other words, policies, and actions of his underlings point in a direction opposite to his self-declared goodness. Do liberals really not see? Or are they part of the pretense; de facto pro-tyranny?
 (I don’t know the ins and outs of these tax-exemption laws, but I thought that as long as a group would refrain from electioneering for parties/candidates, it would get a pass.)
 Students of history will note that the Fascists also believed in having powerful civilian, national security forces, and will be troubled by the weird applause that Obama’s liberal audience gave him for proposing it.
Henry David Thoreau once wrote: “There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers.” I thought of that recently in seeing some of the media pushback against the publicity generated by the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Texas this week. Thoreau’s quote is as true as ever about the state of contemporary philosophy, but it is also true about the state of historical inquiry: these days we have professors of history more than historians.
The professoriate is a class with its own interests and its own agenda, an agenda that largely overlaps with that pursued by the majority of our lamestream media. That agenda does not include the practice of history in the abstract, insofar as that involves presenting the evidence, weighing the options, employing reason, and drawing conclusions. To most professors of history and folks in the media these days, history is only useful insofar as it serves their left-wing agenda. Hence their resistance to the displays in the Bush library.
Consider this article from Yahoo! News:
DALLAS—As former President George W. Bush prepares to officially open his presidential library on Thursday, a question arises as it has for his predecessors: How objective will it be about his time in the White House?
Bush left office five years ago as one of the most unpopular presidents in history, his poll numbers weighed down by public discontent over his handling of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and worries about the economy.
But the former president wanted to take the controversies about his presidency head-on, say several former aides who worked closely with him on the library. One way of addressing the challenge is an interactive exhibit allowing visitors to see what it was like for him to make decisions as leader of the free world. People will hear information Bush was given by aides, then be asked to make their own choices. Afterward, the former president’s image will appear on a screen to explain what decision he ultimately made and why.
“He really wants people to go in there and get a sense of what it was like to be president during that time and to use that to make an informed decision about his presidency,” said Karen Hughes, a longtime Bush adviser.
In some respects, the article strives to be slightly more balanced than I’m giving it credit for being, since it does point out controversies over the presentation of material in both the Clinton library and the LBJ library, as well, but I think it is materially different, too, in that Bush is trying to present the information that influenced his decisions and both the media and some so-called historians are crying foul over the fact that he is doing so.
One reason they don’t want Bush to tell his version of the story is that as the nightmare that is the Obama administration continues to develop, Bush is regaining popularity. While I don’t often share Dan’s enthusiasm for Peggy Noonan’s writings, I was intrigued to see her recognizing the depth of the differences between the two men in her column this week where she wrote:
But to the point. Mr. Obama was elected because he wasn’t Bush.
Mr. Bush is popular now because he’s not Obama.
The wheel turns, doesn’t it?
Here’s a hunch: The day of the opening of the Bush library was the day Obama fatigue became apparent as a fact of America’s political life.
And she isn’t the only one. Writing for Politico this week, Keith Koffler complained about “Obama’s hubris problem,” prompting Neo-Neocon to ask the question that is on many of our minds: “And he thinks it’s only a second-term phenomenon? Where has he been, on planet Xenon?”
It seems like the media is unhappy this week because Bush is getting a fresh chance to tell his story independent of their filter, whereas the public is increasingly growing tired of the combination of arrogance, divisiveness, imperiousness, incompetence, and the need to politicize everything for which President Obama is increasingly known.
Perhaps, to modify Noonan a bit, the opening of the Bush library was uncomfortable for many of his admirers because, in seeing all five living presidents together again, the public got a chance to see them and to size them up, and as Joseph Curl wrote in the Washington Times W. easily outclassed Obama.
In a previous post, I wrote about Obamacare Schadenfreude, that feeling of amusement when some ardent supporters of Obamacare realize that that monstrous piece of legislation will have negative consequences for them or for causes about which they claim to care. I was reminded of that post again yesterday when I heard that one of the authors of Obamacare, Max Baucus (D-Montana), complained that the implementation of Obamacare was going to be a “huge train-wreck coming down.”
Likewise, a little over a week ago, Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) complained about the incomprehensible complexity of the law: “‘I believe that the Affordable Care Act is probably the most complex piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress,’ he said, as quoted in the Washington Examiner. ‘Tax reform obviously has been huge, too, but up to this point it is just beyond comprehension.’” My response to both Senators is simply to respond: well, isn’t that just too bad.
Today, though, I’d rather write about another Obama-era affliction which I’ve been suffering with since late January 2009. It is something akin to depression, and it is brought on or exacerbated by the daily outrages resulting from this administration’s policies.
Sometimes it boils up to anger which gives me more energy, but at other times I feel listless and unmotivated or even hopeless. At times, I get by just focusing on the routines and necessary activities of my daily life, but sometimes even those feel like a burden. Writing about the issues can be therapeutic, though there are many times when I’d rather not think about them at all.
So what to call this condition? “Obamalaise” came to mind, but I think others have used that to describe the lingering weakness in our economy.
I also thought of “Obama Weltschmerz.” That conveys the angst and depression, and I like the fact that, like Obamacare Schadenfreude, it uses a German word. As I see it, the use of a German word helps to communicate my sense that Obama’s America feels like it’s headed towards the sort of economic collapse which characterized Weimar Germany.
Maybe that’s too dark. “Obamanomie” communicates a sense of impending social instability and alienation. That might get at the matter a little better, though it’s perhaps even more depressing to think about.
In any case, I know I’m not the only one suffering with this condition. I suspect many of our readers are, too. What would you call it?
For President Obama’s statement after yesterday’s gun bill failure, see transcript here.
Allahpundit (who has video) is not my favorite, but when he’s right, he’s right:
[Obama] kept his mouth shut nice and tight about guns when it was his own ass on the line last year in purple states; he ignored gun control almost completely when he had 60 Democratic votes in the Senate early in his first term; and as we know from the gay-marriage farce, he isn’t above lying outright to voters about his true positions in the name of getting elected…
Given his record, there’s every reason to believe that what’s really bothering him is the fact that red-state Dems [ed: and Senator Toomey(R)!] denied him an easy chance today to demagogue Republicans as the party of child murder…
I think Obama’s statement is itself an example of demagoguery.
- Obama pulls figures from thin air, like his claim that “90% of the American people” supported the bill.
- Obama calls the Senate cloture rules under which the bill failed, “A continuing distortion of Senate rules.” Huh? How can the actual Senate rules, which Democrats gladly use to stop legislation when it suits them, be a distortion of the rules? Or does Obama mean that the rules should only ever help himself?
- Obama once more tries to play the Gabby Giffords card and the Sandy Hook card. But neither of those shootings would have been prevented by the bill.
- Obama claims “There were no coherent arguments” against the bill, then misrepresents arguments against it, revealing the true problem (that he never understood the arguments and never wanted to).
- Obama also plays the Dirty Gun Lobby / Dirty Money In Politics card. But, as Bruce’s post mentions, it was the pro-bill side (if anyone) which may have tried to buy votes with money.
The problem with all gun control legislation is that it burdens the freedom *of the law-abiding*. It’s justifiable only if it will directly hurt law-breakers, a small (if destructive) minority. And, in practice, it usually doesn’t.
Even if it does, there is still the Constitution to consider. As with speech restrictions, property restrictions, measures that would expand home invasion (or search & seizure), etc.: gun control legislation should be difficult to get passed. It should be passed only on cold, slow-moving rationality; never on demagogic falsehoods or appeals to emotion.
 For example, Obama says “One common argument I heard was that this legislation wouldn’t prevent all future massacres”; Obama’s insertion of the word “all” making it clearly a Straw Man.
And that settles the question, right? Because, in the new world’s glorious Declarative style of governing, what Obama says he’s doing is what counts; never mind the facts.
Well, let’s try on a few facts:
- Obama’s budget proposes a further 2.5% increase in federal spending, after some years of increases.[**]
- Despite all the talk about budget cuts this year, we have not seen a year-on-year reduction in federal spending.[**]
- “The budget projects a deficit for the current year of $973 billion, falling to $744 billion in 2014. Those would be the first deficits below $1 trillion since 2008.”
- But in FY2008, when Bush ran a budget deficit of $438 billion, Obama called that “unpatriotic”.
Don’t get me wrong: Obama had kind of a point, in 2008. A point which should be applied doubly now, to him.
Hypocrisy alert level Red (Severe): Obama also declared that “Our economy is poised for progress as long as Washington doesn’t get in the way.”
Hmm… What law could Obama be implementing right now that puts businesses in a quandary, making it tougher for them both to plan and to hire people? What could it be?
[**] NB: These points were overstated in the original version of this post; I regret the error. Actual federal spending grew through the 2000s, peaked in 2009 (the Obama “stimulus” budget – thank you, RH at comment #9), declined in 2010, and has increased again since 2010. The increases have been smaller than GDP growth, so that federal spending has declined since 2009 as a percentage of GDP; while still remaining, at 22% of GDP, higher than in the Clinton-Bush era.
This is a pretty good website to illustrate how awesome it is that King Barack I is taking a whopping 5% pay cut.
The title is from Ted Van Dyk’s recent column. He’s a lifelong Democrat. As a former Democrat myself, who left in the early Naughties, I was intrigued. Read the whole thing, of course. A few highlights:
Mr. Obama was elected in 2008 on the basis of his persona and his pledge to end political and ideological polarization…On taking office, however, the president adopted a my-way-or-the-highway style of governance. He pursued his stimulus and health-care proposals on a congressional-Democrats-only basis. He rejected proposals of his own bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission, which would have provided long-term deficit reduction…He opted instead to demonize Republicans…
No serious attempt—for instance, by offering tort reform or allowing the sale of health-insurance products across state lines—was made to enlist GOP congressional support for the health bill…
Faced with a…GOP House takeover [in 1995], President Bill Clinton shifted to bipartisan governance. Mr. Obama [in 2011] did not...
…I couldn’t have imagined any one of the Democratic presidents or presidential candidates I served from 1960-92 using such down-on-all-fours tactics [as Obama did in 2012]. The unifier of 2008 became the calculated divider of 2012. Yes, it worked, but only narrowly, as the president’s vote total fell off sharply from 2008…
In 1965, Lyndon Johnson had Democratic congressional majorities sufficient to pass any legislation he wanted. But he sought and received GOP congressional support for Medicare, Medicaid, civil rights, education and other Great Society legislation. He knew that in order to last, these initiatives needed consensus support…
…former Democratic presidents would…know today that no Democratic or liberal agenda can go forward…if presidential and Democratic Party rhetoric consistently portrays loyal-opposition leaders as having devious or extremist motives….
Nice to see a Democrat who can admit it; a Democrat who remembers the party we used to know.
As the party went insane over Gore-Bush, Iraq and more.
UPDATE: Even David Brooks, the New York Times’ notion of “conservative” who was so impressed by the crease in Obama’s pants in 2008, is starting to get it.
The progressive [Democrat] budget in the House seems to have been written by people hermetically sealed in the house of government. They work in government. They represent public-sector workers. They seem to have had little contact with private-sector job creators… while Republicans may embarrass on a daily basis, many progressives have lost touch with what actually produces growth and prosperity.
I’ve not blogged or read political articles for the last 3 weeks, for several reasons. One reason was that I got a little overwhelmed by (disgust at) the sheer volume of the Obama administration’s negligence and dishonesty, on issue after issue. You just can’t blog it all.
Well “I’m back”, presently scanning the last few days’ news on HotAir. There it is again! The sheer volume of Obama negligence and/or dishonesty. Any of these could make a blog post.
- Obama lying about the budget “sequester”, trying to panic people with a nightmare vision of the effects of its small – no, paltry – cuts to spending. Why would I use the word “lie”? Because even the left-leaning Washington Post can’t get behind Obama’s claims.
- Obama showing his great leadership on the sequester, asking a reporter “What exactly do you want me to do?“
- Donna Brazile scratching her head about why her health care premiums are going up, a result that most intellectually honest observers knew would have to come from the Obamacare bill.
- Bob Woodward saying what others confirm, even including Clinton stalwarts: that the Obama administration actively seeks to intimidate reporters.
What, only four items? Here’s a bonus: What happens to your city, when Democrats run it for generations?
UPDATE: An Obama advisor allows, in tortured fashion, that the “sequester” cuts were their idea. So why have the Obama crew recently been pretending the opposite?
“I had a young reporter asking tough, important questions of an Obama Cabinet secretary,” says one DC veteran. “She was doing her job, and they were trying to bully her. In an e-mail, they called her the vilest names — bitch, c–t, a–hole.”…
UPDATE: WaPo upgrades one of Obama’s sequester lies from two Pinocchios (run-of-the-mill political lie) to four (indisputable, big lie).
Presidents’ Day is this coming Monday, but Lincoln’s birthday was this past Tuesday, February 12th. I was traveling that day, and had the misfortune of being subjected to hearing most of the State of the Union address as I completed the last leg of that day’s journey.
As Dan and others have pointed out many times in the past, Obama is fond of comparing himself to Republican Presidents, especially Lincoln and Reagan. Perhaps it is because both Lincoln and Reagan were associated with the state of Illinois: Reagan was born there, grew up there, and went to college there, and although Lincoln didn’t move to Illinois until his 21st year, he is most associated with the state where he became a country lawyer, served in the state legislature, and represented a district in the House of Representatives.
Or perhaps Obama compares himself to Republicans because he doesn’t want to remind the public that his political views place him to the left of Clinton, Carter, and Johnson, or, for that matter, far, far to the left of Kennedy. Perhaps he simply wants to preserve the narrative about his alleged “post-partisanship” and thinks that comparing himself to Republican Presidents is one way to keep pulling the wool over the public’s eyes in that regard.
Whatever the reason, hearing him speak on Lincoln’s birthday only reminded me, once again, how far Obama falls from Lincoln’s historic presidency (despite Steven Spielberg’s and Tony Kushner’s attempts to draw such a parallel through their recent film). Not only was the speech the usual melange of the same tiresome platitudes we’ve been hearing from him over the last five years, as both Bruce and Jeff have pointed out here, it was also full of his usual partisan talking points, as he placed blame on Republicans wherever he could, and he rationalized future power-grabs by the Executive branch.
In the context of Lincoln’s birthday, though, I am less interested in the SOTU, and more interested in what Obama said on January 21st of this year. Until Bruce posted the entirety of Washington’s second inaugural last month, the second inaugural address I was most familiar with was Lincoln’s. I had read about FDR’s second inaugural address, but never felt moved to read it in its entirety, and have generally had just passing interest in the speeches delivered on the second inaugurals of the presidents who were re-elected in my lifetime. But Lincoln’s second inaugural address is anthologized in textbooks alongside the Gettysburg Address, and I have read both many times. They are both lessons in brevity, resolve and humility.
Consider, for instance, the way that Lincoln discusses the issue of slavery and the conflict between the North and the South in his second inaugural address:
Both [sides] read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God’s assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. “Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh.” If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman’s two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said “the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.”
These are not the words of a proud and arrogant man. These are the words of a man who is troubled by the horrible conflict which has engulfed his nation and who prays for its speedy resolution, even as he fears the terrible price that both sides in the conflict still have to pay. Lincoln’s words are even more powerful in that way that they echo, perhaps unintentionally, one of Jefferson’s most striking passages from his Notes on the State of Virginia:
The Justice Department sued Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services late Monday, alleging the firm ignored its own standards to rate mortgage bonds that imploded in the financial crisis and cost investors billions. The government was seeking penalties of more than $1 billion…which would be the biggest sanction imposed on a firm related for its actions in the crisis.
This is market manipulation at its dirtiest. I’ll explain.
During the housing bubble, the government’s mortgage finance agencies, FNMA (Fannie Mae) and FHLMC (Freddie Mac), securitized scads of mortgages. That means they re-packaged them as securities – in this case, as bonds – which could be traded on Wall Street. And that helped the bubble along, because it made a lot more money available for people’s mortgages, especially sub-prime mortgages.
All three of the major U.S. bond ratings agencies – S&P, Moody’s and Fitch – gave the ‘securitized mortgage’ bonds the safest rating, AAA, which helped keep the housing bubble going. And that was what almost everyone wanted at the time, including the government.
Later, when the housing bubble burst, it was clear that these bonds did not deserve an AAA rating, and probably never had. The ratings agencies had been wrong, along with everyone else.
One question to ask is: why is S&P the first ratings agency, and so far the only one, to be punished after all this time? What distinguishes S&P? The answer seems fairly obvious: In August 2011, S&P downgraded the U.S. government’s own bonds, which remains a huge blow to Obama’s reputation.
Reports indicate that the government may also sue Moody’s. But they haven’t yet; any efforts there “are in the early stages, largely because state and federal authorities have dedicated more resources to the S&P lawsuit.” Golly, ya think?
So far, then, the moral of the story is: Don’t criticize Obama. Nice business you got there; would be a shame if anything happened to it.
But there is a deeper story: how market manipulation by the government causes bad outcomes; for which politicians (and other supporters of Big Government) always blame the market’s players, rather than themselves.
It was government which created Fannie and Freddie and had them massively support the sub-prime mortgage market. (For which GayPatriot has criticized Barney Frank’s involvement; see here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.)
Moreover, as Peter Schiff reminds us, it was government which established the Big 3 ratings agencies in positions free from ‘consumer’ pressure, where they would descend into a culture of complacent groupthink that favored, not the small investor, but the big players: (more…)
My new piece is up at WatchdogWire – North Carolina. Here’s a snippet!
In Watchdog Wire’s exclusive interview with Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), he stated his support of the court’s ruling.
“Today the D.C. Circuit court rejected the Obama Administration’s executive over reach by finding unconstitutional the President’s recess appointments of officers to federal agencies. This ruling will help in the fight to restore that very system of checks and balances to our government. No president should seek to hijack an independent executive branch agency with unconfirmed political appointees.”
Please read the whole thing!
I admit the ‘word cloud’ technique is a pretty sketchy way to analyze a speech. Still, it can be fun. Zero Hedge gives us an example. From their analysis of a few speeches:
- Reagan 1981 [inaugural speech]: – ‘believe’, ‘freedom’, and ‘government’
- Schumer 2013: – ‘America’, ‘Today’, ‘Finished’, ‘People’
- Obama 2013 [inaugural speech]: “America People Must Believe”
Got it, America? You must believe!
But the main point, for me, is simply the prevalence of “must” in Obama’s speech. As others have remarked: In his vision of the world, no one who opposes him ever does so in good faith. Whatever he believes is an imperative.
UPDATE: A cloud on Hillary’s Benghazi hearing. “People think know committee SEC”… Huh? It sounds like they spent much of that hearing on the question of what people knew or thought when, but why would the SEC pop into it?
I am again called upon by the voice of my country to execute the functions of its Chief Magistrate. When the occasion proper for it shall arrive, I shall endeavor to express the high sense I entertain of this distinguished honor, and of the confidence which has been reposed in me by the people of united America.
Previous to the execution of any official act of the President the Constitution requires an oath of office. This oath I am now about to take, and in your presence: That if it shall be found during my administration of the Government I have in any instance violated willingly or knowingly the injunctions thereof, I may (besides incurring constitutional punishment) be subject to the upbraidings of all who are now witnesses of the present solemn ceremony.
If only we were so lucky today to hear this from our re-elected leader.
First of all, it would be the shortest thing Barack Obama has ever said in public. 100 points.
Secondly, it would show that Barack Obama has humility and respects We, The People. 300 points.
Alas, the Tyrant Boy-King Barack Hussein Obama will deliver nothing like this speech today. Instead, we will hear the droning on of cliches and platitudes with no meaning and no firm plans to help American’s get back to work.
In short, the 2013 Obama Inaugural is merely Groundhog Day 2009.
Before becoming President:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills.
Obama said Congress would be “irresponsible” if it does not act quickly to raise the debt ceiling… “To even entertain the idea of this happening, of America not paying its bills, is irresponsible. It’s absurd.”
Which is it? Is crushing our economy and our young with ever-greater debt under an ever-rising ceiling ‘paying our bills’, or not? Obama had it right the first time: It’s not.
Hat tip to Hot Air and the many others who have remarked on this. I just thought it bears repeating.
Perhaps the main reason former Clinton aide Gigi Georges has bucked her party’s nominee to back Mitt Romney is that the incumbent Democrat doesn’t learn from his mistakes as Bill Clinton did. As Peggy Noonan put it in her column yesterday:
He doesn’t do chastened. He didn’t do what Bill Clinton learned to do, after he took a drubbing in 1994: Change course and prosper.
He made a number of mistakes from the get-go, pushing his health care overhaul even though people were more concerned about “jobs, the economy, all the coming fiscal cliffs”
The Democrat seemed to have a huge chip on his shoulder, confident that his presence alone will serve to accomplish the change he seeks to effect:
Because he had so much confidence, he thought whatever he did would work. He thought he had “a gift,” as he is said to have told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He thought he had a special ability to sway the American people, or so he suggested to House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
But whenever he went over the heads of the media and Congress and went to the people, in prime-time addresses, it didn’t really work. He did not have a magical ability to sway. And—oddly—he didn’t seem to notice. (more…)
From almost the first year of Obama’s tenure in office, conservative pundits have been wondering speculating that Barack Obama doesn’t really like being president. Sure, he likes the perks, but he doesn’t seem to care about the responsibilities of the office he worked so hard in 2007 & 2008 to attain.
With the release last month of Bob Woodward’s book, The Price of Politics, a non-conservative added his voice to this conservative consensus, with the one-time Washington Post reporter noting the incumbent’s virtual indifference to his executive obligations. Today, yet another liberal who cut his teeth at the Post scores Obama for his absence of passion and empathy. Richard Cohen does see in Obama’s face the “shock and indignation,” the “sorrow and sympathy” he saw in Robert F. Kennedy when that idealist Democrat toured Appalachia and Mississippi:
Instead, I see a failure to embrace all sorts of people, even members of Congress and the business community. I see diffidence, a reluctance to close. I see a president for whom Afghanistan is not just a war but a metaphor for his approach to politics: He approved a surge but also an exit date. Heads I win, tails you lose.
. . . .
The crowd adored Obama, although not as much as I think he adored himself.
. . . .
Obama never espoused a cause bigger than his own political survival. This is the gravamen of the indictment from the left, particularly certain African Americans. They are right. Young black men fill the jails and the morgues, yet Obama says nothing. Bobby Kennedy showed his anger, his impatience, his stunned incredulity at the state of black America. Obama shows nothing.
Read the whole thing. And yet all too often, Mr. Cohen’s colleagues in the media have been billing Mr. Obama as more empathetic than Mitt Romney. Cohen still plans on voting for Mr. Obama, but “with regret.” If a liberal pundit is less than lukewarm in his support for Mr. Obama, how must centrist voters feel about the man they decided to back in 2008 because of his “post-partisan” appeal?
Instead of take the time to outline his plans for a second term in the second debate, President Barack Obama last Tuesday did something perhaps no previous president had done, attack his opponent in personal terms.
On Thursday in the Wall Street Journal, Peggy Noonan wonders if the president will pay “a certain price” for ending “a certain part of the old-school American political style“. The Athena of punditry reminds us how he started out:
Gov. Romney’s says he’s got a five-point plan? Gov. Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan. He has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules. That’s been his philosophy in the private sector, that’s been his philosophy as governor, that’s been his philosophy as a presidential candidate.” Mr. Romney, said the president, likes a world in which “you can ship jobs overseas and get tax breaks for it. You can invest in a company, bankrupt it, lay off the workers, strip away their pensions, and you still make money.”
Peggy contends he said things that were “harsh and personal” and that he called the Republican “selfish and greedy”. ”What the president said at the debate”, she notes, “was nothing he hadn’t said on the trail”:
His campaign has been personal, accusatory and manipulative. But there in the room on a tiny stage, for a sitting president to come out with that kind of put-down—I couldn’t imagine a JFK doing it, with his cool, or a Jerry Ford with his Midwestern decency, or a Reagan, or the Bushes. When you are president, you don’t stand next to an opponent and accuse and attack. You keep a certain almost aesthetic distance. You know the height of the office you hold. (more…)
Contendinghe was just “too polite“, President Obama attempted to excuse his performance in his first debate with Mitt Romney:
But, you know, the good news is, is that’s just the first one. Gov. Romney put forward a whole bunch of stuff that either involved him running away from positions that he had taken, or doubling down on things like Medicare vouchers that are going to hurt him long term. …
And, you know, I think it’s fair to say that we will see a little more activity at the next one.
Interesting that Obama claims his politeness stems from his failure to attack Mitt Romney — and not from his failure to respond to Mitt Romney’s criticism of his record. Or his failure to more aggressively defend his own record. Or his failure to more aggressively outline his plans for his second term.
It’s all about his failure to attack the challenger. Later, he echoed the notion of his failure to attack when he said he had been “too restrained when Mr. Romney was telling his tall tales.” Obama believe that “when you read the transcript, everything I said was true and a lot of what he said was not.” In short, his failure wasn’t related to what he failed to say about himself, but what he failed to say about Mitt.
Given this self-critique, we can thus expect him to put Romney on defense in their second face-off by attacking the Republican. (more…)