15 Apr 2011

Obama’s Budget Speech, Re-examined

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James Taranto has a rational explanation for the lies and stupidity.

Why did Obama give this appalling speech? A pair of articles give a partial answer. The first one appeared at TheHill.com early yesterday morning, before the speech:

    Anxiety over President Obama’s shift to the political center is threatening to alienate the White House’s liberal base. . . .

    The concerns have surfaced after the White House rankled lawmakers on the left by agreeing to a 2011 spending bill that slashes funding for a number of programs long favored by Democrats and embracing a controversial trade agreement with Colombia. . . .

    The criticisms highlight the problem facing Obama, who is trying to lead from the center without alienating his political base. The White House strategy could help the president with independents, but risks leaving liberals at home in the fall of 2012.

The second, by Salon.com’s Joan Walsh, was a glowing review of the speech:

    The president came out fighting with firmness, and with a rhetoric of social justice and equality, that I haven’t seen enough of these last two years. . . . That’s the president I voted for. . . . After the speech, pundits called it the opening salvo of the Obama 2012 reelection campaign, as though there was something wrong with that. If these are the founding principles of the president’s 2012 campaign, Democrats and the country will be better off than we’ve been in a while.

Mickey Kaus notes that “Obama tends to defend the welfare state in ineffective paleolib terms. It’s mostly ‘compassion’ and taking “responsibility for . . . each other,’ whether we work or not.” It seems to us, though, that the speech was meant for the left, not the center, and paleolib terms are effective with a paleolib audience.

The optimistic reading of this speech is the cynical one: Obama knows he is going to have to compromise with congressional Republicans and is buying himself some goodwill with the base. If he was speaking from the heart, though, we’re in for a long 2012, though his may be even longer.


Ann Althouse says exactly the same thing, more colorfully and succinctly, by quoting (and glossing) Rush Limbaugh:

“That’s what they love. That’s what they get off on. That’s their orgasm.”

“They” = the “walking human debris… those savages that make up the Obama base.”

“What they get off on” = Obama’s attack on conservatives.

He was just blowing smoke to keep the moonbat base home on the ranch while he tries to make a deal. The natives had been getting noticably restless at the idea that the welfare state is over, so Barack was just singing the lullaby they love to hear to put them back to sleep. “Compassion versus greed…. millionaires and billionaires… repeal the Bush tax cuts…”


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