03 Aug 2011

Entering Carter Territory

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Michael Goodwin appraises the president’s current situation: his policies haven’t worked, he seems incapable of learning from his mistakes, the country is giving up on him, and there is another election next year.

That was fast. Mounting his shrinking soapbox soon after the Senate passed the debt-ceiling bill, President Obama took less than a minute to lapse into his class-warfare shtick.

It’s always us-against-them with him, but yesterday was especially off-key. For all its drama and histrionics, the vote in Congress was a rare note of bipartisanship he could have embraced as a model.

The nation avoided the dreaded default and did it with lopsided support in both houses. A majority of both parties in the Senate backed the deal, while in the House, Republicans backed it by more than 2-1 while Dems split evenly for and against.

This isn’t dysfunction. This is a successful democracy taking action. It was messy and flawed and nobody loves it. But the deal proves compromise still can work in a divided country.

Yet the result doesn’t suit our president, who has an itch for punishing wealth and more spending. To scratch it, he turns reflexively to scapegoating. The man who promised to unite the nation instead relishes dividing it at every opportunity.

So we heard again that the evil “oil companies” and “billionaires” and the “wealthy” and “big corporations” need to “pay their fair share.” Doesn’t he ever get tired of saying the same things?

I don’t know which is worse: That he really believes such drivel will help America, or that he’s cynically throwing red meat to the Bubbas of his far-left base. Either way, he needs new material.

But the debt debate made it clear that Obama’s idea shop is running on fumes. Like a broken record, he’s stuck on the same song — bigger government, higher taxes. No matter the circumstance, he repeats the mantra.

For such a smart guy, he’s proving to be a slow learner about what works, and doesn’t. He, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid had their unfettered way for two years, and they blew a giant hole in the budget without getting much bang for taxpayers’ bucks.

Unemployment is a staggering 9.2 percent and rising, and most economists believe the economy is in serious danger of a double-dip recession. Obama’s answer: Let’s do it all again.

He gives lip service to the pain of the unemployed and underemployed, then trots out the old ideas. Usually he doesn’t even bother to repackage them.

Maybe he hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care, but the country is giving up on him. The shellacking his party and policies took in the 2010 midterms would be repeated if there were an election today. He’s sinking, and his approval is now a woeful 40 percent — that’s Jimmy Carter territory.

2 Feedbacks on "Entering Carter Territory"


This is a man whose career advancement until now has never involved anything other than looking good, talking platitudes and leveraging white guilt. Suddenly he’s the CEO where you tend to get measured by the success of the organization you are supposed to be leading. Blaming others for lack of performance is all he can muster.


The only answer for doubling down that is plausible to me is Mental Illness.


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