Playing out before the entire country is a pattern repeated from four years ago. President Obama and the Democrats use an electoral win to try to steamroll through a single project within weeks of taking office and then . . . hunker down and hide. Four years ago a Democrat dominated House and Senate jammed Obamacare down the throats of an unwilling public so fast that then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi quipped “we will have to pass the bill for you to know what is in it.”
After the adoption of that hugely unpopular Act, the Obama Administration went on a mission of avoid and conceal. Clint Eastwood famously described Obama’s policies and behaviors as the equivalent of talking to an empty chair. From stopping necessary oil pipelines, to covering up gun running operations gone fatally wrong, to concealing known terrorist risks, to a destructive “hands and policy off” approach to the Arab Spring, to waiting for the European fiscal crisis to “solve itself,” to frantically trying to hide the fact that its policies towards terrorism were largely non-existent and unsuccessful ending in the tragedy of Benghazi, to an inert and dying economy in which the only “positive” numbers take place when people completely drop out of the work force, it remains to be seen if this version of the Obama Administration will actually function after his second “first 100 days in office.”
For 3 1/2 years we were told that “things were happening” and that any economic stagnation was “Bush’s fault.” We are still waiting for anything to happen. Almost all of Obama’s actions have been purely reactive and politically hatched rather than affirmative and planned. Obama’s response to America’s economic woes? Repeat the mistake of throwing more money at it and hope for a different result. Obama’s response to the European crisis? Carefully avoid “entanglements” because European struggles are caused by the very economic programs pushed by his Administration. Obama’s Response to the Arab Spring? Sit back and hope the “right folks” win without ever speaking out for real democratic values and policies. When dictators are put in power in part because of American inaction, tell the world that Morsi is a friend of the United States. Obama’s response to the first assassination of an American Ambassador in more than a decade? Try to blame a video and when that is proven to be a lie deny and conceal the criminal lack of response to the attack. Obama’s response to the fatal results of his ill-conceived attempt to limit Second Amendment rights through the Fast And Furious gun running program? Lie, claim executive privilege and hope it goes away. The American public has let him get away with these failures. I would love to blame a biased media, but the American public is pretty smart and cannot be ONLY the media damping outrage and investigation into these often criminal failures.
I am sure my critics will bellow “you are ignoring all of his successes.” Let’s take a look at those “successes.” First, the assassination of Osama Bin Laden. Even I will give the President credit for allowing follow through on that event even though he condemned and banned the interrogation techniques that led to the information allowing the identification of Bin Laden’s stronghold. The President also failed to protect United States assets in the field that helped with the identification of the stronghold and allowed the arrest and “punishment” of those assets. Of course never being one to duck praise or personal credit, Obama granted unprecedented access to film makers wanting to memorialize Obama’s greatness. Second, the strong recovery of the New York Stock Exchange during Obama’s first term. To this I say that you can’t have it both ways. You can’t blame Bush for four years of economic stagnation and malaise and yet take credit for recovery of a stock market that had lost more than half of its value just prior to your inauguration. Either own up to your other failures of economic policy and take credit for the Wall Street recovery, or take responsibility for neither.
The “Obamacare” of the moment is the repeal of the Bush tax increases. Democrats are treating this as the holy grail and seem to be willing to allow the continued explosion of our national debt and uncontrolled spending as long as they can take their pound of flesh from the “wealthy.” Ignoring the fact that 50% of Congress is in the 1% and that most of the wealthy will see no increase in their taxes because they pay taxes as capital gains at about 15%, a program that raises something like 1% of the needed taxes or spending cuts needed to solve the budget problem seems like an odd place to spend all of your effort. When you consider that after passing Obamacare the first time around, Obama hunkered down and hid, it is frightening to think that gouging a tax increase out of a tiny segment of the population will be the sum total of the policy effort out of Obama for the next few years.