Amazing Disgrace

By: Eddie Clements

February 5, 2009, is a day that may live long in infamy. President Barack Obama has just given a speech before House Democrats meeting at a retreat in Virginia. The location is ironic, given the number of Founding Fathers who called that place home. On full display was the deployment of tried and true Democrat tools of deception, denial, and division. Lipstick was actually being applied to a pig.

A few minutes into the speech, I said aloud, “what planet is this guy from?” The total disconnect between the words of an elected U.S. President and the country in which he holds that office startled my senses. It began with a jarringly nasty “joke” that his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is “teaching profanity lessons to underprivileged children.”

Dick Morris says on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox News that Obama has thrown down the gauntlet, exactly what I had thought. Morris said Obama revealed himself to be a strict partisan who insists on getting his way.

The goal was passage of a final bill by February 16th. Suggesting debate was healthy and change should come slowly and deliberately, he says we must act swiftly. Such obvious contradiction should be a clue that Obama’s words are out of alignment with his ultimate intentions.

Obama said “No one party, no one individual can dictate terms of the debate.” He then proceeds to dictate the terms of the debate, saying “Americans…want American solutions, not Democrat or Republican solutions – but don’t come to the table with the same tired arguments and worn out ideas that helped to create this crisis.” Using the tool of denial, he omits Democrat responsibility in bringing the financial mess about, and says he is not doing the very thing the speech was doing.

“I welcome this debate…but we are not going to get relief by turning back to the very same policies that for the last eight years doubled our national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin. We can’t embrace the same losing formula that says tax cuts will work for every problem we face, that ignores critical challenges like our addiction to foreign oil or the soaring costs of health care, falling schools or crumbling bridges and roads and levees…”

The American people called for “a change in direction, and that is what we intend to deliver.”

This sounds like a campaign speech, adding weight to Limbaugh’s prediction that Obama will continually campaign. It is now clear he must to maintain the illusion that he favors bipartisanship. He will be in constant “sell” mode, peddling the idea anyone opposed to his vision of American renewal is … choose your phrase – out of touch, divisive, un-American, etc. This divides Americans into the “want to succeed” and “do not want to succeed” camps.

While a candidate, Obama responded to a question about lowering the capital gains tax rate as a bad idea, though it was pointed out to him that millions of Americans were subject to it and tax revenues increased when rates were lowered. He said it was a matter of “fairness”. Such muddle-headed thinking leads to a situation where the current President must employ the Democrat tools of deception, denial, and division to obtain passage for a bill that is far too big in amount and sweeping in scope to swallow all at once. Better to start with more modest moves and establish a basis for leadership.

Republican arguments advancing free-market solutions and regulatory reform are falling on deaf ears. Obama parodies characterization of the bill as spending instead of stimulus as “what do you think stimulus is?” Obama ignores the fact that government spending has little economic effect, pounding the square Keynesian peg into the free-market round hole. This is pure deception, failing to tell the truth to his own supporters, because he knows what they prefer to hear.

The deception is compounded by denial of successful tax-cutting policies. Insisting tax increases are needed fails to recognize that when government passes laws confiscating more earned income, behavior changes. Years of growth and wealth creation began with Reagan, who greatly lowered tax rates. These truths, these facts, are not the issue to tone-deaf Democrats. Their plan is to seize permanent power by establishing policies that have the appearance of “fairness”, the gospel according to liberalism. In part by creating a dependent class, they expect to reap the benefits of votes for years into the future, wherein lies the nexus of this bill and Obama’s need to pass it in its current form: it is not about economic stimulus, but power.

There may be provisions of the bill which will provide some jobs, but how many and for how long. Obama parodies opposition to $600,000,000 for hybrid or other vehicles to replace the government fleet by saying “Why wouldn’t we want to do that?” Sure, it’s a sound idea to have modern, fuel-efficient vehicles in good working order. But the number of vehicles won’t provide jobs for long, and no new jobs need to be created. Also, this is only one industry benefitting, and interestingly enough, that industry now appears to be owned by … the federal government. If the feds want hybrids, fine, but most of us can live without them, and want to.

Millions for global warming “research” is bound to produce more evidence in favor of global warming. It is unlikely any research results will be entertained that come to a conclusion other than that ordained by the Democrats’ environmental constituency. Chalk up more dollars for left-wing professors to dole out to themselves and favored assistants, while recruiting graduate students who will do the research work and become solid Democrat-voting citizens.

This is not even before any discussion of financing takes place. Never mind the interest – who’s going to invest in a bleak future for America? This has always been a “can-do” nation of people, not a people who are receptive to dire warnings of impending catastrophe if some particular President doesn’t get exactly his way. Higher taxes and lower expectations, protectionism and over-regulation will stifle growth, not enhance it. Even New York City has complained that lower bonuses for executives have hurt the City’s tax revenues.

The bill’s details can be picked apart, but no matter. Obama’s speech to rally the House Democrat faithful was a disgraceful attempt to establish legislation by fiat. It was amazing to hear the supposed unifier bullying Republicans by saying essentially, my way or the highway. This is an attempt to make the “change we can believe in” which, if polls are any indication, is not quite what Americans had in mind. Despite leftist pundit opinion, people everywhere in America are too reserved, too comfortable overall to buy into wholesale economic revolution, which is what the bill’s result would be. Resistance is growing, and may not be so futile after all. Though not the kind the President had in mind, there is hope!

Eddie Clements

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