The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, February 01, 2010


President Obama is correct when he states (in speech after speech) that a lack of bipartisan resolve and a lack of civility have much to do with our collective inability to solve the many serious problems that face our nation. In essence, he remains in campaign mode, suggesting that it’s “Washington” that’s the problem. Mark Steyn comments on this approach:
Simply as a matter of internal logic, this is somewhat perplexing. After all, when he isn't blaming George W. Bush, Mr. Obama blames "Washington" - a Washington mired in "partisanship" and "pettiness" and "the same tired battles" and "Washington gimmicks" that do nothing but ensure that our "problems have grown worse." Washington, Mr. Obama tells us, is "unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems."

So let's have more Washington! That raises the question: Does even Mr. Obama listen to his speeches?

But there’s more to it than that. It’s almost as if Barack Obama didn’t understand that winning the Presidency meant sitting atop the power pyramid in “Washington,” and inheriting all of the problems that existed on the first day of his ascendancy to the office.

If Washington has problems, Barack Obama need not complain about them (that’s campaign mode), he must work to correct them (that’s leadership). So far, he has failed miserably. His approach has been astonishingly and arrogantly partisan even as he blamed the small opposition minority for "obstructionism." Folks, it's his own party that's "obstructing" his plans—no one else.

If he inherited a difficult domestic situation, he need not blame his predecessor or “the last eight years” That’s whiny and accomplishes nothing. In fact, it's something the real leaders rarely if ever do. Rather, he should have used his enormous political capital upon entering office to address joblessness instead of squandering it like the political rookie he is.

It’s pretty clear that President Obama truly does believe that the very “Washington” he decries in speech after speech is the solution to everything from creating jobs to educating our children to removing your gall bladder. Shrinking Washington (despite his hollow claims about “freezing spending”) is anathema to our President.

Mark Steyn is harsh in his assessment of this, but he may not be far off the mark:
In the past 60 years, the size of America's government work force has increased five times faster than the population. [emphasis mine] Yet the president says it's still not enough: We have to divert more of our human capital into the government machine. He's explicitly telling you: If you start a business, invent something, provide a service, you're a schmuck. In the America he's building, you'll be working 24/7 till you drop dead to fund an ever-swelling bureaucracy. Mr. Obama's proposals are bold only insofar as few men would offer such a transparent guarantee of disaster: It's the audacity of hopelessness.

I think there is hope. Although the President does not seem to be listening, the Congress (out of sheer self-preservation) has carefully calibrated the public’s mood as reflected in the surprising Massachusetts election result. I’m hopeful that the Democratic majority will slow their leader down, way down. We’ll see.