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

Monday, August 09, 2010

Campaign Mode

Over the past two weeks, President Obama has returned to the only thing that he seems to do well—campaign mode. Reuter’s reports:
AUSTIN, Texas, Aug 9 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama attacked the economic policies of his Republican predecessor George W. Bush in Bush's home state on Monday as evidence of the way Republicans would operate if given power in Nov. 2 U.S. congressional elections.

At a fund-raising event for Democrats in Dallas, where Bush now lives, Obama said the former president's "disastrous" policies had driven the U.S. economy into the ground and turned budget surpluses into deficits.

Obama defended his repeated references to Bush's policies, saying they were necessary to remind Americans of the weak economy he inherited from Bush in January 2009.

"The policies that crashed the economy, that undercut the middle class, that mortgaged our future, do we really want to go back to that, or do we keep moving our country forward?" Obama said at another fund-raising event in Austin, referring to Bush's eight years as president.

"Campaign mode" allows for selective memory. It encourages half-truths, divisive attacks on the opposition, and a penchant for applause lines delivered to friendly audiences. Barack Obama is very comfortable in campaign mode. The problem, I’m afraid, is that he’s not campaigning for the presidency, he is the President and he, and he alone, is now responsible for our domestic and international policies and challenges. Blaming George W. Bush may energize the President’s left-leaning base, but polls indicate that those of us in the Center are less than impressed. His direct attacks on his predecessor are unprecedented in modern times and are perceived by many as childish rants by a man who doesn't seem to understand the wisdom of a small plaque that sat on another Democratic president's desk: "The Buck Stops Here."

The President states that “the former president's 'disastrous' policies had driven the U.S. economy into the ground and turned budget surpluses into deficits,” but being in campaign mode he conveniently forgets to mention that his party has controlled both houses of Congress with significant majorities since 2007. In January of that year, unemployment was 4.7 percent and the debt was at 8.4 Trillion. Today, after 42 plus months of Democratic leadership and 19 months of an Obama presidency, unemployment has risen to 9.5 percent and the national debt is $13.2 trillion. Worse, Obama's brain trust can't seem to reduce unemployment and continues to increase the debt.

In his best campaign mode style, the President asks “do we really want to go back” to the Bush era?

What Mr. Obama seems unable to fathom is that many citizens of this country would gladly “go back” to 5 percent unemployment, less debt, fewer back-breaking entitlements, and a Bush administration that for all its failings (and they were many) acted with far less arrogance and considerably more maturity that one we have now.