Certainly, most Presidents have been tempted to do what ever it is they want, and most do not, because they listen to those around them and find out they do not know as much as they thought they knew.
This problem has zero impact on our current President — as Peretz writes in the New Republic — “the arrogance that is so characteristic of his behavior in matters he knows little about (which is a lot of matters),” or, alternatively, “the One” always knows best.
President Obama was elected as a candidate that could transcend the politics of the usual, and great hope was placed in him by the majority of the American people — hope that was promptly shredded by his own actions.
The President immediately settled on two courses of actions that has bled him dry of any political capital: a trillion dollar stimulus and ObamaCare.
The stimulus has not lowered the unemployment rate, has not turned the economy around, has swollen the roles of government workers and has pumped unearned government money into his own widely touted “green economy,” that the market would not touch with a twenty-foot pole. (It also paid for $16 muffins at the Justice Department.)
Solyndra — and the next company similarly favored that fails — will keep the promises of the “green economy” well tattered and discredited in the eyes of the public.
The fact the President abandoned cap and tax after it passed the U.S House, was a function of the time and the political capital that ObamaCare consumed, not any political calculation on the part of the White House. But even talking about cap and tax and passing it in the U.S. House hurt the Dems up for re-election in 2010 — just ask former Dem Rep. Boucher of VA.
ObamaCare, the President’s obsession, is the gift that keeps on giving to the Republicans — a fact the Republicans and others repeatedly tried to warn the Democrats and the President about — but the Democrats simply did not listen or believe that ObamaCare could be, or would be, the sucking chest wound it has been since the fall of 2009. (In political years, that’s a decade of political pain for the Dems.) Even liberals like Howard Fineman finally concluded this month that ObamaCare was the President’s biggest political miscalculation. Shocking it took Fineman this long to figure that out, isn’t it?
Simply put, the 83 new Freshmen GOP House members from the 2010 elections are evidence of the shock and awe that ObamaCare’s politics visited on the Dems.
The debt ceiling fight resulted in S&P (along with many others) lowering the U.S. credit rating, which came as no surprise to most, but the White House reacted as if in shock, especially strange since the U.S. debt has exploded by $4 Trillion in the 32 months Obama has been President. The voters, already concerned about debt, became more concerned.
But despite promises of cutting spending, a month after the debt limit fight, Obama went back to do what he always does — spend money. His half a trillion dollar “jobs” plan is half of the full trillion dollar plan Rep. Maxine Waters wanted. Obama pulled his half-Maxine out of the hat, and the global markets dropped like a stone.
In an effort to then seem like he was listening to the cries for lower spending, Obama announced a massive tax increase that he insisted was a plan to cut spending, despite that fact that for every one dollar that he promised would be cut (really, some time in the future) he wants $3 in tax increases.
It’s not a spending cut plan, it’s a tax hike plan — prompting the moderate Ross Douthat to write in the New York Times “the President will be running in 2012 as former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.” In that case, the President might as well be infecting the Dems up in 2012 with the black plague.
Here is a handy chart showing just how big and repeatedly “the One” has, by his own hand, failed politically. This chart is especially startling given the fact that Obama claims to be a better political director than his political director:
For those wondering what in the heck the Japanese Divine Wind is, click here.