One of the great psychological benefits bestowed upon sociopaths is their inability to accept responsibility for their own actions. Every failure is because of the treachery, ineptitude, or incompetence of other. I wrote about that recently in a post titled Obama blames GOP for his failed presidency.
His idea of cooperation is the GOP doing what he wants. It never crosses his mind that most economists don’t think raising the minimum wage is a good idea. It never occurs to him that many, if not most, people believe the existing legal regime for employers is sufficiently expensive and intrusive without adding more. He can’t understand that immigration is dead not because the GOP doesn’t want to do something but because the GOP does not trust him to enforce the laws that we have in place.
Unfortunately for the nation, Obama is not a high-performing sociopath rather he’s a putz. My colleague, Leon Wolf, on today’s front page notes that the manifest legislative and administrative failures are the result of a man with no leadership ability:
Obama’s suggestion that he is being uniquely mistreated at the hands of Republicans in Congress rings especially hollow in light of the fact that the previous Democrat occupant of the White House was literally impeached by the Republican Congress he faced in his second term. And yet Clinton was able to get roughly twice as much production out of Congress in terms of substantive legislative accomplishments in his last two years than Obama has in the previous year. The reason for this is simple: Whatever Clinton’s personal and ideological failings (and they were legion), he was not a complete failure as a leader. One of the necessary qualities of a leader is being able to convince intransigent followers to row in the same direction as you, at least sometimes. Clinton had this ability; Obama just doesn’t. Moreover, he has never from day one shown any interest in developing it or cultivating it.
And yet it continues. Yesterday, Obama gave an interview on Marketplace, a show that runs on many NPR affiliates. In it he lays out the same tired tropes we hear from him time and again: the economy is fine, lots of public works projects are what the economy needs, the VA was broke when I took office but we’re fixing it, etc. Now all of these have been used endlessly since 2009 and they are all false. The economy is in a shambles, unemployment seems to be stuck at about 13% when one includes workers no longer seeking employment, the VA got worse under Obama, if public works created real jobs than the stimulus would have worked.
Then he goes on to his favorite subject: blaming others for his failures.
Well, unfortunately, we have a Congress that's broken down. ... We have a House of Representatives that is so ideologically driven at this point that they are not able to carry out basic functions of government.
Let’s pause here for a second and ask which of the constitutional functions of the House of Representatives is has not fulfilled. Answer: none. It is the Senate, under the Democrats, that has refuse to produce a budget for five years. Back to the comedy routine:
So we saw this during the government shutdown. The idea that we would shut down the government based on a notion that we've got to drastically cut the basic safety net -- despite the fact that the deficit has come down by more than half during my presidency -- is not based on common sense, it's not based on any sound economic theories.
Actually, the government shutdown was over much more than the safety net and was brought about by more of the excellent leadership Leon chronicled. A quick Fact Check of this finds that the deficit is actually 50% higher than the deficit he inherited. It is only down “by more than half” in relation to the bloated stimulus package.
It's based on the ideological predispositions of a handful of folks who are currently calling the shots in the House of Representatives. The same is true, we just recently saw, with immigration reform; we have bipartisan support for immigration reform. We know that the economy would grow faster, that we would end up seeing $1.4 trillion in additional growth in the United States if in fact we passed immigration reform. We know that there are companies across the country, particularly in the high-tech sector, that are begging to have highly skilled immigrants -- who we've trained, we've paid for and are now going back to their home countries to start businesses -- stay here in the United States. Despite all that, we still couldn't get the House of Representatives to act, primarily because of politics, primarily because they're captive of a small ideological band inside their caucus.
As anyone who has followed the history of CBO projections knows, the idea that the “$1.4 trillion in additional growth” is “known” is absolute balderdash. And we’ve written about how there is a surplus of highly skilled Americans, that we’ve also trained, who are being displaced via a predatory H1B visa policy. On also can't help but wonder how he imagined he was able to accomplish the wonderful stuff he claims to have accomplished without the assistance of the GOP in the House.
Then he goes on to offer advice.
And so, I don't think this is a permanent state of affairs; I think over time the Republican Party will move back to the center, mainly because if they don't, they'll never win the presidency again
If there was ever a sure sign that we conservatives are on the right track it is Barack Obama telling us we are on the wrong track to win the presidency. Just as Chuck Schumer warned us it was vital for us to pass comprehensive immigration reform in order to win elections – because he really wants us to win election, you know – now Obama is telling us that we have to give him what he wants if we ever want to win the presidency.
This interview was just another part of Obama’s continuing Tantrum Tour, a disagreeable spectacle that is going to be with us until January 2017.