Thursday, October 14, 2010

Obama believes that we're almost as dumb as he is about government

This New York Times story on President Obama's assessment of his first two years in office is just too funny. Or it would be funny, if our country's fate wasn't so affected by his mistakes. He says he's learned that his stimulus was mistakenly designed.
During our hour together, Obama told me he had no regrets about the broad direction of his presidency. But he did identify what he called “tactical lessons.” He let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.” He realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works. Perhaps he should not have proposed tax breaks as part of his stimulus and instead “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” so it could be seen as a bipartisan compromise.

Most of all, he has learned that, for all his anti-Washington rhetoric, he has to play by Washington rules if he wants to win in Washington. It is not enough to be supremely sure that he is right if no one else agrees with him. “Given how much stuff was coming at us,” Obama told me, “we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right. There is probably a perverse pride in my administration — and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.”
He didn't know that there was no such thing as a shovel-ready project? Well, duh! It wasn't as if people weren't trying to get that message across while the stimulus was being discussed. The CBO tried to get that point across back in January, 2009. Also in January, Lawrence Lindsey and Alice Rivlin tried to get the Democrats to recognize this. Obama's own economic adviser, Larry Summers, had warned that a stimulus should be timely, targeted, and temporary. Everyone of sense understood that there was no such thing as a shovel-ready project, but the Democrats pretended that they were going to get money out there fast and put people back to work quickly. Hah! Mostly they were just funding Democratic wish-list items that had little to do with helping the economy to grow.

And Obama thinks that his problem was that he didn't explain himself well enough to the American people. We're just too stupid to have gotten the message from his dozens and dozens of speeches in the past 22 months. You can hardly turn on your tv without seeing and hearing him. He's there at the basketball games. He's there on MTV and he's giving messages to school children at the start of school. He's given speech after speech, but somehow he thinks the problem is the politics, not the policy. If only he'd just had the right message, the American people would have ignored the lack of success and embraced the Democrats' bungling of the economy. He thinks that, if he'd just been more political, everyone would understand how wonderful his failed economic policies are.
That’s a refrain heard inside the White House as well: it’s a communication problem. The first refuge of any politician in trouble is that it’s a communication problem, not a policy problem. If only I explained what I was doing better, the people would be more supportive. Which roughly translates to If only you people paid attention, you wouldn’t be kicking me upside the head.
If his policies were so successful, how come Democratic politicians are running as fast as possible away from Obama and his stimulus and health care policies? They're pretending that they're not allies who have supported Pelosi, Reid, and Obama down the line. I guess it's all because the people are just too dumb to fully appreciate how wonderfully he's been governing us through these economic times.

And then Obama has a "Who are you going to believe - me or your lying eyes" moment when he says that "he let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat.”

I think I'll believe my lying eyes.


pumping-irony said...

Obama is either a pathological liar or dumber than a box of "Hope and Change" bumper stickers. Either way, we're in deep Stimulus.

Michael said...

In Obama's defense he really is a borrow and spend and then tax liberal. This allows him to lie about being a tax and spend liberal. There is a distinction there somewhere.

tfhr said...

Another off-teleprompter Obama comment, much like his "spread the wealth" gaff, that reveals who and what he really is, not what he and his handlers hope to portray.

"Shovel ready"! A skeptical press would have had a field day with that ridiculous slogan but they were still wetting themselves over "Hope and Change", along with other meaningless platitudes. The only shoveling I've noticed lately is that being done by the Obama administration and its Congressional cronies!

2421Rich said...

Betsy, all of your points are good but there definitly was a failure of politics, that is, "the politics of the possible". Obama never sold the American people on his ideas. In all his speaches all he does is preach and talk down to us. Implying that we are all stupid is not going to convince anyone. The only politics he used were the steamroller politics and the "my way or the highway" politics. No opposition feedback or compromises were ever even considered. Obama forgot or never knew that if the people are not following, you are not leading.

lorraine_lanning said...

I think he's both ignorant AND a liar.

Clearly, the reason he hasn't released his academic record is because it won't backup the illusion that he's the smartest president since, well, ever. His bungling shows that he knows nothing about history, economics or foreign policy.

He also lies about everything, as his record shows. One month he says one thing, the next month it's the opposite. Since he can't ever shut up, he's provided the evidence himself.

The first step to preventing him from doing anymore damage is to elect a Congress that will stop him, the second is to elect someone else in 2012.

princeofpeeps said...

During a brief interlude to Obama’s abysmal presidency, I can imagine the Narcissist-in-Chief sneaking out of the White House late at night, stealthily making his way down to the Reflecting Pool. He stands there at the edge, staring at the water, contemplating a walk across. A few moments later, he turns about and struts back to his chamber, his head held high with that big grin on his face, ever so pleased with himself, knowing that he could have done it if he had wanted to.