Jonah Goldberg's column explores this habit of Barack Obama's.
Obama has a long-standing habit of seeing failure to support his agenda as a failure of character. The Democratic voters of western Pennsylvania refused to vote for him, he explained, because they were “bitter.” He told black Democrats lacking sufficient enthusiasm for his reelection to “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’.”But who are those who really block us from achieving the great things that Obama laments we're no longer capable of accomplishing?
And in the context of the country’s economic doldrums, Obama sees a lack of ambition, softness, laziness, etc., in anyone who doesn’t support his agenda. He has spent several years now exhorting Americans about how we have to “win the future” by doing what he says. He has told us repeatedly that this is our “Sputnik moment” when all Americans must drop their selfish, cynical, or foolish objections to his program. People who disagree aren’t putting their “country first.”
He’s constantly stoking nationalistic and quasi-paranoid fears of China to goad Americans into supporting ever more “investments” in green energy and high-speed white elephants.
Meanwhile, it’s Obama and his allies in Congress who’ve been at the forefront of the effort to make America less competitive. Obama delayed free-trade deals for years, until he could lard them up with Big Labor giveaways. He has thrown roadblocks in front of a multibillion-dollar U.S.–Canada pipeline project, which many ambitious and imaginative people see as something like this generation’s Hoover Dam or Golden Gate Bridge. He did postpone those new job-killing smog regulations his EPA administrator wants, but he has also let everyone — including foreign investors — know that he’ll put them back on the agenda if he’s reelected.The entire Democratic message seems to be one of projection where they blame average Americans for what they themselves have wrought.
In 2008, Obama said Bush’s deficit of $9 trillion was “unpatriotic.” Now he questions the patriotism of those who think the Obama deficit of $15 trillion argues against spending even more money we don’t have. And of course, there’s that giant unfunded disaster known as Obamacare, which Nancy Pelosi claimed was a “jobs bill” because it would lead to “an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.”
But, yes, by all means, let’s blame our lack of competitiveness on the American people.