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Thursday, August 27, 2009

You Can Put Lipstick on a Liberal...

There is now a plethora of analysis about where Obama's health care plans went wrong, where his agenda went wrong, and why his popularity is dropping like a lead balloon. The best analysis came from Scott Rasmussen. Rasmussen said that support for health care reform was tanking because it is the culmination of a multitude of domestic policies the public doesn't like: the stimulus, cash for clunkers, the bailouts, etc. The public had finally gotten fed up and their pent up anger had reached its limits.

It's rather remarkable because those that opposed Obama most virulently proclaimed that his policies were liberal if not worse. Yet, throughout the campaign, then candidate Obama was able to so eloquently verbalize his vision that it seems the public was hypnotized by the rhetoric. Here's just one example. (this was said in a speech in the summer of 2008)

Here, in Nevada, we see how so many people are fighting for their American Dream. Because in so many ways, Felicitas and Francisco have lived the American Dream. Their story is not one of great wealth or privilege. Instead, it embodies the steady pursuit of simple dreams that has built this country from the bottom up

....Yet a predatory loan has turned this source of stability into an anchor of insecurity. Because a lender went for the easy buck, they are left struggling with ballooning interest rates and monthly mortgage payments. Because Washington has failed working people in this country, they are facing foreclosure, and the American Dream they sought for decades risks slipping away

....The foreclosure crisis has played out in painfully steady but predictable motion. While lenders were taking advantage of folks like Felicitas and Francisco, they were also spending hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying Washington to stay on the sidelines. For President Bush, the answer was to do nothing until the pain out on Main Street trickled up to Wall Street. Then, a few months ago, he rolled out a plan that was too little, too late. Instead of offering meaningful relief, he warned against doing too much. His main proposal for an economy that is leaving working people behind is to give more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, even though they don’t need them and didn’t ask for them

....I do not accept an America where Washington’s only message to working people is: “you’re on your own.”

...To stabilize our housing market and to bring this crisis to an end, I’m a strong supporter of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank’s proposal to create a new FHA Housing Security Program. This will provide meaningful incentives for lenders to buy or refinance existing mortgages, and to convert them into stable 30-year fixed mortgages. This is not a windfall for borrowers – as they have to share any capital gain. It’s not a bailout for lenders or investors who gambled recklessly – as they will take losses. It asks both sides to sacrifice. It offers a responsible and fair way to help Americans who are facing foreclosure to keep their homes at rates they can afford.

Throughout the campaign, Obama was espousing very standard classic liberal policies. It worked because 1) Bush was very unpopular and 2) he's very eloquent. The policy he was describing in this speech turned out to be his loan modification program. That is one of many policies that has turned off the electorate to Obama. It is the subject of Rick Santelli's infamous rant, which helped to spawn the tea party movement.

So, if you think about it, during the campaign, Obama was putting lip stick on his liberalism. The standard boiler plate big government tax, borrow, and spend government programs were being dressed up by a great orator that was full of charisma. He gave everyone hope that there would be change. He did this by promising everyone everything. Here's another famous video during the campaign.

When you're campaigning, you can get away with making people believe you can give them everything. None of your promises have to be paid for YET. It turns out quite a lot of people believed that Obama would be able to provide them with everything and at no cost. For instance, during the campaign, Candidate Obama also famously said this.

I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.

It sounded great then. That's because he could put lipstick on his liberalism because he didn't have to have any specifics. That was during the campaign. Now, that it's time to govern, he can't dress up his classic liberal policies with eloquent speeches. He can't talk about a dawning of a new day (he can it just won't work) because the dawn of this new day is now filled with mountains of red ink.

That's the difference between campaigning and governing. During the campaign he could make every promise in the world. None of them had to be paid for yet. Obama introduced his first budget within two months of the new administration. That's when we first learned that under his vision our deficit would grow to nearly $2 trillion and stay higher than the worst deficit under Bush for the next ten years. There's no lipstick you can put on those numbers. They speak for themselves. Once we learned that in order to save Felicitas he would create a government program that would reward those that couldn't pay their current mortgages with rates that were better than rates for those with perfect credit, there was no putting lipstick on that classic liberal policy. Once we learned that in order so that the "rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal" we would try and implement a complicate scheme in which the government mandates which energy companies can an cannot use, you could no longer put lipstick on the liberalism. Once we learned that in order to "provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless" that this meant a $787 billion government spending boondoggle and 1000 page incomprehensible government take over of health care, there was again no putting lip stick on his liberalism.

So, there's many ways to analyze the rapid decline of the Obama presidency and agenda. One way to look at it is this. During the campaign, his eloquence and charisma allowed him to put lipstick on his liberalism. Now that he's governing, there's no more putting lipstick on his liberalism. His classic liberalism is on display and the country simply doesn't want a government of tax, borrow and spend liberalism.

1 comment:

Patrick Truax said...

Plus, he is just creepy..