Barack Obama spent the first two years of his presidency blaming his predecessor for everything. Bad economy? Bush's fault. Frayed relations with our allies? Bush's fault. Poor reputation in the world? Bush's fault. Wars in the Middle East? Bush's fault. Can't get a great cheeseburger? Bush's fault.
The tactic of constantly blaming the guy who came before worked for a while. A lot of people were fed up with Bush, or at least fatigued. They wanted a change, and Obama grabbed that desire, manipulated it, played on it, and rode it all the way to the presidency. Having seen the tactic work splendidly during the campaign, Obama then put it into play once in office. Any time there was bad news, he trotted out the previous administration and said, "Don't look at me! That guy did it!"
November 2010 changed all of that. By voting for Republicans in droves, giving them control of the House and big new numbers in the Senate, Americans signaled that they had had enough of the blame game. Two years in, it was unseemly, ridiculous, and counterproductive. "Why is he spending all of this time and energy on blaming Bush when he should be expending that time and energy on fixing our problems?" they thought. And they socked it to him and his party.
After November, Obama seemed to get it and began to lay off Bush---until this week, when he reverted to form. In Iowa yesterday, he said, "No matter what you may hear, there's no silver bullet to reverse a decade of economic challenges. We've had problems for 10 years now. It's not going to reverse overnight."
Here we go again. He is pathetically pleading for more time and more money to create jobs. Eight hundred and sixty-one days after he signed the Democratic Congress' $787-billion stimulus bill that he claimed was going to work almost immediately and absolutely keep unemployment below 8%, Obama offered another jobs speech----with unemployment at 9.1%. He wants more time to do what he and his administration promised would be happening 2 years ago.
For Obama, jobs always came after something more crucial to his socialist agenda: health care "reform," financial regulatory "reform," cap and trade, and on and on. As a result, Democrats lost big time in November---but they've won the bigger war in terms of policies that will fundamentally change America.
So they lose some seats, or even control of Congress? So what, if it's for their "greater good?" Ah, but Obama always figured his job would be safe, because he believed he was insulated from the political hurricanes effecting everyone else. Perhaps it's dawning on him that instead of being immune to accountability, he will be held the MOST accountable for the horrific economy.
It is, after all, now Obama's economy. And the job Americans may want to see created most is for a Republican in the White House.
This week, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann announced that she's a candidate for the Republican nomination for president. She's dynamite: a true conservative who believes in Constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets, just as the Founding Fathers intended. She's also pro-gun and pro-life, and instead of just mouthing support for those things, she's actually led her life according to those principles: she's got 5 biological children and she and her husband have helped to raise 23 foster children. Pro-life indeed.
For this, she must be destroyed.
The Left thought they were over this kind of battle when they managed to seriously dent Governor Sarah Palin in the last election cycle. Like Bachmann, Palin is a charismatic, small government conservative who walks the walk. BOTH, THEREFORE, REPRESENT EXISTENTIAL THREATS TO LIBERALISM. AND BOTH, THEREFORE, MUST BE DESTROYED BEFORE THEY CAN GAIN ANY TRACTION WITH THE BROADER ELECTORATE.
If Palin and Bachmann caught on, it would spell the beginning of the end for progressivism, which relies heavily on a significant gender gap. If women were taken by the message and example offered by both women, the Democrats would begin to hemorrhage women, a major part of their voting bloc. That must not be allowed to happen.
So, both women have been subjected to the most brutal, hideous, sexist attacks. The assault on Palin is well-known by now: insinuating that her son Trig is actually the son of her daughter, that her marriage is on the rocks, that she's a clothes-horse diva, etc etc. Now Bachmann is getting the full-on chauvinist treatment, with many of the attacks coming from fellow women (liberal women, that is.) Fox News' Chris Wallace asked her if she were a "flake." ABC's George Stephanopolous warned her that the media would investigate her foster children. She's getting hit all day long for everything she utters.
Meanwhile, Obama can say there are 57 states in the union and refer to your "feets," but those gaffes are just occasion for chuckles. Bachmann's words, however, must be scrutinized and mocked 24/7.
Congresswoman Bachmann is a friend. She's intelligent, poised, and accomplished. I know she's gone into this race with her eyes wide open. But even then, the Left will surprise with how low and fierce they can be---especially toward a dynamite conservative woman who could upend their entire political world.
Almost immediately after Barack Obama was elected in November 2008, it dawned on the then-Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, that he had the power to name Obama's replacement in the U.S. Senate. Even in Chicago, which runs on corruption, opportunities this dazzling didn't come up often.
And Blago knew it. In the phrase heard around the world, Blago was caught on FBI wiretaps saying, "I've got this thing and it's f------ golden" and "I'm not just giving it up for...nothing."
Today a jury finally nailed him on 17 of 20 counts of corruption, and found him guilty on all counts related to the selling of Obama's Senate seat.
What do you know? Justice in Chicagoland, Illinois? A city and state that still operate on old-school bribery and graft and influence-peddling and intimidation? Maybe things are changing in the land of Lincoln? Don't hold your breath.
It also seems that Obama's political career was born and thrived in something akin to an immaculate conception. Everybody around Obama---Blago, Rahm Emanuel, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Valerie Jarrett, others---was caught up in some way in the Chicagoland corruption of this trial. And yet, Obama somehow miraculously emerged without any of the mud flicked on him.
What a political force field around him, no? Either that, or he's got one hell of a cover-up team.
This is a great day for freedom of speech---anywhere in the world. And it's also a day that saw a major blow to one of the more insidious tactics of the Islamists: lawfare, or using Western laws to stifle free speech with regard to Islam. That has been the basis for the witch-hunt against Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, an outspoken critic of Islam, who once dared to create a short video of Islamists in their own words called "Fitna." For that and other statements exposing the sources of Islamist violence and infiltration, Wilders was brought up on hate speech charges in the Netherlands.
Today, he was acquitted. According to Reuters:
"The presiding judge said Wilders's remarks were sometimes "hurtful," "shocking" or "offensive," but that they were made in the context of a public debate about Muslim integration and multi-culturalism, and therefore not a criminal act.
""I am extremely pleased and happy," Wilders told reporters after the ruling. "This is not so much a win for myself, but a victory for freedom of speech. Fortunately you can criticize Islam and not be gagged in public debate.""
It's a good day for liberty and a bad one for Islamist intimidation and tyranny. But one victory does not win the war. We must stay vigilant and fight back in every way possible, just as Geert Wilders did, for the enemy is patient and determined and clever.
In the last few weeks, two of the major credit rating agencies, Standard and Poor's and Moody's, have warned that unless the federal government does something to reduce the exploding national debt, America's triple-A rating may very well be downgraded. S&P warned again this week.
Today we get word from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that the long-term debt picture has darkened...and quickly. National Journal reports:
"Increasing federal debt will be a growing burden on government action, crowding out lawmakers' ability to adopt tax and spending priorities in good times and reducing flexibility during recessions, all while making a fiscal crisis more likely and hindering long-term growth, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.
"In the annual Long-Term Budget Outlook, the legislature's budget scorekeepers said that the ratio of debt to GDP this year will be 69 percent, 7 percentage points higher than last year. In 2021, the CBO predicts debt will reach 76 percent of GDP, but under a more dire-and more likely-scenario, the public debt will be 101 percent of GDP 10 years from now, well into the economic danger zone of 90 percent or more.
"Last year, that worst-case scenario predicted a debt-to-GDP ratio of 87 percent in 2020, demonstrating that the public debt picture has worsened considerably."
Democrats are predictably arguing for tax hikes, which would, of course, kill off this economy for good. But like an addict, they need the hit of ever-growing taxpayer monies to pay for their ever-growing government. The beast needs to be fed.
Actually, the beast needs to be put on a starvation diet. Cut spending drastically, reform entitlements a la Paul Ryan's Medicare plan, and reduce taxes across the board. If those things were done, you'd see a nearly instant turnaround in the economy and in the psychology of most Americans.
The Democrats prefer to plod along with their destructive big government, big spending, big tax policies, hoping that no one catches on to their epic failures.
It's too late for that, of course, but it's not too late to prevent the country from sailing over the cliff. The brakes, however, have to be hit now---and hard.
A new Gallup poll released today shows President Obama sinking 4 points in job approval, to 45%, and spiking in job DISapproval by 5 points, to 48%.
It's unusual to have this kind of dramatic swing happen in just one day, so today's poll could be an aberration. We'll have to see what the next days' polling shows.
But what is clear is that after a brief bounce after the killing of Osama bin Laden, Obama is back down to George W. Bush polling territory.
Americans have had enough of staggeringly high unemployment, no job creation, anemic economic growth, massive expansions of government, huge new entitlements, record-breaking deficits and debt, personal economic unease, a rudderless foreign policy, weakness abroad, and being outpaced by lesser powers.
From the earliest days of the Obama presidency, Americans knew that something wasn't right. Something just felt wrong. Now that "something wrong" has a name: a failed presidency.
Americans don't put up with this kind of malaise and collapse for long. Two and half years is long enough. We want our country back: the powerful, strong, certain, dynamic, innovative engine of freedom and economic growth we have always been. Since Obama can't---or won't---deliver it, we'll be asking for our "check, please!" in 2012. In the meantime, Obama will find that his poll numbers reflect his failures. They will be his own "there's something wrong" moment.