Obama's Liberal Petri Dish
Republicans finally have company. They have been arguing that the president lacks focus, says one thing and does the other, and has resorted to hyper-partisan attacks that would have put Lee Atwater to shame. However, their lonely quest to debunk the Obama mystique finally seems to be ending. Help is on the way.
The mainstream media is getting in on the act, pointing out, among other things, the rank hypocrisy of a omnibus stimulus plan with 8,500 earmarks followed by a speech on earmark control. Rick Klein writes:
What's remarkable about the carefully book-ended White House events -- the private signing making 8,500 earmarks law, and the public statement saying that such earmarks will never again become law with such ease -- is how old Washington it all looked.
And now Democrats are joining the fray -- because they are afraid for their political lives. The Hill observes that Congressional Democrats are in essence agreeing with the widespread conservative criticism of the president:
Some Democrats have started to worry that voters don't and won't understand the link between economic revival and Obama's huge agenda, which includes saving the banking industry, ending home foreclosures, reforming health care, and developing a national energy policy, among much else. ... While lawmakers debate controversial proposals contained in the new president's debut budget -- cutting farm subsidies, raising taxes on charitable contributions, etc. -- there is a growing sense that time is running out faster than expected.
Voters "don't understand the link" because there isn't one -- or at least not in the way the president spins it. There is nothing in the monstrous array of nationalized health care, cap-and-trade, and tax hikes contained in the budget that is going to help the economy. But there is plenty there, when coupled with the incompetency festival at Treasury, to worry consumers, investors, and employers and worsen the recession. It is not too hard to figure out what's going on here, as former Nevada Democratic Sen. Richard Bryan explained to The Hill:
Bryan described himself as an Obama supporter who derived "intellectual satisfaction" from the president's health care, education, and climate proposals. But he questioned whether most people connected such complicated issues to the plunging values of their retirement accounts or to soaring unemployment. ... Pervasive voter uncertainty means Obama needs to emphasize short-term measures to fix the economy, Bryan said. "If there's not a sense that we've reached bottom and there's a sense of uncertainty, I think the president's support will erode fairly rapidly," he added.