Part-Time, Partisan President to America: 'Buck Up!'
Recall the president's handling of the economy. Millions of Americans are out of work and the stagnant economy shows no signs of improvement. Obama's answer: A little talk, no positive action, and no prodding to get the Democrats to even vote on extending the Bush tax cuts, so that employers will know what the tax environment will be over the next year or two and families can anticipate their own outlooks. Obama's Democrats passed a stimulus bill that was laden with pork for Democratic constituencies, then insulted our intelligence bragging about how many jobs the stimulus had "created or saved." But Obama's contribution to that effort was mostly to talk while Pelosi et al wrote the bill. He outsourced the hard work to the Pelosi wing, and got a terrible, unpopular, and ineffective bill as a result. He did this for two reasons: One, he lacks the executive experience necessary to lead, and because he expected his party to take the opportunity to deliver payoffs to their base. They did, at the price of having an effective bill that would actually improve the situation.
Recall the way the ObamaCare bill actually got drafted and passed. Obama outsourced all the work to the Pelosi Democrats in Congress again. Result: A leftist bill that displeased the majority and threatens to wreck health care as we know it. Pelosi and Reid were the faces of the effort; they got to say that they passed a "historic" bill, while their allies smeared ObamaCare's critics as racists. Americans are a people of fair play. Pushing a sweeping and controversial bill through over their objections, and smearing them while you're doing it, violates our sense of fair play and erodes the nation's confidence in its leaders' wisdom.
Recall the way the Obama administration has handled border security. Given the fact that past administrations of both parties have bungled that job, Obama had an unprecedented opportunity to give everyone something that they wanted. He could have acted to secure the border first, pleasing the majority that rightly sees the border as a national security issue, and then pivoted toward some kind of expanded guest worker program, which would have pleased his own base. No one would have gotten everything they wanted, but everyone would have gotten something they wanted. Mumbling and grumbling would have been widespread, but muted and passionless. But what has Obama actually done? He fiddled, the border burned, and then when Arizona acted to protect its citizens, Obama sent out Attorney General Eric Holder to sue them. And again, he has done this in spite of heavy majority support for what Arizona has done. This is an attempt to please the La Razas of the world, at the expense of majority views and common sense.
Recall the way the Democratic controlled Congress handled this year's federal budget. They didn't pass one. They didn't even try to pass one. And Obama said and did nothing to prod, encourage, scold or move them, even though passing a budget is one of Congress' most basic jobs. They had time for Colbert, but not for their responsibilities.
Recall the way Obama has handled the trials of terrorist masterminds. Holder wants to try them in U.S. civilian courts, in the very city they attacked. What has Obama done? Nothing. So the trials are on hold, justice for the 9-11 families is delayed, and the issue festers. This was intended to placate Peter Daou and the lefty blog and ANSWER set, against what the majority wants done with the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
And so we come to the end of the Democrats' four-year reign in Congress, and what's the headline? A comedian testifies -- in character -- before a House committee on the subject of migrant workers. It would be tough to script a more fitting coda to Nancy Pelosi's tenure as speaker. And it would be tough to script a more apt moment for the Obama administration as a whole. Byron York asks, are the Democrats capable of governing? The answer, from Obama on down, is "No."
President Obama's problem is deeper and wider than telling his base to "buck up." Or "stop whining," as VP Biden put it yesterday. With everyone from Bill White in Texas to Russ Feingold in Wisconsin literally running away from him, Obama's problem is staring back from the mirror. He and his party have pushed government into roles the Constitution doesn't give it while abrogating its core duties, and insulted everyone along the way. With the polls crashing down on him, Obama's answer is to cling bitterly to what's left of his partisan presidency and insult the very people who bought into his grandiose promises and his far left ideology.
"Buck up," indeed.
Over the next two years, it will be Americans of all stripes who will have to "buck up" to save our country, with no help, and active opposition, from the part-time, partisan president.