As Mary McCarthy once said on The Dick Cavett Show about Lillian Hellman, “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'” Similarly, as Peter Wehner notes at Commentary, in a single sentence at a town hall meeting in Mountain View, “Obama is advancing three falsehoods, which may be a new indoor record:”
At a town hall meeting in Mountain View, California, President Obama said, “Things have gotten so ideologically driven and everybody is so focused on the next election and putting party ahead of country that we’re not able to solve our problems.”
This formulation is priceless, if only because in a single sentence Obama is advancing three falsehoods, which may be a new indoor record.
Myth number one is Obama is a pragmatist and centrist, a man for whom ideology is alien, a politician who cares about results rather than abstract theories. In fact, it is Obama who is setting the standard for adherence to a rigid, faith-based ideology. His economic program, for example, has been a complete and demonstrable failure — and yet he has doubled down on Stimulus II and refuses to roll back the monstrosity we call Obamacare. He also insists on raising taxes even as we’re battling the brutal effects of a terrible recession. Those are the actions of a dogmatist, a man with a deep and unshakable belief in statism.
Myth number two is Republicans are focused on the next election, and Obama is not.
In fact, every politician is focused on the next election; the question is the degree to which that focus is causing lawmakers to act irresponsibly. And by this metric, Republicans are, in general, acting in a far more admirable way than the president. The most obvious example of this is the GOP House budget, which was passed in April and championed fundamental changes to Medicare. Republicans passed the legislation even though, to a person, they knew it was politically perilous. And Obama, rather than encouraging reform to a program that may lead to the fiscal ruination of America, has demagogued the issue. And the last week, we’ve seen Obama in full-throated campaign mode, eschewing even the pretense of carrying on governing. As Charles Krauthammer put it, the governing phase of the Obama presidency is over and done.
Still though, Obama’s flip-flops are evidently powerful enough to cause fellow Democrat Ed Koch to flip-flop back to the president’s side after denouncing the president on Israel. I’d love to know how that happened, or if, unlike 2004, Koch would rather back a deeply flawed Democrat than any Republican.