“Barack Obama had a choice between liberalism and the Democratic party. He chose the latter, and it cost him dearly,” Jonah Goldberg writes in his latest column:
If Obama wanted to restore faith in government, he would have pushed for mercilessly firing bad government workers and ending stupid government programs. And while he paid a little lip service to such things, his priorities were all in the other direction. That’s because he had to dance with the girl that brung him. The Democratic party isn’t simply the party of government, it is the party for government. That’s why his stimulus package was top-heavy with bailouts for federal programs, state governments, and public-sector workers. When he finally learned that there are no such things as “shovel-ready jobs,” it should have prompted him to ask, “Why not?” The answer would have led him to reforms that undoubtedly would have helped the American people — and the cause of liberalism! — but hurt his own base in the Democratic party.
On Obama’s watch, we’ve seen horrifying incompetence, malfeasance, or skullduggery at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the IRS, DOJ, GAO, and HHS. Republicans didn’t create the fiasco of the Obamacare rollout; the architects of Obamacare did that all by themselves. Just this week, the wheels have come off the bus at the Secret Service. You can denounce the anti-government rhetoric of Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, and the Koch brothers all you like, but they didn’t cause any of these spectacular failures. If the CDC screws up its efforts to contain Ebola, it will be a far more powerful, lasting, and damaging indictment of government competence than any floor speech by Mitch McConnell.
Obama set out to restore faith in government and liberalism. He ended up throwing them both under the bus for the sake of his party.
Of course, it’s not like the handwriting wasn’t on the wall when Obama was running in 2007 and 2008, but journalists were too blinded by Mr. Obama’s teleprompter skills to see it. And they weren’t about to investigate his past, either — the same media that obsessed over Sarah Palin’s tanning bed never spotted Obama’s cringe-worthy dog-eating revelation in his 2004 autobiography Dreams From My Father until Jim Treacher quoted the passage in April of 2012.
About a half-hour into the new Ricochet podcast, titled “Government Don’t Work Good,” after Michael Barone joked the he’s trying to frame the central issue of the day in the vernacular of today’s elite college students, he noted:
This president has proved to be less interested than most, if interested at all, in how things actually work out on the ground. He doesn’t have too good a sense of this. I recall that during his career as a community organizer, he never successfully got the asbestos out of the Altgeld Gardens housing project in Chicago. That might been a tipoff that somebody who is making good speeches about the oppression of having asbestos in a housing project — if you can’t get your asbestos out, you may not be able to do other things.
Too bad the American people, and the Democrat operatives with bylines who were supposed to vet president candidates didn’t realize that Mr. Obama being dubbed “The Lightworker” by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2008 cut both ways.
Related: “In just two weeks, Obama proven completely wrong about Ebola,” Byron York writes at the Washington Examiner.