Poor David Axelrod is bewildered. Yesterday on the CBS sort-of news program “Face the Nation,” Obama’s senior adviser informed the world that the “Tea Party” movement is “unhealthy.”
Unhealthy for whom, pray tell? Is it unhealthy for the more than 500,000 people across the country who gathered on April 15 to announce their unhappiness with the tax-and-spend-and-spend-and-spend policies of the Obama administration? Or was it rather unhealthy for those policies themselves, crystallizing as it did a burgeoning movement of dissent?
Mr. Axelrod warned about the “element of disaffection that might mutate into something that’s unhealthy.” I can remember when people like Mr. Axelrod thought dissent was the highest form of patriotism. But that was back in the bad old days of George Bush when the federal deficit could be measured in mere hundreds of billions.
What struck me most forcibly about Mr. Axelrod’s performance, though, was his confession of bewilderment:
The thing that bewilders me is that this president just cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people.
Obama kept saying that during the campaign. It wasn’t true then. And it isn’t true now. But Obama’s claque keeps repeating it. Representative Jan Schakowsky from Illinois, for example, castigated the tea parties as “despicable” and “shameful” because, according to her, they “mislead the public about the Obama economic plan that cuts taxes for 95 percent of Americans and creates 3.5 million jobs.” (Under the tag line “Irony,” Glenn Reynolds notes that Rep. Schakowsky’s husband was hoping to be a conspicuous unscheduled tax-cut: “The husband of [Jan Schakowsky] pleaded guilty Wednesday to tax violations and bank fraud for writing rubber checks and failing to collect withholding tax from an employee.”)
Who was it who said that if you are going to bother telling a lie, make it a big one and keep repeating it? This home truth from a master propagandist is something that Team Obama understands perfectly. The notion that Obama will cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans is a blatant untruth. Propagated by people in his administration who are in a position to know the sordid truth about his confiscatory neo-socialist policies, it is a lie. The truth is, more than 43 percent of tax filers currently pay no income tax at all. But no matter: “95 percent of Americans” will get a tax cut while the sinister “rich people” (i.e., the middle class) will see their taxes rise and rise and rise.
The really brilliant part of the whole story is that Obama can say: “I told you all along what I was going to do.” And he did. Remember his promise to “spread the wealth around“? That would be your wealth, mon brave.
David Axelrod may be bewildered about people who object to having their wealth expropriated and spread around. But you can help cure him of his bewilderment. Write him a letter. Join a tea party near you–don’t worry, there will be plenty to choose from. Help keep that “element of disaffection” alive and “mutating.” What David Axelrod calls “disaffection” is what the rest of us call freedom.