Candidate Obama vowed accountability. His final “inexactitude” shirks it.
I admit to often taking George W. Bush to a rhetorical woodshed. Example: “He has the Reverse Midas Touch. Everything Bush touches, he destroys.” If you find a harsher non-left critic, this conservative will chant “misunderestimate.”
Alas, the average leftist is not as objective about W.’s successor: An intellectually dishonest base denying the Incredibly Dissembling Obama. Recently, the president visited the Grand Canyon. A metaphor for the gulf between how he governs and campaigned.
“A growing core of Americans is turning against the president,” The Wall Street Journal wrote recently. In a WSJ/NBC News poll, only 46 percent say Obama “has the right set of goals and policies;” 53 percent disagree. The percentage feeling “very negative” about him has quadrupled.
One cause is liberalism. If Bush was The Decider, Obama is The Divider. Another: mistrust of the president, not just his policies. Winston Churchill dubbed deceit a “terminological inexactitude.” Below, Dr. Would-be Health Care’s inexactness in performing malpractice on the truth:
Obama vowed fiscal sanity, then tied a $410 billion bailout, $787 billion pork-barrel stimulus and $1.8 trillion deficit. As Peggy Noonan says, America increasingly deems him “slippery.”
Obama vowed “total transparency” — before his Web site asked Americans to report e-mail and other health care data “that seems fishy,” having citizens inform on each other.
Most recently, Obama denies saying, “I was a single-payer supporter” — of a huge government-run health-insurance agency — despite having said that in 2003. His administration would build a $1 trillion health care Potemkin Village peopled by real-life Chicago thugs.
Obama insists he opposes “some government takeover” — but backs “a panel of experts, health experts, doctors, who can provide guidelines” on who gets service, what kind and when. He states health care won’t fuel abortion — except that he opposes a provision that would keep bureaucrats from funding abortion on demand.
Obama says more coverage would cut cost — except that the Congressional Budget Office says it would swell the deficit. He insists you can still keep your doctor — except that his Council of Economic Advisors wants to erase “low-cost, low-value treatment.” This means senior “rationing of health care,” says Martin Feinstein, 1982-84 council head. It is safe to say America did not vote for this last fall.
Support tanking, the White House and media (pardon the redundancy) have chosen to demonize the country (a novel, if catastrophic, plan), calling town-hall protesters “Nazis” and “extremists” and “violent mobs” who “carry swastikas.” Actually, the sole violence has been pro-Obama labor goons, beating up a black handing out U.S. flags. You might know this were it not for, as Dorothy Rabinowitz writes, the press’s “undisguised worshipful (Obama) reporting.”
One prostitute, MSNBC, calls opponents “domestic terrorists;” another, Harry Reid, “evil-doers.” Nancy Pelosi dubs the up-in-arms middle class — my mom, your dad — “un-American” for supporting its private health care. Owning the presidency, press and Congress, Obama inanely blames Republicans for the backlash, like drunken drivers crashing, then blaming a toddler down the street.
Telling is Obama “being surprised” by the firestorm. “He knows Harvard. He knows Chicago politics,” I wrote in 2008. “Does he know America?” The question is now rhetorical. Obama seems a stranger to Peoria — worse, to his once-nuanced mind. Recently he used the U.S. Post Office failure to defend federalizing health care’s 1/6 of our economy. By such logic, Mr. President, Bernie Madoff would head your Treasury.
Candidate Obama vowed accountability. His final “inexactitude” shirks it. In 1969, Richard Nixon inherited a much worse horror house — 548,000 troops in Vietnam; 200 cities rioting a year earlier — yet never blamed predecessor Lyndon Johnson. By contrast, our Juvenile-In-Chief blames W. ad nauseam for the deficit, the Red Sox bullpen, the economy, the rain in Spain.
Mr. President, we long ago got the self-evident: Bush was a bust. A greater worry now looms, like a hangover or the gout: Could you be as bad as W.?
I once said Bush “fits the definition of a fool: He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.” Today liberalism defines a hypocrite, hailing a double standard. Many believed the candidate who vowed a post-identity-group presidency. In a future column, I will suggest how Obama instead often governs by race or sex.
Curt Smith is the author of 13 books and former speechwriter to President George H.W. Bush. Mr. Smith writes twice monthly for GateHouse Media’s Messenger-Post Newspapers. E-mail: email@example.com.