Jewish World Review July 26, 2013/ 19 Menachem-Av, 5773
By Jonah Goldberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "My rival in this race," President Obama announced early in 2007, "is not other candidates. It's cynicism." Sadly, it's now evident cynicism won.
In a much-hyped speech at
Because of an "endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals," the president said, "
It's an odd claim. Elected twice, Obama is in the fifth year of his presidency. During his first two years in office, his party controlled both houses of
That's not the narrative you usually hear, because for most of Obama's presidency, the
It's also odd that Obama has pivoted back to the economy when, depending on whose estimates you use, he's made similar "pivots" on average once every 2-4 months since he's been elected. As one wag told the Weekly Standard, "You do that on the basketball court, you get called for traveling." But the more apt image is of a basketball player with one shoe nailed to the floor, constantly pivoting in a circle.
But it's not just odd, it's deeply cynical. For starters, it was the re-elected president -- not "Washington" -- who took his eyes off the economy to exploit a tragedy for new gun controls that would not have prevented the tragedy itself. His unilateral crackdown on carbon emissions isn't exactly a full-throated effort to create jobs either. When
Even now, the Cynic-in-Chief admits that his "highest priority" is neither economic growth nor job creation, but reducing income inequality. In fairness, he says he wants to reduce inequality through something called "middle-out" economic growth taxing the wealthy (again). But my hunch is that the highest priority for those without work is ... work. While the president's highest priority is to exploit resentments.
But most cynical of all is Obama's contempt for the "phony scandals" that have plagued him. Which ones are phony, exactly?
On the NSA wiretapping revelations, I agree with Obama that it is not necessarily a scandal but a significant policy dispute. Then again, many of the people who do think widespread secret electronic surveillance is scandalous happen to be members of Obama's base. He can have that argument with them.
Finally, there was last year's
But that's the theme of this entire presidency. Others --
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