Jewish World Review Dec. 9, 2011/ 13 Kislev, 5772
Obama: Man on a mission
By Jonah Goldberg
In 2007, then-Sen.
"And in this mission," he continued, "our rivals won't be one another, and I would assert it won't even be the other party. It's going to be cynicism that we're fighting against."
I guess I missed the moment when Obama hung his "Mission Accomplished" banner. Because from where I'm sitting, it looks more like the president not only lost his battle against cynicism, he defected to the other side.
In his remarks this week in
But such is the way of this
After all, was not TR a "Republican son of a wealthy family," as Obama put it?
Well, yes, he was. And then, he wasn't. TR left the
As a Republican president, Roosevelt had been a "trust buster." As Progressive gadfly, Roosevelt believed in making the trusts bigger, stronger and more entwined with the federal government, orchestrated by an all-powerful "
"Concentration, co-operation and control," he explained in his acceptance speech at the 1912 Progressive convention, "are the key words for a scientific solution of the mighty industrial problem which now confronts this nation."
It's no surprise Obama would find the progressive Teddy so reasonable. Nor is it shocking that Obama would fail to explain to today's generation the true intentions of that "Republican son of a wealthy family."
And no wonder Obama thinks that low tax rates in the 1920s were a significant cause of the Great Depression. Or that he sees income inequality as the chief problem during the 1930s -- and today.
"Now, this kind of inequality -- a level that we haven't seen since the Great Depression -- hurts us all," he declared. "When middle-class families can no longer afford to buy the goods and services that businesses are selling, when people are slipping out of the middle class, it drags down the entire economy from top to bottom."
Except inequality isn't the cause of these problems, stagnating wages and unemployment are. But Obama wants to talk about inequality because it puts him on the convenient side of populist anger.
Sounding as if he's still running against
He also forgets his own favorite metric of jobs "created or saved." It's a bogus, unprovable gimmick, used to defend his failed stimulus, but who is he to say Bush's tax cuts didn't save millions of jobs after 9/11?
Obama describes the Bush years as a libertarian dystopia of "'you're on your own' economics," when we ignored vital spending on things like education and poverty programs. This is Obama's favorite straw man, and he's a kung fu master when it comes to defeating it.
He leaves out that
More significantly, Obama leaves out that under "compassionate conservatism," Bush was the first president to spend more than 3 percent of GDP on anti-poverty programs. Under Bush, federal spending on education grew 58 percent faster than inflation. Obama forgets that Bush fought for the biggest expansion of entitlements since the Great Society (
"Some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1 percent," Obama barked. "That is the height of unfairness." Except, when the
That's OK. Who cares about the facts when you're fighting to make America safe for cynicism again?
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