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February 7, 2011
McCain's Wrong Again
If the policies themselves of the Obama administration haven't yet made you dizzy, then perhaps its contradictory characterizations, from within and without -- now that the 2012 campaign, make no mistake about it, has begun in earnest -- will do the job for you.
There's John Sidney McCain, just four short days ago proclaiming that, Obama having molted, he is now more malleable:
Speaking with Bloomberg Television a day after a private meeting with President Obama, McCain said he could picture working with Obama on several issues going forward.
"I think there's a number of issues we could work on together, and I think it's pretty clear that the president has really pivoted to a much more centrist position, which I think makes it much more for us easier to work with him," McCain said. (See story here; other stories here and here.)
That old hero's old bipartisan urge is as strong as ever. And to be fair, Mr. Obama has praised Senator McCain sometimes, too. Take this demure pearl from January 19, 2009, for example, which then-President-Elect Obama disgorged right before flubbing the oath of office:
"It has not been a quest for fame or vanity that has driven this man. It has not been the need to compromise for politics' sake that has shaped his distinguished career," Obama said in a . . . serious tone talking about McCain." It is rather a pure and deeply felt love of his country that comes from the painful knowledge of what life is like without it."
"John is not known to bite his tongue," Obama said with a smile, "and If I'm screwing up, he's going to let me know. And that's how it should be because a presidency is just one branch of a broader government by and for the people." (Story here.)
But of course, that was four long, whole days before the new President was to put Senator McCain resoundingly in his place -- before lots of other members of Congress -- with his famous, ornery put-down, the conversation-stopping stunner: "I won." (Story here.) (And by the way, that branch-of-government business still puzzles Obama's good friend, Senator Schumer.)
So why does the President have to go and once again flummox Senator McCain, and us? After all, we just got comfortable with McCain becoming comfortable. Then, before complaining that he needed to wear a jacket on Super Bowl Sunday, Mr. Obama ruined everything, bursting the centrist fantasy, by telling an eager Bill O'Reilly,
[OBAMA]: And now our focus is not on refighting the battle of the last two years...
O'REILLY: So you're not moving to the center?
OBAMA: I haven't -- I didn't move to...
O'REILLY: You haven't moved anywhere? You're the same guy?
OBAMA: I'm the same guy. My practical focus, my common-sense focus right now is how to we out-innovate, out-educate, out-building, out-compete the rest of the world? How do we create jobs here in the United States of America? How do we make sure that businesses are thriving? But how do we also -- making sure that ordinary Americans can live out the American dream? (See story and Bill O'Reilly feeding the President his lines in the full interview here; quotes begin at 7m30s.)
How do we, indeed. It's hard to know what part of Mr. Obama's reveries -- of fewer jobs, less income, lousy light bulbs, lower salt, higher taxes, bankruptcy law subversion, industry takeovers, a much bigger IRS, subpoena-snubbing, contempt of court, crummy hybrid cars, endless executive orders, less coal, less gas, more regulation, unaccountable czars, drilling moratoria, state dinners for dictators, food police, airport palpitations, internet kill switches, exhalation levies, end-of-life "consults", intentional inflation, and White House Ramadan "iftar" dinners -- he can possibly think are the dreamy parts of the American dream.
Maybe Senator McCain knows.
Richard Kantro may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.