A heavyweight writes bluntly about the shameful speech President Obama gave in Osawatomie, Kansas (see also: Obama's Kansas Declaration).
Among the most respected of political pundits, Michael Barone occupies a special niche. As the co-author of the Almanac of American Politics, he is conceded to be one of the most knowledgeable and even handed of political writers. He writes a takedown of the unscrupulous rhetoric of the president in The Examiner.
Democrats like to think of themselves as the party of smart people. And over the last four years we have heard countless encomiums, and not just from Democrats, of the intellect and perceptiveness of Barack Obama. But a reading of the text of Obama's December 6 speech at Osawatomie, Kansas, billed as one of his big speeches of the year, shows him to be something like the opposite.
Even by the standards of campaign rhetoric, this is a shockingly shoddy piece of work. You can start with his intellectually indefensible caricature of Republican philosophy: "We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules." Or his simple factual inaccuracy: "The wealthiest Americans are paying the lowest taxes in over half a century." Or his infantile economic analysis, blaming job losses on the invention of the automated teller machine (they've been around for more than four decades, Mr. President, and we've had lots of job growth during that time) and the Internet.
There's much more, but my favorite is the close:
Those who pride themselves on belonging to the party of smart people should be embarrassed.
Exactly. The winning Republican strategy is to use the president's words and actions against him. Yes, that's right, the dreaded negative campaigning. Pbama's doing it, and failure to respond in kind is surrender. Fight on all fronts.