Obama's Exit from Relevance, Stage Left
Just how far to the left Obama's politics can veer is a topic that has not been limited to domestic spectators. Two years ago, Hugo Chavez famously quipped about Obama, "Fidel, careful or we are going to end up to right." Whether or not Obama's politics are left of a self-described socialist's or Communist's is open to debate, but one thing has become certain -- Obama now finds himself well to the left of his party.
Only too perfectly timed with Nevada businessman and campaign contributor Steve Wynn's comments last week that lambasted Obama's attack-politics against the wealthy, Senator Harry Reid has distanced himself from Obama. And Reid would have good reason to jump ship in the wake of these comments. Wynn saying that "this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, progress and job creation in my lifetime" probably carries some weight to his constituents. Americans are deeply concerned about job creation, and where Wynn has applied his own means in Nevada to be very successful in this area, Obama and Reid have applied everyone else's means to miserably fail.
So Harry Reid circumvented Obama's influence, and worked directly with House Speaker John Boehner to discuss a possible proposal that accomplishes the tasks of cutting long-term spending while avoiding immediate default and the inevitable credit correction that would follow. As a result, a Congressional resolution between the Senate and House may now be possible. But notably missing from this agreement is the repeal of the Bush era tax cuts and the elimination of certain deductions for wealthy Americans making over $200K annually.
Barack Obama doesn't appear to like the omission, and in a speech made at the White House on Monday night, he refused to acknowledge that the talks even took place by declaring negotiations to be in a dangerous stalemate. (This is a claim that House Speaker Boehner immediately refuted) Obama expressed his distaste for any deal that would not include a tax hike for the rich and regurgitated his slander against corporate jet owners, hedge fund managers, "millionaires and billionaires," and said that they have to "pay their fair share" because families are sitting around their dinner tables each night, nervously counting on Washington to seize and appropriate more of their money to secure everyone else's Social Security, Medicare, military checks, and college tuitions.
With all the variety of watching a one-trick-pony, America watched as our president used what could be his last chips to double-down on "social justice" and the redistribution of American wealth.
Justin Ruben of MoveOn.org has offered that Americans are frustrated by the budget debate, and that the partisan battle is like a "bizarro parallel universe." I would have to agree, but probably for different reasons. There's certainly something bizarre in a world view suggesting that the wealthiest 10% of Americans paying 68% of the national tax burden is not paying their "fair share," especially when over 45% of Americans pay no share at all. But that's just the tip of the iceberg where Obama's fiscal delusion is concerned. In his speech, he stated that "In the year 2000, the government had a budget surplus. But instead of using it to pay off our debt, the money was spent on trillions of dollars in new tax cuts."
Think about what this statement actually implies. Our president just suggested that allowing taxpayers to keep more of their own money equates to "spending" the government's money. Yet when he legislated a massive entitlement program that allows artists to quit their day-jobs and collect healthcare on the taxpayer dime, he claimed to be "saving" taxpayer money. It's as if the hard-lined left lives in a backward financial reality where spending taxpayer money is actually saving it, and not taking taxpayer money away equates to irresponsibly spending it. A reality where one American citizen paying a lot and getting little in return while another American citizen paying nothing and getting a lot in return is all as fair as fair can be. And if you can blindly believe all of that, as some of Obama's more extremist followers do, you probably have no problem believing that up is down, that left is right, or that right is invariably wrong.
This understandably makes the left's rhetoric surrounding the debt crisis a little confusing to follow, but not because Americans are too dumb to get it or because we have never heard of a debt ceiling before, which was Obama's latest insult to Americans' intelligence on Monday night. It's just doesn't make any sense in the real world that we Americans live in. It only makes sense to extreme progressives.
This highlights the incredible irony in Obama's speech. He offered to independents that "some Republicans" are extremists and a hindrance to bipartisan resolution, yet his extreme adherence to the core tenets of progressivism are, in actuality, the most daunting hurdle to be faced in the coming days. We have to seriously ask ourselves, if the fiscal doomsday is upon us in a matter of days as Obama claims, why would he purposefully throw a monkey wrench into promising and time-sensitive bipartisan negotiation that could avert it? Are American interests in his mind, or are his hard-lined socialistic roots too deep to budge from his clearly partisan agenda?
It seems that more and more Americans have realized that the latter has more truth to it, and as a result, neither party seems to feel his ideas are relevant to the conversation in Washington.
William Sullivan blogs at politicalpalaverblog.blogspot.com.