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When the perils of presidential oratory cannot be avoided.
(Page 2 of 2)
The nerve of this guy, huh? Obama occupied himself from Inauguration Day onward with promoting a Keynesian program of deficit-funded “stimulus” spending — adding up to more than a trillion dollars in new debt — and now he declares that “both parties have a responsibility… to get federal spending under control.” Does anyone recall Obama ever lecturing Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats about that responsibility?
Obama also claimed Monday that he was now “interested in hearing ideas from my Republican colleagues… about how we continue to grow the economy and how we put people back to work” — as if, for the past two years, Republicans had sat in utter silence as to their ideas for promoting economic growth. The president spoke of “tough decisions” and “a bipartisan conversation” as he approached his peroration, which included a rather surprising interpretation of the recent election:
We can’t afford to fall back onto the same old ideologies or the same stale sound bites. We’re going to have to budge on some deeply held positions and compromise for the good of the country. We’re going to have to set aside the politics of the moment to make progress for the long term. And as I’ve often said, we’re going to have to think not just about the next election, but about the next generation, because if there’s anything the American people said this month, it’s that they want their leaders to have one single focus: making sure their work is rewarded so that the American Dream remains within their reach. It would be unwise to assume they prefer one way of thinking over another. That wasn’t the lesson that I took when I entered into office, and it’s not the lesson today.
While Obama warned against “think[ing] about the next election,” it is evidently the most recent election he wishes to ignore. So he insists that the voters who went to the polls on Nov. 2 and delivered a devastating negative referendum on the Democratic policy agenda cannot be assumed to have made a meaningful choice between the two parties. Even when the GOP picked up 63 House seats — the biggest Republican gain since 1938 — Obama wishes us to believe that the electorate did not thereby demonstrate a preference for “one way of thinking over another.” Such is the counterfactual world presented to Americans by their president.
Given my professed habit of not listening to presidential speeches, readers may wonder why I listened to this one. Well, I just happened to be working in my basement office when Obama came on the television and, because my kids have lost the remote control to the TV in my office, it would have been a hassle to interrupt my work to get up and change the channel. I tried to concentrate on my work and ignore what the president was saying, but enough of it seeped into my consciousness to inspire exasperated curses.
So I decided to turn lemons into lemonade and wrote this column which, in keeping with the spirit of the holiday season, I will conclude with a hint to my wife: A new remote control makes an excellent stocking stuffer.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?