This Wall Street Journal Editorial gives us a good idea of what we will have to face if Obama wins a second term. He has long since given up trying to win based on the merits of his arguments, now he tries to demagogue the issues and debase the opposition. His attempt to bully the Supreme Court reveals him in all his totalitarian tendencies to be a serial bully and a liar.
If there’s a Laffer Curve for Presidential invective—some point at which dishonest political abuse yields diminishing returns—the White House political team must not think their boss has hit it. Even in this hyperpartisan age, President Obama’s speech to the Associated Press yesterday was a parody of the form. This was a diatribe that managed to invoke “Social Darwinism” and “a Trojan Horse” in the same paragraph, amid the other high crimes that Mr. Obama says Paul Ryan wants to commit.
The President’s depiction of the wonkish and formerly obscure House Budget Chairman as some political monster is itself telling. Mr. Obama is conceding that he can’t run on the economic recovery, the stimulus, health care, green energy or any of the other grand liberal ambitions that have dominated his time in office. All of those are unpopular or failures. He was elected on hope and change, but now his only hope is to change the subject to the ogres he claims are the disloyal opposition.
Did you hear about the GOP’s red-in-tooth-and-claw plan for Medicare? Grandma and Gramps are going to be drafted for the Hunger Games.
Mr. Obama has been working Mediscare for the last year, but he is also debuting some new material, each layer thicker than the last. Modern Republicans are so radical that they oppose research and care for Alzheimer’s, cancer, AIDS, autism and Down Syndrome, even as they want to deny education and food to children and their mothers. They want to pave over Yellowstone and backfill the Grand Canyon. But few tourists could get there anyway, because Republicans plan to shut down air traffic control too.
The list of untrue things that Mr. Obama wants Americans to believe is evidently so long that Mr. Obama associated himself with Republicans, albeit mostly dead Republicans like Lincoln and Eisenhower. For the first time we can recall, Mr. Obama even praised George W. Bush, of all people, because his predecessor created a new entitlement for prescription drugs. He also said Newt Gingrich showed how smart he was when he called Mr. Ryan’s budget “radical” and “right-wing social engineering” last year.
All of this is a political fable carefully constructed to erase the record of the last three years and blame every current anxiety on a GOP House that has been in office for all of 14 months. The President claims to have “eliminated dozens of programs that weren’t working,” but the savings from these eliminations amount to less than 0.1% of the budget, or less than $100 million.
Meanwhile, the budget has grown by more than 20% since he has been President. After deficits of $1.412 trillion, $1.293 trillion, and $1.299 trillion over the last three years, and an estimated $1.326 trillion due for 2012, he still claims the deficits are all Mr. Bush’s fault—except for the extra spending on Medicare, which he likes.
It is especially rich of Mr. Obama to accuse Republicans of breaking last summer’s debt-limit deal—given that even the most sympathetic press accounts that are now emerging make it clear that the President blew up his “big deal” with John Boehner. The House Speaker was prepared to trade higher taxes for mostly notional changes to entitlements, but Mr. Obama thought he could roll him at the last minute for even greater tax increases.
Mr. Ryan’s “premium support” reform for Medicare, for instance, has been endorsed by Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden. It was advanced in the 1990s by President Clinton’s Medicare commission led by Democrat John Breaux. It mirrors the insurance system that lets millions of federal workers choose from a myriad of insurance plans with a government subsidy. It is the only reform with a prayer of salvaging Medicare without savage cuts in medical care down the road.
The last two days have revealed Mr. Obama at his least appealing—and least Presidential—first warning the Supreme Court not to dare overturn his health-care law, and now demonizing the motives of his political opposition. It is a long, long way from his “there’s no red America, there’s no blue America” stuff of 2004, much less the inspiration of 2008.
If nothing else, Americans are getting a preview of the rhetorical uplift, the bipartisan problem-solving, and the unifying national purpose that would attend another four years.
Read the rest – Paul Ryan’s hunger games