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HonestChieffan
01-16-2010, 10:36 AM
One year out: Obama's fall

By Charles Krauthammer


What went wrong? A year ago, he was king of the world. Now President Obama's approval rating, according to CBS, has dropped to 46 percent and his disapproval rating is the highest ever recorded by Gallup at the beginning of an (elected) president's second year.

A year ago, he was leader of a liberal ascendancy that would last 40 years (James Carville). A year ago, conservatism was dead (Sam Tanenhaus). Now the race to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat in bluest of blue Massachusetts is surprisingly close, with a virtually unknown state senator bursting on the scene by turning the election into a mini-referendum on Obama and his agenda, most particularly health-care reform.

A year ago, Obama was the most charismatic politician on earth. Today the thrill is gone, the doubts growing even among erstwhile believers.

Liberals try to attribute Obama's political decline to matters of style. He's too cool, detached, uninvolved. He's not tough, angry or aggressive enough with opponents. He's contracted out too much of his agenda to Congress.

These stylistic and tactical complaints may be true, but they miss the major point: The reason for today's vast discontent, presaged by spontaneous national Tea Party opposition, is not that Obama is too cool or compliant but that he's too left.

It's not about style; it's about substance. About which Obama has been admirably candid. This out-of-nowhere, least-known of presidents dropped the veil most dramatically in the single most important political event of 2009, his Feb. 24 first address to Congress. With remarkable political honesty and courage, Obama unveiled the most radical (in American terms) ideological agenda since the New Deal: the fundamental restructuring of three pillars of American society health care, education and energy.


Then began the descent when, more amazingly still, Obama devoted himself to turning these statist visions into legislative reality. First energy, with cap-and-trade, an unprecedented federal intrusion into American industry and commerce. It got through the House, with its Democratic majority and Supreme Soviet-style rules. But it will never get out of the Senate.

Then, the keystone: a health-care revolution in which the federal government will regulate in crushing detail one-sixth of the U.S. economy. By essentially abolishing medical underwriting (actuarially based risk assessment) and replacing it with government fiat, Obamacare turns the health insurance companies into utilities, their every significant move dictated by government regulators. The public option was a sideshow. As many on the right have long been arguing, and as the more astute on the left (such as The New Yorker's James Surowiecki) understand, Obamacare is government health care by proxy, single-payer through a facade of nominally "private" insurers.

At first, health-care reform was sustained politically by Obama's own popularity. But then gravity took hold, and Obamacare's profound unpopularity dragged him down with it. After 29 speeches and a fortune in squandered political capital, it still will not sell.

The health care drive is the most important reason Obama has sunk to 46 percent. But this reflects something larger. In the end, what matters is not the persona but the agenda. In a country where politics is fought between the 40-yard lines, Obama has insisted on pushing hard for the 30. And the American people disorganized and unled but nonetheless agitated and mobilized have put up a stout defense somewhere just left of midfield.

Ideas matter. Legislative proposals matter. Slick campaigns and dazzling speeches can work for a while, but the magic always wears off.

It's inherently risky for any charismatic politician to legislate. To act is to choose and to choose is to disappoint the expectations of many who had poured their hopes into the empty vessel of which candidate Obama was the greatest representative in recent American political history.

Obama did not just act, however. He acted ideologically. To his credit, Obama didn't just come to Washington to be someone. Like Reagan, he came to Washington to do something to introduce a powerful social democratic stream into America's deeply and historically individualist polity.

Perhaps Obama thought he'd been sent to the White House to do just that. If so, he vastly over-read his mandate. His own electoral success twinned with handy victories and large majorities in both houses of Congress was a referendum on his predecessor's governance and the post-Lehman financial collapse. It was not an endorsement of European-style social democracy.

Hence the resistance. Hence the fall. The system may not always work, but it does take its revenge.

http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer011510.php3

Reaper16
01-16-2010, 10:40 AM
I think I missed Obama's plans of restructuring of education. I would have liked to hear that plan.

HonestChieffan
01-16-2010, 10:51 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/10/AR2009031000146.html

http://bx.businessweek.com/charter-schools/will-president-obamas-education-reform-strategy-be-effective/685645625667308291-66672ac792f0a9997434be019ee4dd9e/

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/education/


Try to catch up

RINGLEADER
01-16-2010, 10:52 AM
Another example of Dems not believing that it is their agenda that people are repulsed by. They really think it is presentation or style or some sort of general malaise in the American public. They just don't get it that people don't want this brand of health care reform, they don't want punitivie cap-and-trade, they don't want higher taxes, they hate exclusions and payoffs to unions and special interest groups, they're not high on rebuking the guilty pleas of terrorists so they can have rights that were apparently earned by killing thousands of American citizens.

People don't like these things.

And this is what the Dems stand for now.

Reaper16
01-16-2010, 11:35 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/10/AR2009031000146.html

http://bx.businessweek.com/charter-schools/will-president-obamas-education-reform-strategy-be-effective/685645625667308291-66672ac792f0a9997434be019ee4dd9e/

http://www.barackobama.com/issues/education/


Try to catch up
So he hasn't made strides to do anything, he's just talked about ideas. That's very different than the health care debates or the cap-and-trade legislation. No wonder Krauthammer doesn't specify anything about education reform after dropping it in his article.

HonestChieffan
01-16-2010, 12:10 PM
So he hasn't made strides to do anything, he's just talked about ideas. That's very different than the health care debates or the cap-and-trade legislation. No wonder Krauthammer doesn't specify anything about education reform after dropping it in his article.

So now not doing anything is a claim for the positive side. Been a long fall.

Reaper16
01-16-2010, 12:58 PM
So now not doing anything is a claim for the positive side. Been a long fall.
I don't know what this means. I wasn't making a positive claims or defending Obama or some such, I was pointing out an unsupported claim in Krauthammer's article.

Taco John
01-16-2010, 12:59 PM
So he hasn't made strides to do anything, he's just talked about ideas. That's very different than the health care debates or the cap-and-trade legislation. No wonder Krauthammer doesn't specify anything about education reform after dropping it in his article.


Krauthammer isn't mistaken here at all. The February 24th speech that he's referencing (http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/02/24/politics/main4826494.shtml) used the themes that Krauthammer mentioned. Schooling was covered a great deal in that speech, along with a call to send specific legislation to his desk to be signed:

Obama:
I ask Congress to send me the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Senator Orrin Hatch, as well as an American who has never stopped asking what he can do for his country -- Senator Edward Kennedy. (Applause.)


But you are also right. Obama hasn't made any strides to do anything. He just talked. Thankfully.

Reaper16
01-16-2010, 01:09 PM
Man, there are a lot of "lawl" worthy quotes in the Feb. 24th speech.

The Mad Crapper
01-16-2010, 08:05 PM
http://thepeoplescube.com/ObamaMedal.php