Sunday, November 29, 2009

Paul Rahe: Is Obama a one-trick pony?


Powerline | November 29, 2009 Posted by Scott at 6:01 AM

Barack Obama seems to be a one-trick pony. He is very good at delivering a speech if he has a teleprompter at hand, and the first and even the second time that you hear him, you will be impressed. If you bother later to read and re-read the speech you will perceive its emptiness. But few will do that, and by the time that they do, it will be too late.

That is one problem. The other is that Obama's one trick cannot often be played. As we have seen over the last few months, as he has tried to play this trick over and over and over again, the more we see of him, the less we are impressed. Franklin Delano Roosevelt never held his fireside chats more than three times a year. How many times has Obama demanded airtime from the networks in the last ten months? I shudder to think.

There is a third problem. Once in office, presidents are judged more by what they do than by what they say and how well they say it, and Barack Obama is in the process of doing a great deal of harm. His "stimulus" bill was a transparent act of grand larceny, stealing from the future in order to enrich Democratic Party constituencies now. His unlawful handling of GM and Chrysler defrauded the bondholders, rewarded the intransigents in the UAW who were largely responsible for the auto-makers' decline, and made it harder for American corporations to borrow money.

And every version of the health care reform that he backs threatens to bankrupt the country and force us to raise taxes on a grand scale. If investors remain on the sidelines, if employers are reluctant to hire, and if, in consequence, the economic recover is anemic and virtually jobless, it is to a considerable extent Obama's fault.

The simple fact that he has done nothing to rein in a patronage-mad Democratic congress is a sign of his fecklessness as President. As David Ignatius points out in today's Washington Post, in 2010, there is going to be hell to pay -- especially in Democratic strongholds with especially high unemployment, such as Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, and California.

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