The NY Times has an epic piece titled “The Education of President Obama” which kicks off on page one with some real show-stoppers. First, there’s the President’s self-congratulatory “admission” that:
Given how much stuff was coming at us… we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right. There is probably a perverse pride in my administration — and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular.
This statement is the equivalent of those smarmy Eddie Haskell-like characters who, when asked what their greatest weakness is, claim “I guess it’s that I just work too darn hard” or “I care too much about other people”. Give me a break. I’m, admittedly, become increasingly intolerant of politi-speak. It’s just such a grotesque, stomach-turning Kabuki dance of back patting BS.
Is there anyone on earth who honestly believes this president has not spent enough time marketing his ideas to the public? When is the guy NOT on the stump or in front of a teleprompter or on television?
More importantly, I don’t think there’s any honest reformer from the “Right” or “Left” who believes he’s gotten any of these policies “right”. Obamacare was a shocking embarrassment of political payola and back-room dealings with the biggest companies around. The Frank/Dodd financial regulations bill is universally considered to be a failure in ending “Too Big To Fail”, the single biggest issue in our financial crisis outside of easy money from the Fed. Both are inelegant Rube Goldberg machines which the public has been told must be passed before they can discover what magic awaits inside their epic stack of unread paper.
This guy is a machine politician. Nothing more. That he’s incredibly confident, chilled out and like-able even as he blatantly lies simply makes him a very good machine politician.
But the real kicker of page one on this article, and it is something which instantly contradicts his claims about getting the policy right is his admission that a central marketing line for the so-called “stimulus” bill was a fraud:
He realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” when it comes to public works.
Lovely. Obama has spent his life almost entirely in either academia, the public sector or non-profit groups seeking rents from the public sector. Now, after three trillion plus in deficit spending over two years, the president suddenly realizes that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects”. Come on! Does anyone believe this is credible? And, um, what happened to “getting the policy right”? Virtually the entire justification for the “stimulus” outside of technocratic keynesian blather about “aggregate demand” was the steadily repeated claim that there were mountains of “shovel-ready” projects which could employ our so-called “slack” resources at a taxpayer-friendly recession discount.
Instead of “shovel ready infrastructure”, as we all now see, the “stimulus” was spent entirely on bailing out public sector unions, buying votes in marginal democratic voting districts with often goofy pork, and generally swelling the federal government. For all the talk of infrastructure then and now, the “Stimulus” has spent only $2.4 Billion on federal infrastructure, or three-tenths of one percent of the bill’s massive $862 billion dollar price tag.
THAT is “getting the policy right”? What a sham.
It seems to me that the only thing “shovel ready” is the enormous pile bull and fraud generated by politicians like our president as they seek to enrich their cronies under the guise of Keynesian stimulus…
…but what the hell do I know?