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Obama’s Diversion: The Politics of Envy

Wednesday, September 8, 2010  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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The president’s approval rating is falling and his party’s prospects are dim.

The next eight weeks promise hard realities when it comes to Obamacare, including this headline from the Wall Street Journal this morning: Health Insurers Plan Hikes –Rate Increases Are Blamed on Health Care Overhaul; White House Questions Logic.

Team Obama can and will “question” every bad story’s connection to their policies, but voters have already connected the dots on the dismal employment picture to the growth-destroying “stimulus,” and now the arrival of rate hikes and benefit cuts as fall insurance season rolls around will rightfully be tied directly to the president’s and the Congressional Democrats’ crazed attempt to remake the medical world in their “vision.” Obama-Pelosi-Reid own everything that goes wrong with health care at every level every day. The country told them not to pass the monstrosity, but pass it they did. Joe Biden’s “big f—— deal” is now a lead weight around every Democrat in every race because every Democrat in every race voted either for Pelosi or Reid, and thus for the leadership that first capitulated to and then enthusiastically pressed forward with the president’s nutty ideas on health care.

Beyond that grim news on health care is a stagnant economy, and the 9.6% unemployment isn’t going to get anywhere near the president’s promised maximum of 8% in the next two months. Trotting out a mini-me stimulus was nuts as well: $850 billion wasted dollars didn’t do anything for the economy so why would another $50 billion on top of the $26 billion end-of-summer tip? This is flailing. And pointing out flailing isn’t calling the president a dog. It is calling him clueless on the economy.

The only thing that could draw capital out of hiding and revive entrepreneurial confidence and thus hiring and growth is an extension of the Bush tax cuts, but the president’s ideological contempt for the most successful won’t let him agree to that. Every economist in the country could urge him to extend the cuts for two or three years but he wouldn’t do it. His inner Alinksy is snarling at the thought.

So the president has one card and only one card: class war, and he is rolling that out on schedule. He’s going to, sigh, tell us his own story –again, and again, as though his two autobiographies and endless profiles haven’t been on every virtual corner since 2007. Somehow he is going to try and persuade Americans deeply worried about their economic future given the recklessness of the past two years and the incompetence of the team driving the economic bus that all will be well because the president somehow got through private school in Hawaii, then Occidental and Columbia and two years a community organizer and then Harvard Law School.

This attempt to be Bill Clinton and feel people’s pain is from a different era, one in which information flows didn’t exist and when the electorate wasn’t so completely aware of what has happened and what is happening.

The president’s economic plan failed. The panic that swept him into the White House was all but over when the first stimulus passed, and it has been his absurd economic policies that have driven risk-taking and investment offshore or underground. Our key competitors are growing but we are stuck in a parallel universe of mountainous debt and a maniacal desire to punish the rich.

The GOP should absolutely refuse the president’s half-a-loaf tax cuts and the class war rhetoric that will accompany the debate. Insistence on extension of all the cuts, including for the highest income bracket, is about creating jobs which won’t happen if the key job makers at the top of the income scale are saving up against not just the tax hike but also the burdens of Obamacare and all the other “initiatives” launched by the anti-capitalist White House.

The GOP’s refrain should be simple: Why would voters trust the architects of the stimulus and Obamcare to lead on tax rates and economic recovery? Aren’t two enormous strikes enough?

MSM will try and mount one last charge on behalf of the incompetent president they inflicted on the country, and denunciations of Republican obstructionism will be fast and furious over the next two months, but Leaders McConnell and Boehner have to keep their members on the same page, all saying: “We know what the president and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have promised, and we know what they have delivered. We are putting a choice to the people: Do you want more of them, or do you want to try growth and freedom instead?”

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