From a column by Charles Krauthammer: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/03/05/the-health-care-bill-is-a-failure.html
The man who vowed to undo Washington's wicked ways has directed the Congress to ram Obamacare through, by one vote if necessary, under the parliamentary device of "budget reconciliation." The man who ran as a post-partisan is determined to remake a sixth of the U.S. economy despite the absence of support from a single Republican in either house, the first time anything of this size and scope has been enacted by pure party-line vote.
Surprised? You can only be disillusioned if you were once illusioned.
Here's the thing - President Obama is a narcissist. Truly. He is so taken with himself that now we must be concerned for the general welfare of our country. As he pursues the last ditch effort for the passage of his health care reform sham bill, he shows the country - and the world - clearly who he is and it ain't pretty.
As the renowned African American poet Maya Angelou frequently says, when someone is telling you who they are, believe him. Unfortunately, the stars were perfectly aligned for candidate Barack Obama in 2008 and the American voter threw common sense to the wind in exchange for bubble gum, teeny bopper slogans like "hope" and "change" and "fired up, ready to go".
Those not enamoured with candidate Obama - those who actually looked at the short record of service in elected office that he possessed - saw a pattern. It has never been about service to his community, to his country, it is all about Barack and the next election. This remains true today and it is not just the voters who supported the other candidates in 2008. It is clear to a great many of his supporters, too. More often now we read pieces written by long time liberals, by Democrats, by liberally leaning Independents, of what is now being labeled as the president's character flaws. He no longer is being seen as possessing any core principles of his own. He can no longer claim to be doing the peoples' work.
Our country is in a deep recession. Yet, instead of truly working hard on the tragedy of unemployment that is felt by so many Americans, he chose to pursue health care reform that is anything but reform. He is a very savvy politician. He knew for his legacy to be sweeping change in the way in which our country delivers health care, he had to get it done within the very beginning of his administration. Once the American people caught on to the sham, they would object.
So, what has happened? The president allowed the Democratic leadership of Congress - the far left leadership - to write the bill. He did not intend to be saddled with the outcome. He prefers to command from above the fray. Predictably, the Democrats, with one party rule, took that freedom and ran with it. What resulted was "the worst bill ever" as it was described by The Wall Street Journal. It is a monstrosity of over 2,000 pages and no one knows exactly what all is in it. The president certainly cannot explain it.
As the premier legislation fell apart last summer, the Tea Party movement arose. At first President Obama chose to go the standard route - he criticized the protesters as loud and ignorant. Speaker Pelosi compared them to Nazis. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dismissed them, too. And then a funny thing happened. The polls shifted. Today a solid majority of Americans do not want this health care reform sham to move forward.
The president held a mock summit to show his bipartisanship and outreach to Republicans, who have been shut out of the process from the very beginning. Instead, his true nature was exposed to the viewing audience. He was dismissive and petulant. Republicans were well-versed on the bill and brought forward their own suggestions. The opposition party did very well with the viewing audience. The Republicans brought common sense solutions. The Democrats brought sob stories. Sob stories that the public no longer really believes. That is not to say that people aren't having a tough time with insurance coverage and premiums. It is to say that the Democrats think we are all stupid and will simply decide such important issues on emotions alone. Plus, too many of these stories are later proven to be fiction.
Peter Wehner in Commentary recently wrote about the optimism Obama tapped into as he announced his presidential bid. The speech spoke to believing we are one people and building a more perfect union - delivered in Springfield, Illinois where Abe Lincoln announced his own bid for president - the master of spectacles laden with props ended with:
"And if you will join me in this improbable quest, if you feel destiny calling, and see as I see, a future of endless possibility stretching before us; if you sense, as I sense, that the time is now to shake off our slumber, and slough off our fear, and make good on the debt we owe past and future generations, then I'm ready to take up the cause, and march with you, and work with you. Together, starting today, let us finish the work that needs to be done, and usher in a new birth of freedom on this Earth"
Obama was painting himself as a new age Lincoln. He has proven to fall short. He has proven to be the first affirmative action president, installed into office on the back of white guilt desperate to prove our nation has evolved to rise above our history and elect the first bi-racial president. Obama was savvy enough to know that and rode that sentiment right into the Oval Office.
No one is claiming that Obama is not a stellar candidate. It is what he does best. Unfortunately, a candidate and a leader in office are two separate people. Obama has yet to realize that.
Last week, Lynn Forester de Rothschild wrote a piece in The Daily Beast with the title "I Told You So." A lifelong Democrat, de Rothschild supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 and then went to McCain rather than fall in line and support Obama. Her arguments against Obama are proving true. As she recalls, the past history of Senator Obama - brief though it was - showed no inclination to be 'bipartisan', much less 'post partisan' in politics. The one time he worked across the aisle in the Senate it was, ironically, with Senator McCain and then at the last minute reneged on the agreement rather than buck the Democrat leadership. It was a bill on ethics reform legislation. The irony is too strong here. And, President Obama shows no more bent towards strong ethical behavior than Senator Obama did.
If those falling for the hope and change mantra are now surprised that the man rated the most liberal in the Senate is a partisan and selfish hack, it is no one's fault but their own. His record - brief as it is - was there and others were pointing to it. Even in the Illinois State Senate, Obama voted "present" instead of yea or nay 129 times.
Obama published two autobiographies before he ran for president. Two. The man was in his mid forties by the time he ran for president. I say he published them instead of wrote them because I do not believe he wrote them himself. Even his great oratory skills have been diminished as he attempts to not use a teleprompter for every occasion. He had to ratchet back that habit a bit after he was ridiculed for using a teleprompter as he spoke to a group of six grade students and as he spoke to a panel of business leaders.
Journalist Julie Mason, a White House correspondent for The Examiner, is on the liberal side of the aisle. I say that because I live in Houston and when she lived here before she moved on to D.C., she co-hosted a political talk radio show and represented the liberal side of arguments against a conservative co-host. She said often that she was a proud liberal. Fine. I have no problem with anyone honest enough to state her political lens. Last week, she, too, wrote of the diminished appeal of Obama. In the article, Mason writes "But it's not just a problem in Washington. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found the president's personal approval rating dipped to 39 percent -- a stunning turnaround for a politician who just a year ago seemed to many the personification of a new, more hopeful style of bipartisan politics." That was in response to a Democratic strategist's opinion that Obama's sinking popularity - both personally and in job performance - is simply rhetoric catching up to political reality in D.C.