Disaster To Delusion
February 1, 2010
By Humphrey Stevenson
Soon after Scott Brown was elected as the new Senator from Massachusetts, President Obama sat down for an interview with George Stephanopoulos in which he declared, "The wave that swept Scott Brown into office was the same wave that swept me into office." I certainly hope that he is simply trying to sugar coat a disaster, because if the President truly believes this, he is in a state of delusion for which mental health science has no treatment. The shocking thing was that Stephanopoulos never called him on it. Let's see, the voters are angry at Republicans, so they demonstrate their anger by electing a Republican. Maybe the voters are delusional.
No, the voters are not delusional but they are angry to be sure. Also, this is not an amorphous anger that has no particular direction, as the President would have you believe. No, what was amorphous was the "hope and change" that Mr. Obama ran on in 2008. There has to be an object of hope; hope for something. Change has to include a vision; change from something to something else. During the campaign, Mr. Obama conveniently left out the object and vision. He knew to include them would cost him the election. The voters have had an up-close view of Obama's object and vision for a year and that is what has made them angry.
Don't put away your Tea Party Signs and Gadsden Flags just yet. Despite Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, Obamacare may not be dead after all. White House staffers David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs both say health care is still on the table. While Obama says little about the proposed health care takeover, according to Dick Morris there is a secret plan being worked out between Pelosi and Reid to push the Senate bill through the House. If the House agrees, a second bill, a "reconciliation bill" would then be introduced to smooth over the problems that the House had with the Senate bill. Since this reconciliation bill would only cover budgetary items it would only require a simple majority in both the House and Senate, making the Scott Brown vote a moot point.
Of course, disregarding the public will in this manner would seriously damage the Democrats' prospects in November. Retiring Representative Marion Berry told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that Obama tried to sooth Democrats worried about an electoral bloodbath similar to the 1994 midterms by telling them, "Well, the big difference here and in '94 was you've got me." Considering that with the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey and now the Senate race in Massachusetts Obama is 0 – 3, his assurance may not be too comforting.
That sentiment seems to be taking hold. According to the NY Times, Congressional Democrats have effectively put the brakes on the health care takeover. Senate Majority Harry Reid said, "There is no rush." However, he also said they have the rest of the year to work on the health care bills. So, we must stay vigilant.
The President himself may see his re-election chances fleeting. In an interview with Diane Sawyer, Obama said, "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president, and I believe that." That's like saying 2009 Kansas City Chiefs were a really good 4 – 12 NFL team. No, they weren't.
Now Obama is going to try to make people think he's a deficit hawk. After voting for the TARP bailouts, signing the stimulus package and proposing to spend trillions of dollars to takeover health care, Obama is now worried about the deficit. He is proposing to freeze spending in all discretionary "non-security and non-entitlement" areas. This is meaningless for two reasons. One, security and especially entitlements are where the bulk of Federal spending goes. Two, all Federal departments got massive spending increases soon after Obama was elected.
Many pundits have suggested that Obama will move to the center after his rebuke in Massachusetts as Bill Clinton did after the 1994 midterms. Maybe, but I think his ideology is too strong to allow this. Obama is a true believer. He actually believes that government in control of all aspects of peoples' lives is a good thing. Obama may begin to talk the populist talk, but watch what he proposes. It will most likely be his same old progressive ideas dressed up a little bit. Remember the lipstick on a pig?