Posted on March 11, 2009
Out "O" Touch
Obama's aloofness on display
Of all the problems that plagued the 1992 re-election campaign of George H.W. Bush, perhaps the most pervasive was the oft-repeated charge that he was "out of touch." This characterization, while buttressed by the elder President Bush's aloof mannerisms, was cemented into the public consciousness by his denial that the economy was in recession. Many economists now agree that he was factually correct on that point, but what was more important at the time was that lots of people were struggling financially, and the president seemed not to care.
President Obama is coming perilously close to creating that same impression, with remarks such as his comparison that "the stock market is sort of like a tracking poll in politics," in that "it bobs up and down day to day, and if you spend all your time worrying about that, you're probably going to get the long-term strategy wrong." That analysis sounds as detached as it does insincere. Does anyone really believe that he wouldn't spend his time worrying if his tracking poll numbers dropped as precipitously as the Dow Jones?
Not content to simply seem indifferent, President Obama has adopted an energy policy that's positively callous. Early in the Democrat primary campaign, he explained that "under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket." Now that he's in the White House, and constantly complaining that he's inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, he has decided to pursue that policy anyway. No need to let a recession stop him from imposing an unnecessary expenditure on the American people. It's as if he now perceives those skyrocketing costs as merely bobbing up and down, and therefore not worth worrying about.
Obama's solution to his contrived energy crisis is that we shouldn't consume so much in the first place. "We can't drive our SUVs, and eat as much as we want, and keep our homes at 72 degrees at all times," he told a group of supporters in Oregon last spring, "and then just expect that other countries are going to say, 'oh, okay.'" Like a true liberal elitist, he seems to think that getting gravy on your fries requires the approval of the UN Security Council.
President Obama's own consumption, however, is noticeably unrestrained by world opinion. When reporters observed that he's often seen without his suit jacket in the Oval Office, his senior advisor David Axelrod explained, "He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there." And he's got the fertilizer to do it, too.
Say what you will about Jimmy Carter, but at least he was willing to share in the misery he created for the rest of the country. Before presuming to tell others to turn down their thermostats and put on sweaters, Malaise Man showed enough integrity to do the same himself. Obama, by contrast, flaunts his refusal to heed his own advice.
If carbon emissions were destroying the planet, as the president professes to believe, this hypocrisy of his would be all the more harmful. Following his alarmist premise, it would be far less damaging to recreate tropical conditions in an average American home than in a building the size of the White House. Evidently, he finds the prospect of global destruction less threatening than that of his own discomfort.
Obama plans to depress the production of our most efficient sources of energy, before any viable alternatives exist to replace them, and without a whit of concern for the consumers who will needlessly suffer from the arbitrarily decreased supply. While he turns his own home into the world's largest sauna at taxpayer expense, everyone else is facing four years of onerous utility bills.
When it comes to identifying with the people of the nation he governs, Barack Obama ranks somewhere between Maximilian and Rufus T. Firefly. He can no more comprehend the hardships his policies will create for the rest of us than he can imagine having to bear them himself.
While giving a speech in San Francisco last year, Obama caricatured small-town Pennsylvanians by claiming that they haven't had any jobs for 25 years. "It's not surprising, then," he said, "that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion, or antipathy to people who aren't like them." Well, at least he got that last part right. That is, if by "people who aren't like them," he means sanctimonious snobs who deliberately inflict economic harm on them, just to appear faithful to a fashionable liberal cause.-- Daniel Clark is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.
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