Economist: Obama’s not who we thought he was

posted at 9:38 am on March 28, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The fact that Barack Obama won endorsements from most daily newspapers comes as no surprise to American readers, as they mostly go with Democrats regardless of the specific candidates.  Some of us got surprised when publications like The Economist chose to back Obama, however, considering their normally sober analysis of economics and the radicalism and inexperience Obama brought to the campaign.  Now, The Economist has had a Road to Damascus moment just two months after their candidate took office (via QandO):

His performance has been weaker than those who endorsed his candidacy, including this newspaper, had hoped. Many of his strongest supporters—liberal columnists, prominent donors, Democratic Party stalwarts—have started to question him. As for those not so beholden, polls show that independent voters again prefer Republicans to Democrats, a startling reversal of fortune in just a few weeks. Mr Obama’s once-celestial approval ratings are about where George Bush’s were at this stage in his awful presidency. Despite his resounding electoral victory, his solid majorities in both chambers of Congress and the obvious goodwill of the bulk of the electorate, Mr Obama has seemed curiously feeble.

Why “curiously”?  After all, Obama had next to no executive experience before running for the presidency.  His only executive experience came at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, where Obama spent over $160 million and had no effect on education.  He has never been responsible for a public budget, public appointments, or economic policy.  And they find his poor performance “curious”?  Would The Economist have hired Obama to run their magazine based on his resumé and then found his incompetence “curious”?

The magazine then scolds Obama for not doing the basics:

His stimulus package, though huge, was subcontracted to Congress, which did a mediocre job: too much of the money will arrive too late to be of help in the current crisis. His budget, though in some ways more honest than his predecessor’s, is wildly optimistic. And he has taken too long to produce his plan for dealing with the trillions of dollars of toxic assets which fester on banks’ balance-sheets.

How is it “more honest” than Bush?  Deficits actually went down during Bush’s second term, at least until 2008.  Obama says he’s all about reducing the deficit, but even by his own OMB predictions, the Obama budgets never return even to the 2008 level in the next 12 years.  By the CBO’s account, both of which rely on “wildly optimistic” growth during the period, Obama won’t even come close.  Now that Social Security surpluses have vanished far more quickly than anyone except George Bush predicted, they’ll get higher than either prediction.

The failure to staff the Treasury is a shocking illustration of administrative drift. There are 23 slots at the department that need confirmation by the Senate, and only two have been filled. This is not the Senate’s fault. Mr Obama has made a series of bad picks of people who have chosen or been forced to withdraw; and it was only this week that he announced his candidates for two of the department’s four most senior posts. Filling such jobs is always a tortuous business in America, but Mr Obama has made it harder by insisting on a level of scrutiny far beyond anything previously attempted. Getting the Treasury team in place ought to have been his first priority.

As I reported weeks ago, the Obama administration has done almost nothing to staff what should be the highest-priority positions in an economic crisis.  That’s simply executive incompetence, and it can’t all be blamed on Obama’s level of scrutiny.  The man at the top of Treasury committed tax evasion, and he’s still around.  Obama issued a waiver a day for his anti-lobbyist policy in the first two weeks of his administration. If there are literally no candidates of any qualification who have paid their taxes properly, maybe that’s an indication that we should simplify our tax codes rather than make them even more complicated and punitive, as Obama has proposed.

Mr Obama has mishandled his relations with both sides in Congress. Though he campaigned as a centrist and promised an era of post-partisan government, that’s not how he has behaved. His stimulus bill attracted only three Republican votes in the Senate and none in the House. … Republicans must take their share of the blame for the breakdown. But if Mr Obama had done a better job of selling his package, and had worked harder at making sure that Republicans were included in drafting it, they would have found it more difficult to oppose his plans.

What share?  Obama outsourced the stimulus to Pelosi, who locked Republicans out.  The Economist even noted that earlier in this article!  Obama abdicated leadership on the stimulus plan and endorsed Pelosi’s “we won” policy — in fact, explicitly repeating it to Republicans whom he courted.  The Economist hits Democrats next, however:

If Mr Obama cannot work with the Republicans, he needs to be certain that he controls his own party. Unfortunately, he seems unable to. Put bluntly, the Democrats are messing him around. They are pushing pro-trade-union legislation (notably a measure to get rid of secret ballots) even though he doesn’t want them to do so; they have been roughing up the bankers even though it makes his task of fixing the economy much harder; they have stuffed his stimulus package and his appropriations bill with pork, even though this damages him and his party in the eyes of the electorate. Worst of all, he is letting them get away with it.

They’re doing all of this despite Obama?  Hell, no.  Obama himself talked about “shaking with outrage” over the bonuses and openly encouraged the “clawback” movement on Capitol Hill until saner heads prevailed.  The Economist must also have missed Obama’s promise to Big Labor during the campaign (which got The Economist’s endorsement, remember) to make Card Check one of his top priorities once he got elected.  He co-sponsored it in the Senate in 2007.  In fact, in January, Obama told the Washington Post of his continuing support for it.   Does The Economist believe in research any longer?

If Obama is not who The Economist thought he was, then the fault lies with The Economist and not Obama.  The scales may be falling from their eyes now, but if they had done their jobs a few months ago, it wouldn’t be necessary at all.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Good post, Ed. I have to part with you on this point:

As I reported weeks ago, the Obama administration has done almost nothing to staff what should be the highest-priority positions in an economic crisis. That’s simply executive incompetence, and it can’t all be blamed on Obama’s level of scrutiny.

Eventually, you will come to realize that this has nothing to do with incompetence (though The Precedent is as incompetent as they come). In this area, the idiot messiah is holding the financial crisis (the more important aspect than the economy) hostage in order to have the “catastrophe” hammer to wield in order to ram his idiotic marxist, spending plans through. The lack of staffing at Treasury is purely intentional, though The Precedent’s incompetence at pulling this off will also be obvious the next time he tries to pull out the “catastrophe card”.

progressoverpeace on March 28, 2009 at 9:45 AM

They’re doing all of this despite Obama? Hell, no. Obama himself talked about “shaking with outrage” over the bonuses and openly encouraged the “clawback” movement on Capitol Hill until saner heads prevailed.

Well, they’ve got to separate Obama from Pelosi and Reid, knowing how unpopular Congress is.

I remember reading an anecdote about the Stalinist era. Ilya Ehrenberg and Boris Pasternak were walking along the river during the Stalinist purges and were lamenting all the people who had been killed, put in prison or otherwise persecuted and destroyed. Ehrenberg said at one point Pasternak raised his eyes to the heavens and said, “If only someone would tell Stalin about all of this!”

ddrintn on March 28, 2009 at 9:46 AM

Ed: this is one of the best pieces of analysis I’ve seen from you in a long time!

(I’m not implying that the others were “bad” or anything like that; I’m just saying this one is very, very, good!}

Dale in Atlanta on March 28, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Liberals need to be told mercilessly

I tried to warn you

until they shut up and sing.

Basilsbest on March 28, 2009 at 9:49 AM

It’s all good, folks. Not to worry.

Obama has his best and brightest working night and day to come up with some more cool logos and catchy slogans.

hillbillyjim on March 28, 2009 at 9:49 AM

Filling such jobs is always a tortuous business in America, but Mr Obama has made it harder by insisting on a level of scrutiny far beyond anything previously attempted.

Are they kidding? Have they even paid attention? If they really are looking over his nominees that close then he put the cart in front of the horse when he nominated them first.

boomer on March 28, 2009 at 9:52 AM

When Obama insisted that he (personnally) would provide the vision for his administration, I knew he had no clue abour how to function as an executive.

It’s kinda like the joke about a choir director who goes to heaven and is offered anything he wants. The choir director requests 10,000 sopranos, 10,000 altos, and 10,000 tenors. When Saint Peter asks if he wants an basses for his choir, the director says “Oh, I’ll sing bass.”

Right_of_Attila on March 28, 2009 at 9:55 AM

No s – - t Sherlock!

rplat on March 28, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Economist: Obama’s not who we thought he was

Apparently they don’t “think,” period. Despite his record, they figured he’d be some sort of Hollywood Magic Negro, and now that they’ve found out what we have all been saying since last January, they pin the blame on Congressional Democrats and the Republicans.

This is the lesson for Republicans: even the squishy middle will blame you for Obama’s failures, so start fighting back.

amkun on March 28, 2009 at 9:55 AM

How did he fool all of these brainy people when he didn’t fool the Republican hoi polloi?

piraticalbob on March 28, 2009 at 9:55 AM

I think we will see more and more of these “Road to Damascus” moments from Obama supporters as we careen ever further down the economic, cultural and political slide.

Unfortunately, the seriousness of the damage that Obama and the Dems are inflicting on this nation is much too great to be eased by the satisfaction that “I told you so” usually brings.

cruadin on March 28, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Seems to be alot of “Road to Damascus” moments happening these days.

KelliD on March 28, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Excellent commentary throughout Ed and a very good ending that cannot be gainsaid.

If Obama is not who The Economist thought he was, then the fault lies with The Economist and not Obama. The scales may be falling from their eyes now, but if they had done their jobs a few months ago, it wouldn’t be necessary at all.

Basilsbest on March 28, 2009 at 9:58 AM

I hear later in this issue they’ve got definitive research that has come to the conclusion that 2 plus 2 is in fact 4 and not 22 as they had original suspected.

Dave_d on March 28, 2009 at 9:59 AM

It’s all good, folks. Not to worry.

Obama has his best and brightest working night and day to come up with some more cool logos and catchy slogans.

hillbillyjim on March 28, 2009 at 9:49 AM

Not to mention those productive Internet Townhall meetings in the middle of the day when should have his skinny as somewhere in the White House where the work gets done. This guy is a slacker and if we could see his college transcripts I’m sure they would bear that out.

thomasaur on March 28, 2009 at 9:59 AM

It was out in the open who and what Obambi is. People just weren’t listening then and many aren’t listening now. Who’s fault is that? Not Obambi’s. He’s just being who he is. The fault is in the voters who elected him.

Percy_Peabody on March 28, 2009 at 10:00 AM

I cut Obama some slack for doing a good job picking his Secretary of Defense.

exception on March 28, 2009 at 10:03 AM

Where’s a savvy conservative pol when we need one? I’d love to see somebody go “all in” and start criticizing Obama half as harshly as that Brit thumped Gordon Brown.

OhioCoastie on March 28, 2009 at 10:04 AM

double talk……the whole piece!

larvcom on March 28, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Excellent post, Ed! Simply excellent.

Obama is exactly the man many of us knew he was, particularly Hot Air regulars. My only surprise has been the rapidity of disillusionment among independents, and even some liberals. After watching the press conference Tuesday night, a black liberal I know admitted he now believes our country is in trouble with Obama at the helm. Every week more realize Comrade Obama has no clothes.

flyfisher on March 28, 2009 at 10:06 AM

<blockquoteEventually, you will come to realize that this has nothing to do with incompetence (though The Precedent is as incompetent as they come).

progressoverpeace,

Agree.

ujorge on March 28, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Would The Economist have hired Obama to run their magazine based on his resumé[?]

That’s an interesting standard, one worth keeping to use in the future.

exception on March 28, 2009 at 10:08 AM

WE told you so!

How is it that all these people are surprised? The writing was on the wall. Obama told everyone he was going to do this. The question now is did everyone learn a lesson?

http://franklinslocke.blogspot.com/

franklinslocke on March 28, 2009 at 10:09 AM

President Words just Words

Wade on March 28, 2009 at 10:10 AM

When people do not ask for any experience or real record, then they are simply fantasizing. There was plenty of discussion about the lack of experience prior to voting. Those who did not heed the warning really have no reason to point fingers, except at themselves.

AnninCA on March 28, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Good post, Ed.

3BP has a video that absolutely blasts Obama on the middle-class tax cut broken promise:

http://thirdbasepolitics.blogspot.com/2009/03/so-much-for-your-promises.html

DJ Tablesauce on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Would The Economist have hired Obama to run their magazine based on his resumé and then found his incompetence “curious”?

Ed, you’re on fire lately! This is a great question.

mikeyboss on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

As someone who was a long-time subscriber to The Economist (until recently), they’ve been drifting strongly to the left for years. They went absolutely nuts over global warming, abandoning all sense of free markets, and they developed a bad case of BDS.

Clark1 on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Agree. Good choice of topic and good post. I especially like the part about his own Party messing with him. I have been wondering about that. Are the Dems on the Hill after their own agenda or does o ‘sub-contract’ because he knows they will do what he actually wants and he is off the hook when it goes worng? Or…is the Hill going to turn out to be his worst nightmare? He and his boys are such a sneaky trio that they manage to keep all of us off guard and guessing deliberately. This makes me more uneasy by the day.

jeanie on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Hannan, the Brit who trashed Gordon Brown, is going to be on Neil Cavuto this morning. Maybe his voice of reason will wake up some “sleeping giants” who can inject some common sense into this mess. BTW, did everyone see how well George Soros is doing financially? Methinks he backed Obama because he knew this would happen since he admitted betting against the U.S. housing market. He was smart enough to know that the economy would tank and Obama’s inexperience would exacerbate the problem. Anyone thinking Soros is looking out for anyone except himself is seriously deluded. Obama was his Trojan horse.

College Prof on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Said it right after the election….

About 6 weeks after the election… the Electorate and the press will suddenly wake up, and with a massive hangover, and find themselves in bed with a transvestite hooker…

wondering just what the he11 did I do last night….

You’re going to be seeing more and more of these articles in the coming weeks, as the press gets over its initial shock of being wrong… and these articles make it through the editorial process (such as it is now days…).

Romeo13 on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

I hear later in this issue they’ve got definitive research that has come to the conclusion that 2 plus 2 is in fact 4 and not 22 as they had original suspected insisted. Fixed it

Dave_d on March 28, 2009 at 9:59 AM

larvcom on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

But he’s an adult.

And he’s in charge.

So nyah nyah.

getalife

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2009 at 10:13 AM

Oh, and he’s “cool”.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2009 at 10:14 AM

We told them this eight months ago, but of course…did they listen? NOOOooooooooo…all that hopeychangeyrainbowshit went right into their brains and rotted them.

john1schn on March 28, 2009 at 10:15 AM

“Mr Obama has seemed curiously feeble”

Typical “intelligentsia”. Just what did they expect from an empty suit? All that past preening and incompetence was just going to fall away and superman was going to emerge? Another group of idiots that don’t realize that past performance is a damned good indicator of future performance, or in this case, lack thereof.

GarandFan on March 28, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Devastating analysis. Thanks, Ed.

Is it incompetence or intentional neglect? Is Obama…

…holding the financial crisis (the more important aspect than the economy) hostage in order to have the “catastrophe” hammer to wield in order to ram his idiotic marxist, spending plans through. The lack of staffing at Treasury is purely intentional, though The Precedent’s incompetence at pulling this off will also be obvious the next time he tries to pull out the “catastrophe card”.

progressoverpeace on March 28, 2009 at 9:45 AM

petefrt on March 28, 2009 at 10:17 AM


Economist: Obama’s not who we thought he was

Well, he is exactly who I thought he would be.

Ed,

Absolutely excellent critque of the Economist and the rest of the media (Obviously guilty as well).

74SeventeenSeventySix on March 28, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Unfortunately, the seriousness of the damage that Obama and the Dems are inflicting on this nation is much too great to be eased by the satisfaction that “I told you so” usually brings.

cruadin on March 28, 2009 at 9:58 AM

I share your concern. We chose the worst possible time in American history to elect a man possessed of his ideological nitwitery. U-6 unemployment (NSA), the broadest measure, stands at 16% already. Can you imagine what this country will be like if that number climbs to 25% or more with this man in charge? I just don’t know how much Obama it takes to break a nation–and I don’t want to find out.

flyfisher on March 28, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Mr Obama’s once-celestial approval ratings are about where George Bush’s were at this stage in his awful presidency

Yeah, no bias there, even in their drawdown of Ogabe.

Celestial and awful? Is this proof of the Economists “normally sober analysis”? They bought and drank large amounts of the Ogabe koolaid, and apparently are still sipping what’s left.

Bishop on March 28, 2009 at 10:17 AM

Agree. Good choice of topic and good post. I especially like the part about his own Party messing with him. I have been wondering about that. Are the Dems on the Hill after their own agenda or does o ’sub-contract’ because he knows they will do what he actually wants and he is off the hook when it goes worng? Or…is the Hill going to turn out to be his worst nightmare? He and his boys are such a sneaky trio that they manage to keep all of us off guard and guessing deliberately. This makes me more uneasy by the day.

jeanie on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

The Dems (IMO) are a disfunctional alliance of groups with competing agendas. The only thing which held them together was the Anti Bush rhetoric… but with that binding factor now gone, the left is fracturing…. because now they have to produce… they have to rule…

Add in Barry’s lack of executive experience…. and lack of political experience (in getting things done)…

Perfect storm of incompetence….

Question is can the country weather this storm of disfunction.

Romeo13 on March 28, 2009 at 10:18 AM

Another great post Ed, you are on a roll this week (while Obama is rolling over the nation).

Unfortunately we are stuck with this train wreck for the enxt four years. The only way to minimize the damage is if the states assert their rights per the federal constitution (which has come up on Hotair recently). Walter E. Williams has an excellent, as usual, post this week about this matter that includes how Colorado showed a way to put teeth into State Sovereignty laws:

In 1994, the Colorado Legislature passed a 10th Amendment resolution and later introduced a bill titled “State Sovereignty Act.” Had the State Sovereignty Act passed both houses of the legislature, it would have required all people liable for any federal tax that’s a component of the highway users fund, such as a gasoline tax, to remit those taxes directly to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The money would have been deposited in an escrow account called the “Federal Tax Fund” and remitted monthly to the IRS, along with a list of payees and respective amounts paid. If Congress imposed sanctions on Colorado for failure to obey an unconstitutional mandate and penalized the state by withholding funds due, say $5 million for highway construction, the State Sovereignty Act would have prohibited the state treasurer from remitting any funds in the escrow account to the IRS. Instead, Colorado would have imposed a $5 million surcharge on the Federal Tax Fund account to continue the highway construction.

Laws like this are the path to restoring the proper balance between the states and the federal government.

WashJeff on March 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Hannan, the Brit who trashed Gordon Brown, is going to be on Neil Cavuto this morning. Maybe his voice of reason will wake up some “sleeping giants” who can inject some common sense into this mess

Not sure about Hannan. While he hammers his own guy, Hannan curiously is willing to give Ogabe a little more time and space, why that is I don’t know. I suppose I’ll wait and see how he responds to Cavuto.

Bishop on March 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Seems to be alot of “Road to Damascus” moments happening these days.

KelliD

Ooops. That was the end of that reel. Now its “Road to Morocco”. Only I remember it funnier than the current version playing out on the telly. And the oasis scene being played out by Fargo floating by isn’t funny at all….

Dr. Dog on March 28, 2009 at 10:22 AM

I cut Obama some slack for doing a good job picking his sticking with Bush’s Secretary of Defense.

exception on March 28, 2009 at 10:03 AM

FIFY

Basilsbest on March 28, 2009 at 10:24 AM

As someone who was a long-time subscriber to The Economist (until recently), they’ve been drifting strongly to the left for years. They went absolutely nuts over global warming, abandoning all sense of free markets, and they developed a bad case of BDS.

Clark1 on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Yeah, they’re fantasy support of Obama – and reluctant questioning of him now – isn’t a huge surprise.

Midas on March 28, 2009 at 10:24 AM

It’s always Obama’s fault.

We hold YOU accountable. Yea you Economist.

faraway on March 28, 2009 at 10:24 AM

WashJeff on March 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM

That was a great piece. I love Dr. Williams. How many states will be willing to fight the FEDs when push comes to shove?

flyfisher on March 28, 2009 at 10:25 AM

When I saw the picture of Che in that election headquarters on video I new who he was.Guess the media (who showed the video)didn’t see it tho.

hanoverfist on March 28, 2009 at 10:25 AM

larvcom on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

Appreciate the correction :)

Dave_d on March 28, 2009 at 10:27 AM

The scales may be falling from their eyes now

It’s like when someone who has taken a bar pickup to his bed has awoken the next morning to find out that she’s really ugly.

docdave on March 28, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Not sure about Hannan. While he hammers his own guy, Hannan curiously is willing to give Ogabe a little more time and space, why that is I don’t know. I suppose I’ll wait and see how he responds to Cavuto.

Bishop on March 28, 2009 at 10:21 AM

I would say it’s because he’s British and doesn’t feel he has much latitude to slam into an American president as he did into Brown.

ddrintn on March 28, 2009 at 10:28 AM

flyfisher on March 28, 2009 at 10:25 AM

Dr. Williams would be my choice for Trasury Secretary quicker than a Chicago politician can take a bribe.

WashJeff on March 28, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Over the years the Economist published excellent papers on Adam Smith’s “free markets principles” and conservative views. Not to give away my age, I remember 20 years ago researching their archives for my graduate econ classes, however when they endorsed Clinton I canceled my subscription. The Economist is not what it used to be! Sad, sad, sad. The Euro liberals have been running the Economist into the ground for a long time……..

What, besides free trade and free markets, does The Economist believe in? “It is to the Radicals that The Economist still likes to think of itself as belonging. The extreme centre is the paper’s historical position.” That is as true today as when Crowther said it in 1955. The Economist considers itself the enemy of privilege, pomposity and predictability. It has backed conservatives such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. It has supported the Americans in Vietnam. But it has also endorsed Harold Wilson and Bill Clinton, and espoused a variety of liberal causes: opposing capital punishment from its earliest days, while favouring penal reform and decolonisation, as well as—more recently—gun control and gay marriage.

AboutThe Economist

luckybogey on March 28, 2009 at 10:29 AM

Why “curiously”?

“Curiously” because they didn’t predict it, not because it wasn’t predictable.

This is the start of their climbdown from the mistake of endorsing him. They want to make it sound like his actual performance is a bit of a shock.

Which raises the question: how could they think he campaigned as a centrist? The only time he campaigned as a centrist was after he had been radical enough to sew up the Democratic nomination, and while he was trying to get Republicans and independents to vote for him. It should have been obvious that he was either the radical from the primaries or the centrist from the campaign, but not both. And of the two, anyone should have been able to figure out that he was more likely to be the radical.

It’s good that they’re seeing the light, but they still deserve the egg on their face.

But are they really even seeing the light yet? They still seem to think that Nancy Pelosi is forcing Obama to be radical.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on March 28, 2009 at 10:30 AM

“not who we thought he was”

how could they possibly have known who he was?

Huge gaps are missing in his background. Nobody who went to Occidental can even remember him, although supposedly he was there.

His State Senate records are sealed. His school records are sealed.

He “wrote” a “lyrical” autobiography in his 20′s, yet written nothing prior to that, or anything since. If you can believe the hype about the book, it’s like a master painter never took a class, or practices the craft, but then one day, suddenly, painted a masterpiece

He has published no legal scholarship, tried no cases, has only held a couple of jobs for a couple of years, and dissed them later.

He has never run a business, hired managed an employee or served in the military.

His speeches are written for him and he reads them.

And the Economist is surprised that they misjudged him.

What idiots.

notagool on March 28, 2009 at 10:31 AM

its funny how bambi is picking his appointees: the questionnaire has a question about gun ownership–if anyone answers honestly (or they actually have one registered in their name), they can’t serve. but its ok to be a tax evader.

my point is this: he eliminated a bunch of smart people.

kelley in virginia on March 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Romeo13 on March 28, 2009 at 10:18 AM

That’s exactly what worries me. Is it incompetence or is it some kind of planned outcome manipulation? I simply do not, am unable, cannot trust obama or any of his inner circle. He has shown himself not to be a man of honesty and integrity. Not all at once, but a long series of moderate but telling actions and statements point increasingly this way. Even the most incompetent President who had obama’s intelligence would, I should think, be trying to alter his approach and tactics in the light of mounting pressure. He is not. For example, he could rein in the Hill to some degree if he wished. He could throw the GOP some bones. He could veto, he doesn’t. There has to be more to this than incompetence. Either his narcissism won’t let him see his growing problems, or he’s comfortably following some agenda he’s thought out.

jeanie on March 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Yes, doing what he said in the campaign that gave him a mandate shocked some but he saved the economy.

getalife on March 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM

A Damascus road experience produced a conversion in Saul’s life and behavior. Obambi voters have hardly converted, they are disappointed but, they would still vote for him. Everything Obambi said and did screamed America is wrong and I will make it totally socialist. It wasn’t that hard to see from where I sat.

sheriff246 on March 28, 2009 at 10:35 AM

The Dems (IMO) are a disfunctional alliance of groups with competing agendas. The only thing which held them together was the Anti Bush rhetoric… but with that binding factor now gone, …

Romeo13 on March 28, 2009 at 10:18 AM

I think these is one common thread, and I will use the term Mark Levin advocates, statism. You can tie all these groups to the goal of creating a nation of homogenous laws where all power emminates from DC. If the statist had their way my voter card would be for Region 21 (not Illinois), District 11, and Precint 203.

WashJeff on March 28, 2009 at 10:35 AM

This makes me physically ill. I hope they’ve learned some things from this. They’re not as smart as they think they are, for one.

McCian’s economic qualifications weren’t that great, but his wife’s family runs a very successful business, and he’s been on the Commerce Committee for years. That’s much better experience than Obama’s, which primarily consists of grievance mongering.

juliesa on March 28, 2009 at 10:35 AM

notagool on March 28, 2009 at 10:31 AM

+1

OhioCoastie on March 28, 2009 at 10:36 AM

A few washings in the River Jordan and see what’s left of Obama’s claymation. Either cured via faith or dissolved down river.

Statemanship delivered a la cart

(R) GRASSLEY: I did not ask for a vote on it and you said it was a very statesman-like thing for me to do at that particular time. And so I would hope you would return the favor.”

(D) CONRAD. “You know, I used to like you. Oh, you are good.”

GRASSLEY: “Your wife said the same thing.”

Ed’s exposé from The Economist, “Oh, you are good.”

maverick muse on March 28, 2009 at 10:36 AM

It’s so frustrating. The media, who long ago should have had their ears to the ground, (but instead had their heads up their hoohoos), are just now scratching their heads and sounding perplexed. Like someone said, have we learned anything? This leads me to believe that Obama was elected by adolescents, not grown men.

scalleywag on March 28, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Oh, and he’s “cool”.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2009 at 10:14 AM

and more importantly, he’s black (so when we voted for him we proved how “cool” we all were), right Economists?

AZCoyote on March 28, 2009 at 10:38 AM

If Mr Obama cannot work with the Republicans, he needs to be certain that he controls his own party

When the media begins to realize “it’s their shrinking paychecks too”, Obama’s “control” will fade further. But Pelosi’s Porkulus should be on the lady’s epitaph as a politician.

Rovin on March 28, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Yes, doing what he said in the campaign that gave him a mandate shocked some but he saved the economy.

getalife on March 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM

Praise Obama! He cured my halitosis!

OhioCoastie on March 28, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Facts are facts…

1. The Dems control the House
2. The Dems control the Senate
3. All Barry has to do is call a come to Barry meeting and present his instructions and he could get it all on a silver platter.

4. He can’t accomplish #3 because he is inept.

It must be terribly frustrating for the greens, hippies, and redistribution folks to know that Barry has the goose that laid the golden egg in his hands and doesn’t know what the hell to do with it.

Limerick on March 28, 2009 at 10:41 AM

I remember Obama right before the inauguration saying they had learned from the Clinton administration overreaching in the first term on universal health care, and that they would not make the same mistake.

And of course, universal health care was one of the first things they went for.

Apparently, they learned a different lesson than we might have thought. They learned to push for it immediately, before anyone can block it, and way before an election year.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on March 28, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Yes, doing what he said in the campaign that gave him a mandatw

getalife on March 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM

2004 election result: Bush 51% = “Country divided”

2008 election result: O’bama 52% = “mandate”.

Pass the bong, Spicoli.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Some of us got surprised when publications like The Economist chose to back Obama, however, considering their normally sober analysis of economics and the radicalism and inexperience Obama brought to the campaign.

-
Cool-Aid makes even the best thinkers drunk with stupidity. They need to never, ever drink the Cool-Aid again, but I doubt they will learn. Cool-Aid makes you look cool… Kinda like cigarettes use to.
-
Plus, they should all be using plain language to admit their own incompetence… Obama is exactly who we all said he would be. So the information was out there for even the least savvy to see. Morons.
-

RalphyBoy on March 28, 2009 at 10:43 AM

Oh, and he’s “cool”.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2009 at 10:14 AM
and more importantly, he’s black (so when we voted for him we proved how “cool” we all were), right Economists?

AZCoyote on March 28, 2009 at 10:38 AM

But he’s not even really “black” either. His mother was white.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2009 at 10:45 AM

“His performance has been weaker than those who endorsed his candidacy, including this newspaper, had hoped.”

Ya know, I appreciate these folks wanting to spread the blame around so as to minimize the degree to which people see this Economist organization as having royally #$#*’ed up. But people endorsed Obama for a variety of reasons, not all of which were economic and more than quite a few for reasons, such as economics but which were hardly their fortes, too.

But for an economic news organization that prides it self with a specialty to so screw up in their assessment, knocks them completely off my trust ladder with regard to whatever they want to tell me in the future, including this ‘Casper Milquetoast-ish, we still want to be Pollyanish’ assessment now.

Just STFU and die a quick death, Economist, will ya please? I have no reason to read to your idiotic, what if, 20-20 hindsight, assessments now.

Dusty on March 28, 2009 at 10:46 AM

Pass the bong, Spicoli.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Zing!

scalleywag on March 28, 2009 at 10:48 AM

I hope they’ve learned some things from this. They’re not as smart as they think they are, for one.

juliesa

The first human response upon discovering one’s shame is either to hide or to get vicious and lash out.

Obama’s “hiding” consists of party-time perpetual campaigning ONLY with his supporters. Outside of that very limited comfort zone, Obama lashes out viciously at any and every target, ALWAYS beginning with the most vulnerable (babies, disabled veterans, the elderly for starters). That Obama sees a baby as an opponent tells all, particularly given Obama’s extermination orders to prohibit aid and to coerce the abandonment of living babies who survive abortions. NO HUMANITY!!!

Obama the Coward relies strictly upon his providers to do his work for him, because on his own he has no clue beyond antipathy for America.

maverick muse on March 28, 2009 at 10:48 AM

A well-blogged classic. I have faith you’ll eventually recognize the non-staffing tactic is to concentrate maximum crisis power in the hands of a few key players and quickly push their radical plan to remake our society. With no potentially disloyal people around, no one is in place to blow the whistle and resign in protest. They don’t want any more exposure by honest Judd Gregg types.

Later hires will just be implementers of a done deal with no stake in the decisions being made.

econavenger on March 28, 2009 at 10:48 AM

What a pack of clueless dolts.

Apparently it hasn’t dawned on them yet that:

a] the donks in Congress are busy keeping their far-left power [and money] base as happy as possible while they watch in dismay as Dear Leader re-labels those [Dubya's] security policies he’s decided to keep.

b] he’s cool with the Mad Empress running the show [for the moment...] since she’s providing the circus acts for the Drive-By Media to drool over. Besides, she’s doing damn little that he would disagree with [other than the timing of some agenda elements...].

c] a fair chunk of our tax money being thrown in the air are ‘buy-outs’ to keep the blue-dogs from bolting when the key agenda elements come up for their votes.

d] they assume Dear Leader gives a shit at what happens over at Treasury. His shadow-wrapped minions over at DoT have their ‘mission packets’, that’s all that matters. Turbo Tax Timmy is there as window dressing [and doubles a handy meat piñata for the 'outrage of the day/week when the truth leaks out...]

e] promised centrism…? You have got to be shitting me. Republicans ‘uncooperative’? Excuse them for not standing still for the gelding wire…the three that bent over? Any surprises when they were named? Not really.

Note to The Economist: everything is going as planned. The only difference between you ‘useful idiots’ and a sock puppet is: the puppet knows there’s a hand up it’s ass.

CPT. Charles on March 28, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Getalife-

still no answer ..do you get any money besides your monthly check to be the liar for this administration?

Jamson64 on March 28, 2009 at 10:53 AM

During the campaign, I attended couple of town meetings with Romney. I was just an ordinary citizen type. I had no special invites but I did have a question. This, as you know, was just before the melt down and housing went south. That had been my question. I planned to ask if he thought the housing and credit bubble might burst and what plans did he have concerning it. I was 3rd row from the front on the end–practically in front of the man and waving my arm frantically. He looked right at me several times but his folks with the mikes never came near. I realize now, that that audience was seeded with the proper questioners and questions. What’s the use of these silly forums if they don’t have the ecourage to take on all comers. All hail, Joe the Plumber. You made the cut.

jeanie on March 28, 2009 at 10:53 AM

He has never run a business, hired managed an employee or served in the military.

notagool on March 28, 2009 at 10:31 AM

well now he has hired some people

now we are in real trouble

Jamson64 on March 28, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Joe the Plumber saw this coming.

It’s astonishing, actually.

scalleywag on March 28, 2009 at 10:53 AM

However much people want to joke about it, or say it’s not true, the pitiful truth is Obama is all about Obama. He wants to be viewed as magnificent. Beyond that desire of his it’s very hard for me to see who he is, or what he stands for. Ergo, we are in deep ****.

As far as Geitner goes, remember when the mobster Frank Costello was questioned before Congress, and a Congressman asked him what good he’d ever done for his country, and he paused, searched his memory, and replied somewhat exasperatedly, “I pay my taxes”, and the chamber broke up in uproarious laughter. Laughter, because, we all pay our taxes, don’t we? That’s just a given! Because if you don’t, the govt will come after you.

Paul-Cincy on March 28, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Yes, doing what he said in the campaign that gave him a mandatw

getalife on March 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM

2004 election result: Bush 51% = “Country divided”

2008 election result: O’bama 52% = “mandate”.

Pass the bong, Spicoli.

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Zing x100

Jamson64 on March 28, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Yes, doing what he said in the campaign that gave him a mandate shocked some but he saved the economy.

getalife on March 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM

I invite you to revisit this post:

Good post, Ed.

3BP has a video that absolutely blasts Obama on the middle-class tax cut broken promise:

http://thirdbasepolitics.blogspot.com/2009/03/so-much-for-your-promises.html

DJ Tablesauce on March 28, 2009 at 10:12 AM

mikeyboss on March 28, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Go figure how “antipathy” became part of Obama’s vocabulary.

The One was criticized for his antipathy. And in true neo-liberal fashion (intolerant rather than tolerant), psychologically incapable of accepting responsibility, what applied to himself, rather than curing, Obama applies inappropriately upon his opponents. Misery loves company.

The only ones who fall for Obama’s lines suffer the same stunted mentality, stuck on stupid, psychologically incapable of accepting responsibility themselves, full of antipathy for their own Constitution, as though their own personal failings are the fault of others rather than themselves.

maverick muse on March 28, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Yes, doing what he said in the campaign that gave him a mandate shocked some but he saved the economy.
getalife on March 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM

You and Ogabe have a curious definition of “saved”. Ditto for “mandate”.

Bishop on March 28, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Economist got punked. Endorse/vote with your minds next time and not with school girl feelings…

RepubChica on March 28, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Yes, doing what he said in the campaign that gave him a mandatw

getalife on March 28, 2009 at 10:34 AM

He has no “mandate” fool . . . he had a simple majority and that’s quickly slipping away.

rplat on March 28, 2009 at 10:59 AM

U-6 unemployment (NSA), the broadest measure, stands at 16% already. Can you imagine what this country will be like if that number climbs to 25% or more with this man in charge? I just don’t know how much Obama it takes to break a nation–and I don’t want to find out.

flyfisher on March 28, 2009 at 10:17 AM

It’s worse than that already. Adjusted U-6 unemployment is now approaching 20% with a bullet.

econavenger on March 28, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Obama 365.

McCain 173.

Of course, when the gop destroyed the economy and country, the choice was clear.

Why you want them back in power to do it again is the definition of insanity.

getalife on March 28, 2009 at 11:02 AM

All hail, Joe the Plumber. You made the cut.

jeanie on March 28, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Like you, I’ll give Joe KUDOS!

Obama did NOT intend or expect to meet anyone with a brain (i.e., an opponent), and since approaching Joe, Obama has never spoken with anyone but his own people. Even @ press conferences, Obama checks his list before calling the next name from those subjects/questions pre-submitted to him.

Headline
WaPo: You don’t say.

maverick muse on March 28, 2009 at 11:04 AM

and more importantly, he’s black (so when we voted for him we proved how “cool” we all were), right Economists?

AZCoyote

Watch it there, friend. You’ll have The Race Card attacking you with all the fury of dryer lint.

SKYFOX on March 28, 2009 at 11:04 AM

LOL

Since when do Democraps support the electoral college? Quick, someone take a picture.

Limerick on March 28, 2009 at 11:04 AM

getalife on March 28, 2009 at 11:02 AM

You’re playing reruns now…btw…replied back to ur last silly post at the Glenn beck thread…run and go respond.

RepubChica on March 28, 2009 at 11:06 AM

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=92865

Still happening?

RealDemocrat on March 28, 2009 at 11:06 AM

I have faith you’ll eventually recognize the non-staffing tactic is to concentrate maximum crisis power in the hands of a few key players and quickly push their radical plan to remake our society. With no potentially disloyal people around, no one is in place to blow the whistle and resign in protest. They don’t want any more exposure by honest Judd Gregg types.

Later hires will just be implementers of a done deal with no stake in the decisions being made.

econavenger on March 28, 2009 at 10:48 AM

+1 Worth reading again.

maverick muse on March 28, 2009 at 11:07 AM

There’s plenty of disillusionment to go around. The Economist is not the sober publication I thought it was.

obladioblada on March 28, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3