“President Barack Obama said on Monday he inherited much of the country’s problems with high debt and deficits when he entered the White House, sounding a theme likely to dominate his 2012 re-election campaign…

“‘We do have a serious problem in terms of debt and deficit, and much of it I inherited,’ Obama said. The financial crisis, he said, made the problem worse.”

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“Barack Obama is not a skillful strategist like Bill Clinton. He is not a gifted rhetorician like Ronald Reagan. Nor is he a bold and inspiring leader like Abraham Lincoln. And he can’t seem to shake himself loose from the strings that attach him to the trial lawyers, to big labor, and, surprisingly, to the standard banker-economists who got us into the mess we are in now. But he is an honest man. He is intelligent, analytical, and knowledgeable. And he tries hard to think through the dilemmas which confront us and to tell us clearly and straightforwardly what he wants to do and why he wants to do it.

“But it doesn’t seem to work…

“Where can we find leadership that fits today’s circumstances, as Obama’s cool, rational approach and clear-headed rhetoric apparently do not?”

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“The real conundrum is why the president seems so compelled to take both sides of every issue, encouraging voters to project whatever they want on him, and hoping they won’t realize which hand is holding the rabbit. That a large section of the country views him as a socialist while many in his own party are concluding that he does not share their values speaks volumes — but not the volumes his advisers are selling: that if you make both the right and left mad, you must be doing something right…

“The most charitable explanation is that he and his advisers have succumbed to a view of electoral success to which many Democrats succumb — that ‘centrist’ voters like ‘centrist’ politicians. Unfortunately, reality is more complicated. Centrist voters prefer honest politicians who help them solve their problems. A second possibility is that he is simply not up to the task by virtue of his lack of experience and a character defect that might not have been so debilitating at some other time in history. Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted ‘present’ (instead of ‘yea’ or ‘nay’) 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues…

“Or perhaps, like so many politicians who come to Washington, he has already been consciously or unconsciously corrupted by a system that tests the souls even of people of tremendous integrity, by forcing them to dial for dollars — in the case of the modern presidency, for hundreds of millions of dollars. When he wants to be, the president is a brilliant and moving speaker, but his stories virtually always lack one element: the villain who caused the problem, who is always left out, described in impersonal terms, or described in passive voice, as if the cause of others’ misery has no agency and hence no culpability. Whether that reflects his aversion to conflict, an aversion to conflict with potential campaign donors that today cripples both parties’ ability to govern and threatens our democracy, or both, is unclear.”

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“But even if Obama can win, the crucial question is, Can he win big enough to change the GOP? The single factor most contributing to American decline is the Republican Party’s theological opposition to raising taxes, a theology with Ronald Reagan as its patron saint, even though Reagan himself raised taxes several times as president…

“Obama’s real challenge, therefore, is not merely to win, but to win convincingly enough that he provokes a reassessment on the other side of the aisle, a Republican version of the Democratic Leadership Council that challenged liberal orthodoxies in the wake of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s victories in the 1980s. Unless that happens, Americans may be living with the politics of decline for a very long time.”

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“Many commonsense Americans like myself saw this day coming. In fact, in June 2010, Rick Santelli articulated the view of independent Tea Party patriots everywhere when he shouted on CNBC, ‘I want the government to stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending! Stop spending! STOP SPENDING!’ So, how shamelessly cynical and dishonest must one be to blame this inevitable downgrade on the very people who have been shouting all along ‘stop spending’? Blaming the Tea Party for our credit downgrade is akin to Nero blaming the Christians for burning Rome. Tea Party Americans weren’t the ones ‘fiddling’ while our country’s fiscal house was going up in smoke. In fact, we commonsense fiscal conservatives were the ones grabbing for the extinguishers while politically correct politicians and their cronies buried their heads in what soon became this bonfire…

“Be wary of the efforts President Obama makes to ‘fix’ the debt problem. The more he tries to ‘fix’ things, the worse they get because his ‘solutions’ always involve spending more, taxing more, growing government, and increasing debt. This debt problem is the greatest challenge facing our country today. Obviously, President Obama doesn’t have a plan or even a notion of how to deal with it. His press conference today was just a rehash of his old talking points and finger-pointing. That’s why he can’t be re-elected in 2012.”

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Via Mediaite.

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Via the Daily Caller.