After despairing a bit earlier today about whether the GOP candidates have what it takes to beat President Barack Obama in November 2012 — and after censuring Mitt Romney and Rick Perry for revealing fantastic egos last night by their knee-jerk defensiveness, I think it only fair that I also call out Not The One for his persistent arrogance.
In an exclusive interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper, Obama essentially said that, if he could redo the first few years of his presidency, he wouldn’t have made a single decision differently.
“I guarantee it’s going to be a close election [in 2012] because the economy is not where it wants to be and, even though I believe all the choices we’ve made have been the right ones, we’re still going through difficult circumstances,” the president said.
Sheesh. More power to a person for confidence and conviction, but no doubts? No second guesses? No mistakes to regret or amend? Must be nice.
Let’s focus on just one of the major messes Obama has made. I’ll pick Obamacare, because, in his interview with Tapper, O explicitly doubled down on his support for it, a cumbersome and over-reaching piece of legislation if ever there was one.
“The health care bill that we passed is absolutely the right thing to do, but it’s going to take a while before it’s even fully implemented, much less taken full effect,” he said.
Absolutely the right thing to do? The president must have forgotten the circumstances of its passage because, elsewhere in the interview, he implies that legislators ought to be responsive to the will of the people. If he’s to have any credibility at all as he pleads for passage of the American Jobs Act on the basis that a majority of Americans supposedly support the individual elements of his proposal, then he has to at least admit it was a mistake to pass the most unpopular entitlement program in U.S. history against the clear mandate of the electorate.
As the debt ceiling debate and now the president’s push for jobs have captured national attention, Obamacare has slipped into the peripheral vision of politicians, pundits and the American people. Even the GOP candidates — with the exception of Michele Bachmann and possibly Rick Santorum — recite their commitment to repeal with only about as much energy and fervor as the average third-grader reciting multiplication tables.
The administration’s confusion about the CLASS Act has helped to revive the topic somewhat, but the scandal of its original inclusion in Obamacare and the hypocrisy of its repeal now has been obscured somewhat by the wonkishness of the topic.
Yet, PPACA remains just as likely as ever to increase healthcare costs and reduce patient choice. Perhaps even more pertinent to the subject of Obama’s rhetoric, the repeal of Obamacare remains an important component of “putting people back to work,” which the president maintains is his No. 1 priority these days. New taxes and the employer mandate included in Obamacare have already cost and will continue to cost the country jobs it desperately needs right now. Don’t forget that plenty of small-business owners have admitted they’d rather not hire more workers if hiring more employees means they’ll have to pay more than they can afford to provide health insurance for all of them.
Remembering just how wretched a piece of legislation PPACA really is puts the 2012 elections into better perspective for me. I can say again, with a little more heft behind it this time, that any of the GOP frontrunners would be better than the guy we have now. Obamacare also reminds me … Senate and House races are just as important as the presidential. We just can’t afford any more of these “right” choices.
Update: Guy Benson unleashes a litany of the president’s “perfect” decisions. Here, a partial excerpt, but don’t miss the whole list!
All the choices, Mr. President? All of them? What about…
The choice to appoint multiple tax cheats to your cabinet, including your current Treasury Secretary?
The choice to keep insisting on closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, even though the public opposes this prospect — which was repeatedly blocked by a Democratic Congress?
The choice to throw a lavish birthday party for yourself, replete with a barefoot Conga line through the White House, as the threat of a national credit downgrade cast a shadow over the country.
The choice to file a lawsuit against Arizona’s law that authorizes state and local officials to help the federal government fulfill its woefully unfulfilled responsibilities — and that your Attorney General admitted he’d never read, even as he publicly denounced it.