Obama has delivered ‘change that we believed in’ (Obama says)
posted at 2:53 pm on November 15, 2011 by Howard Portnoy
In December of 2009, a guest on an Oprah Winfrey Christmas special was asked to grade the Obama administration’s performance at roughly the one-year mark. Without hesitation, the guest responded, “Good, solid B-plus.”
The response may have seemed disingenuous to viewers with an awareness that the president’s $800 billion stimulus had failed to keep the unemployment rate below 8% as promised or that Congress was locked in partisan gridlock despite Obama’s promise to usher in an era of post-partisanship inside the Beltway.
Then again, considering the source of that grade—Obama—the inflated self-assessment was hardly surprising.
Nor should it come as that much of a surprise that he is still engaged in blatant self-promotion. Despite misstep after misstep, failure upon failure, he told a crowd in his home state of Hawaii that he has delivered “change that you can believe in” during his first term in office.
In explaining the many ways in which he made good on his promise (while carefully circumventing the ways in which he has not), Obama also shared his unique vision of America. His, he told those gathered, is not a
narrow, cramped vision of an America where everybody is left to fend for themselves. It was a vision of a big, generous, bold America, where we look out for one another. An America where everybody has a shot—where everybody, if they work hard, if they take care of their responsibilities, if they look after their families, that they can get their piece of the American Dream.
The statement is as curious as it is revealing. It betrays an ignorance of the fact that Americans are among the most charitable people on the planet and were so before Barack Obama became president. His characterization of an America where “everybody is left to fend for themselves” as “narrow” and “cramped” reflects his refusal to believe in self-reliance and underscores his profound belief in a cradle-to-grave nanny state. Either way, his vision contradicts the last sentence of the quotation, which espouses the virtues of hard work and responsibility as keys to achieving the American Dream, neither of which derive from government.
When Obama turns to specific examples of the changes that he effected, his thinking becomes even more addled, his ideas more self-serving. He boasts of the auto industry bailouts (which cost American taxpayers $14 billion and whose wisdom is still a topic of hot debate) and of the passage of ObamaCare (a law so odious and overreaching that 56% of Americans want it repealed).
He speaks proudly of “bringing the war in Iraq to a close” despite warnings from his own Pentagon officials and senior military commanders that a total troop pullout may undo a decade of sacrifice in lives and treasure. As always, the idea of “winning” the war—as opposed to just “ending” it—goes unmentioned.
A “change” Obama also fails to mention is the openness and transparency he would bring to government, a promise he claimed he had fulfilled a year into his presidency. In this video from January of 2010, he tells a group of believers:
We have put in place the toughest ethics laws and toughest transparency rules of any administration in history. In history! By the way, this is the first administration since the founding of the country where all of you can find out who visited the White House. First time in history. And that’s just one example. [Emphasis added]
Yet, when the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a DC-based watchdog group, attempted to take Obama up on his offer and filed a FOIA request for White House visitor records in 2009, their request was turned down flat. Since then a federal judge has upheld the request. And the White House, true to form, has filed an appeal.
Change you can believe in?
- White House stonewalls on Solyndra: disobeys House subpoena
- Obama’s myth of transparency: game, match, set
- Obama to stimulate economy through executive power grab
- Obama’s ‘most’ problem
- Should the GOP use the nuclear option to kill ObamaCare?
- Obama: Nobody succeeds without government’s help
- Obama administration fights to keep WH visitor logs secret
- Obama has made good on his promise
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