Never forget, “leadership” isn’t following the people where they want to go, towards an economic recovery. “Leadership” is leading the people where they need to go, towards the various wishlist items placed on Obama’s agenda by the Democratic coalition’s left-wing special interests. You want jobs and deficit reduction, but what you need is more gun control and amnesty. You unwashed dummies.
Here’s the perfect complement to Ross Douthat’s column yesterday about how often our man-of-the-people president’s priorities diverge from the people’s.
After all, gun control, immigration reform and climate change aren’t just random targets of opportunity. They’re pillars of Acela Corridor ideology, core elements of Bloombergism, places where Obama-era liberalism overlaps with the views of Davos-goers and the Wall Street 1 percent. If you move in those circles, the political circumstances don’t necessarily matter: these ideas always look like uncontroversial common sense.
Step outside those circles, though, and the timing of their elevation looks at best peculiar, at worst perverse. The president decided to make gun control legislation a major second-term priority … with firearm homicides at a 30-year low. Congress is pursuing a sharp increase in low-skilled immigration … when the foreign-born share of the American population is already headed for historical highs. The administration is drawing up major new carbon regulations … when actual existing global warming has been well below projections for 15 years and counting.
What’s more, on the issues that Americans actually prioritize — jobs, wages, the economy — it’s likely that both immigration reform and whatever the White House decides to do on greenhouse gases will make the short-term picture somewhat worse.
With gun-control momentarily off the table and amnesty headed for choppy waters in the House, it’s time to seize the day and get rolling on another top liberal priority that falls way, way down the list for everyone else in America of stuff the government should be worried about right now. Go take a look at Pew’s poll from January, flagged by Douthat himself, of America’s wishlist for policy action. What’s in the bottom five? What’s the absolute rock bottom?
The One’s approval rating today at Gallup, incidentally, is 45/49, the worst it’s been in a long time. Between today’s bipartisan amnesty debacle and the fact that Republicans somehow can’t figure out how to take advantage of him jerking around with these liberal diversions from kitchen-table issues, maybe it really is time for a third party. Exit question: Have we actually reached the point where the White House is putting out trailers for Obama’s speeches?