The phrase made famous by Bill Clinton’s political campaign has a habit of creeping back into the conversation. It happened again when the former President made two statements to the press that appeared to undermine the sitting President. Clinton first said that he thought the US was now back in recession given the falling economic data. And then to add injury to the insult, they said he thought the ‘Bush era tax cuts’ should all be extended ‘for a little while’.
The views are contrary to President Obama’s so they seem almost deliberately off-message if the goal is to help the president in his struggle to be re-elected. Yet, just as the phrase rang true in the 1992 campaign against George Bush the elder, they have the added advantage of being the truth twenty years later in this 2012 campaign.
To be fair to the President’s lament too often repeated—-‘we inherited this mess’ we will all concede that digging out of the hole created by the great recession has not been easy. But the President’s policies and the hard left partisan way he won them and is implementing them have not helped make things better faster. So now he is being tormented and the gum of a gummed up economy is sticking to his shoes.
There are many ironies in this evolution of events:
- How’s that Hopey Changey Thing Working out? The President we voted for in 2008 because as historic a figure as he was, we also wanted to believe badly in the ‘Hope and Change’ he championed. It was the right message at the right time from the right person. But after the election hope and change turned into a nasty ‘I won’ persona that was NOT what we voted for.
- The World Still Wants the US to Lead. The world’s leaders may not have liked George W Bush but they did not doubt his resolve. Four years later America’s resolve seems in retreat conveniently responding to our war weariness. But we have watched this movie before and it didn’t turn out well. A weaker America makes for a more dangerous world where the bad boys in every neighborhood take advantage of the vacuum to occupy the turf. The same is true in global economics, a weak America can lead to pneumonia elsewhere. It is tough to lead from the bottom of the debt hole we have dug for ourselves, but lead we must especially if first Europe, now China and maybe America is slipping back into recession.
- We Still Want Hope and Change! Having put away his hope and change super-cape, it is tough for the president to argue now he had it on all the time. We are not THAT stupid. So while we once believed, and we still want to believe—-we no longer truly believe that the guy who brought us to the hope and change dance will dance with us if we renew his lease for another four years. The President has squandered his best opportunity.
And then there is this irony.
George W. Bush whom the president has spent the last four years blaming and vilifying has kept his mouth shut and taken the President’s abuse true to his word not to speak ill of his successor. Meanwhile the former President of the president’s own party appears by his side, expresses support for him even while periodically stabbing him in the back with his statements to remind him who the big dog in the Democrat party is.
- Where’s George W Bush? How a two-term president became the quiet man of US politics (telegraph.co.uk)
One of the great ironies of the early 21st century will be how our soaring national pride in the election of Barack Obama as America’s first black president and our hopes for his success turned into buyers’ remorse as the President abandoned his inspiring, positive message of audacious hope that got him elected in favor of policies of profligate spending, over-reaching government intrusion, and crushing waves of new regulation as if they were the rightful spoils of his election success. This was decidedly not the change we hoped for.
America did not change or “get soft” as the President recently put it, the President’s own policies have failed him and failed us—and now he projects his own failure on us. We’re not buying it any more.
Whether we agreed with all the President’s political views we gave him the benefit of the doubt but time has shown us what we feared most—this is not working. But as the 2012 election approaches and the President’s popularity sinks steadily in the opinion polls he seems unwilling or unable to moderate his policies.
Why would an obviously smart guy like Barack Obama crash and burn like this?
And don’t play the ‘’ on us, as would say. The President’s failure has nothing to do with race and neither does our criticism of failed policies, worsening conditions and lost confidence. As Americans we want—and need our president to succeed. A large share of our current results from falling confidence in our national ability to dig out of this hole. But the President keeps digging our economic hole deeper.
The reality of a failed Presidency is slowing sinking in. The problem now is all thecandidates are so busy trashing each other that they are missing their best opportunity to be “the one” who will inspire us anew. We don’t need for any of them to run “against the President” and spend their time criticizing him—he is self destructing on his own. We need them to tell us what they plan to do to dig us out of this hole! They need to persuade us they won’t us like President Obama did. We’re looking for a new President who can actually be an effective President.
- Gary Shapiro: Three Things Obama Can Do to Win Re-Election (huffingtonpost.com)
- Barack Obama: European banking failure fuelling US economic crisis (telegraph.co.uk)
- Bob Burnett: There Is No Political Middle Ground (huffingtonpost.com)
That was the story from an Al Gore video interview published recently on UStream TV online. Obviously it was designed to be provocative because the climate change folks have little left in their arsenal after climategate revealed that the global warming theory was based upon “cooked” science, academic bullying and bravado.
Al Gore is a smart guy and surely he realizes he cannot resurrect the once frenzied concern about global warming, err—climate crisis, err—climate change (insert politically correct name du jour here) so easily. So he’s doing what has worked before in so many political campaigns—he’s playing the race card, as Bill Clinton might say. But having seen that dirty trick used before we no longer accept it as fact.
Al Gore can still get headlines with his bombastic rhetoric but mostly on slow news days these days. The video is likely to haunt Al Gore someday soon much like the old wizard revealed behind the curtain as a trickster.
But unlike Dorothy who believed, we no longer believe.
The Daily Caller picked up this story and ran it on one of its slow news days when nothing more could possibly be said about President Obama’s vacation. But if Gore did the interview, as he claimed, to try to reclaim the conversation from the skeptics it did not appear to be working out too well for him by judging from the comments posted.
We do know this: The more interviews Al Gore gives on this topic the less we believe it.
- Al Gore and the silencing of debate (usapartisan.com)
- Al Gore: Climate Denial Must Go the Way of Racism (treehugger.com)
- Al Gore – When Being A Lying Deuchebag Just Isn’t Enough (hooglyboogly.co)
- Al Gore Compares Climate Change Skeptics To Civil Rights Era Racists (thenewspundit.com)