President Obama has a pattern when it comes to his political rhetoric. If he talks about foreign policy, he tells the truth; if he talks about domestic policy, he lies. That's because President Obama feels that while the rest of the world deserves honesty, the American people can be manipulated for their own good.
Normally, President Obama has utilized this dichotomy of dissemblance to press for socialism, both foreign and domestic; that's what has made him a darling to the far-left press. Now, however, with his presidency hanging in the balance, President Obama is taking his domestic lying to a whole new level: he's posing as a conservative in order to retain his personal power.
Obama's supporters thought he was about the cause. Turns out he was really just about himself.
This week, President Obama embraced the core of conservative economics, signing off on the extension of the Bush tax cuts and doing Republicans one better by reducing wage-earners' Social Security payroll tax by 2 percent for one year. Democrats pledged to oppose the Obama plan.
"I can tell you with certainty that legislative blackmail of this kind by the Republicans will be opposed by many, if not most, Democrats," said Playboy devotee and Democrat Rep. John Conyers (Mich.). Radical Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said disappointment would be "an understatement."
They're justified in their anger. After all, this is a president who stated this about the Bush tax cuts in 2007: "people didn't need them, and they weren't even asking for them, and that's why they need to be less, so that we can pay for universal health care and other initiatives ... what people really want is fairness. They want people paying their fair share of taxes." Obama even disclaimed the use of tax cuts to help the economy in 2008, explaining that raising the capital gains tax would be useful, even if it hurt the economy "for purposes of fairness."
Yet now this president -- a man who says he is a principled advocate of liberal economics, who sees all cash as essential springing from government -- is a Laffer curve addict. While he said he sympathized with those who opposed the deal -- a typical Obama gambit meant to disarm his opposition -- he also noted, "The American people didn't send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories."
Asymmetrical Politics: Republicans Act Like an Unruly Mob, Democrats Like a Regimented Army | Michael Barone