After turning himself into a veritable caricature of the 1 percent he derides at every opportunity, President Obama has suddenly discovered his true calling: champion of the middle class.
The president made it clear that he is auditioning for this coveted role during that odd, TR-impersonating speech in Osawatomie, Kansas, when he of the $4 million Christmas vacation proclaimed, not untruthfully, that this is “make-or-break moment for the middle class.”
Not since Senator John Kerry windsurfed off the coast of Nantucket has the middle class had a more unlikely champion.
Still, Republicans must resist the temptation to pillory President Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ extravagant vacations and other indications of an unseemly sense of privilege. That could backfire, as the critics fail to concentrate on what really matters: the policies. The president's opponents must instead hammer home day and night that no administration in American history has done more to harm the middle class than the Obama administration.
If this is a make-or-break moment for the middle class—and it is, I agree, Mr. President—it is because the policies of the last three years threaten the middle class’s ability not just to thrive, but to hang on, while the hopes of those not yet in the middle class to climb upward are being dashed in a dead-end economy.
What does it take to get into or remain a part of the middle class? If you answered higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires, you are wrong. What it takes is a job, and the policies espoused by President Obama not only haven’t delivered a recovery, they have actively suppressed job creation.
If President Lyndon Johnson gave us the war on poverty, President Obama has given us the war on jobs. Where to start? The most obvious direct hits were the delay of the Keystone XL pipeline and the attempt of the Obama National Labor Relations Board to prevent Boeing from building a new plant in South Carolina, a right-to-work state. These are symbols of the Administration's habit of putting interest group politics above actual private sector growth. Less well-known, but more pernicious, are the regimes of regulations emanating from the executive branch, which make it more difficult for established businesses to do as well and even more difficult for new ones to be created.