For the president, the season is fall, when leaves and White House plans plummet to earth with equal abandon. In less than a week, three major Obama initiatives have fallen apart. And those three serve as the backdrop to Obama's latest attempt to get health care reform back on track. But no matter what he says Wednesday night, things are about to get worse for Barack Obama because the tea party patriots are back and coming to D.C. Sept. 12.
The 9-12 protests, as they are being called, aren't just focusing on Washington. Organizers vow, "We will be one voice, demanding that Congress restore fiscal responsibility to our national budget. We will remind Congress, the president, and our fellow citizens what limited government and free markets can do." They need the reminder. No one in D.C. remembers what that means.
According to Michael Patrick Leahy, one of the tea party organizers, "the 9-12 event in Washington will be but one of 100 such events throughout the country where grassroots Americans speak out." He ought to know. He's speaking at one in Illinois.
The major media and the White House pretty much ignored the tea parties the last time - until they decided to bash them. But the momentum of protest is on the right side, so this event could have even more impact knocking the Obama express off track.
For the administration, this latest round of protest couldn't come in a worse season. The most recent round of Obama's failing presidency started Friday with the latest unemployment numbers. There are 216,000 more people who don't believe White House claims about the economy. That's the number of jobs lost last month, taking the total for Obama's brief reign to more than 3 million. Unemployment continues to rise - now at 9.7 percent.
That news is bad enough, but the administration makes it worse. The White House claims "the recovery act is working." They consistently celebrate the $787 billion stimulus package as being, well, stimulating.
Many unemployed know this to be bogus. Even Minnesota's New Flyer bus factory that VP Joe Biden had promoted as "an example of the future" laid off 320 people. Who knew Biden would finally be correct about something - in just six months? New Flyer is a good example of the future where unemployment is predicted to hit over 10 percent, and the pricey U.S. stimulus isn't doing nearly as well as less expensive stimulus packages in saner nations.
One day later, Obama's Van ran out of gas. After weeks of information about just how goofy Obama's green jobs czar really is, Jones resigned in the middle of the night. I say "information," because the only news outlet that covered how bad a whack job Jones is was Fox News. The broadcast networks and top newspapers weren't just late to the party, they didn't even show up. And Jones snuck out of town more desperately than anyone since the despised Irsay family stole the Baltimore Colts - also in the middle of the night.
Sneaky politicians bury their mistakes on a Friday afternoon. The sleazy Obama administration deep-sixed this embarrassment at midnight on a Saturday night. That's about as much transparency as I can handle. Anything more and they would have given Gibbs a broom and made him literally sweep Jones under the rug.
That coincided with the public relations fiasco of Obama's speech to the schools. It's great to have a president care for kids. It's appalling to have him use them. The conservative reaction hit Obama so hard, he backed off of some of his lesson plan for the schools. Even that redo came from White House aides.
There is no subtlety in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue these days.
And all that takes us to this week - another Obama speech and another conservative protest. Both sides are lining up their best arguments to beat the other. Even The New York Times, one of the biggest Obama cheerleaders, said "Obama faces what friends and foes alike call a make-or-break moment in his young administration." By "friends," they mean the Times and "foes," pretty much anybody who's not a hardcore Democrat.
That's right. Obama's core constituency is about all he can count on - and not even that. The so-called progressives want Obama to take a hard left that would alienate conservatives, moderates and independents.
With summer ending, you might think we'd be moving into fall. But it looks like the winter of Obama's discontent.
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