I take no great pleasure in having been correct in predicting Barack Obama's reaction to his Tuesday "shellacking." To borrow his terminology, he is wired not to hear the American people's opposition to his radical agenda, as painfully demonstrated in his postelection news conference.
Unhappily, Obama's answers showed even deeper intransigence than I had thought he would be willing to reveal. He is every bit as committed to his destructive agenda as he was Nov. 1 and, despite his claims, is not looking for "common ground."
He said that every election "is a reminder that in our democracy, power rests not with those of us in elected office, but with the people we have the privilege to serve." But if anyone needs to be reminded of that, it is he, because he crammed through Obamacare and other offensive agenda items against the express will of the people.
As it happened, power rested with him, not the people. He saw to that by breaking all the rules to push the measures through. And when asked whether he has any regrets about doing so, he said no. He regrets the process wasn't "healthier," but "the outcome was a good one." Translation: "Though I just said power resides with the people, I didn't mean it, as you can see by my cynical absence of contrition at having usurped their power on this bill." Again, the end justifies the means, and the people don't know what's good for them.
Moreover, he emphatically refuses to consider repealing Obamacare, saying "we'd be misreading the election if we thought that the American people want to see us for the next two years re-litigate arguments that we had over the last two years." Sorry, but there was no litigation in the first place, just a kangaroo court where he imposed his will on us like a tyrannical judge. But he's correct that we don't want to argue anymore about it. We want it repealed -- yesterday!
He said, "The most important contest we face is not the contest between Democrats and Republicans ... (but) between America and our economic competitors around the world." Assuming, for purposes of argument, that our greatest challenge is with foreign economic competitors, we'll never improve our competitive position as long as Obama insists on bankrupting the nation with policies that also depress our economic growth. In that sense, the contest is between Democrats and Republicans.
Throughout the conference, Obama kept reiterating his tired lament that we need to build consensus and work together to achieve "civility." That's "the overwhelming message" he heard from the voters. And he promises to alleviate their concerns by proving there are pressing areas on which the parties can agree, such as electric cars. Boy, that's a relief.
His interpretation of the voters' message strikes me as odd. The overwhelming message I heard was that people are scared to death of this mounting debt and the socialization of health care and other sectors of the economy.
Especially coming from this intransigent "superjumbo Democrat," this constant talk about consensus is very hard to take, particularly when he cites areas such as "transparency," a promise he campaigned on and serially obliterated. Consensus is way overrated in the first place, but it's patently ridiculous for him to pretend he even aspires to it. It's his policies that people are most horrified by, not the lack of smooching across the partisan aisle.
Indeed, Obama outright rejects the idea that voters repudiated his agenda. Read the transcript if you doubt that. Just as he's been saying for a year or more, Americans are simply frustrated that economic recovery isn't occurring more quickly. But it is occurring, mind you, just not fast enough for the ignorant, impatient electorate.
He is convinced beyond the slightest reflection that his pump priming with borrowed money from the private sector is the only thing that saved us from a depression; never mind that the unemployment rate persists much higher than he promised. So we mustn't bother him further with our silly concerns about the mounting debt, because he saved us from an "emergency." As nothing will ever disabuse him of that myth, it's pointless for us even to approach him about compromising on his major economic policies.
When we have a president who believes that the government, not the private sector, creates jobs and who believes that extending unemployment benefits ad infinitum is not only the compassionate thing to do but also the healthiest thing for the economy, where can you begin?
I'll tell you where you don't begin: in the quixotic pursuit of a consensus that he has no intention of achieving. Neither should we have such an intention. This is a war of ideas, and we must suit up for battle.