For those who argue that Obama deserves a second chance at proving he's not at war with American business and the free market, I ask what he has done to indicate he's changed his philosophy that drives that war.
It's admirable to give people the benefit of the doubt in personal relationships, but we are talking about more than a personal relationship here and have a responsibility not to ignore the evidence. That evidence tells us that he is still an intractable left-wing ideologue committed to destructive progressive policy prescriptions.
Most liberals, such as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, understand that Obama's gestures toward the center during his State of the Union speech will be just that, gestures. They know that by invoking the vernacular of the right -- e.g., promoting competitiveness -- Obama will merely be engaged in what Krugman calls "packaging."
But the left is not Obama's target audience. His goal is to convince moderates and some credulous conservatives that he is willing to move to the center so that he can acquire the political capital to do precisely the opposite.
Has Obama once acknowledged that his policies haven't worked, but have driven the nation further into the financial abyss? Has he ever apologized for any policy failure?
He said that we needed his nearly trillion-dollar stimulus package to "jump-start the economy" and "put people back to work" and that if implemented, it would prevent unemployment from going above 8 percent. When his stimulus failed to stimulate and unemployment soared and remained way above 8 percent, he didn't say, "Oops, sorry I wasted your children's money. I'd better have a course correction."
Instead, he said President Bush left us an even worse mess than he'd told us before, as if it's conceivable that he could have bad-mouthed Bush worse than he had. Obama said that he actually didn't spend enough money and that he needed $50 billion more to spend on infrastructure, all the while insisting he was committed to fiscal responsibility.
He also retrospectively invented this blame-avoiding device of claiming he'd been employing a two-phased approach from the beginning: First he would save the economy; next he would create jobs.
But are we all supposed to have amnesia? He never told us that "saving the economy" would involve a bifurcated process. He wouldn't have dared to make such an absurd claim, because everyone knows that you can't divorce jobs from a proper evaluation of economic performance.