Obama ran on a platform of unmitigated optimism -- a promise to usher in a brighter day for America. But there could hardly be a greater contrast between his pledge and his performance in office, between his commitment to the nation and his current abandonment of all hope. He has breached his contract with the electorate and must be fired.
It isn't just that Obama's policies have failed; it's that he has essentially given up and is asking us to accept a lesser America going forward, as if resigned to the fatalistic belief that America has begun an inevitable and unavoidable decline.
His policies are smothering the economy. He isn't merely denying the allergy-induced asthma patient her breathing treatment; he is holding his hand over her mouth and suffocating her. But he is also using his bully pulpit to proliferate despair, because to claim he's working against ineluctably destructive forces is the only remaining excuse he can offer after 3 1/2 years of blaming Bush.
He is basically saying, "Look, I know we aren't so prosperous as we once were, but that's just the way it's going to be from now on, so you might as well re-elect me, because at least I'm realistic about it and I will make the pain more tolerable by redistributing it throughout the body politic in a more equitable manner."
He wants the voters to believe that 8 percent unemployment is the new 5 percent. He actually boasts that he is the most frugal president in the past 60 years, using the tortured logic that because he "inherited" a $1 trillion deficit, he should be praised as long as his deficits don't get too much above $1 trillion -- as if $1 trillion deficits are the new balanced budget.
A president who believed that America's greatness is recoverable and expandable -- a chief executive determined to lead us back to national restoration -- would reject the crippling notions of national impotency that Obama has embraced. He would seek to inspire a sense of mission in the people to restore American prosperity.
But for Obama to do that would be tantamount to conceding his failures. For him to embark on a true message of hope and change, he would have to campaign against his own deplorable record and chart a new course. Instead, he's taken the easy way out: resignation and despair, coupled with a relentless propaganda effort to convince voters, in essence, that our best times are behind us.