The Travel Channel had an “extreme” marathon this weekend – Extreme Waterparks, Extreme Terror Rides, Extreme Restaurants, etc. In the Extreme Towns episode, there was a segment on the town of Metropolis, Illionois, featuring a picture of Barack Obama standing in the Superman pose in front of the town’s 15-foot tall, 2-ton bronze Superman statue. The image reminded me of the superhero status the President had enjoyed as recently as eight months ago and it made me think about the kryptonite that brought him down to earth.
Is it true that, as Obama’s supporters claim, “special interests with a stake in the status quo” have acted as the kryptonite that has weakened the once seemingly invincible Obama? Or are the American people, organized into “angry mobs” across the country, responsible for his fall to earth?
The kryptonite that has caused Obama’s approval numbers to drop 20 points since his inauguration is not a group of people or powerful interests. Truth has been Obama’s kryptonite – truth and reality. The reality of President Obama’s actions has not lived up to the “hope” candidate Super Obama sold to voters. Candidate Super Obama made many promises pertaining to transparency. On his transition website he promised "a new level of transparency, accountability and participation for America's citizens." The reality of his presidency has fallen far short of those promises.
Candidate Super Obama told voters when he was president, “the days of [corporate lobbyists] setting the agenda in Washington” would be over because “they won't find a job in my White House.” In reality, by the end of January Obama had already named over a dozen recent lobbyists to staff positions in the White House.
Candidate Super Obama said as president he would put any bill that crossed his desk online for five days so that voters could review it before he signed it. In reality, that promise has been broken by President Obama more than once, most notably when the record breaking “stimulus” bill was rushed through the congress before there was even time for those voting on it to read it, only to have it sit over the weekend before President Obama signed it. And that was not the only promise broken with passage of the stimulus bill.
In February, when Super Obama was still enjoying high public approval, he bragged about passing a recovery plan free of earmarks, but shortly thereafter signed what he called an "imperfect" spending bill that included more than 8,500 earmarks. Also by February, he had already broken his promise to not raise taxes on anyone who makes less than $250,000. The reality of the Obama administration became even clearer during the health care debate.