During Wednesdays big speech, just as President Obama laid into Rep. Ryans Medicare reform proposal, Vice President Joe Biden skirmished with the Sandman. Zzzzz.
Obama wasnt boring, though. He had a theme.
As he explained it, the Tea Party Republicans have a pessimistic vision, their dream of America being a nightmare to him. They look at the future and see (as the prez put it) an America [that] cant afford to keep the promise weve made for our seniors or invest in education or clean energy or fix our roads or afford to do all the cool things done by South Korea, Brazil, and China.
Though the president explained, at length, how it came to pass that our government became disabled, he doesnt exactly connect the dots. As he sees it, the problem of continuous deficit spending isnt a spending problem, its a taxing problem. If only we had taxed more during the last decade. If only!
He mentioned previous unbalanced budgets — in the eighties, in the oughts — but he didnt see any point in mentioning all the waste in those budgets: on goofy projects, overpayments, duplicated efforts. He mentioned our wars, but not how ineffective theyve been, how never-ending theyre proving to be — including his own ongoing Libyan adventure that isnt shaping up to be the delegated, drive-thru, fly-over war hed promised.
Could todays widespread public pessimism, the fear we cannot pay for every political promise made by generations of pandering politicians, have something to do with not only the eternal limitations of government, but also with the sheer vastness of idiocy in recent times?
The latest exhibit was Mr. Obamas oration of love for Americas welfare state. To those on the right, who argue our president hates America, his speech refuted the charge entirely: Barack Obama loves this country, but only because of our welfare state. Ill go further, Mr. Obama proclaimed, we would not be a great country without those commitments to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security.