Guy Benson

Fish in a barrel after The One's unforced error:
 


 

"His slogan was 'Yes We Can;' his slogan now is, 'No I Can't.'  This is time for a new president...I'll get the job done."


The irony here is thick, as Katie mentioned yesterday.  This guy campaigned on the slogans Hope and Change, Yes We Can, and Change We Can Believe In.  That's a pretty big rhetorical pile of "can" and "change."  Now, after four years -- two of which featured large Democratic Congressional majorities -- he's thrown in the towel.  He's unable to deliver the change we can't believe in, apparently.  Liberals protest that it's unfair to blame him for this deficiency.  Oh, really?  The entire raison d'etre of his 2008 campaign was Obama the the post-partisan, fresh, pragmatic outsider who could finally pierce the Beltway bubble and bring about meaningful change.  That's why Hillary and McCain's experience didn't matter -- and was even cast as a mark against them (old guard, more of the same, etc).  By his own admission yesterday, that was all a naive pipe dream.  I'm not sure he ever fully believed it himself, but legions of his supporters certainly did.  Yet now we're not allowed to use his own 2008 slogan against him, even when he goes out of his way to mention that the vision of yesteryear lies in shambles?  If he gets re-elected, I await the chagrined interview he gives late in 2016, in which he sadly concedes that despite his best efforts, he just couldn't move the country forward.

You already know what I thought was the most significant line of his Univision appearance was, but Carol highlights another curious statement.  His self-assessed biggest failure was failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform?  I understand that politicians are known to pander from time to time, but this answer is actually insulting, for two reasons.  First, 23 million Americans are out of work or underemployed.  Household incomes are down sharply.  Poverty is at the highest rate in a generation.  People are really, really hurting, and things continue to look worrisome.  This president borrowed $825 Billion to spend on a wasteful and ineffective "stimulus" that failed on its own terms.  Unemployment is stuck at or above eight percent, as it has been for 43 straight months.  To call the lack of immigration legislation the biggest shortcoming of the last four years is callous wildly out of touch with the experience of most Americans.  Secondly, Obama's line is insulting to the intelligence of people who follow the immigration issue most closely.  Why?  Here's part of his answer:
 

"My biggest failure is that we haven't gotten comprehensive immigration reform done … but it's not for lacking of trying or desire," Obama said during the event at the BankUnited Center Field House on the University of Miami campus.


Actually, yes, it was for lack of trying.  Obama enjoyed huge Democrat Congressional majorities in 2009 and 2010.  And more than a handful of Republicans were eager to play ball on comprehensive immigration reform, as evidenced by the McCain-Kennedy tempest of 2007.  Had Obama prioritized this issue, he almost certainly could have accomplished something big.  Many conservatives may not have liked it, but that's the reality.  Do you remember any significant -- or even minor -- presidential push to craft a bill, whip votes, or persuade the public on this front?  No, you don't, because it didn't happen.  The president made his choices and decided to focus on other things.  Indeed, his most notable foray into immigration reform came this summer when he bypassed Congress and imposed a version of the DREAM Act by executive fiat.  In the process, he undercut a genuine bipartisan legislative effort to forge consensus on the issue.  Will Hispanics swallow the president's revisionism and tactless pandering, or will they see the cynicism for what it is?


Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography