The most disturbing aspect of President Obama's "60 Minutes" interview is how sincere he sounded when misrepresenting his record. I'm not sure whether I would prefer that he be lying or self-deluded, but there's plenty of each to go around.
Obama is a left-wing ideologue, a true believer, who is convinced that his agenda is mandated by a superior moral imperative (from who knows where) and that it must be advanced irrespective of the consequences, because no matter how bad they might be, they would have been worse without his agenda.
Indeed, such is his blind faith that his policy failures reinforce rather than shatter his belief system, and he becomes more delusional the more he fails and has to rationalize those failures.
The upshot of his message to his interviewer, Steve Kroft, was that he deserves the highest marks for all "things that don't have to do with the economy and don't have to do with Congress."
So despite his muddled, ad hoc approach to foreign policy: his mistreatment of Israel, his pattern of insulting foreign leaders, his fair-weather support for some democratic movements and betrayal of others (Iran, Honduras), his manifest unpopularity in the Muslim world, and his gutting of our military defenses (F-22, our missile defenses and Europe's, and our nuclear arsenal) while China, Russia, Iran and others augment theirs, he claims that we are now respected again around the world and that we are stronger.
How about the economy? Well, he thinks that the people will come to see he's turned things around and saved us from a depression but that it's going to take a long time for a complete recovery because it took so long to get "us into this mess." So he believes he's even performed well on the economy, except a) he would have done even better had it not been for congressional Republicans, b) the people don't realize how well he's done because too many are still hurting, c) even if things are bad, it's Bush's fault or, if you prefer, it's because we're going through an economic disruption that occurs every 75 years, and d) whatever economic problems remain could be solved by pouring yet more money into education, green technology and the infrastructure. (I realize "d" makes less sense than any of them, but that's what his programmed mind always spits out, no matter the evidence.)
He insists he didn't overpromise, never mind his promises to find "good jobs for the jobless," to lower the oceans and keep unemployment at less than 8 percent. He takes credit for bending our health care cost curve down when it is now indisputable already -- even before the bulk of it has been implemented -- that Obamacare is greatly increasing health care costs.
He said he has offered a "very specific" and "very detailed" deficit reduction plan when everyone paying attention knows he offered generalities, with no real, concrete proposals for actually reducing spending, especially entitlement spending.
He said we could balance the budget by increasing taxes on the wealthy alone. Actually, his statement was more ludicrous than that. He said: "We ended up asking the wealthiest Americans to do a little bit more in terms of taxes. Going back to rates that would still be lower than they were under Ronald Reagan, our deficit problems would be solved." What? How is it possible we ended up with a chief executive who can make such preposterous assertions? Apart from the Reagan comparison, letting the Bush cuts for the highest income bracket expire would generate only about $70 billion a year (assuming a static economy), which is less than 5 percent of the deficit.
Amazingly, Obama admitted that his party and his base opposed entitlement reforms but that in his magnanimity, he agreed to work on them anyway. Well, that's big of him, but the truth is that he has steadfastly obstructed such reforms, which means he has steadfastly obstructed any possibility of balancing the budget and getting the national debt under control.
But there's an explanation for that, which is even more alarming. He doesn't think the deficit (or debt) is a major problem. He said, "The truth is that compared to other countries around the world, our deficit problems are completely manageable." That's why he wants another half-trillion-dollar stimulus.
Lest we think these anomalies are solely because of Obama's being a true believer rather than a hyper-partisan purveyor of falsehoods, note that he also told Kroft that Republicans are for "rolling back clean air and clean water laws," want to kill entitlements for seniors, and are focused on scoring political points rather than helping him solve problems; that only a handful of people are succeeding in this "you're-on-your-own economy"; that he is for broadening the tax base; and that he fully intends to proceed with his agenda through executive and administrative orders in contravention of Congress and the Constitution.
You just can't make this stuff up.