…Reality, however, is pulling the campaign in a much different direction. The collapse in people's confidence in President Obama's ability to "manage" the US economy suggests that the president's "control of the narrative" (as political consultants might say) of the coming campaign is at best diminished and at worst lost. PEGGY NOONAN HAS WRITTEN ANY NUMBER OF COLUMNS EARLIER THIS YEAR SAYING THAT THE NATION'S ELECTORATE WAS TUNING PRESIDENT OBAMA OUT. THAT JUDGMENT NOW SEEMS PRESCIENT. IT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAS HAPPENED. AND IT'S GETTING WORSE.
There are a number of reasons why this is so, but principal among them has been the OBAMA TEAM'S WILLFUL MISREADING OF THE FACTS ON THE GROUND. Told by the Massachusetts electorate (in the special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Edward Kennedy) to STOP FOCUSING ON HEALTH CARE AND START FOCUSING ON JOB CREATION SCHEMES, THE ADMINISTRATION WENT FULL STEAM AHEAD ON HEALTH CARE. Told by Jacksonian American voters and his most able and experienced national security advisors to NOT GET INVOLVED IN LIBYA, OBAMA BLUNDERED INTO THE "DAYS, NOT WEEKS" WAR. Faced with mounting alarm about the huge increase in national debt (to say nothing of unfunded liabilities), OBAMA PROPOSED EXACTLY NOTHING TO DEAL WITH IT; IN THE SHORT TERM, THE MEDIUM TERM OR THE LONG TERM. It's been a while since we have seen an Administration so completely out of step with the American electorate.
Perhaps most disconcerting of all, reality-wise, THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF IMAGINED THAT HE WAS GOING TO RUN A RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN THAT REPRISED THE REAGAN "MORNING IN AMERICA" CAMPAIGN OF 1984. He really thought that the turnaround would begin in earnest in 2011 and expand into 2012, thus enabling him to say that he had seen us through the worst and was now leading us to a great and glorious future…
Obama thought he could spend his way to prosperity. This is a progressive’s dream—the free lunch. I remember how frustrated Bill Clinton was when his advisors told him he couldn’t have a huge stimulus and needed to rein in spending.
How to Scare Voters
“It’s been a long, tough journey. But we have made some incredible strides together. Yes, we have. But the thing that we all ought to remember is that as much as good as we have done, precisely because the challenges were so daunting, precisely because we we were inheriting so many challenges, that WE’RE NOT EVEN HALFWAY THERE YET. WHEN I SAID ‘CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN’ I DIDN’T SAY ‘CHANGE WE COULD BELIEVE IN TOMORROW.’ NOT CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN NEXT WEEK. WE KNEW THIS WAS GOING TO TAKE TIME BECAUSE WE’VE GOT THIS BIG, MESSY, TOUGH DEMOCRACY,”
President Obama said at a campaign fundraiser in Chicago on Wednesday night [August 3]….
Now this is scary. He actually believes he will be reelected. I did like the question that the author asked, “If this is “halfway there,” can you imagine what ‘there’ will be?”
Whose Idea Was Martha’s Vineyard?
WHOEVER IN THE WHITE HOUSE DECIDED ON ANOTHER FIRST FAMILY VACATION AT MARTHA’S VINEYARD MUST BE UNHINGED, coming as it does (a) after previous jaunts to places like Vail and Costa del Sol, and serial golf outings; (b) in the midst of tough economic times and bipartisan acknowledgment that national cutbacks for the vast majority of Americans are in order; (c) ON THE HEELS OF THREE YEARS OF CLASS WARFARE AND ANTI-WEALTH DEMAGOGUERY OF THE “FAT-CAT,” “UNNEEDED INCOME,” “SPREAD THE WEALTH” SORT; and (d) during a presidential approval slide that seems to be based, at least in part, on the fact that the president’s usual rhetoric has nothing to do with reality, that he suggests one thing while doing quite another….
He really made a mistake here. Martha’s Vineyard and the mansion he is staying at screams to the rest of us, “Let them eat cake.” There’s a new O in Obama’s brand: “Out of touch, Out of bounds, and Out of his mind.”
California’s problem? Not Taxing Businesses Enough
Taking a break from leading his city down the path of economic decline, THE MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES LECTURES THE STATE ON HOW TO SQUEEZE MORE TAX REVENUE OUT OF BUSINESS.
Given his track record, ANTONIO VILLARAIGOSA hardly seems the one to give advice on how to get California moving again. His city, where he's been chief executive for six years, has been a drag on the state. ITS JOBLESS RATE (13.9% IN 2010) PUTS IT AT NO. 44 WORST AMONG THE NATION'S 50 LARGEST CITIES.
But to this mayor, leading a once-booming city deeper into decline must be some sort of credential. So there he was at the state capital on Tuesday, delivering a heavily promoted speech to the Sacramento Press Club on schools, the state budget and, most pointedly, taxes.
He made no bones about it: CALIFORNIA'S PROBLEM IS THAT ITS BUSINESSES ARE UNDERTAXED, AND THAT REAL LIBERALS NEED TO GO AFTER CORPORATE WEALTH MORE AGGRESSIVELY.
"Progressives have to start thinking — and acting — big again," he said. He proceeded to attack a favorite progressive target, the California property tax system created in 1978 by the voters through Proposition 13.
As many have before him, he called for a split-roll system in which only homeowners would continue to enjoy full Prop. 13 protection. As he put it, "PROP. 13 WAS NEVER INTENDED TO BE A CORPORATE TAX GIVEAWAY, BUT THAT IS WHAT IT HAS BECOME."
That depends on your definition of a "giveaway." BUSINESSES IN CALIFORNIA PAY MORE THAN $30 BILLION A YEAR IN PROPERTY TAXES. ALL BUSINESSES TAXES COMBINED (including corporate income, excise and gross receipts, licenses and individual income tax on business income) IN CALIFORNIA COME TO $85.4 BILLION. NEW YORK IS A DISTANT SECOND AT $60.9 BILLION….
To Progressives there is never enough money for their programs. The problem is always people and businesses are under taxed. The problem they have is when they raise taxes, people and business flee the state. We need something like serfdom to keep people in place. Now there’s a progressive idea if I’ve ever heard of one.
The Dems don’t get it: It’s All About Obama
SENATE DEMOCRATS ARE INCREASINGLY CONCERNED THAT BARACK OBAMA’S CAMPAIGN MONEY MACHINE IS SUCKING UP SO MUCH CASH THAT IT WILL CUT INTO THE PARTY’S AGGRESSIVE CAMPAIGN TO HOLD ON TO THE SENATE NEXT YEAR, SEVERAL DEMOCRATIC SOURCES SAY.
Democratic senators have already pressed Obama campaign officials — including campaign manager Jim Messina — not to lock up the richest Democratic donors, but the presidential campaign declined to make such a promise…
Now this is really a sad story. The Democrats will not be able to hold the Senate and Obama is going to lose the presidency. So which group should pour the most money down the drain? I would posit the Senate Democrats. They may be able to salvage a seat or two that they would otherwise lose.