Obamalism -- As We Know It -- R.I.P.
Obamalism: a political/social/economic philosophy that combines socialism, collectivism and redistributionism wrapped around a killer smile.
Welcome, Mr. President, to your new reality.
The Republicans need not "take over" Congress to slow the march of the most left-wing president ever elected. To clip President Barack Obama's wings, the GOP simply needs to carve into the once filibuster-proof Democratic Senate.
The new 1994 Republican majorities in the House and Senate forced then-President Bill Clinton to smell the center-right coffee. He then signed a more modest domestic budget, welfare reform (after two vetos) and capital gains tax cuts.
Despite Obama's defiant assertion that he would rather be a "really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president," he already reluctantly recognizes the reality of a Clinton-like post-midterm pivot. Consider the headline of a recent Wall Street Journal article based on interviews with shellshocked White House personnel: "Obama Likely to Scale Back Legislative Plans: In New Political Landscape, Incremental Approach Is in Works to Get Support for Some Proposals on Energy, Immigration."
"Hope and change" has been replaced with "hopeless and small change."
Recently, President Obama was asked this question: Would you veto a bill that extended the tax cut for the wealthy? Four times he refused to answer. Angry voters are fed up with a left-wing, job-killing, anti-business agenda. In every demographic — racial, gender, age, ideological affiliation — the President suffers declines in his peak popularity. Not since Mike Tyson in Tokyo have we witnessed a fall this steep. Even among blacks — at 90 percent, his highest-rated demo — his numbers are down from their high of 94 percent.
Former Vice President Walter Mondale even offered advice to Obama: Lose the teleprompter (which he less than charitably referred to as an "idiot board"). Mondale, you might recall, ran against President Ronald Reagan in 1984 — and lost 49 states. When a guy like that offers advice, things are grim.
Blaming Bush no longer works. Obama indeed inherited a bad economy, drowning under a large debt and deficit. His solution? Tossing it an anvil.
Obama did not inherit the $800 billion-plus "stimulus" plan or various subsequent ones.
Obama did not inherit a "sweeping" financial regulation of Wall Street that leaves in place Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the Community Reinvestment Act, the primary drivers of the housing meltdown.
Obama did not inherit government takeovers of the automotive companies.
Obama did not inherit a massive "green jobs" initiative, in which government bureaucrats will "invest" taxpayer money in "promising" technologies proposed by companies that failed to persuade private investors to bet on them.
Obama did not inherit ObamaCare, a monstrosity that even he no longer claims will "bend the cost curve." Using his Democratic veto-proof Senate supermajority, along with a parliamentary maneuver used in an unprecedented manner, he rammed through ObamaCare. It adds 30 million Americans to the ranks of the insured, including people who made the conscious decision not to carry insurance. He ignored obvious measures to improve accessibility and affordability, like knocking down restrictions that prevent health insurers from offering policies across state lines.
With the arrogance of a community organizer for whom "profit" is a four-letter word, Obama expected merely to wave his hope-and-change wand and — voilà! — companies would continue to operate as they did before. They would make no adjustments to reflect the new costs imposed on them. Americans would suddenly enjoy sensational health care — only better, more accessible and, of course, cheaper.
Had this repudiation of Economics 101 actually worked, ObamaCare really would have been a "big f---ing deal."
Large insurers recently announced large premium increases. They are dropping certain policies, like those for children only, because ObamaCare requires the acceptance of those with pre-existing illnesses. When insurance companies announced increased costs and/or reductions in policies, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius summoned her inner Fidel Castro: "There will be zero tolerance for this type of misinformation and unjustified rate increases." No wonder they kept Gitmo open; health care dissidents have to be "re-educated" somewhere.
Obama said: "If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what." But employers are now asking for larger copays or offering more restrictive plans. Some will drop them altogether and pay the fine.
Several states filed lawsuits to declare unconstitutional ObamaCare's mandate that every American man, woman and child have health insurance. With a four-conservative/four-liberal/one-swing-vote Supreme Court, the mandate could be struck down for violating the commerce clause. No mandate, no ObamaCare.
It's been one quite expensive and, to an unknown degree, irreversible teachable moment. As for Obama, he doesn't get it. Leftists seldom do. But for most voters, the fog has lifted.
Obamalism does not work.
Larry Elder is a syndicated radio talk show host and best-selling author. His latest book, "What's Race Got to Do with It?", is available now. To find out more about Larry Elder, visit his Web page at www.LarryElder.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
COPYRIGHT 2010 LAURENCE A. ELDER
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