Monday, June 18, 2012

The Titanic II

I think Patriot Post sums it up nicely:

"The Democrats are saying something like this: 'We found a big hole that we did not dig. ... Give us two more years. If it doesn't work, vote us out.'" That's what Bill Clinton said about the economy -- in 2010. There's plenty of blame to go around for that hole, of course, but it's worth remembering that Democrats took control of both houses of Congress -- and the purse strings -- almost a year before the recession started. And we can't think of a better argument for voting Democrats out than how they bound and gagged the economy for the last five years.
One of Clinton's most trusted strategists, James "It's the Economy, Stupid" Carville, is painfully aware that the languishing economy doesn't bode well for Democrats in November, and he's advising Obama to quit talking about his record -- a strategy he says is "wrong" and "will fail" -- and focus on the future instead. Carville wrote, along with fellow strategists Stanley Greenberg and Erica Seifert, "We will face an impossible headwind in November if we do not move to a new narrative, one that contextualizes the recovery but, more importantly, focuses on what we will do to make a better future for the middle class." In other words, it's like the sequel to "Titanic," and the ship will sink all over again.
Barack Obama isn't listening to Carville, though. He gave a 54-minute speech yesterday at an Ohio community college -- ironically, the same place Clinton made his remarks two years ago -- in an attempt to "reframe" the issue. "Rerun" might be a better word because there was nothing new offered, no deviation from the bigger-government-fixes-everything template, and it was full of the usual mix of self-congratulation and blame for everyone else. In fact, we think we've heard it 54 times before.
Obama blamed the "policies of the last decade" for the bad economy, while arguing that Mitt Romney would gut education, science and green energy programs, as well as "end [Medicare] as we know it." Arguing that he needs four more years because of George W. Bush is less than convincing, though as he reminded us last Friday, "the private sector is doing fine."
He then whined that Romney's campaign will go negative: "The other side will spend over a billion dollars on ads that tell you the economy is bad, that it's all my fault ... that I can't fix it because I think government is always the answer or because I didn't make a lot of money in the private sector and don't understand it or because I'm in over my head or because I think everything and everybody is doing just fine."
"No, I don't believe that government is the answer to all our problems," Obama joked -- at least we assume he had to be joking -- before turning around and saying of his "investments" of taxpayer money, "The private sector can't do it alone." In fact, he says, government investment is necessary to help "the next Thomas Edison, the next Wright brothers." Also laughably, he hammered the Bush tax cuts and alleged deregulation in general, only to later tout his own tax cuts and supposed deregulation.
All in all, the speech was a tired refrain of Obama's old standbys, class warfare and government solutions -- so much so that even a panel at MSNBC panned the speech. But Obama did offer one bit of wisdom: "This election is your chance to break [the] stalemate" between economic visions for the country. Indeed, it's time for a change.

I couldn't agree more.

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