Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The incomparable Thomas Sowell

If more Washington reporters read him, they would look less stupid.

What Obama Says vs. What He Does

One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation's medical care before the August recess-- for a program that would not take effect until 2013!

Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid. If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years-- more specifically, until the year after the next Presidential election?

If this is such an urgently needed program, why wait for years to put it into effect? And if the public is going to benefit from this, why not let them experience those benefits before the next Presidential election?

If it is not urgent that the legislation goes into effect immediately, then why don't we have time to go through the normal process of holding Congressional hearings on the pros and cons, accompanied by public discussions of its innumerable provisions? What sense does it make to "hurry up and wait" on something that is literally a matter of life and death?

If we do not believe that the President is stupid, then what do we believe? The only reasonable alternative seems to be that he wanted to get this massive government takeover of medical care passed into law before the public understood what was in it

So it turns out that the Obama brain trust was more realistic than Republicans and many conservatives. They understood that Michael Barone was correct: the US remains a center-right nation. While many Republican “strategists” thought the public had rejected all things conservative, the new administration recognized that their agenda lacked popular support.

Hence, their cynical desire to “not let a crisis go to waste.” The administration hoped that they could lock in their programs while the public was stunned by the financial meltdown and the Obama honeymoon.

A key tactic for the White House is to divert attention. They wanted the media to focus on Rush Limabaugh, Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, etc. instead of the details of their plan.

Up to a point, this worked. Their media lapdogs covered stories promoted by the White House rather than the issues that most concerned their readers. When the media moved away from the WH’s message of the day, the president’s poll numbers dropped like a rock.

The people around Obama were probably naive about the MSM bias in his favor and/or unrealistic about the long-term influence of the media. They mistook glowing press accounts with popular support. They thought the friendly media could dominate the news cycle long enough to push their programs through congress.

In the heat of the campaign and in the first hundred days, the MSM could promote and protect their favorite. Over the long haul, however, dissident voices will be heard. Buried stories will eventually see the light of day. The tea parties, the town hall protests, talk radioall of these provide rallying points for the center-right majority. Heck, Sarah Palin changed the debate with a Facebook post.

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