Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Vomited Today

From Time:

At a glance, it's hard to imagine a President who had less in common with Reagan than the Ivy League lawyer from Hawaii who seeks larger federal investments, a bigger social safety net and new regulations for Wall Street and Big Oil. But under the surface, there is no mistaking Obama's increasing reliance on his predecessor's career as a helpful template for his own. Since the November elections, Obama has brought corporate executives into the White House, reached out to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and made compromise his new watchword. He signed a surprise $858 billion tax cut that would have made Reagan weep with joy and huddled with Reagan's former White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein for lessons learned when the Gipper governed amid economic troubles. Over the Christmas break, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted that Obama was reading a Reagan biography, and just to confirm the bond, Obama recently wrote an homage to Reagan for USA Today. "Reagan recognized the American people's hunger for accountability and change," Obama wrote, conferring on Reagan two of his most cherished political slogans.

First of all, no one is fooled by Obama trying to equate himself with Reagan. Just as always, it's a diversionary tactic: say one thing and do the opposite. Obama reading a biography on reagan doesn't mean crap in the grand scheme. He's not looking for guidance or a glimpse at Reagan's philosophy. He thinks Reagan's mannerisms, communication skills and determination were gimmicks. He's simply trying to figure out how to do what Reagan did: communicate and inspire the country when the economy was in the tank. But Reagan was sincere. It wasn't a gimmick. And no amount of empty emulation will ever approach Reagan's zeal for liberty and conservatism. Reagan had principles. Obama has platitudes.

Second, Obama didn't sign a "surprise $858 billion tax cut." He signed a bill that continued the Bush tax cuts, which Congress had let expire. They weren't his idea, nor was he in favor of extending the tax cuts. He (and the Democrats in Congress) did it only because they had just gotten their collective asses handed to them in an election and had they not extended them, or (in other words) raised taxes they would've been crucified. Possibly literally. If Obama wants credit for tax cuts, he needs to man up and lower taxes himself rather than stand on the shoulders of the predecessor that he loves to demonize so often.

And finally, Reagan was, indeed, in favor of change: change in the opposite direction of the failed policies of Jimmy Carter. It's really, really ironic, then, that Carter is the president to whom Obama is most often compared. If Reagan were alive today, he would be diametrically opposed to Obama's version of "accountability" (which is to say no accountability) and "change" (by which he means to shift the country toward a more socialistic government-centric state.)

I'm actually shocked that Reagan's zombie corpse didn't rise from the ground with the sole intent of kicking Obama's ass over his recent remarks. I bet God is in heaven holding him back even now.

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