My first attempt at using the CSPAN editing tool hasn’t worked out so well. WordPress keeps stripping out the embed and fetch dies on it. So, until I figure it out, or if anyone who has had this problem and knows how to fix it would be so kind as to enlighten me, the link to my creation out of Obama’s economic speech will have to do.
To summarize, I don’t know the difference between this speech and others he gave either right before the election in 2008 or shortly thereafter. It was painful to listen to and so I didn’t hear everything, but it started out with finger pointing. Then he moved on to how big of a mess he had when he got into office, that no one has ever had upon entering the office. He talked about the same things he’s been talking about, class warfare, evil capitalists and Republicans, &c…
Well, I grant him the frustration over the mess. Things were going to hell in a handbasket as GWB was headed out the door. But it isn’t like he didn’t know what he was getting into. From the time the crisis started in September 2008 right up to election night he was talking about how to fix the mess and get on our way to recovery. It’s all in his inauguration speech as well; you know that one about the earth beginning to heal and all that nonsense.
All we heard from that moment on was how we were going to borrow and spend our way to prosperity and that health care was our number one problem (I guess the mortgage mess was a secondary effect?). Ok so Democrats got a very rare super majority. They didn’t need anything from Republicans to do what they wanted. And they, in fact, did what they wanted. The 111th congress spent upwards of $2T on fiscal stimulus. They reformed health care. Obama and his cohorts insisted that they were right, they won and Republicans could just sit down and shut up. The obstructionism is a myth.
About the pity party, though, it really is quite unbecoming of a statesman. The reality is that he’s had it easy compared to some other Presidents upon taking office. Some of the more notable ones are Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Grant, and FDR. But there were others that we don’t hear about so much, like the mess Van Buren was left with, Cleveland’s second term, Harding who had to clean up the economic mess Wilson left, Nixon who had a war debacle and massive budget issues left for him, and Ronald Reagan who had to clean up after Carter who was supposed to be cleaning up after Ford as well as Nixon who was cleaning up after LBJ. The reality of our history is that some times we go through a string of presidents and various arrangements of congress before we get any results. Only occasionally do we get lucky and get the right combination in time. Only once in the 20th century did it happen that way, and that was with Harding.
I have no particular interest in electing a whiner-in-chief. The buck has to stop somewhere with someone taking ultimate responsibility for it or there will never be any end to the mess. I am sorry that Obama refuses to see his mistakes and insists that we simply need more failure. We can’t afford any more lost productivity or another doubling of the national debt to figure out that he’s wrong.