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Obama’s Three Words To Define The Future

ABC News has posted a full transcript of President Obama’s October 3rd interview with George Stephanopoulos.  It’s the one where he says Solyndra was “a good bet.”  That incredible comment doesn’t sound any better in the context of the full interview.

Much of the interview is the same old tedious nonsense that has made Barack Obama one of the most boring speakers in public life.  I wonder how many of his girlish pants-crease devotees thought he’d be ridiculed as a human-sized dose of Valium before his term was done.  He just says the same things, over and over again, no matter how absurd or thoroughly debunked they’ve been.  Evidently, he thinks repetition produces hypnotic effects.

Thus, we have yet more whining about what a tough job Obama consented to accept, when the American people persuaded him to take the Oval Office in 2008.  Told by Stephanopoulos that many people “simply don’t think they’re better off than they were four years ago,” the President responds:

Well, I don’t think they’re better off than they were four years ago. They’re not better off than they were before Lehman’s collapse, before the financial crisis– before this extraordinary recession we’re going through. I think that– what we’ve seen is that we’ve been able to make steady progress to stabilize the economy.

It’s not his fault, he just got here, and he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work!  What on Earth does the Lehman’s collapse have to do with passing a job-killing health care bill, imposing a job-killing moratorium on offshore drilling, sending the National Labor Relations Board to kill jobs in South Carolina, and handing billions to Obama cronies so they can produce 3500 “green jobs” at a cost of $4.8 million apiece?

Naturally, Obama follows this forget-my-record appeal with a fresh demand to pass his silly jobs bill, which currently cannot attract any Democrat sponsors in the House, thanks to their mortal terror of being associated with job-smashing tax increases.  The man who skated through the entire debt-ceiling crisis without any concrete proposals takes to whining that he’s the only one with a plan, after Stephanopoulos tells him House GOP leader Eric Cantor thinks Obama’s “all or nothing approach” on his jobs bill is “unreasonable”:

Now if he’s got other ideas, we’re happy to look at those other ideas. But what– what I think the American people cannot abide by is us doing nothing. We can’t sit here and pretend that somehow– you know, Washington just cutting spending, in and of itself, is going to be putting people back to work.

Well, heck, I can agree with the President there.  Let’s not “pretend” that cutting spending will put people back to work.  Let’s do it, right now, and see what happens.  We’ll repeal the President’s job-killing health care disaster, defund job-devouring agencies like the EPA, pass some pro-growth tax cuts, and see how employment looks.  That’s the one thing we never actually do: cut government spending.  We’ve never tried it. 

We know Obama’s policies are disastrous, but we’ve never tried the alternative of turning off the money and regulatory spigots in Washington, and giving economic liberty a chance to bloom.  Everyone who suggests that simple approach is dismissed as unserious by default.  Where’s Eric Cantor’s trillion dollar tax hike, $450 billion spending plan, and $200 billion infrastructure bank?  He doesn’t have one?  Why, he doesn’t have a “plan” at all!

As is his tiresome custom, Obama demanded more money for “infrastructure,” and appeared to catch himself during a clumsy attempt to refer back to his expensive photo-op at the Brent Spence Bridge in Ohio, which even the local papers were quick to point out would not be affected in any way by the President’s new “stimulus” bill:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And, you know, for example, you talk to Republican governors, Republican mayors, and they’ll tell you that the need for them to rebuild roads and bridges, including some– you know, that– I visited in– in– in Virginia, but also– some that I’ve visited– between Kentucky and Ohio, where– both– Mr. Boehner and Mr. McConnell hail from– those are projects that need to happen anyway. Why not do them now at a time when we’ve got construction workers out of work, contractors– are able to come in under budget, on time. This is the time to do it.

Thanks for reminding us that you blew a couple million dollars of taxpayer money, and snarled local traffic for hours, to pull a stupid political stunt at a bridge chosen entirely because two specific politicians hail from the states on either end of it, Mr. President.  How do we get you to stop burning through our money again?  Oh, that’s right, we vote you out of office next year.

Comedy gold was struck during this exchange, which would become an immortal moment in political history, casually referenced in popular entertainment years from now, if a Republican had said it:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We actually got a great question on Twitter about 2008. It’s from Gale Glover, and he asks, “If hope and change define the 2008 campaign, what two words are going to make– are going to define 2012?”

PRESIDENT OBAMA: I– you know, I haven’t quite boiled it down to a bumper sticker yet. But I think what’ll– define 2012 is– you know, our vision for the future. That’s three words. Four.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s five, actually.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: …Vision for the future. Four. There is– going to be a contest of values and– and vision in 2012.

After stammering his way through an uncomfortable question about the undeniable divisiveness of his new class warfare re-election campaign, Barack the Mad resurfaced, with the kind of delusion that makes you wonder how far off the deep end a President can go before questions must be asked about his mental fitness for office:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: –the– well, the– you know, the way it’s going to change is because the American people are gonna have the say about where we want to go, you know? They’re going to have a decision to make. And they’re going to say to themselves, “You know what? President Obama wanted to reduce the deficit by not only cutting spending, as he’s already done, but also by making sure that– the most fortunate in our society are paying their fair share. That we’re closing corporate loopholes that small businesses don’t get. The Republicans have said no to that.” Well, that’s a contrast in approaches. And– you know, when you tick down which approach the American people generally prefer, they’ll say mine.

Federal spending 2008: $2.9 trillion.  Federal spending 2011: $3.8 trillion.  How do you like those wonderful Obama “spending cuts?”  And the public agrees with the Obama approach so much that they’ve given him rock-bottom approval ratings.

Surprisingly, Stephanopoulos asked Obama about the “Durbin tax,” the regressive tax Democrats slapped on the poor by using raw government power to distort the financial system on behalf of retail industry lobbyists.  Obama disintegrated into the kind of incoherent stammering that characterizes most of his off-teleprompter speeches these days:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well– what we did was we put a stop through– The Financial Reform Act of them charging fees– for credit cards.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And the banks are saying–

PRESIDENT OBAMA: And so– Well– what– what the banks are saying is– that “Rather than take a little bit less of a profit. Rather than paying multimillion dollar bonuses. Let’s treat our customers right.” And this is exactly why we need this consumer finance– protection bureau that we set up that is ready to go. 

When Stephanopoulos asked if these bank surcharges could be “stopped,” Obama displayed the stunning appreciation for American economic liberty that has made him such a remarkable leader:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, you can stop it because it– if you– if you say to the banks, “You don’t have some inherent right just to– you know, get a certain amount of profit. If your customers– are being mistreated. That you have to treat them fairly and transparently.” And– and my hope is is that you’re going to see a bunch of– the banks, who say to themselves, “You know what? This is actually not good business practice.”

Banks can make money. They can succeed, the old-fashioned way, by earning it. By lending to small businesses. By lending to consumers. By making sure that– you know, we are building the economy together. But– you know, without the kinds of protections that we’re starting to see the Republicans try to roll back– we’re going to continue to have these kinds of problems. And this is exactly– the sort of stuff that folks are frustrated by. This, by the way, is an example of the– the contrasting visions that we have. If– if– if– the Republican Party believes that we should do nothing to curb abuses on Wall Street and roll back regulations put in place to prevent the next big financial crisis, well, I’ve got a big difference with them. And I think the American people are going to be on my side on that.

No, the Financial Reform Act had nothing to do with preventing banks from charging fees for credit cards or debit cards.  It capped the fees banks can charge retailers, which is why many Americans suddenly found themselves paying surcharges for debit card usage and checking over the past few weeks. 

Obama’s solution, of course, is bigger government.  “You don’t have some inherent right to, you know, get a certain amount of profit?”  He’s always been an absurd joke as a “constitutional scholar,” but now I’m starting to wonder if we’ve just been misinformed about which national Constitution he supposedly studied. 

You’ll get the same answer out of his successors if we don’t repeal ObamaCare, and it destroys the private insurance industry.  The only solution to that government-mandated disaster will be a huge increase in the size of government, as the health industry is nationalized.  Obama’s right that Americans face a stark choice in 2012.  Choosing Obama means choosing a death spiral of Big Government failure, followed by urgent demands to accept Titanic Government as our savior.

Anyone foolish enough to have believed Obama when he said he was opposed to gay marriage will be shocked to know his position is “evolving” into whatever will get him the most votes in 2012:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: So you’ve said your position is evolving. You said you’re struggling with it. What more do you need to know?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well– you know– I probably won’t– make news right now, George. But I– I think that there’s no doubt that– as I see– friends, families– children of gay couples– who are thriving– you know, that– that has an impact on how I think about these issues. It’s also one of the reasons that I made the decision for us not to defend– The Defense of Marriage Act, which– I believe violated the Constitution. And, you know, is going to be– decided in the courts probably– in the next– next few terms.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: You think you’ll change your mind before the election?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You know– I– I’m– I’m– still working on it.

The President made the horse-laugh claim that he’s the “underdog” in the upcoming election, as if the incumbent President of the United States somehow has fewer electoral advantages than his as-yet-undetermined opponent.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t envy anyone who has to run on the Obama record.  The history he keeps insisting Americans should forget casts a long shadow.

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Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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