The alternative headline could easily be, “Proof that the president believes you unwashed masses don’t remember the last three years” or “Mainstream media drone lets Obama get away with one of the most absurd statements of his presidency to date (besides the one about healing the planet, of course).”
The interview being referenced here is Obama’s exclusive with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, which ran late last week. Sawyer was attempting to goad Obama into saying that Newt Gingrich labeling him a Food Stamp President was somehow racist (it’s not).
The president took the loaded question and served up this:
“What the American people are going to be interested in is not these kind of rhetorical flourishes. What they’re going to be interested in is, who actually has a plan that makes my life better? The American people are going to make a judgment on who’s going to bring the country together and who’s dividing it? Who reflects the core values that helped create this country…and who is tapping in to some of our worst instincts.”
Say what? Did Barack Obama just affirm himself as the politician who will unite the country in the face of the divisive and mean attacks launched by Republicans? Here is a man who has banked his reelection campaign on manufacturing the emotions of greed and envy to pit one group of Americans against another – the 99 percent twaddle, if you will. It was not even a week prior to his conversation with Sawyer that Obama once again emphasized the sham “Buffet rule” in his tedious State of the Union address, the idea that the country is replete with millionaires and billionaires who pay lower tax rates than their poor, downtrodden secretaries, and that in order to bring fairness and equity to the tax code, such high-rollers shouldn’t pay lower than 30 percent in taxes.
Never mind that Obama deliberately confused capital gains taxes (of which we all pay 15 percent no matter if you’re “rich” or “poor”) with income taxes, where millionaires and billionaires do in fact pay a much higher tax rate than their secretaries. And forget for a moment the money that is funneled into an investment portfolio is already taxed, either at a corporate or individual level before it becomes a “capital gain” where it is subject to another tax. And put aside that Warren Buffet’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, doesn’t exactly symbolize the working man’s “struggle,” as she’s reportedly pulling in more than $250,000 a year and just bought a second home.
Disregard all that.
Obama has been the most divisive president in modern history. But that’s not according to me. That’s coming from the mouth of the Washington Post, running with this lede recently: “President Obama ran — and won — in 2008 on the idea of uniting the country. But each of his first three years in office has marked historic highs in political polarization, with Democrats largely approving of him and Republicans deeply disapproving.”
“In 2010, the partisan gap between how Obama was viewed by Democrats versus Republicans stood at 68 percent,” continued the Post. “In 2009, it was 65 percent. Both were the highest marks ever for a president’s second and first years in office, respectively.”
The president has not only divided Americans along income lines, but he’s publicly attacked Rush Limbaugh, the Chamber of Commerce, Fox News, in addition to pushing the overhaul of our healthcare, financial, and auto sectors under ruthless partisanship.
The great uniter Obama is not.
But, as the irony is, while Obama is posturing himself as the champion for the middle class with his shakedown the rich rhetoric, it is Obama’s policies that are crushing that very same middle class. Under Obama’s own estimation, total employment should be 137.8 million by now. That’s what the $1 trillion misnamed Economic Recovery Act was supposed to do. Yet as of the latest jobs report, total employment stood at 131.9 million. That’s a jobs deficit of 5.9 million. Obama said that “American manufacturers are hiring again,” but under his administration, the manufacturing sector has shed some 600,000 jobs. And the median household income, well, it’s on the decline, coming in at 2.3 percent lower than it did in 2009.
Throw in that the fact that there are more Americans living in poverty in the 52-year history of publishing poverty rates, and it becomes clear that while Obama is on the income redistribution warpath under the rubric of helping middle class America, his policies are a torpedo aimed at all over our futures, rich, middle, and poor alike.
In a moment of candor, Obama truthfully told Diane Sawyer that Americans should vote in 2012 over “who actually has a plan that makes [their lives] better.”
We agree. And if that’s the 2012 standard for before votes are cast in November, Obama should get smoked.