I tuned in last night to see how Mr. Obama would "take his message to the people" (a la Reagan?) to help get his gargantuan spending bill passed. His appearance turned out to be a stemwinder (I kept looking at my watch--in fact, I took my watch off and waved it around idly in the air to help pass the final minutes of the near-hour). I was relieved when Mr. Obama finally left and I could vividly imagine him turning the corner out of sight and then slumping inside his suit in huge relief to be relatively out of the nation's headlights (a new emotion for him?)
But I think that was a masterfully crafted performance by our current Great Communicator. Most people (like, say, those bitter clingers in rural Pennsylvania and Elkhart, Indiana) would've tuned in at 8 p.m. out of respect and curiosity (and Hope), confirmed that Mr. Obama was acting and looking suitably Presidential in the cast role they'd gifted him with, and then most people probably tuned in to something more satisfying than policy wonkism (best left to the elites) and a well-modulated drone--something even involving beer, religion, or guns, perhaps, and another TV channel, certainly. Good play, Democrats!
I stuck it out because I was actually trying to listen to what Presidential Obama was saying (an esoteric pastime, I know). Dang it if Power Line blog didn't also pick up on the two most outstanding subjects that caught my ear:
1. According to President Obama, most Republicans evidently don't want to help save the country, or even the decent people of Elkhart, Indiana, even after President Obama himself extended the hand of friendship and understanding to many of them, including going so far as to appoint 3 or 4 Republicans to 'his' top leadership roles, which is "unprecedented"! How extremely churlish of them! Why some of them even don't want to do anything at all to rescue the nation!
As President Obama summed up:
One thing that I think is important is to recognize that, because all these -- all these items that you listed are hard, that people have to break out of some of the ideological rigidity and gridlock that we've been carrying around for too long. And let me give you a prime example.
When it comes to how we approach the issue of fiscal responsibility, again, it's a little hard for me to take criticism from folks about this recovery package after they've presided over a doubling of the national debt. I'm not sure they have a lot of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility.
Granted, that. But aren't you just about to double or triple it all over again?
Having said that, I think there are a lot of Republicans who are sincere in recognizing that, unless we deal with entitlements in a serious way, the problems we have with this year's deficit and next year's deficit pale in comparison to what we're going to be seeing 10 or 15 years or 20 years down the road.
Granted that, too. Do you know any Democrats who care about dealing with that? They just booted it away when Bush tried to deal with it.
Both Democrats and Republicans are going to have to think differently in order to come together and solve that problem. I think there are areas like education where some in my party have been too resistant to reform and have argued only money makes a difference.
And there have been others on the Republican side or the conservative side who said, "No matter how much money you spend, nothing makes a difference, so let's just blow up the public school systems."
Really? Can you name names?
And I think that both sides are going to have to acknowledge we're going to need more money for new science labs, to pay teachers more effectively, but we're also going to need more reform, which means that we've got to train teachers more effectively, bad teachers need to be fired after being given the opportunity to train effectively, that we should experiment with things like charter schools that are innovating in the classroom, that we should have high standards.
So my whole goal over the next four years is to make sure that, whatever arguments are persuasive and backed up by evidence and facts and proof that they can work, that we are pulling people together around that kind of pragmatic agenda.
Okay, so where are the facts and proof that the spending bill will actually work?
And I think that there was an opportunity to do this with this recovery package, because, as I said, although there are some politicians who are arguing that we don't need a stimulus, there are very few economists who are making that argument.
No, there are quite a few, actually. Just none you are listening to.
I mean, you've got economists who were advising [Sen.] John McCain [2008 Republican presidential candidate], economists who were advisers to George Bush, one and two, all suggesting that we actually needed a serious recovery package.
Said serious recovery package may not include your porkulus spending abomination.
And so when I hear people just saying, "Ah, we don't need to do anything," "This is a spending bill, not a stimulus bill," without acknowledging that, by definition, part of any stimulus package would include spending -- that's the point -- then what I get a sense of is, is that there's some ideological blockage there that needs to be cleared up.
Yeah: your ideological blockage!
2. The second striking revelation: Iran has been unhelpful.
I was struck speechless--for about two seconds. Then I began yelling at the television.Jules Crittenden had a more constructive response
(via Power Line).Sigh
. On one hand it is discouraging to have such ideologies reigning in power right now, capable of inflicting so much damage on our country. On the other hand, I was encouraged to hear that President Obama has actually heard
of the fact that many people are questioning the very efficacy of his own policies, even as he fails to answer them honestly. Even as he rejects such criticism out of hand. Good play, conservatives. Keep it up. More people than just President Obama and his idealogical blockage cronies
UPDATE: Liberals are confused
(via Neal Boortz
); conservatives are happy
? Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
UPDATE: As I said, a lot of economists do not agree with this "stimulus" bill. The best economists, actually. That's just more "Obama spin."
UPDATE: RightWingSparkle caught Obama's lies, too. Tony Blankley says:
President Barack Obama's first presidential news conference was performed feebly by the once-ferocious White House press corps and shrewdly -- if deceptively -- by the president. In the six years I did communications on former President Ronald Reagan's White House staff, I don't recall a single news conference in which there were no follow-up questions, no challenges to anything the president had said recently, no assertions of fact that the president was challenged to deal with. In fact, I don't remember former President Bill Clinton, either, ever getting a full 45-minute prime-time news conference pass....
Labels: conflict of visions, Obama's first Presidential press conference