Saturday, January 23, 2010

Can Obama Pivot To Populism?

We have a president that loves basketball and apparently is very good at it. But can he pivot in the court of public opinion as well as on the basketball court? The Massachusetts senate upset by Scott Brown, has thrown a monkey wrench into the Obama agenda. Not only was it a death blow to Obama care but all his big government solutions are going to be toxic for a congress who will have to face the voters in November. It seems that some have gotten the message as a few democrat congressmen have crafted a letter to the president to plead for an extension to the Bush Tax cuts for another two years. They know the president's approach of tax increases and smack down of Wall street is antithetical to growth and job creation. Many other members are making statements that health care should be given a time out, while others pronounce it dead.

Meanwhile the president himself is trying to look all populous rather than pompous, but that pivot may draw a traveling violation from the refs, "the American public." It's hard to describe the language he has used up until this point as populous, when just last week he was denigrating Scott Brown's pickup truck while campaigning for Martha Coakley. Not only was it condescending to all American's who drive pick up trucks, but snide little remarks  like, "Anybody can buy a truck,"  is untrue. He actually has no idea of the reality of the countries difficult economic struggles. Does he know how difficult it is to secure a private sector loan  for the purchase of a new Pickup truck? Banks still aren't lending like before the recession, and used pickups have spiked because of government manipulation with the Cash for Clunkers program this summer. A program designed to stimulate car sales, which it did temporarily. But, the clunkers were than mandated to be destroyed by disabling the engines, never to belch their toxic fumes again. This policy comes from the elitist mentality to effect a change for the environment, rather than the concerns of struggling Americans, and those looking for a used car or truck suddenly saw a spike in their retail value because hundreds of thousand were taken off the road. 

We all remember the criticism that George H. W. Bush got when he visited a grocery store and was excoriated  when he watched with amazement a scanner work.  The mainstream media castigated him for being out of touch. No such condemnation for the new White House Inhabitant.. Obama's new populous rants against the big banks, which according to him, he saved from extinction a year ago is the talk of the week. He's caused a 600 point drop in the Dow, just this week with  his proposal of taxing and regulating the behemoths he was so anxious to save. Does he not know the fallout to the average taxpayers 401 K's and retirement accounts when he wants to appeal to their populous anger? The assumption that these new regulations and taxes are going to be absorbed by the banks and not passed on to the consumers in the form of higher fees and interest rates is cynical. Even though the idea to stop the banks from excessive risk taking may be noble he knows all to well the consumer is going to be paying the increase in one form or another.

It's also hard to present a populous mentality while playing 29 rounds of golf your first year in office with an unemployment rate hovering around 10%. The pictures of him vacationing over the Christmas holidays in Hawaii, while the country was struggling to put gifts under the tree for their children,  was tone deaf at least. His few remarks about the Christmas day pantie bomber in between his shaved iced sessions and golf games were unseemly to many. Of course a president is due a vacation, and nobody is denying him that. But, his summer vacation at Blue Heron ranch in Martha's Vineyard, in the town of Chilmark which is described as the most expensive small town in all of America, was tone deaf as well. Not really a populist vacation spot. We all remember the media disgust at Bush's vacation times at his ranch in Crawford, which stemmed from their discontent at spending time in a dusty hot and undesirable climate. They loved their coverage of Obama at the Vineyard though, hobnobbing with the Eastern elites, and didn't seem to criticize his avarice when the rest of the population was canceling modest vacations because of job layoffs. And of course we can't forget those Obama White house parties, with $100.00 a lb Japanese imported steak, Vodka Martinis and Stevey Wonder concerts while excoriating bank executives for golf tournament parties and business trips to Vegas, which hurt the travel industry, and once again the little people.

This first year in office has this president pushing legislative policies like health care and cap and trade as transformative issues, that will secure his place in history, rather than addressing the needs of the public. His stimulus was cynically written, with the money dispersed mostly in 2010, rather than 2009 to coincide with an election cycle, rather than addressing the immediate needs of unemployment. Of course many of us believe it was written as a huge payoff to political allies that helped the democrats take control. 

When you've criticized the Pennsylvania voters as bitter and clinging to their guns and religion, during a fundraiser to San Francisco elites, the pivot to populism may be a stretch. Such a stretch that he's going to drag his pivot foot, and turn the ball over again to the American voters to decide the agenda in 2010. This is not a president who in any way shape or form, presents himself as a populist man of the people, with common sense solutions to difficult problems. He is what he is, an East coast educated intellectual elite, that governs in theory, with less than 7% of his cabinet having any private sector practical job creating experience. My advice is that he cut the phony populist transformation, and let the chips fall where they may, because the public is not as easily deceived as they once were.
Read: Sarah's my other blog....Con-Men 4 Palin

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