The Amateur, Chapter 20 – End

Ed Klein

Chapter 20

The “New Obama”

Liberals excuse Obama for his first term errors because no one comes into office prepared to be president. Ed Klein, author of The Amateur, contends that you don’t get points for trying and the most successful presidents are the ones who grow in office, which Obama has not done.

Speechwriter Theodore Sorensen said of John Kennedy, “If there is one extraordinary quality among the many, it was the quality of continued growth. In November 1963, he had learned more about the uses and limitation of power about the men on whom he could depend, about the adversaries and evils he faces, and about the tools and techniques of policy.”

Arthur Schlesinger Jr said that “Kennedy made his share of mistakes. But Kennedy never lost the capacity to learn from his mistakes. Each year he became a better president.”

Can that be said of Barack Obama?

If independents can be convinced he has grown in office, he may be given a second chance.

Klein interviewed dozens in government, media, academia, and business on the subject of Obama’s growth.

Members of the press corp believe that he is learning fast to use the tools of office. Journalists, strong Obama supporters, believe that the election has to be a “choice” election between Obama and a worse Republican candidate in order for Obama to win, Obama had to beat up on Romney.

Mitt Romney will not only have to run against Barack Obama, he will have to run against the full force and power of the liberal mainstream media.

Their latest mantra is that Obama has grown in office.

Growth for Obama is manipulation. Obama, rather than compromising, puts the onus on the Republicans, saying this is my plan and what are you going to do about it.

The notion that Obama has grown in office has become the conventional wisdom.

The press claims that Obama knows how to now play by Washington rules – he’s the new Obama.

This is similar to the repackaging of Nixon in the ’60’s as the “New Nixon.” The mean Nixon was now mature, tolerant and magnanimous. The subsequent scandal revealed that the new Nixon was the old Nixon.

Obama is like Nixon – an introvert, cold to the press, thin-skinned and self-pitying, reliant on a small circle of loyalists, divisive, and he thinks people who disagree with him is his sworn enemy and are out to destroy him.

Politics Daily columnist Peter Wehner said, “the president is constantly complaining about what others are saying about him. He is upset at Fox News, conservative talk radio, Republicans, and the Tea Party. Obama sees himself as always aggrieved.

Both Nixon and Obama have gone for the populist vote. Nixon aligned himself with the alleged silent majority [they were silent alright. They also didn’t exist.] Nixon aligned himself with the Ows.

If the new Obama turns out to be as fallacious as the new Nixon, what happened to the old Obama, hailed by liberals as their savior?

The next chapter depicts the new Obama as an invention also.

Chapter 21

In Search of the Real Obama

Axelrod, a brilliant strategist, depicted Obama as a black man who would heal American, not divide it, a moderate nonpartisan who would rescue America, not threaten it. He was sold as the American Messiah.

In 2008, Obama said “we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth.”

Obama failed to deliver on the fantasy.

Obama’s record as a leftwing redistributionist was ignored. Bill Clinton said the era of big government was over and Obama in contrast was a throwback to New Deal big government.

Ted Kennedy, a far left wing Senator, endorsed Obama because he saw the pendulum swing his way. Practically every leftwing transaction flowed from Kennedy. Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, the Consumer Protection Act, and the veto of Keystone. In Obama, we have the most left-leaning president in its history.

While Obama inherited a bad economy, he has made it worse. He picked the wrong economic team. Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, Austan Goolsbee, and Melody Barnes, are all liberal neo-Keynesians who prefer government activism over the private sector.

They embraced the flawed myth from FDR’s New Deal, which is the economy of 1930/31 could not revive without extensive intervention by D.C. Government spending is important to recoveries and the consumer cannot alone solve the problem of ‘excess capacity’ on the producer’s side.

Amity Shales, author of The Forgotten Man, a brilliant account of the Great Depression, comments on the naivete of the new dealers about the economic value of Soviet-style or European-style collectivism and the fact that they forced such collectivism on the country. The Wall Streeter was demonized and they were afraid of the president. They decided to wait Roosevelt out and held onto their cash to invest at some future date.

Roosevelt retaliated by introducing a tax – the undistributed profits tax – to press the money out of them. Acts like this brought the country into a depression within a depression (1937/38).

Tax increases, intimidation of businessmen, massive new burdens on the economy happened 80 years ago but are eerily similar to the Obama administration’s self-defeating efforts to stimulate the economy. The stimulus impeded recovery. John B. Taylor, a Stanford University economist did a comprehensive study of the stimulus and he found that it did not result in growth and jobs.

Individuals and families saved the transfers and tax rebates. State and local governments used the money to reduce their net borrowing.

When it didn’t work (we were promised it would keep unemployment under 8%), he looked to the Republicans as the fall guys – they became obstructionists who were bent on giving tax breaks to millionaires and corporations.

They used the ruse that if Obama is re-elected, he will say, “Every decision I make is focused on the middle class.”

That didn’t work so he cast blame on the Japanese tsunami, the Greek budget crisis, the oil shock from the Arab spring, et cetera.

Obama said, “..and where I think we made the most mistakes, was less on the policy front and more on the communications front.”

Obama was supposed to be the great communicator.

When Marion Barry warned Obama in 2010 that leftwing policies cost Democrats seats in 1994, Obama said, “Well the big difference here and in ’94 was you’ve got me.”

Obama didn’t lose his personal connection the American people because of communication skills. It was how he communicated and what he communicated. Americans didn’t like the substance of what he was saying.

Chapter 22

The Low Road

This election will be a referendum on Barack Obama, the most leftwing president our country has known, and it will be a plebiscite on the future direction of America. If Obama is defeated, Universal healthcare, mandatory union membership, wealth redistribution, a bigger and bigger federal government will be defeated as well.

If Obama wins, the left will become entrenched and the U.S. will rush headlong into the bloated, deficit-ridden entitlement state similar to those in Europe.

Voters will choose between a president who believes in engineering “the equality of outcome” and a candidate who believes in the “equality of opportunity.” A vote for Obama’s opponent will be a vote for less government and individual freedom.

Some want a European-like social democracy that wants more power to rest with the federal government as a means of ensuring social justice and income equality. Others believe the government has exceeded its constitutional authority and is leading us to financial ruin.

Obama won’t engage in that debate because he knows he’ll lose. American people have become more conservative under Barack Obama. According to Gallup, 51% of Americans say Obama’s political views are too liberal.  All this has come about since Obama became president.

Axelrod, Obama’s architect, has obliterated the savior of 2008, the hope and change president. No more Mr. Nice Guy either.

Axelrod has fashioned a campaign in which he demonizes his opponents and runs against a “do-nothing” Republican Congress and their wealthy supporters.

Obama is pulling a page from Give ’em Hell Harry Truman’s playbook. He is taking credit for anything good congress does while criticizing them as obstructionists. The strategy is aimed at ginning up the base.

With Truman, the difference was the economy.

The unemployment was at 3-5% and the economy was growing at 6.8%. Obama’s economy by comparison is over 8% unemployment and the economy is growing at an anemic 2-3%.

Democrats enjoyed the popularity of FDR and the Republicans were saddled with the memory of Hoover. Hooverism became a term to represent one who was indifferent to the plight of the poor and the struggling middle class.

Forty percent of the country identified with Democrats then. Today, 33% identify with the Democrats.

Republicans have the mistrust of government on their side and Obama stands for big government.

Class warfare has smashed apart a coalition of rich and poor who voted for him in 2008.

The only way Obama can win, given the condition of the economy, is to slime his opponent. Obama has a poor record that he cannot run on and he must take the low road.

Obama will unleash Super PACs and get down in the mud – no more hope and change.

The campaign will be nonstop attack ads with little on the problems and challenges.

Obama plans to frighten people away from his scary opponent. He has said that the alternative to him is a Republican who will cripple the nation.

We are seeing re-creations of the infamous Barry Goldwater ad in 1964 which showed a little girl picking petals from a daisy while an ominous-sounding male voice counted down to a launch of a nuclear missile. As the camera slowly zoomed in, her eye was filled with an atomic mushroom cloud. Lyndon Johnson’s voiceover on the ad exclaimed, “These are the stakes.” [And it went on. Lyndon ended up doing everything people were afraid Goldwater would do, starting with the escalation of the Vietnam War.]

Axelrod will try to devise a new “Daisy ad.”

Here is the Daisy ad (people were terrified of Goldwater) –

Obama is an amateur and he is incompetent.

  • He is the first president to preside over a lowering of our credit rating.
  • He has increased the national debt by $5 trillion in under 4 years.
  • He had spent more than a trillion dollars on healthcare [now up to $2.6 trillion and climbing].
  • Obama’s friend Corzine bankrupted a once-great company, MF Global.
  • His erratic stance on illegal immigration from frenzied deportations to wholesale amnesty is wild.
  • Obama has been inconsistent on environmental regulations, first by pushing burdensome regulations on businesses and then by scrapping them to win back the supporters.
  • Obama was for lower taxes before he was for higher taxes; he was for forcing Catholic institutions to provide contraceptives and abortion insurance before he was against it; he was for removing terrorists from Guantanamo before he was against it; he was for bringing the country together before he was against it; he was for bargaining with Republicans over the debt ceiling before he was against it; he was for energy independence before he rejected Keystone; he was in favor of extending the olive branch to the mullahs in Iran before he was against it.

Republicans will have to remind Americans of all these things. They will have to remind America that Barack Obama is The Amateur.

[Consider getting the book, it’s a great read]

Ed Klein’s interview with RT –