by Lurita Doan
April was a busy month for bad: lame financial reform legislation, served up three days in a row like rancid leftovers, SEC fraud filings, Wall Street Hearings in Congress, Greek bailouts, oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and car bombs in Times Square. With so much occurring, on so many fronts, little attention has been paid to President Obama’s often inflammatory commencement speech at the University of Michigan.
Let’s consider a few of President’s Obama’s pearls of wisdom that he shared with Michigan graduates.
“All you hear in Washington is the clamor of politics – a noise that can drown out the voices of the people who sent you there.” This, of course, is precious, coming as it does from the leader of the Democratic party, which had to twist arms and bribe legislators to vote for a flawed healthcare bill because members of congress–who were listening to the “voices of the people”–were afraid to vote for a bloated bill that did little to address the most pressing problems in healthcare, a bill which their constituents loudly and repeatedly told congress they didn’t want.
“We’ve got politicians calling each other all sorts of unflattering names.” which may be why in 400 speeches and Q&A sessions, delivered in his first year in office, Obama finds occasion to demonize or blame President George W. Bush, and why Obama, 16 months into his presidency, continues to use Bush as the whipping boy for bad left wing policies.
“The media tends to play up every hint of conflict, because it makes for a sexier story – which means anyone interested in getting coverage feels compelled to make the most outrageous comments.” This may explain Obama’s unexpected attack, during the Henry Louis Gates fiasco, in which Obama admitted he did not know the details, but proceeded to attack the Cambridge police department saying that “Cambridge police acted stupidly”, when responding to a 911 call about a alleged break-in at a residence in Cambridge.
“Politics has never been for the thin-skinned” which doesn’t explain why President Obama is so sensitive to criticism. remember when Major Garrett, of Fox News, asked the question that most of America wanted to the answer to: “What took you so long to be concerned about Iraq?” And, Obama seemed quite irritated?
“American democracy has thrived because we have recognized the need for a government that, while limited, can still help us adapt to a changing world.” Then why has Obama ignored the concept of a “limited” government and, instead, presided over the greatest expansion in the federal government’s size and intrusiveness in the lives of Americans in the past 70 years?
“We have held fast to the belief that government doesn’t have all the answers, and we have cherished and fiercely defended our individual freedom.” Then how does he explain the federal government intruding into an every wider range of our personal decisions with wild abandon? Under President Obama, government now wants to direct our use of salt, the purchase of fizzy drinks, legislate how many light bulbs we can use in hot tubs and even provide advice on whether dogs should be given bones?
“We, the people, hold in our hands the power to choose our leaders, change our laws, and shape our own destiny.” Of course, that doesn’t include White House interference in open senate seat appointments or rushing through a healthcare reform bill that less than 1% of Congress had read, and which few Americans had been allowed to view because, as Nancy Pelosi said: “you have to pass the bill if we want to find out what’s in it“, Nor does it explain White House antipathy to the Tea Party movement which is comprised of Americans who want the opportunity to shape their own destiny.
“We know that too much government can stifle competition, deprive us of choice, and burden us with debt.” Of course Obama knows this–he’s the one who’s doing it.
“In an era of iPods and Tivo, where we have more choices than ever before, government shouldn’t try to dictate your lives.” President Obama seems to be dictating all sorts of outcomes to protect his loyal supporters. Companies bidding on government contracts, for example, are now required to first seek approval, support and participation of unions. Many of President Obama’s policies have delivered is resentment, class warfare, dishonest promises, and further dependency on government.
“Our government shouldn’t try to guarantee results”. Then, why has the government interfered with free markets, funding bailout after bailout? Why has the White House advanced legislation that refuses to allow foreclosures on delinquent mortgages? Why have Unions and other favorites been promised additional benefits and expanded roles in our economy at the cost of the free market?
“We cannot expect to solve our problems if all we do is tear each other down.” Perhaps President Obama could follow his own advice and not blame President Bush for Obama Administration spending sprees, not blame Rush Limbaugh for the Obama Administration’s policy mis-steps and flawed decision making, not criticize Fox News for reporting what they hear and see, not cry “racism” every time opponents have an honest policy disagreement.
“This kind of vilification and over-the-top rhetoric closes the door to the possibility of compromise.” This one is rich. No President has ever so blindly fallowed the Saul Alinksy tactic (identify, isolate, and vilify) strategy to achieve his political goals. Obama seems to have found no shortage of villains to isolate and demonize when the time was right: Healthcare executives, Wall Street, Bankers, Cambridge Policemen, have all served the President well as political piñatas.
“Part of what civility requires is that we recall the simple lesson most of us learned from our parents: treat others as you would like to be treated, with courtesy and respect.” And yet Mr. Obama continues to treat all Americans as if they were mathematically impaired and unable to add up the growing number of promises that will add even more pressure on an already escalating mountain of debt. Telling children that they can have it all, that they can and should have all the goodies they want, paid for by someone else, is not good parenting.
“If we choose only to expose ourselves to opinions and viewpoints that are in line with our own, studies suggest that we will become more polarized and set in our ways.” So why does President Obama allow the Democratic leadership in Congress to draft legislation behind closed door, excluding Republicans?
“When we don’t pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders; when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day; when we choose not to make our voices and opinions heard, that’s when democracy breaks down.” Case in point.
Much like the Fonz, who first jumped the shark in Happy Days, with this commencement speech at the University of Michigan, President Obama may have jumped the shark with his teleprompted rhetoric, and reached the point where whatever he says from this point forward has no, absolutely no, credibility because the dichotomy between his words and his actions is so very extreme, and Obama seems oblivious to these differences.
President Obama continues to believe he can fool all of the people all of the time. By preaching to the choir, President Obama may be able to continue to delude himself just a bit longer.