The ‘Good Obama’ vs. the ‘Bad Obama’
The current campaign asks Americans to compare Mitt Romney with Barack Obama and then vote for one or the other. It might be equally instructive to compare the rhetoric of Barack Obama (the Good Obama), and Obama based on his record (the Bad Obama).
As I wrote earlier, if oratory was reality, Mr. Obama would be known as the master builder. There is no end of speeches in which he reminds us. “When we invested in the Hoover Dam, “or the Golden Gate Bridge, or the internet, sending a man to the moon — all those things benefited everybody. And so that’s the vision that I want to carry forward.”
It sounds so good when he says it, and as they say in West Virginia, “Lordy, but that man can talk.”
The problem is, the vision the Good Obama talks about carrying forward has no relation to reality created by the Bad Obama. There won’t be any more dams built if his administration has anything to do with it. Remember the stimulus money and all those shovel ready projects? We didn’t get any Hoover Dams, or Golden Gate bridges, or new Interstate Highways, or electric transmission lines, or any great number of large or small shovel ready projects.
The Bad Obama parceled out over $800 billion in stimulus money to indigent states to help them postpone the day of reckoning and he managed to find money to bail out the auto unions. None of the stimulus money went to fund NASA.
There are no new Golden Gate Bridges on the horizon but, if there were, they’d likely be built in China and shipped to the United States. Think I’m kidding? Right now, according to The New York Times, Chinese laborers are completing work on a new span for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It’s a great business deal for the Chinese: for us, not so much. The rationale for building the bridge in China and shipping it to the United States is the cost. The Chinese, you see, don’t have all the regulations and taxes that tie up American construction companies.
The Good Obama’s visions might be of roads, bridges, and new jobs but the Bad Obama’s agenda has no room for that kind of nonsense. “Instead of roads and bridges,” wrote Mark Steyn, “Obama-sized government funds stasis and sclerosis: The Hoover Dam of regulatory obstruction, the Golden Gateway to dependency. Last Month, 80,000 Americans signed on to new jobs, but 85,000 Americans signed on for Social Security disability checks. Most of these people are not ‘disabled’ as that term is generally understood.”
Remember the good Obama of 2008? He spoke of “opening up and creating more transparency in government.” Remember the promise that government spending plans would be posted on the Internet for five days before he being signed into law?
Once elected, he became the Bad Obama of secret government. He rammed through Obamacare so quickly that neither the congress or the public could read the 2,700 page monstrosity. It was never posted on the Internet or made available to the general public as promised. The Bad Obama signed several other important pieces of legislation into law in 2009 and 2010. Not one of these was posted on the Internet five days before signing. In fact none of them were ever posted.
The Good Obama appointed prominent citizens to head the various cabinet level positions and they were quickly confirmed by the Senate. The Bad Obama then, by Executive Order, proceeded to neuter the cabinet officers by appointing competing positions and filing them with people he called czars. By 2010 the White House looked like a Romanoff wedding. The Bad Obama thought the Advise and Consent provision of the Constitution was too confining.
The Good Obama swore to insure that all laws are faithfully executed and enforced. The Bad Obama immediately took a pass on enforcing any law that he didn’t like or didn’t appeal to some group in his base. When congress failed to pass some version of amnesty, he passed one by Executive Order. When gay members of the Democratic base took exception to the Defense of Marriage Law, the Bad Obama said he wouldn’t enforce it. Defend the border? Not really, might upset his Hispanic base.
When the Good Obama sewed up the nomination in 2008, he spoke in Minneapolis, telling us, “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.” It was an implicit promise to do the things president’s do to successfully govern the country. The Bad Obama doesn’t do any of those things, He doesn’t attempt to expand his base in congress or even work with the Democrats.
The government doesn’t work right now because the congress is really a giant committee, and like any committee it will flail about unsuccessfully unless directed by a strong chairman. In this case the president is the chairman but the Bad Obama doesn’t set an agenda necessary to drive congress to action. He has limited his involvement to uttering clever but meaningless directives for congress to get to work, or for congress to pass legislation he recommended during his latest appearance before the student-loan captives attending Innocuous State University.
In the Obama versus Obama contest, the Good Obama continues to set the vision for the future while the Bad Obama creates the not so rosy reality.