Over at Politico, Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei have up an article entitled, “Obama’s Big Bang could go bust.” The article details the administration’s attempt to ram through a variety of enormous government reforms, quotes Axelrod as saying that the fierce urgencey of now precluded any other approach, and blames some of Obama’s troubles on a feckless flyover populace inclined to believe lies about his health care program and other proposed legislation.
Largely missing from the analysis, which is punctuated with a lot of 20/20 hindsight observation, is any appreciation of how Obama and his administration’s lack of candor might have affected perceptions of his trustworthiness.Â Consider, for example, the promises regarding transparency.Â Obama stated that all major pending legislation would be posted in order to give the public a chance to view it for a minimum of five days before he signed it.Â This promise–like the promise to conduct health care negotiations live on C-SPAN–has simply not materialized.Â Â Instead, the administration has been conducting its own closed-door negotiations with PhRMA, including a quid pro quo in the form of $150 million in television ad buys to promote the health care agenda, but without tort reform.
Nor do voters trust that he will maintain his campaign pledge not to raise taxes on 95% of Americans.Â People see the tremendous and ever-increasing estimates of government debt and understand that the money to pay off the indebtedness is going to come from somewhere.Â They see that the stimulus money that was filled with pork and pushed through Congress has largely gone to continue to fund state budgets that were already in trouble, and that there is no money available for another enormous government bail-out.Â What they don’t see is the production of jobs from all of this largesse, and no quantity of mealy-mouthed claims regarding jobs created or saved changes that.Â In fact, Obama seems finally to have given up the formula “created or saved” as a bad job.
People see that the estimated 10-year shortfall is adjusted up from $7 trillion to $9 trillion on a Friday afternoon, and consider that that’s not exactly a meaningless increase.Â People understand that the CBO doesn’t believe that Obama’s numbers are correct.Â People see how Cash for Clunkers has had pernicious economic side effects, and has benefitted most those other citizens who have least need for aid in purchasing a vehicle.Â What they don’t see is the credit market rebounding, or foreclosures decreasing.
People see the supercilious, smug arrogance of Robert Gibbs, who seems continually offended that the press should try to do their jobs by getting information from him regarding the amateur hour contradictions that emerge from the mouths and pens of administration spokespeople.Â People see an administration happy to convert their money into, not bailouts for the auto industry per se, but a bailout principally for underfunded union pensions.Â They see Congresspeople and a President who won’t promise to use only the publicly funded health option that they feel is good enough for the citizens of the United States, and whose craven sycophancy toward teachers unions make them wish to take school choice through vouchers away from people to whom it gives options.Â And with 30-odd Czars and Czarinas, and 26 staff people devoted to the First Lady for obscure reasons, they see evidence in the most personal terms of the way that Obama intends to grow government for the benefit, first and foremost, of government.
They hear that Obama’s Pay Czar will arrogate power to “claw back” executive pay, but that there are no noises being made about any of the beneficiaries of Enron-style accounting at Fannie and Freddie, such as Rahm Emanuel, and that multimillionaire mistress of disaster Jamie Gorelick is comfortably ensconced in a behind-the-scenes negotiating role for the Administration.Â They hear the doctors just want to take their tonsils and feet because of the balance sheet, because goodness knows, they’re not as intelligent or high-minded as career politicians and bureaucrats.Â They hear that Bill Maher thinks he’s a genius, though most of them know more about football, baseball, music or electric trains or guns than Bill does about politics, and it’s not even their job so to do.
Then they get stonewalled at town halls packed deliberately with union supporters, or find that their Representative has literally decided to phone the meeting in, and they are accused of being astroturfed, even as they watch people from out of state bused in to support the health care fiasco.Â They see Lyndon LaRouche wackos carrying Obama Nazi signs characterized as right-wingers.Â They hear that their concerns are those of a small and demented minority.Â They see videos cropped to make it seem as though they’re racists. They are told that their opposition to Obama’s policies springs from racism on talk shows and in editorials.Â They receive unsolicited emails from Axelrod after being told that their information’s not being kept by the White House, and then it’s blamed on advocacy groups across a broad political spectrum.Â They recall that there were 8 years of BusHitler rhetoric that went unchallenged in the MSM, which suddenly is up in arms about the extraordinary incivility of such comparisons.Â They see the Washington Post selling access.Â They see newspapers that accuse them of all kinds of mendacity asking for government bailouts.Â They see the unconstitutional tinkering with the census and the desire to give billions to ACORN and hear the lies about the numbers of uninsured Americans and the WHO propaganda.Â They see the Justice Department drop a prosecution against outrageous voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers, then refuse access to the career lawyers involved.Â They’re required to show photo IDs to get into town halls by the same Representatives who feel that producing them at the polls is an undue burden.
Oh, yeah, they’re angry.Â But it’s not because they’re stupid.Â It’s because “Trust us; we despise you” isn’t really very civil, is it?