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Jewish World Review
January 29, 2010
/ 14 Shevat 5770
Same pig, but different lipstick
President Barack Obama evidently thinks he can solve his political
problems by changing the lipstick on the pig.
In his State of the Union speech Wednesday, the president indicated he
intends to press forward with the agenda voters in Massachusetts found
so objectionable they sent a Republican to the U.S. Senate for the first
time in 38 years.
A CNN poll released Tuesday indicated only 30 percent of Americans want
Obamacare passed in anything approaching its present form. But in his
SOTU, the president urged Congress: "Do not walk away from reform. Not
now. Not when we are so close."
A CNN poll released Monday indicated nearly 75 percent of Americans
think at least half the money in the "stimulus" bill passed in February
which the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday will cost $862
billion has been wasted.
In a Rasmussen poll in December, 56 percent of respondents opposed a
second stimulus bill (only 33 percent supported the idea). But in the
SOTU, Mr. Obama urged the Senate to pass a $154 billion second stimulus
bill the House passed last month.
Same pig, but different lipstick. It was a scaled down redo of what
they'd passed in February, Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Ca, told constituents in
a "telephone town hall" Jan. 25, but "we've been told not to call it a
stimulus bill, but a jobs bill."
In a Pew poll released Jan 21, global warming ranked last among 20
issues of concern to Americans. When the House passed last summer a
bill to tax companies which emit carbon dioxide (cap and trade), A
Rasmussen poll indicated 35 percent of respondents favored it, but 40
percent were opposed. Other polls indicate support for the concept, but
not if cap and trade should cost jobs, or significantly increase the
price of electricity. The Obama administration estimated the cap and
trade bill would cost the typical household up to an addition $1,761 per
In the SOTU, Mr. Obama, citing what he said was "the overwhelming
scientific evidence on climate change," called on the Senate to pass the
cap and trade bill.
Concern about global warming has plummeted since it was disclosed that
much of the evidence for global warming may have been fabricated. This
has caused a problem for supporters of cap and trade legislation in the
But nothing, said Sen. John Kerry D-Mass, that can't be fixed by
changing the color of the lipstick.
"We have not changed our goals one bit," Sen. Kerry said in an email to
reporters Wednesday. "We're talking about setting a target for the
reduction of pollution, which is why we don't call it cap and trade
There were some rhetorical gestures in the direction of moderation.
After proposing tens of billions of dollars in new federal spending, Mr.
Obama said he wanted to freeze discretionary federal spending (1/7th of
the budget). He didn't mention he'd increased that spending 20 percent
over what it had been in the last year of the Bush administration, and
seemed annoyed when the audience tittered when he said the freeze
wouldn't go into effect until the next fiscal year.
But overall, those mostly Democrats who are scared out of their wits
who were hoping the president would tack toward the center were
disappointed. Mr. Obama made it clear he'll continue to pursue the most
left-wing agenda in our history.
The speech itself was odd. Mr. Obama spoke as if someone else had been
president for the last year, as if some political party other than his
own has a 40 seat majority in the House, a 19 seat majority in the
Senate. It was a nakedly partisan speech, far more appropriate for a
candidate for president than for a president.
Doesn't Mr. Obama care what Americans think? Or has he no clue?
In his interview with ABC's Diane Sawyer Monday, he said the problem
wasn't that his policies were bad, but that he hadn't explained them
well enough. This from a guy who, according to CBS, made 411 speeches,
press conferences and "public availabilities" in 2009. And people in
Massachusetts voted for Scott Brown, he said, because they were still
mad at George Bush.
Even when he says nutty things like that, President Obama would rather
be judged on his words than on his deeds. But people care more about
what a president does than what he says no matter how much lipstick
is slathered on the pig.
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JWR contributor Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration.
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