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Victor Davis Hanson: Give ’Em Hell, Barry - The new model for Obama: Truman vs. the...
NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE ^ | November 4, 2011 | Victor Davis Hanson

Posted on 11/05/2011 5:16:37 PM PDT by neverdem

Give 'Em Hell, Barry
The new model for Obama: Truman vs. the "do-nothing Congress"

Recently both First Lady Michelle Obama and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis went to the key swing state of Florida to blast the president’s adversaries. For the first lady, Obama’s opponents were concerned only with “the few at the top” and care little for racial, gender, or class justice. For Solis, the sexually derogatory term “tea-bagger” summed up the wave of 2010 that for a while stopped Obama’s attempts to borrow more money in order to stimulate the moribund economy. Apparently Harry Truman’s unforeseen win in 1948 against a “do-nothing Congress” is the new model.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the Obama administration’s lone Republican, embraced a similar strategy this week. He charged that the 2010 midterm elections — the largest correction in the House since 1938 — brought in a group of nihilist Republican congressmen who “made a decision right after the election — don’t give Obama any victories. The heck with putting people to work, because we can score points.”

Aside from the fact that the midterm referendum clearly illustrated that the proverbial people wanted a change in Obama’s policies and voiced that desire by, in the president’s words, “shellacking” his party, LaHood’s allegations about Republican partisanship, even if they were true, still make little sense. From January 2009 to January 2011, Obama controlled the presidency, the House, and the Senate. Congress passed everything he asked for in order to revive the economy and, he said, to create jobs: Obamacare, more stimulus, new regulations, serial $1 trillion–plus deficits, almost $5 trillion in new aggregate debt, and record extensions of unemployment insurance and expansions of food stamps. Nothing seemed to help.

So in November 2010 the voters apparently thought that the class-warfare talk, the hyper-Keynesian borrowing, and the Obama agenda had made things worse rather than better, with near-zero economic growth and 9 percent–plus unemployment. If the Republican House is to be blamed for nine months of resistance, what could one say of 24 months of activism? For LaHood, Solis, and the first lady, it is apparently inconceivable that some House members genuinely think the vast borrowing and new regulations of the last 33 months, the constant class-warfare talk, and the new entitlements like Obamacare have had a chilling effect on business, which, for a variety of reasons, is sitting this recovery out.

The entry of cabinet secretaries and the first lady so early into the 2012 campaign apparently is predicated on the following assumptions: Compromise — as in Bill Clinton’s decision in 1995 to craft a bipartisan effort to control spending, balance the budget, and enact popular initiatives like welfare reform — is out. Obama seems to believe either that such triangulation is ideological heresy or that the independents are lost to him anyway and victory is now possible only through hard-core appeals to his energized base and negative campaigning.

In this sense, the 2010 setback was a godsend for Obama. More of the same was not working; but now its failure can be blamed on the opposition, which, late in the game and reflecting popular discontent, is not so approving of the same level of borrowing. We are now in “If only they had . . .” Lalaland, where the failure of $5 trillion in borrowed money to jump-start the economy is attributed to the inability to borrow more trillions before the next election: More of what failed surely would not have failed.

By the same token, Obama apparently hopes that recent iconic executive actions by himself or his appointees — non-enforcement of the Defense of Marriage Act, the end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” neglect of immigration law for non-felon illegal aliens, the EPA’s effort to shut down coal-fired plants, the NLRB’s attempt to stymie the new Boeing plant — will so energize gays, minorities, the unions, and greens that he can cobble together 51 percent without the “hope and change,” “this is our moment” soft stuff that won over independents in 2008. There will be no defense of what has been done, only blame for what has not been done. So 2012 is us/them class warfare, the old “Bush did it” mantra, and the slur that right-wing “tea-baggers” hijacked the Republican party and want to give America over to “the few at the top” as they throw the needy out on the street (“You’re on your own”) and end Social Security.

Abroad, there will suddenly be symbolic protestations on Israel’s behalf to win back errant Jewish voters in key states. The complete withdrawal from Iraq “ended Bush’s war.” Another Predator hit on someone like Dr. Zawahiri could cement Obama’s national-security credentials. If the Syrian tyranny falls, this might be attributed to “lead from behind” diplomacy or to a Libyan-like sorta intervention.

Will it all work? It might. But for now Barack and Michelle seem unlikely avatars of the modest-living, plainspoken Harry and Bess.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author most recently of the just-released The End of Sparta, a novel about ancient freedom.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: donothingcongress; obama; truman; vdh

1 posted on 11/05/2011 5:16:41 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

How much more hell can we take?


2 posted on 11/05/2011 5:29:53 PM PDT by big bad easter bunny (Cain 2012)
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To: neverdem

3 posted on 11/05/2011 5:30:51 PM PDT by Baynative (The penalty for not participating in politics is you will be governed by your inferiors.)
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To: neverdem

Where is the barf alert!!!!! :)


4 posted on 11/05/2011 5:35:12 PM PDT by LUV W (This tagline reserved for a hero.......)
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To: neverdem

Well, heck - he’s tried to compare himself to so many other Presidents - Lincoln (remember his gimmicky inauguration train ride?), Roosevelt, Kennedy, and now Truman. What Barry doesn’t realize yet I that the most applicable comparison is with Jimmuh Cahtah.


5 posted on 11/05/2011 5:39:54 PM PDT by Apparatchik (If you find yourself in a confusing situation, simply laugh knowingly and walk away - Jim Ignatowski)
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To: neverdem

The only job creation Obama can do is with more government jobs. This idiot in chief’s wife is the spendthrift of all spendthrift’s to ever be a first lady. And the women hires a staff of personal kiss arses unequaled even during the gold rush,the industrial revolution,and, our most glorious moments.

These clowns know zip about creating a real job, a real business, as all Obama has ever done is to use Gov grant money given to develop communities and diverted for community politics for the left. Obama becomes a high paid community organizer living on our money.

These Dems all want more darn money from the real taxpayers so they can scam more off the top for their propaganda machines and their head BS artists who have mastered their talking points and every possible spin answer. Then when the pie is gone and the crumbs are left,these fat clowns scrape the few crumbs back into the pie for those who voted for their sad arse.


6 posted on 11/05/2011 5:56:46 PM PDT by Lumper20
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To: neverdem
Obama seems to believe either that such triangulation is ideological heresy or that the independents are lost to him anyway and victory is now possible only through hard-core appeals to his energized base and negative campaigning.

The Won knows that if he loses the next election, the puppeteers on the other end of the Blackberry will have him martyred.

...cobble together 51 percent ...

Why does he need 51%?

King William didn't.

7 posted on 11/05/2011 6:13:22 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: neverdem

Barry couldn’t play Truman if he wanted with his limp wrists. Boy, how I despise everything about zero—EVERYTHING.


8 posted on 11/05/2011 6:21:11 PM PDT by savagesusie
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To: LUV W
Where is the barf alert!!!!! :)

For what? Did you read the essay?

9 posted on 11/05/2011 6:29:01 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: savagesusie

Obama wouldn’t make a pimple on Harry Truman’s ass.

Now the Wookie is in Florida? Last week she was in New Orleans. The muslim resident is in France? When did the first lady get a personal plane to fly all over the world in? Why isn’t some Republican raising hell about all these flights?

I am ashamed to say I am a Republican, while they hide in a closet in Washington and say nothing. The Obamacare hasn’t been mentioned in weeks, the Resident is making his own laws, He is campaigning all over the country at our expense, his wife is running all over the world on our expense account, he is supporting the anarchy of the Occupy treason,his EPA is costing us jobs and money and still not one word from Republicans.

Is Boehner on vacation, has he gone into a coma? Why arent the Republican Candidates all over him like stink on crap instead of attacking each other or worried about Cain giving some employee the finger, or whatever it is he was alledged to have done?


10 posted on 11/05/2011 6:39:47 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: Venturer

“while they hide in a closet in Washington and say nothing.”

That is so true. I am so angry at our leaders. They let opportunities like this slide by when they could be making some serious political hay.

Steele angered me because of that. His habit of making a statement weeks later was infuriating. Priebus doesn’t seem up to a fight either. And the GOP wonders why it is dying and people are angry? Where are our leaders?


11 posted on 11/05/2011 7:05:26 PM PDT by stilloftyhenight
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12 posted on 11/05/2011 7:15:37 PM PDT by RedMDer (Forward With Confidence!)
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To: neverdem

Today’s news, which Hanson couldn’t have known about, also seeks to cement Obama’s anti terrorist credentials: the well-timed trial of Maj. Hasan is supposed to get underway
next March. It has been two years since he killed 13 people.
It’s all in the timing.


13 posted on 11/05/2011 8:12:39 PM PDT by supremedoctrine
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To: Baynative

Brilliant graphic!! Spread that around so it sticks. Obeyme OWNS the OWS movement.


14 posted on 11/05/2011 8:20:10 PM PDT by AlanGreenSpam (Obama: The First 'American IDOL' President - sponsored by Chicago NeoCom Thugs)
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To: AlanGreenSpam

We started working on them this morning on this website. ‘Cymbaline’ came up with the graphic and I’ve been littering hyperspace with it ever since.


15 posted on 11/06/2011 6:03:55 AM PST by Baynative (The penalty for not participating in politics is you will be governed by your inferiors.)
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To: Baynative

“I’ve been littering hyperspace with it ever since.”

Awesome! I’ve been sending it around too! Good work!


16 posted on 11/06/2011 12:52:45 PM PST by AlanGreenSpam (Obama: The First 'American IDOL' President - sponsored by Chicago NeoCom Thugs)
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