The Corner

A Stale Speech

Obama must be in a time warp — he thinks the content of his speech is new, or can be made new by more soaring cadences. It’s almost as if he is oblivious to the fact that, before calling for nearly half a trillion dollars in government borrowing to jumpstart temporary job creation tonight, he already oversaw a failed $800 million stimulus, “shovel-ready” jobs that were later admitted to be not so shovel-ready, “millions of green jobs” talk leading to sweetheart loans to now-bankrupt crony companies, nearly $5 trillion in new borrowing, and massive new financial and environmental regulations. Been there, done that.

And is the president unable to give a speech without trotting out the tired canard of “millionaires and billionaires” and the omnipresent Warren Buffett and his proverbial secretary for the nth time — especially given that Buffett’s companies have had tax troubles with the IRS and his fortune will pass without inheritance taxes? Can he refrain from equating legitimate worry over new hyper-regulation with a desire to expose kids to mercury or be shortchanged by the health-care industry? Does he really believe that the majority of Americans who oppose his statism really wish to “just dismantle government, refund everybody’s money, and let everyone write their own rules, and tell everyone they’re on their own”?

Why all that straw-man caricaturing ad nauseam, when after three years it is well beyond old and stale and, what’s more, Obama has a desperate need now for bipartisan support? Is Obama just politically dense, or he is so inured to the Chicago us/them confrontational mentality that he knows no politics other than polarization, even when appealing for help? 

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

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