For most of the past 25 years, Barack Obama has gotten his way on everything, all the way to the White House. (Except when he ran for Congress in 2000 and lost to the incumbent by a 2-to-1 margin.)
So he’s had a pretty good run. But now he’s running into serious opposition to his pork-laden spending bill, and he’s not happy about it. In fact, the legendary “campaign cool” has gone missing, and instead we are seeing arrogance and anger.
Just a few weeks ago he claimed that his election signified that we have “chosen hope over fear …”. But last week he shifted into a mode of trying to scare us into immediately supporting a massive spending bill. Why? Because we have to do something, and we have to do it right away. But even his own people don’t know whether it will help. And most economists think it is a pork-laden disaster.
Columnist Charles Krauthammer explains it well:
It’s the essential fraud of rushing through a bill in which the normal rules (committee hearings, finding revenue to pay for the programs) are suspended on the grounds that a national emergency requires an immediate job-creating stimulus — and then throwing into it hundreds of billions that have nothing to do with stimulus, that Congress’ own budget office says won’t be spent until 2011 and beyond, and that are little more than the back-scratching, special-interest, lobby-driven parochialism that Obama came to Washington to abolish. He said.
Not just to abolish but to create something new — a new politics where the moneyed pork-barreling and corrupt logrolling of the past would give way to a bottom-up, grass-roots participatory democracy. That is what made Obama so dazzling and new. Turns out the “fierce urgency of now” includes $150 million for livestock insurance.
The Age of Obama begins with perhaps the greatest frenzy of old-politics influence peddling ever seen in Washington….
After Obama’s miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all presidents tell — and that this president told better than anyone.
I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks.