We didn’t know that distinguished New York Times columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote satire. But in today’s edition was a piece attributed to him that made us laugh out loud.
Apparently Mr. Krauthammer has his panties in a twist over the President’s jobs plan and the manner in which he intends to pay for it. He is terribly upset that the President proposes to use the government to create jobs while asking the wealthiest citizens to help defray the cost. In his column Krauthammer calls Obama a fraud saying: “The authentic Obama is a leveler, a committed social democrat, a staunch believer in the redistributionist state, a tribune, above all of “fairness-understood as government –imposed and government-enforced equality.”
Mr. Krauthammer states that the President has held these liberal beliefs all along; and the centrist Obama that we have witnessed since the election has been merely a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He says the true Obama has been revealed…he is the one we witnessed on the campaign trail in 2008.
Finally, Mr. Krauthammer accuses the President of “soaking” the rich.
That’s when we laughed out loud.
The President was elected in 2008 on the same principles that he has preached over the past two weeks. They are the very same principles that won him the White House by 10 million votes over John McCain. Even today the polls show that the country by a wide margin supports his vision of job creation and tax increases for the wealthy.
Unfortunately for the country, the President, once elected, lost his way. Instead of fighting for the principles that got him elected he tried to compromise with Republicans that were only interested in seeing him defeated. He caved on closing Gitmo and he continued the tenants of the Patriot Act. He continued the Bush drawdown in Iraq and added more troops in Afghanistan. He backed off on immigration reform, tighter bank controls and consumer protection laws and he folded on cap and trade and higher EPA standards. He passed a historic health care reform bill. But in acquiescing to Republicans he gave up on ‘Medicare for All” and “single payer health care” well before the debate had even begun. He rescued the auto makers which saved over 3 million jobs and kept another US industry from fading into history. He passed the Recovery Act, which every economist says saved 2 million jobs while pulling the country back from another Great Depression. Even as they criticized the plan as “more socialism” and “big government run amuck” Republicans were applying for billions in stimulus funds for their home districts.
But the economy was in worse shape than imagined and the Recovery Act wasn’t big enough to provide the jump start needed to get it going again. Lost in all of this was the one thing people wanted more than anything else…jobs, jobs, jobs.
So when the mid-term elections rolled around the voters looked at Obama and saw not the difference maker that they were promised, but another politician like all the rest. So they voted for “change” again, and gave the President a self described shellacking.
Perhaps not learning his lesson he continued to negotiate with Republicans. He sought compromise while Republicans were only interested in his defeat.
Then came the debate on the debt ceiling…the straw that broke the camel’s back and made clear to the public, and finally to this President, what the Republicans were all about.
Traditional Republicans were not able to control Tea Party members who preferred default over helping the President. Bowing to the Tea Party, Cantor and Boehner not only walked away from a “Grand Bargain” that would have righted the country’s path; they literally walked out on the President, demonstrating their lack of respect for the office and the man. The crisis was averted but the country and the President learned a valuable lesson.
For the past three years the President has put his personal politics aside in an effort to reach a compromise with Republicans. He has been dismissed and shown a lack of respect at every turn. So now he has returned to the stump and proposed the kinds of programs that he should have been proposing three years ago. He has called the Republicans out by name and challenged them to offer their own solutions rather than just say “no” to his. The voters have noticed; and the polls say they approve.
Messer’s Krauthammer, Boehner and McConnell are incensed. They have accused the President of partisan politics. Apparently they can dish it out but they can’t take it.
As for Mr. Krauthammer’s accusation that the President is “soaking “the rich…if asking the wealthy to increase their tax burden from 35% to 39% is more of a “soaking” burden than asking the unemployed, elderly, retired, infirmed, indigent, disabled, first responders, police, government workers, teachers, students and disabled veterans to slash their benefits, pensions and retirement funds…then so be it.
The President has returned to his “social democrat “ways. Mr. Krauthammer says that ultimately the people will decide if he has taken the right course. Mr. Krauthammer says that for him that day cannot come soon enough.
We could not agree more!