President Obama's legacy is shaping up to be a recurring cycle of rhetorical failures chasing policy failures, an endless, stupefying effort to convince us of the wisdom of pursuing — again and again — policies that have already failed.
This point is reinforced as we read reports about Obama's umpteenth luxurious golf outing while our economy and financial condition approach DEFCON 2 and Middle East turmoil continues apace.
From the superficial snippets we get from the liberal media, Obama doesn't seem to be too concerned with either domestic or foreign policy while on the links, but to the extent he allocates thought to either, he's contemplating his next speech more than deliberating over any substantive decisions.
From all appearances, he's not fretting over the grim jobs reports and hints of creeping inflation; he's not meditating or seeking advice about a new direction he could propose to navigate us out of this malaise.
He's thinking about his abysmal approval ratings, wondering how he can fob those off on President Bush, too. And he's thinking about how he can con the nation into permitting him to give us more doses of the same poisonous elixirs he crammed down our throats the first time.
If he really cared what the people think, he might try listening to them instead of just pretending to be on a listening tour. When an Iowan farmer tried to gently school him on the depressing effects of stifling governmental regulations, Obama cavalierly blew him off and launched into one of his canned monologues deriding income disparities and partisanship. He's got to be the closest thing to a robot ever to inhabit the Oval Office.
As an incorrigible and stunningly narrow-minded ideologue, Obama can't process information or ideas that don't conform to his presuppositions and predispositions. When his policies don't work, it must be because conditions were worse than he'd realized or he didn't go far enough. There is utterly no room for consideration of the possibility that his policies don't work.
So it was that last year when Obama returned from Martha's Vineyard, he didn't emerge revealing any hint of humility about the ongoing failure of his economic prescriptions. He didn't announce that economic realities had finally forced him to take a second look at the wisdom of his agenda.
Instead, he strode into Wisconsin and Ohio to unveil a "bold economic program," as if his $800 billion stimulus package hadn't been brassy enough. He called for "quickly" investing some $50 billion in roads, bridges and other public works projects and, of course, for his obligatory tax hikes for the evil "rich," who could always "afford to give back a little more."
I don't know why more people didn't outright ridicule this juvenile idea at the time. If not already, at what point will he have forfeited the privilege of being taken seriously about the economy? At a time when almost every thinking American was becoming increasingly horrified at the national debt, Obama was proposing that we increase it substantially more in pursuit of policies that had already failed. He never provided any glimpse into the bizarre thought process that had led him to believe that $50 billion could jump-start an economy when 16 times that amount had not.
In the past year, since Obama attempted that preposterous Stimulus II, the people have made it even clearer how opposed they are to his reckless Keynesian schemes, but he refuses to hear them. Just as with Obamacare, he has no intention of deviating from his programmed course. His only challenge is to repackage it — and fool us into buying it in fewer than 54 speeches this time.
That's right. Believe it or not, in between holes, he's crafting a grand September speech, "mapping out a jobs package that he hopes can boost a sluggish economy and win over voters who are coming to doubt his leadership," according to the Los Angeles Times.
He's not about to propose that the government, to stimulate growth, relax its stranglehold on the private sector by loosening onerous regulations, easing the tax burden, and drastically reducing spending. Those do not compute.
He's going to propose — in a different, perhaps more deceptive, form — the same blueprint: government spending of borrowed money to "stimulate" growth. And he'll ratchet up his attack on Republicans, blaming them, along with his predecessor, for obstructing his ingenious reforms. To make his case, he will have to revise history to distort the fact that he had supermajorities in Congress long enough to get his way on the omnibus bill, the stimulus package and Obamacare and that they've all greatly exacerbated our financial crisis.
Obama's puerile predictability is pathetic, but even more so, it's tragic. If only there were a way to reprogram this robot.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book, "Crimes Against Liberty," was No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list for nonfiction for its first two weeks. Follow him on Twitter @davidlimbaugh and his website at www.DavidLimbaugh.com. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.