If I Were a Liberal
by Hughey Newsome (bio)
Peggy Noonan, the former Republican speechwriter, recently authored a column the Wall Street Journal titled "Incompetence." She highlighted examples of how Obama staffers "don't have a background in executing" the policies the President seeks to articulate.
Rather, Noonan wrote, "they have a background in communicating, but not in doing."
Of course, an Obama supporter might say Noonan is a partisan conservative. Despite her resume, however, Noonan gave Obama a chance in 2008.
Back then, Noonan wrote a "case for Barack Obama, in broad strokes" in which, among other things, she suggested Obama "shows good judgment in terms of whom to hire and consult." She referred to Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin as "not... thoughtful" and "limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions."
Noonan certainly cannot be lumped among those people liberals say never wanted Obama to succeed.
In 2008, George W. Bush's unpopularity coupled with the euphoria of electing the first black president, introducing a different worldview and financial panic from the financial crisis rocketed Barack Obama into the White House. He was the standard-bearer for how liberal policies would make America great again.
He coulda been a contender.
But he wasn't what he seemed. Former network anchor Tom Brokaw's admission about Obama, just days after his election, "[t]here's a lot about him we don't know" was maybe the most blatant indictment of the media's failure to perform due diligence during the campaign.
Obama, with liberal majorities in both the House and Senate, had liberalism at center stage. He had the power to prove the left's ability to solve the nation's woes.
This is why Noonan's recent piece is timely. Instead of having an all-pro quarterback to prove their politics, liberals actually got a third-stringer in Obama.
Liberals wanted socialized medicine. Obama won his legislative campaign for a government takeover of American health care, but his signature policy initiative is already considered a failure. Almost four years after its passage, his staff cannot even create a working website to sign people up. These champions of liberalism also apparently intentionally misled citizens by promising "if you like your plan you can keep your plan." They similarly failed to anticipate predictable problems inherent in the law — maybe because lawmakers rushed it through Congress without bothering to read it.
ObamaCare is now so incredibly unpopular. Making matters worse, Obama unilaterally (and possibly unconstitutionally) makes changes on the fly to what his supporters call "the law of the land" to save face and protect political allies.
Liberals also believe government can spur economic growth through gargantuan spending sprees. But, when the mother of all stimulus packages was pushed through Congress in 2009 in the form of the $840 billion "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," it turns out the White House couldn't discern real "shovel-ready" jobs from boondoggles.
In fact, when so many claims turned out to be hokum, Obama and his supporters literally laughed off the lack of actual shovel-ready jobs. And "investment" replaced "stimulus" to continue selling throwing good money after bad.
If I were a liberal, I would be mad. I would be furious that this President was so "incompetent" — as Noonan wrote — in creating programs to prove liberalism is a credible ideology.
To be clear, I don't really think even well-implemented liberal solutions are the answer. But if I did, I'd be mad at Obama for making it harder for me to wear my (bleeding) heart on my sleeve.
Even with flawless implementation, ObamaCare was inherently flawed because a guarantee of health coverage doesn't equal receiving quality health care. For example, the next likely proverbial shoe to drop is that people pushed into exchanges and Medicaid will begin finding that doctors won't see them because of regulations and the unfair payment schemes — at least until the government orders them to (which will trigger a retirement spike without proper replenishment). The poor, old and sick will also likely dominate enrollment, creating a "death spiral" of cost and care. So it goes.
Even if Obama's shovel-ready jobs existed, or government could effectively provide universal health coverage, taking wealth from the private sector that produces it and redistributing it toward politically-motivated government goals doesn't create value.
Perhaps this is why Obama's approval rating is so low just a year after his re-election. Conservatives disapprove of his ideology and liberals see liberalism's big chance squandered.
At least political opposites finally find some agreement under Obama.
# # #
Hughey Newsome, a business consultant in the D.C. area, is a member of the national advisory council of the black leadership network Project 21. Comments may be sent to [email protected].
Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints
permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.
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