Monday, July 27, 2009

The Cunning Plan of Barack Obama

Imagine for a moment that you are President Barack Obama. Your must-pass economic stimulus package is failing to stimulate much of anything except more government debt. Your poll numbers are slipping as your elegant rhetoric meets fiscal reality as well as human nature, whether in the form of dictatorships abroad or deficit-terrified citizens at home. Worst of all, your signature health reform initiative is not only bogged down in Congress but actually heading toward defeat as even members of your own party realize it will further bankrupt an already-bankrupt nation.

Like President Obama, I think you would hatch a cunning plan.

Unlike President Obama, I think you might hatch a better plan than spending almost an hour repeating what even Newsweek and MSNBC contributor Howard Fineman called "[recycled] old patches of rhetoric." And to backtrack on your repeated campaign promise of no tax increase for the middle class, just so long as health reform isn't paid for "primarily" by new tax increases on the middle class. And to accuse doctors of performing "predatory tonsillectomies" (as Ed Morrissey calls them) simply to pad their back accounts. And then to follow all that by acknowledging that even though you don't know all the facts, the Cambridge police "acted stupidly" in arresting your friend Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

As Howard Fineman asked, "What was THAT all about?"

Then again, maybe I'm just not cunning enough to follow the cunningness of this cunning plan. Prof. Gates, a noted scholar, has apparently described President Obama as an Oval Office "Solomon," and Oprah herself has said that Barack Obama is a man of destiny whose time has come. Maybe he does know something I don't, and that cunning press conference somehow worked to his advantage over the last few days.

Solomon's destiny ain't what it used to be...