At an afternoon East Room press conference today, President Obama took a measure of “responsibility” for what he acknowledged was a “shellacking” that he personally got Tuesday from the Republicans. But the president seemed to have a lot of trouble describing just what on earth he might have done wrong.
Instead of “Oops, shouldn’t have done this,” or “Wow, wish I could reel that one back in,” the president offered a series of bromides – all or most of which we’ve heard before – about everyone in Washington needing to “work together” and focus on the economy and yada yada yada yada and PLEASE GET ME OFF THIS TRAIN BECAUSE I’VE GONE TO THIS SAME PLACE TOO MANY TIMES BEFORE.
Here’s what we heard.
I think that there is no doubt that people’s number one concern is the economy. And what they were expressing great frustration about is the fact that we haven’t made enough progress on the economy.
And they understand that I’m the president of the United States, and that my core responsibility is making sure that we’ve got an economy that’s growing, a middle class that feels secure that jobs are being created. And so I think I’ve got to take direct responsibility for the fact that we have not made as much progress as we need to make.
Now, moving forward, I think the question’s going to be: Can Democrats and Republicans sit down together and come up with a set of ideas that address those core concerns
See what I mean? OMG. And this guy is supposed to be our first philosopher-king since Jefferson.
Obama today proved, as I mentioned in my post this morning, THAT HE HAS NO IDEA WHAT JUST HAPPENED.
He has no idea that his policies – TARP, auto bailout, $1 trillion stimulus, health care, cap and trade, spending, spending, and spending – are not what the country wants.
Okay, he alluded to the first two of these, but suggested that stupid Americans had gotten all confused.
But what is absolutely true is that with all that stuff coming at folks fast and furious — a recovery package, what we had to do with respect to the banks, what we had to do with respect to the auto companies — I think people started looking at all this and it felt as if government was getting much more intrusive into people’s lives than they were accustomed to.
Now, the reason was, it was an emergency situation. But I think it’s understandable that folks said to themselves, “You know, maybe this is the agenda as opposed to a response to an emergency.”
It’s understandable that you didn’t understand, he sympathizes. Well, Americans did understand. They understood that throwing a lot of longterm spending at the economy – not “letting a crisis go to waste” – and bailing out automakers and their unions instead of treating them like adults and letting them go bankrupt was indeed too much government.
And when they then got health nationalization, an attempt by the EPA to regulate emissions by fiat, and no real effort to address the deficit, they definitely got the idea that THIS IS THE AGENDA.
And the agenda, Obama remains convinced, is nice. In his second exchange of the news conference, he resisted the pointed and persistent pestering of NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, who wanted to know if maybe he did something wrong.
Q But you still resist the notion that voters rejected the policy choices you make?
OBAMA Well, you know, Savannah, I think that what I think is absolutely true is voters are not satisfied with the outcomes.
These policies take time, Savannah, because Bush dug the hole so deep. Don’t you get it? CNN’s Ed Henry later tried to follow up.
Q The idea is…
OBAMA And so…
Q that your policies are taking the country in reverse. You just reject that idea altogether that your policies could be going in reverse.
Let’s give the president some credit. He believes strongly in what he is doing. Unlike Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush, who generally believed in themselves first and foremost. It’s just, Obama doesn’t realize that the country isn’t with him on this, because he can’t imagine they don’t get it – or that they can’t learn it.