Count me among those who hope President Obama will succeed in helping the country out of its current troubles.
Though he appears to be spending us into bankruptcy, I would like to believe that Obama is competent.
Though he appears to be risking another terrorist attack by dismantling programs that have kept us safe, I would like to think he knows what he is doing.
Yet Obama’s own rhetoric suggests that he lacks confidence in his own agenda. Like a broken record, Obama and his administration now constantly remind Americans that they inherited a $1.2 trillion budget deficit, two wars, and a recession. If Obama were really convinced that his own plans had merit, why would he feel the need to divert attention to a scapegoat by pointing the finger of blame at a previous administration?
This week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs found it necessary to take issue with former Vice President Dick Cheney’s view that Obama’s effort to torpedo former President Bush’s antiterrorism policies is making us less safe. Suggesting that the Bush policies were ineffective, Gibbs pointed out that Osama bin Laden is still alive.
Setting aside the fact that the nation has gone for more than seven yeas without another terrorist attack, Obama himself acknowledged in a Jan. 14 interview with CBS News anchor Katie Couric that bin Laden is out of commission.
When asked about the al-Qaida leader, Obama said, “I think that we have so weaken[ed] his infrastructure that, whether he is technically alive or not, he is so pinned down that he cannot function. My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him. But if we have so tightened the noose that he’s in a cave somewhere and can’t even communicate with his operatives. then we will meet our goal of protecting America.”
In contrast to Obama, Bush this week showed class by declining, when giving a speech in Calgary, to respond to Obama’s attacks.
If Obama’s finger-pointing suggests a lack of confidence, so does his practice of creating a straw man for his arguments. In his inaugural address, Obama said, “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” Yet no court has held the Bush administration’s anti-terror policies to be an abuse, meaning an illegal act undertaken for improper or political purposes.
Obama often claims that those who oppose his spending plans would rather “do nothing.” In fact, led by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., Republicans have introduced legislation aimed at rejuvenating the economy based mainly on tax cuts. In what Ryan calls “A Roadmap for America’s Future,” the bill seeks to enhance health and retirement security, reduce debt, and promote jobs and business competitiveness.
“The Obama people are in a perpetual campaign mode,” Brad Blakeman, a Republican strategist, tells me. “They talked about change and looking forward optimistically to the next administration, but they keep looking back as if they’re still fighting a campaign. They have to govern now. It’s their record. Obama is a pitch man, not a president. He can deliver a message, but he can’t implement the message that he’s sending.”
Americans want a president they can admire and trust. Despite his outward appearance of unflappability, Obama’s tactics suggest he may not have faith in himself. And if Obama’s sinking poll numbers are any indication, the American people are beginning to agree with that assessment.
Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via
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