So, this weekend was the fifth anniversary of the landfall of Hurricane Katrina. President Barack Obama and his family left their umpteenth vacation paradise on Martha’s Vineyard to travel to the biggest city still under construction on the Gulf Coast, as they well should have. Of course, the president refused to pass up on a chance to blame the Bush administration–”a shameful breakdown in government that left countless men, women and children abandoned and more”–or to trumpet his well-established modus operandi of curing problems caused by government with more government–”in Washington … we’re putting in place reforms so that never again in America is someone left behind in a disaster”–but to me the real story came about during Obama’s sit-down interview with NBC’s Brian Williams.
Knowing full well that the Democratic Party has led this nation further down the road to financial ruin, and knowing that the extent of the disaster for the Democrats in November is directly proportional to the amount of media focus on the economy, the mainstream press and the White House laid out the latest chapter in the left’s newest strategy for damage mitigation ahead of the mid-terms: distract, distract, distract.
Last week, during a week in which housing, unemployment and GDP-related news should have appropriately and once again shrouded the Obama administration in failure, those of us who should have been calling out the president and his parties–appropriately, and once again–for said failure were instead focusing on explaining to intentionally deaf liberals the difference between “right” and “should” and whether a mosque should be built in the now-brightened shadows of where the World Trade Center once stood.
Now, rather than confront continuing economic woes or perpetually sinking poll numbers or do anything to allow for the American public to be reminded of what has befallen our nation, after being set up perfectly by NBC’s Williams the president lobbed a softball sure to keep certain segments of the new media right busy for weeks. From Politico:
“I can’t spend all of my time with my birth certificate plastered on my forehead,” quipped Obama, who took a deep breath to gather his thoughts when asked if the poll reflected his inability to communicate with voters.
“The facts are the facts. We went through some of this during the campaign — there is a mechanism, a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly,” said a visibly annoyed Obama, referring to “birthers,” who have waged a guerrilla campaign questioning either the existence or the validity of his Hawaiian birth certificate.
Look, I don’t want to talk about birthers. Of course, I understand that the president has not quite been as forthcoming as we all might like when it comes to his college grades and other elements of his background–though, truly, were his associations with the likes of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers and friends not enough to tell us exactly who he is?–and, of course, I take some of the blame for the explosion of birther-related material in the new media. However, while I unfortunately did not anticipate the inmates taking over the asylum and an interesting constitutional question to become a rumor-driven, barely-circumstantial witch hunt, one of the dangers I did anticipate from the day I broke the story of the first lawsuit against then-Sen. Barack Obama was that it would become an enormous distraction from issues of which discussion is essential to show that liberalism just doesn’t work.
Nor do I really want to talk about the Ground Zero Mosque. To me, even though it’s not an issue of law, as a moral issue it’s a settled one. We all know that the Muslim group has the constitutional right to build whatever the heck they want there in lower Manhattan, but those of us who actually believe we’re at war with radical Islam and understand that radical Islam is at war with us regardless of what we believe can see that project for what it is — a victory flag planted like a stake in the heart of those who said goodbye to their mothers and fathers and husbands and wives on the morning of September 11, 2001, never to see or hear from them again. It’s a big story, for sure, and it’s one that runs to the heart of the sort of Jihad From Within which has happened overseas and, aided by political correctness, is beginning to happen here as well, but as far as the most important mid-term elections in a generation looming in a little more than 60 days it is of little political consequence.
The real story needs to be the economy. It needs to be the growing inevitability of a double dip recession, and how the Democrats’ planned tax increase–allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire–will make that growing inevitability a verifiable reality. It needs to be the continued job losses, and how the uncertainty caused not only by the looming tax increase but also by the aftereffects of ObamaCare have put into place an informal hiring freeze across the board. It needs to be the wholly expected failure of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the exposed myth of Keynesian economics.
Distract, distract, distract. It doesn’t matter that for several quarters now the Obama administration has touted better-than-expected GDP numbers only to watch them later be revised downward without further comment. It doesn’t matter that the president himself promised that the unemployment rate would not exceed eight percent but has remained near ten. It doesn’t matter that the Summer of Recovery is looking more like the winter of our discontent. There are gays getting hitched in California, illegal immigrants being profiled in Arizona, Muslims gloating in New York, shrimp being purchased in Martha’s Vineyard and, in Louisiana, the president explaining that he cannot plaster his birth certificate on his forehead.
Of course, we cannot ignore everything. I cannot ignore everything. However, in advance of this, the most important mid-term election in a generation, those of us who shape the discussion and those of us who have the discussions simply cannot continue to bite each time the White House and the mainstream press casts the line and dangles the bait.