Obama's Salvation in One "Smart" Step

Rick at Brutally Honest wonders if some member of the press might ask Obama to define what he means by socialism, given Obama’s statement yesterday:

“Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, I am an ardent believer in the free market,” Obama said in prepared remarks.
. . . “Getting this balance right has less to do with big government or small government than it does smart government. It’s not about being anti-business or pro-government; it’s about being pro-growth and pro-jobs,” he said.

Obama seems not to understand that what he calls “smart government” (like his “smart diplomacy”) has inspired most of the country to wonder if his administration knows what the word “smart” means. But I am more struck with this part of the report:

“Contrary to the claims of some of my critics, I am an ardent believer in the free market,” Obama said in prepared remarks.

Well, we all know that in “prepared remarks” Obama will say just about anything. He said he had no interest in taking over GM, just before he took them over. Anytime he says he is not interested in doing something, that’s usually about the time he does it. In his world words mean what he says he means.

Which, perhaps, is why much of the country is having a hard time believing any of the words that come out of his mouth.

They are, after all, just words. Since words have -ironically, considering how he loves them- stopped working for this president, perhaps it is time for Obama to take an action; to do something just dramatic enough to make people sit up and listen, and actually, truly, feel hopeful.

Obama needs to he opens up his absurd, pre-determined-outcome of a “healthcare summit” today by holding up the 2000 page health care bill that no one has read, and then inserting it into a shredder.

Then he can stand up, and announce: “now, we start anew.”

THAT would be “smart”. THAT would be leadership! THAT would be a bit of American Genius. THAT would be brilliant political theater. THAT would be unifying and post-partisan.

THAT would give him back his presidency.

I won’t hold my breath.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    “Getting this balance right has less to do with big government or small government than it does smart government. . . .”

    That does seem to be in line with attitudes that government is this entity with an inherent intelligence, that “government knows best,” and that, above all others, Obama knows best, that he is smarter than anyone else in whatever context, and in this case he is smarter than the entire free market economy, that by the exercise of his brilliance, he will cure all ills and create a paradise.

  • Elaine

    That has been my hope and change all along with Obama that he will change his mind from the direction he is going with so many things including healthcare, cap and trade, etc.
    I think his ideology and background points to him NOT starting over, but we can only HOPE.

  • Peter Boston

    Americans elected this guy despite his glaring lack of substance and his radical leftist associations. I don’t know what people expected they were getting but the Obama of 2010 is not any different from the Obama of any other previous year. The fact that he has absolute disregard for honesty and truth is stunning but not out of character.

    The American Dream is being buried by our Federal overlords and every new Federal employee and public sector union member adds one more layer of dirt.

    The Republic was set up so that the citizens of each State could define its individual character beyond the reach of a central authority. The institutional framework is still in place to give us the means to roll back the Feds and to regain a meaningful role in defining how we will live our lives.

    Only the States have the money and the Constitutional authority to say no to overbearing central intrusion and make it stick. Not that State legislators could be expected to be any more benign than their Federal cousins, but at least we would not lose the option of having somewhere else to go.

  • Maureen

    Shredding 2000 pages would take the whole time allotted for the summit. Which would be just fine.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    I thought that torture was bad??

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    I thought that torture was bad??

    Every clip I hear from this fraud of a summit is tortuous. On the one hand, you have the most contemptuous, disingenuous, condescending, hubris-filled, know-nothing, and on the other side you have a bunch of meek, hat-in-hand, wimp-voiced, worms.

  • Jeff

    Yes he is very “ardent” about free markets. How many times before that statement have we heard him talk about the blessings of capitalism, the need to lower taxes, avoid nationalization of industries, wasteful spending. Oh, that’s right, not at all.

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  • Doc

    Obama is a man of the Left. The fact that he lies with such confident ease should surprise no one who understands the Left’s conception of truth. Truth is whatever furthers the agenda. Conservatives who hope that Obama will suddenly “grow in office” or something are hopelessly naive I fear.

  • MJ

    I listened to a bit of the summit and decided I couldn’t listen to any more of the President’s BS. I have trouble believing anything that comes out of the man’s mouth!

  • Manny L.

    I watched for about a half an hour. Bender is right, this is torture…LOL.

    Is it me, or does the President come across as puny here? He’s become just one of the legislators. My guess is that the image of him sitting around with the legislators will hurt him. This seems like a Jimmy Carter type of moment.

  • PackerBronco

    “Getting this balance right has less to do with big government or small government than it does smart government. . . .”
    ————-

    The problem is that Obama does not consider there are situations where government will NEVER be smart enough. The rest of us look at situations where the government has screwed and realize that it is a systemic problem intrinsic to the very nature of government and centralized control.

    Obama looks at the same evidence and thinks: “Well what do you expect? They didn’t have ME running things.”

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  • Mary

    But you turn such a pretty shade of blue when you hold your breath.

  • Jeff

    That was a weird event. Felt like a law school class. Someone needs to tell him that his cracks about Michelle not listening to his speeches and whatever else aren’t funny. At all. He is not a witty person like JFK was. Not even close.

  • CMcD

    Do you remember candidate Obama’s “just words” speech? Every time I hear Obama speak now, the phrase “just words” comes to mind.

  • Terrye

    I don’t listen to Rush a whole lot, but today he said that he was wrong. He had hoped the Republicans would not show up at the summit because he thought it would only help Obama, but he said the Republicans actually did a good job and they got the better of the Democrats.

    But the truth is the only way to stop this ridiculous from passing it, is to stop the Democrats from doing what Obama wants them to do. Good luck with that.

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  • Brigid Elson

    “The expenses involved in health care,especially in the case of accidents at work, demand that medical assistance should be easily available for workers, and that as far as possible should be cheap or even free of charge.” On Human Work, Pope John Paul II. Obama has more of a sense of solidarity than any Republican I am aware of. If there is a right to life (Obama doesn’t think so, I know; that’s where he is at odds with himself) there is a right to health care. No Catholic can think otherwise.

    [Oh, for goodness sake; if you watched the summit yesterday, you should finally understand that no one says there should not be a great availability of affordable healthcare for all. But reasonable people can disagree about methods without having moral judgments cast upon them; when you're discussing the upending of a nation's economy (and a healthcare system that -for all it's problems- people from other countries will still choose over their own universal care, because it is that superior) for an idea that -as we see daily- is not quite the healthcare utopia of everyone's dreams in UK, Canada and elsewhere, then it behooves us to make sure that whatever we are doing, we are doing right and well. It's not enough to just feel bad and haul out sob stories and say "do something." The "something" has to have its foundations sunken into something that is equitable, life-affirming and truly "comprehensive" -meaning you don't just say "greedy insurance companies" and somehow forget about "greedy lawyers." The current program that Obama, Reid and Pelosi are ramming through has much less to do with equity and the affirmation of life, and much more to do with control and power. The proof that they know they are creating a sub-standard level of healthcare for all but the power-elites is in the fact that congress has exempted itself from participation in their healthcare plan, and no, in America "rushing through" a bit of "urgent" legislation that will not then take effect for six years: that is just not good enough. They need to start again, and this time without closed doors and backroom deals and the arrogance that has marked this attempt so divisively. -admin]

  • Jeanie

    Brigid, if you want to provide free health care for someone, have at it. Many, if not most, healthcare providers already do that.

    Does John Paul say that it is okay to force me to pay for someone else’s healthcare? Because that’s what government healthcare does.

  • Manny L.

    Brigid – There’s no such thing as free healthcare. Free healthcare would mean that doctors and nurses and medical companies are all working without getting paid. The socialist model is not free healthcare. The general population is paying through their taxes. The question is, which is the better system. To me our system by far is the better system, albeit we have the problem of the uninsured. I’m willing to address the problem of the uninsured. I’m not willing to over turn the best healthcare system in the world.

    As to we paying more for medical costs, I don’t consider that a problem. We pay more because we get more. There’s an MRI facility in every neighborhood, skilled technicians at every medical office, and specialists everywhere. We don’t have wait months for an operation. That accessibility costs money, and it’s well worth it. I don;’t want the government to shut that down in the name of we “spend too muych in comparison to Europe.” Well maybe Europeans don’t spend enough, and it’s not their free market decision to do so, it’s their socialist approach.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    If there is a right to life . . . there is a right to health care. No Catholic can think otherwise.

    So Brigid — I have the right to make you pay for my healthcare bills? Great! Because, I have to tell you, I’ve had this pain in my right side for the last few days. I think I might have cracked a rib.

    Could you please provide us your address so that, when I go to the doctor, they will know where to send the bill? Thanks so very much!

    I am so very grateful that Brigid should be responsible for paying the healthcare bills of me and everyone else. After all, it’s our right and, as she presumes to infallibly declare, no Catholic can think otherwise.

  • http://vita-nostra-in-ecclesia.blogspot.com Bender

    I have a RIGHT, as a matter of social justice, to make others pay my bills.

    What an audacious and fallacious statement. If that were so, it would reduce each and everyone of us to the status of slaves. We and the fruits of our labors would no longer be ours, but would be owed to someone else. Thankfully, such involuntary servitude was abolished in this country.

    You know, Pharaoh and the Egyptians pretty much thought the same thing — that someone else should be responsible for providing them the things that they wanted. And you know what happened to them.

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  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Like all modern economies, the U.S. has a mixed economy. Education, social security, medicare, regulation of food and drugs, interstate transportation, are some of the many things the government does. Indeed, a healthy market requires government involvement, and the latest debacle shows the damage an unfettered market can do to economic health. Hence, throwing around the term socialist has little explanatory power.

    Nearly all developed nations have near-universal healthcare. Some use private insurance, some government insurance, some by government directly, or with mixed systems.

    voice in the ceiling: But reasonable people can disagree about methods without having moral judgments cast upon them

    Yes, they can. That’s why labels such as “socialist” are distractive rather than descriptive. All modern developed economies are mixed.

    voice in the ceiling: in America “rushing through” a bit of “urgent” legislation that will not then take effect for six years: that is just not good enough.

    Rushed, as in a century in the making. Universal healthcare was first proposed by Teddy Roosevelt. The current bill has been months in the making, and people have had ample opportunity to read the bill. What is happening politically is that the minority is bottling up the bill with parliamentary maneuvers, otherwise, a stronger bill would have already been signed into law.

  • Manny L.

    “That’s why labels such as “socialist” are distractive rather than descriptive.” -Zachriel

    I never thought the word “socialist’ carried a moral judgement. Actually, contrary to what you say, it is descriptive.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Manny L.: I never thought the word “socialist’ carried a moral judgement.

    In American politics, as a vestige of the Cold War, the term carries a great deal of baggage. But leaving that aside, as all modern developed economices are mixed, the term isn’t distinguishing. They’re all “socialist.” They’re all “capitalist.”

  • Manny L.

    Well, I prefer a country that minimizes the socialist element to it. Those programs (interstate transportation has nothing to do with socialism) you mentioned above aren’t exactly thriving and doing well and something to rave about. I perfer individual choice rather than top down dictation of what’s supposed to be best for me. I am better suited to know what’s best for me than any gov’t official. Nor does anyone have the right in a free country to start taking other people’s money.

  • Manny L.

    “Nor does anyone have the right in a free country to start taking other people’s money.”

    Given that, I should have added, yes socialism is by taking other people’s money after all morally detestable.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Manny L.: Well, I prefer a country that minimizes the socialist element to it.

    Most people prefer a government that’s big enough, but no bigger.

    Manny L.: Those programs (interstate transportation has nothing to do with socialism)

    Of course it does. It’s a ‘means of production’ with government bureaucrats replacing free market decisions.

    Manny L.: I perfer individual choice rather than top down dictation of what’s supposed to be best for me. I am better suited to know what’s best for me than any gov’t official.

    Yes, everyone wants choice. But they also want government services. They want to know that old people won’t starve or suffer medical neglect, that children are provided an education. They want their food inspected. They want police and fire protection.

    Manny L.: Nor does anyone have the right in a free country to start taking other people’s money.

    Um, taxes are in the U.S. Constitution, along with providing for the general welfare. You do have the right to representation.

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Just curious. Can you explain why these two statements aren’t contradictory?

    Manny L.: I never thought the word “socialist’ carried a moral judgement.

    Manny L.: Given that, I should have added, yes socialism is by taking other people’s money after all morally detestable.

  • Manny L.

    They are contradictory. I changed my mind. Socialism is detestable. It strips the person, not just from his earnings of free labor, but from his individualism. A government that takes your money at the point of a gun (because that’s how they will come for you if you don’t pay your taxes) is immoral. It makes you a slave to the state. Where in the constitution does it say it has the right to take my earnings? It says government has the right to raise taxes. It does not say it has the right to take people’s money. In the 19th century there were no income taxes because it was deemed unconstitutional. Government raised taxes by fees and import taxes. And a government that takes half of your earnings at the point of a gun, makes you only half free. I don’t want government services. I choose to be free.

    And you’re out right wrong about interstate transportation.

  • SKAY

    “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes”

    I must have missed universal healthcare in the Constitution. I’ll look again.
    I know Obama said in an interview that he has some problems with the Constitution as written–he said that it tells you all the things that the government cannot do to you (really important to the founders) but does not say what it will do “for” you.
    Guess the founders just did not do it the “smart” way.
    Maybe he has added a few things since the election–behind closed doors of course.

    “Rushed, as in a century in the making. Universal healthcare was first proposed by Teddy Roosevelt”

    It was a bad idea then also.

    I think the Socialist is a pretty discriptive word. It describes an idiology.

    Are you a “Progressive” Zachriel.

  • Manny L.

    Looking back over this bit of conversation, let me clarify: “Socialist” is both descriptive and rightly carries a moral connotation. To those that support socialism, it carries a positive connotation. To those that despise it like me, it carries an negative connotation.

  • http://zachriel.blogspot.com/2005/07/liberal-v-conservative.html Zachriel

    Manny L.: They are contradictory. I changed my mind.

    At 11:00 AM, you had never thought the word “socialist” carried a moral judgement. At 11:25 AM, you changed your mind, as is your priviliege. But it does indicate that you haven’t thought that deeply about the subject.

    Manny L.: A government that takes your money at the point of a gun (because that’s how they will come for you if you don’t pay your taxes) is immoral. It makes you a slave to the state.

    According to the American Founders, it’s not taxation, but taxation without representation that is tyranny, as the State can use taxes to impoverish its enemies.

    Manny L.: And you’re out right wrong about interstate transportation.

    You say it, but you don’t argue it. The elected government raises taxes on the people in order to build infrastructure that would otherwise be the responsibility of the private sector.

    Manny L.: Where in the constitution does it say it has the right to take my earnings? It says government has the right to raise taxes.

    The *power* to tax. Article 1 Section 8 and the Sixteenth Amendment. Do you know what power means?

    Manny L.: Looking back over this bit of conversation, let me clarify: “Socialist” is both descriptive and rightly carries a moral connotation.

    You never responded to the point. All modern economies are mixed. And all representative governments have the power to tax and spend.

  • Manny L.

    What’s your point Zach? Are you just trying to be provacative? This is Anchoress’s blog, not a forum to discuss things in detail. You want to support this crappy legislation, then be in the 30-something percent that wants it. I happen to be with the majority of Americans.

    [Because I see this is getting "hot" and I do not have time to moderate, I'm closing comments for the time being -admin]