Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Is Obamamania Fading Amongst the Media?

By Alan Caruba

The day following President Obama’s State of the Union speech I opened my daily newspaper to read the headline “What the president said and what the facts say.” It was an Associated Press story and it drove a tank through the President’s various promises and assertions.

The AP reporters weren’t the only people who had some doubts. A Reuters news story confirmed my prediction, noting that “Stocks fell on Wednesday as investors found little new in a major speech by President Obama on how he planned to stabilize the economy, while gloomy home sales data weighed on the market.”

Facts are stubborn things. Eventually they cannot be ignored.

I have previously pointed out that this new President’s start in office has had what is surely the shortest “honeymoon” on record with both the public and the media. We’re not talking about FDR’s famous “first hundred days.” We are talking 56 days as this is being written.

There is, I suspect, a growing feeling among both the public and the media that this recession, if the White House and Congress had done NOTHING, would have run its course. All recessions do. But Obama came out almost immediately calling it a “catastrophe” in order to gin up support for a “stimulus” bill that surely had been in the works for the last two years that Democrats had control of Congress, but were unable to get passed because of a potential presidential veto by George W. Bush.

All that pent-up desire, for example, to reverse the welfare reform that occurred in 1996 after the GOP had gained control of Congress and for which then President Clinton took credit is now being undone. Never mind that it required people to find work in order to qualify for assistance. Never mind that it greatly reduced the cost of welfare to both the federal and state governments.

But I digress. While it is undeniably true that Obama knows how to deliver a speech, it is increasingly evident that he has great difficulty delivering the truth. Even his birth certificate is in doubt. The Hawaiian document put forth during the campaign has been declared a forgery by experts and a bad one at that.

There is no need for me to repeat what others have said about the contents of the State of the Union speech. It was a political statement, full of dubious promises and claims. I have this vision of a small group of historians some years far from now sitting around like a group of Talmudic scholars and laughing hysterically over what Obama said.

The problem for the rest of us, however, is that there is NOTHING to laugh at in his speech and the initial reaction of Wall Street had a lot of investors bailing out. The market will surely regain some, lose some, regain some, lose some. The operative word is “fluctuate.” Still, it is a window to how the speech was received by real people dealing in real money.

If the economy does improve, it will not be due to anything in the “stimulus” bill. It will be because a lot of people, small businesses and large, will make their own private bet that they must invest in their own future. Others will take advantage of the low housing prices and interest rates on mortgages. It’s called capitalism.

If public opinion about Obama is this tepid less than two months into his administration, I suspect the polls will report a continued dip in his numbers. This happened to the unlamented Jimmy Carter whose failure to deal with a recession and the taking of hostages by the Iranians gave him one term in office. I’m only surprised he has not moved to Iran and run for president there.

As to the Republicans, they are being handed the 2010 Congress on a platter. What they need is a real leader. Gov. Bobby Jindal is not that man. Louisiana, home of the populist Huey Long who gave FDR indigestion, is famed more for its history of corruption and general ineptitude than, say, Indiana, whose Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels was re-elected because of---not despite of---real fiscal prudence.

There are some potentially strong Republicans who could give Obama a real run in 2012. The party did the right thing in opposing the “stimulus” bill, but now it has to find some real courage and carry the fight to him every step of the way. It’s time to take the gloves off.

All this talk about being non-partisan makes me want to puke.

Early signs the media is already having second thoughts and buyer’s remorse must be acted upon before those sheep lead the other sheep over the cliff. Again.


Rich Kozlovich said...

Great picture. I had to copy, paste and expand it to read it clearly, but worth the effort.

Alan Caruba said...

The real credit goes to a clever and satiric website:

That where I often find wonderful art to share on my site.

libertyforusa said...

I have been perplexed for years about the media.

Suffice it to say that I have little faith that they will shine the light on the truth, if that means exposing weaknesses of this ruling class.

You however, have an insight on those on the inside of these institutions.

How can so many, with so much access to the actual nitty gritty facts, live with what they put out; and how they present the story?

They (collectively) know how badly the stories are manipulated to seem to be one way and not another.

It was reported recently that 6 major reporters actually quit in order to join the Obama team, yet we know many more are working on his behalf. Those I understand. Those I am wondering about are those with principles and standards of objectivity?

Are they bankrupt or under duress of job security and zealot editors? Can they not see what is becoming of liberty, and individual rights?

I know you can not speak for them, but are some secretly living with ulcerous guilt for what the business has become and their failure to inform us accurately?

Clive Graham Smale said...

Reading your blog and its comments with much interest I cannot help but to realise the contempt with which Congress is held. I can fully understand this because it seems to be peopled with folks not of this world when it comes to real issues and, particularly, science and financial based topics.
In my reading I came across this wonderful poem which would put Congress in a nutshell although I sincerely hope that its concluding verse is not forthcoming:

"These hardy knaves and stupid fools,
Some apish and pragmatic mules,
Some servile acquiescing tools,
These, these compose the Congress.

Then Jove resolved to send a curse,
And all the woes of life rehearse,
Not plague, not famine, but much worse,
He cursed us with a Cogress.

Then peace forsook this hopeless shore,
Then cannon blazed with horrid roar,
We hear of blood, death, wounds and gore,
The offspring of the Congress".*

Is this a GOP dirge from a recent quill? No at all. It was penned by a Crown Loyalist during the first American Civil War, (or American Revolutionary War - 1775-83).
It seems to sit very comfortably, today.
*(Ref: 'Empire - How Britain made the Modern World' by Niall Ferguson, Penguin, 2004)

Alan Caruba said...

It's a bit like the Stockholm Syndrome where hostages begin to identify with their captors. In NJ, a dozen laid off reporters from the leading daily are now working for government agencies in Trenton!

Reporters get so close to the sources, agencies, etc., on whom they report that they become inside players.

They believe they are helping the public understand the "reality" of various government initiatives or activities of the business community, but they are part of the problem, not the watchdogs that help avoid or solve it.

Rich Kozlovich said...

Dear All,

Regarding much of what has been said, I would like to recommend that everyone pick up a copy of Jonah Goldberg's book, "Liberal Fascism, The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning".

This has to be one of the greatest books ever written to expose past events which allows for us to understand current events and how these people's minds work and why.