By Alan Caruba
Even after his first four years in office, the voters still preferred George W. Bush to the effete John Kerry. By the end of the second four years, during which our attention was focused on the war in Iraq, Americans were just plain tired of George W. Bush.
Those not suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome had simply succumbed to the fact that eight years of the same person in the White House, no matter who it was, had worn out his welcome. That’s the genius of the Founding Fathers who established a four-year term and the lesson which led to the 22nd Amendment in 1951 that limited all presidents to two terms only.
The sudden financial crisis just before Bush left office exacerbated the feeling because Americans were told that it would take $700 billion to get us out of the mess. Never mind that Bush had warned against the huge exposure that Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae represented, it was a death blow to the lackluster campaign of John McCain.
It is significant, therefore, that six months into the first year of his term, President Barack Obama has already managed to wear out his welcome. It’s too much Obama. It’s a television commercial played over and over again until the only recourse is to pick up the remote control and hit the mute button.
On Wednesday evening, the President will hold another prime time press conference. He has become the incessant pitchman of Obamacare and the ratings are likely to reveal that almost any other program playing opposite him will garner better ratings.
Americans are increasingly wary of bills in excess of a thousand pages that members of Congress do not read before passing. They have reason to be. The deficit and the debt are predicted to reach astronomical levels unseen in the entire history of the nation. They will be nation-killers if the brakes are not applied, revisions made, and repeals undertaken.
As a longtime practitioner of the arts of public relations it is no surprise to me that the profession is taking notice of the Too-Much-Obama Syndrome. The Ragan Daily News Feed, directed to PR folk, called attention to the July 22 edition of The Daily Beast in which former newsman Sam Donaldson addressed “Obama’s Misguided Media Blitz.”
Having obviously not paid attention to recent polls, Donaldson asserted that “The public wants a health-care overhaul.” No, it doesn’t. It wants to see what can be done to reduce costs, but it likes the present system which is widely seen as the best in the world.
In a post on Rasmussen Reports, Tony Blankley, formerly an editor and columnist with The Washington Times and now a vice president in the Washington, D.C. office of Edelman Public Relations, warned that “All we can know for sure is that the Democrats’ comprehensive health care reform legislation will empower bureaucrats comprehensively to make all decisions, vital and trivial, regarding your health care coverage or non-coverage. The comprehensive power of the federal government will completely and totally extinguish your control over your health treatment.”
Meanwhile, Donaldson is advising Obama saying, “He should insist on ramming through a bill as long as it truly accomplishes the overall goals…” The problem is that is no one knows its goal beyond a government takeover of twenty percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
What the public knows is that the President lies. A lot. You may have disagreed with George W. Bush and I frequently did, but I never felt he was deliberately and knowingly lying to me. Liberals, of course, kept repeating the mantra that “Bush lied, people died” but the only people that died in America from the threat of Islamo-fascism did so on September 11, 2001.
Under Obamacare people who are ill will die and we know this from the socialist healthcare programs that exist in Canada and Great Britain.
Politically, we’re told that the passage of Obamacare will determine whether Obama can exert “leadership” within his own party while it controls Congress. Obama recently said, “This isn’t about me”, but it is all about Obama. The dizzying, frightening first six months of his term have been all about Obama. The mainstream media have seen to that.
Now, however, Americans are gathering in greater numbers to protest Obama and his horrid intention to raise taxes in the midst of a recession, to overthrow the Second Amendment, to take control of the auto industry, banks, insurance companies, healthcare, ad infinitum. They did so on July 4th at thousands of “Tea Parties” and they will do so again on September 12 in Washington, D.C.
The televised press conference, a manipulation of the White House press corps which is demonstrating resistance to his charms, is not proof that Obama is succeeding in this quest to control the most intimate and essential element of our lives, our health, but proof that he is failing.
The Senate is beginning to assert its purpose, the slow deliberative final say on proposed legislation. It is controlled by a Democrat majority, but that majority is beginning to read the polling numbers, react to the thousands of emails in opposition to Obamacare, and retreating to a position in which they can avoid the same rejection they are seeing occur for the President.
As of July 22nd, Obama had 1278 days to go in his term. He is visibly aging.
Americans are stirring from their media-induced stupor.
ADDENDUM: After the Press Conference
This was the fifth press conference President Obama has held in six months and the fourth in prime time. The man has a lot to say to America!
It took him eight minutes to reply to the first question. He received eleven questions in all and he lied a lot during the course of the hour. The biggest came early when he said he wanted to "keep government out of healthcare decisions."
The whole purpose is to make government part of all healthcare decisions. In order to do that, it must have all your medical records and, with "reform", it will. Goodbye patient-doctor privacy.
One theme that crept into the answers that followed his Obama's distaste for the wealthy in America; people who through hard work, better, more advance skills, wiser investments, simply earn more than most people. He's also not keen on banks and financial institutions giving bonuses to their highest producers of profit even though that is a standard process and one built into contracts.
Another theme was the "inefficiencies" of the present Medicare and Medicare programs which, he said, can be solved in order to save money. All government programs have inefficiencies and always have. They rarely get fixed. The so-called Stimulus Bill is a perfect example of inefficiency when most of it is directed to help states reduce the amount of money they owe for federally mandated programs. As for creating new jobs, well, forget about it.
President Obama is no fan of Wall Street, yet much of the problem that occurred was due to the failure of federal oversight agencies to do their job. That's how Bernard Madoff was able to defraud people and institutions of billions for years. There's plenty of regulatory law on the books regarding Wall Street. It is not sufficiently and effectively enforced.
I don't know how many people watched, but I doubt they can call on decades of watching government function as I can. What they saw was yet another slick performance by the President, but what they didn't see was the slight of hand that will add trillions more to the national debt and require the rationing of treatment. It means your parents or grandparents, when they get ill, will be denied treatment because it is old people who require the most care. They will be sent home to die. I have seen it happen.
Can Obama pull it off? His own Party is in retreat because they cannot find the money to pay for these "reforms" and they are hearing from too many constituents who don't want any more reform of an already costly "entitlement."
The Nielson Ratings:
Draws 4.1 Million Fewer Viewers Than Third Press Conference
In a continued push for congressional support of health care reform President Obama held his fourth prime time press conference on Wednesday July 22, 2009. The conference was carried live from 8:00PM to approximately 9:00PM on 11 networks. The sum of average audience for those networks was 24,682,519 viewers and had a combined household rating of 16.3. The networks carrying the press conference were ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision*, Telemundo*, BBC-A, BET, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, and MSNBC.
Viewing to last night’s press conference was down 14% from his April 29 press conference and down 50% from his first primetime conference on February 9.