Thursday, April 30, 2009

Obama responds to Tea Parties

“I know you’ve been hearing all these arguments about, oh, Obama is just spending crazy, look at these huge trillion-dollar deficits, blah, blah, blah. Well, let me make a point. Number one, we inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit -- that wasn’t from my -- that wasn’t me. (Applause.) That wasn’t me…if we aren’t careful, health care will consume so much of our budget that ultimately we won't be able to do anything else…So, you know, when you see -- those of you who are watching certain news channels that -- on which I'm not very popular -- (laughter) -- and you see folks waving tea bags around -- (laughter) -- let me just remind them that I am happy to have a serious conversation about how we are going to cut our health care costs down over the long term, how we're going to stabilize Social Security. Claire and I are working diligently to do basically a thorough audit of federal spending. But let's not play games and pretend that the reason is because of the Recovery Act, because that's just a fraction of the overall problem that we've got…We are going to have to tighten our belts, but we're going to have to do it in an intelligent way, and we've got to make sure that the people who are helped are working American families.”

This is an excerpt from Obama’s recent town hall meeting in Missouri. Normally, I would be very angry about it, but not today. It is becoming more apparent that President Obama really isn’t interested in representing people like me, or serving people like me, so it’s hard to get upset when he mocks my concerns.

First, the blame thing. He inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. That’s true. And if it’s a problem then why is he doubling and tripling that number? It’s odd how he takes a shot at Bush for deficit spending and people applaud, and in the same breath he uses the deficit he inherited as a reason to increase the very deficit he criticizes. And people applaud. Also, at some point someone should remind the President that budgets are set by Congress and that his very own party controlled that branch of government for 2 years before he stepped in; and that he was part of that very branch of government that ran up the deficits that he blames for our problems. What exactly are these people applauding for?

Now, the tea parties. This is the first time that Obama has acknowledged that the tea parties took place and his response is insulting. In fact, it is the most insulting thing I have ever heard a President say. First, it’s obvious he doesn’t understand the reason for the protests. I would gladly direct him to my post on the subject so he can educate himself a bit. Mr. President, it’s not about health care or entitlement spending. It’s about spending…PERIOD! As in, too much spending. As in, too much spending on whatever program Washington spends on. As in, spending more than you take in. It’s too much. These concerns are genuine, not driven by Fox News or the crazy right wing. We are worried about the country that our children will inherit. For those who didn’t actually see this town hall, you missed the smirks and the laughter that came with Obama’s comments. It’s clear that he doesn’t take this seriously. He was mocking the concerns of hundreds of thousands of Americans, myself included. A simple “I hear you” would have done. You don’t have to generate laughter at our expense.

It’s even more insulting that this guy is willing to dirty his nose with the Europeans, willing to kiss fanny in the Middle East, and willing to endure verbal tirades from the banana republic crowd, yet he dismisses the concerns of hundreds of thousands of hard-working, middle class American families with a smirk and a laugh. So much for being “our” President. Bush may have been stubborn, but he never did anything like this.

Mr. President, we’re Americans to. You don’t have to agree with us, but at least acknowledge that our concerns are legitimate. Don’t take it personally. Thicken your skin a bit. If you can travel to Europe on your knees, why can’t you allow your own citizens to complain without taking pot-shots? Belittling and mocking is unbecoming a US President. If he can’t respect the concerns that I have, then I can’t respect him as a genuine leader. Our President? Yeah right.


Dan Trabue said...

It is becoming more apparent that President Obama really isn’t interested in representing people like me, or serving people like me, so it’s hard to get upset when he mocks my concerns.

Welcome to my last eight (28?) years.

John Washburn said...

Dan, when did Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr or Reagan openly mock your concerns? When did they generate public laughter at your expense? I'm not talking about spokesman or commentators, I'm talking about the Presidents themselves. When did they do something like Obama did yesterday?

Anonymous said...

I must say, Obama's argument here makes very little sense. He complains about Bush's spending (as he should) but then spends more, and his only argument is that his predecessor was worse?

Not exactly the most brilliant speech I've ever read...

John Washburn said...

Yes, his argument is that his predecessor was worse. And that argument itself is inaccurate in that Obama and Congress will be spending substantially more. Bush's spending is pennies compared to Obama. And yet, people applaud when he criticizes Bush's deficits?

I'm not sure those "enchanted" people really grasp the current economic situation very well.