In asking whether President Obama’s post-partisanship tour is over, it’s realistic to ask whether it wasn’t more smoke-and-mirrors than reality. Nonetheless, the UK Telegraph is asking the same questions in this article:

After less than a week in office, Mr Obama’s presidency is already encountering the very partisan bickering he had pledged to stamp out during his first 100 days. He faces mounting criticism over his $825 billion economic stimulus plan, from Republican leaders who say the legislation has been drawn up without the input which Mr Obama had promised to allow them.

The president responded with a clear signal that he is prepared to ram the bill through without the bipartisan consensus he promised to construct, telling Republican leaders from the House of Representatives: “I won. I’m the president.”

He then told them to break free of the confrontational mindset epitomised by Mr Limbaugh, the highest paid talk show host in America. “You can’t just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done,” Mr Obama said.

It’s apparent that President Obama thinks he’s bulletproof, that he can say anything and get away with it. My instincts tell me that he’s wrong, that his image will take some hits the minute he starts making real decisions impacting real people.

John Hinderaker makes that point in this post:

Notwithstanding the media blitz in support of the Democrats’ over-the-top “stimulus” plan, most Americans are skeptical. Rasmussen finds that 59% fear that “Congress and President Obama will increase government spending too much in the next year or two.” Conversely, only 17% worry that they will cut taxes too much. (I think we can safely reassure that group that their fears are unfounded.)

This suggests that the seeds of the Republicans’ resurgence have already been sown. Congress will indeed spend far too much money, increasing the federal deficit to ridiculous levels. Before long, the monetary and fiscal policies now emerging will lead to wealth-destroying and income-eroding levels of inflation. As long as the Republicans in Congress stick to their principles and oppose the Democrats’ pork-fest, they should be well positioned for a comeback in 2010 and 2012.

There isn’t any doubt but that this level of spending will create significant amounts of inflation, which will likely cause significant layoffs. That isn’t the shortest path between today’s recession and tomorrow’s prosperity, though it might be the shortest path between today’s supermajorities and embarassing midterm defeats.

It’s important that Republicans stay calm and make the smartest arguments against this so-called stimulus package.

One of the best arguments that I’ve figured out about it include highlighting the supplemental appropriation for maintaining the National Mall. Another great argument against it is questioning the Democrats’ putting $4.2 billion into “neighborhood stabilization activities.” How does putting billions of dollars into that type of thing stimulate the economy?

Perhaps the best argument against the Democrats’ so-called stimulus package was provided by the Obama administration itself:

“Can you tell me Mr. Barthold, how many jobs will be created as a result of this legislation?” Camp asked. Barthold replied, “In short, Mr. Camp, I can’t.” Camp then pressed Barthold to clarify his position, “So we don’t have an estimate of the number of jobs this would create either private sector or public? We don’t have any estimate of the economic effect that this legislation would have on our economy, whether it would create any growth in our economy at all? We don’t have that data before the committee today?” Barthold then nodded his head and shrugged.

That type of testimony has the potential to be an unmitigated disaster for this administration. It essentially says, under oath no less, that they didn’t do the math on this legislation. It also says that their ‘plan’ was just to spend alot of money and hope that it helped.

This is potentially the first time in his political life where President Obama might be judged on the results of his policies rather than on his speaking ability. That’s got to scare him just a little. His policies are about to be put into action. Until now, people could project their own values and priorities onto him. When the interest rates climb, the inflation rates don’t drop and the economy doesn’t stabilize, what’s the likelihood that the American people will trust him when he proposes another massive spending bill to stimulate the economy?

The Lady Logician sums things up pretty nicely here:

The crux of Krugman’s column is if the Fed prints a boat load of money and nationalizes the bank and if the federal government creates a whole slew of temporary government jobs then the economy will bounce back. Banks can not be forced to lend money to people who don’t want to borrow! Right now, the people who can best “rescue” the economy don’t have faith in it. That faith was killed, in some part by the very politicians that now want to rescue it from certain disaster! The consumers are the ones who can best rescue the economy and right now they are not spending money out of fear of higher taxes, higher fuel costs, an over higher cost of living and a stock market in free fall. The job creators of the country are not creating jobs out of fears of high taxes, higher fuel costs, an overall higher cost of doing business and a stock market in free fall! We simply can not spend our way out of this mess. Responsible spending mixed with tax cuts, permanent job creation and ceasing to live well beyond our means are all parts of the solution to this problem.

No amount of President Obama’s personal charm will change people’s fears. the trust that people have with President Obama isn’t based on anything substantive. Their trust certainly isn’t grounded in his long list of accomplishments. He didn’t have any in the US Senate or the Illinois Senate.

People didn’t trust Ronald Reagan on the economy because of his personality. People trusted him because of their prosperity and his long list of accomplishments. They also trusted him because of all the speeches that he gave,the debates he participated in.

As much as anything, the people’s trust in President Obama is based on his speaking ability and the media’s not doing their due dilligence on him. Now he’ll have to perform. If they aren’t better off in October, 2010 than they are now, Democrats will pay a price that November. It’s that simple.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

One Response to “Is Obama’s Post-Partisanship Aura History?”

  • J. Ewing says:

    People continue to talk about the stimulus plan as the government “spending money” when in fact they have NO “money,” only the ability to increase the leaden pile of debt on us, our children and our grandchildren.

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