If anything is clear, it’s that St. Cloud State is facing a budget crisis. Nowhere is that more apparent than in this article:
Three years ago, St. Cloud State University students voted to raise the fees they pay in order to prop up the athletic department budget, including a boost that saved the football program. In December, students will be asked to renew that fee, which expires June 30 and provides about $500,000 of the athletic budget.
I don’t doubt that people are asking how this is proof of a budget crisis. Prior to three years ago, athletic programs were funded through the general fund budget.
It isn’t coincidence that three years ago marked the start of the contract between SCSU and the Wedum Foundation. That’s lost over $3,000,000 since then. Three years ago is also when enrollment started dropping. FY2010 was SCSU’s peak enrollment year. President Potter’s budget on nonessential things collided with a significant drop in tuition revenue.
Since SCSU’s peak FYE enrollment year, FYE enrollment has dropped by almost 20%.
The vote will happen by email from 8 a.m. Dec. 2 to 3 p.m. Dec. 4. The St. Cloud State student government put two questions on the ballot for the student fees. The first asks if the student fee should “remain constant.” The second asks if the athletic department should be required to ask students to renew the fee in 2018. If students vote no on the second question, the fee will be permanent. If Question 1 fails, or if less than 8 percent of the student body votes, the student government could put the question on the ballot again in the spring.
Three years ago, athletes dominated the voting. The referendum passed overwhelmingly. This time, the vote is invalidated if only a tiny percentage of students vote. This time, a high turnout by athletes won’t be enough. This time, they’ll need support from other students, too.
If the December vote goes against the fee, the university would have to use its decision-making process to determine how to respond. The university is in the process of filling a $2.9 million budget deficit for 2013-14 and is expecting to confront one again in 2014-15. That makes a potential shortfall in the athletic program more challenging, Potter said. “There is no obvious source of funds,” Potter said.
One obvious source of funds is the contract President Potter signed with the City of St. Cloud for 3 police officers. That’s $240,000 a year that didn’t need to be spent. President Potter could also contact the Wedum Foundation and tell them that they’re opting out of their contract if Wedum doesn’t renegotiate the contract.
SCSU has lost $1,000,000 a year the first three years of the contract. If Wedum isn’t willing to renegotiate the contract, President Potter should make clear that SCSU is opting out of the contract ASAP. If that doesn’t get the Foundation’s attention, then the Foundation isn’t paying attention. I’m betting they’re paying attention.
What this crisis is about is a) the University’s enrollment is suffering and b) President Potter is spending too much money on nonessential items. SCSU paying for police officers isn’t essential. Spending money on upscale apartments for students isn’t essential either.
Enrollments are down at most MnSCU universities. They vary in seriousness from Mankato to SCSU. According to this article, Moorhead University’s enrollment is off pretty dramatically:
Enrollment at the school has declined by about 11 percent in the past four years, prompting the projected budget deficit. The school is targeting faculty for reductions to match the decline. “There’s just a very direct connection between how many students we have and how many faculty we need,” Blackhurst said.
Thanks to this article, we know that things at Minnesota State University- Moorhead are in turmoil:
If you’re planning to attend either Minnesota State University Moorhead or the University of the District of Columbia, best get in your Romeo and Juliet now—and while you’re at it, you should probably learn the formulas for velocity and momentum, and study up on the Spanish-American War. Because soon, these regional public universities may have no departments of English, physics, or history—nor a host of other programs often associated with “college,” including political science (MSUM), philosophy (MSUM), computer science (MSUM), and even economics (UDC).
If you think things are in tough shape in Moorhead, they are. They just aren’t in as tough of shape as at St. Cloud State. If Silence Dogood’s statistics are accurate, which they have consistently been, FYE enrollment at SCSU will be down almost 20% since FY2010. (That’s the 2009-2010 school year.)
That’s just the enrollment numbers. I wish enrollment was St. Cloud State’s only problem. It isn’t. St. Cloud State has lost north of $3,000,000 on their lease with the Wedum Foundation over the last 3 years. With enrollment declining dramatically, a sharp drop in dorm occupancy has happened. The peak occupancy was 96% in FY2010. This year, it’s at 78% with an asterisk. The asterisk comes from not knowing if that 78% is based on the total number of rooms on campus or if it’s based on the total number of available dorm rooms. If they subtracted the number of rooms getting renovated, that 78% figure might be artificially high.
What isn’t known is how much revenue has come in from renting dorm rooms. That’s the only statistic that matters to budgets and their impact on departmental staffing.
Earlier this fall, the school planned to offer early retirement incentives to 35 people. Only 19 faculty members and two staff members indicated they would accept early retirement. Those retirements combined with vacancies the school hasn’t filled will reduce the deficit by about $2.5 million, Blackhurst said.
A second round of retirement incentives targeted toward departments that need additional reductions will be offered. “We’d rather have those reductions be voluntary,” she said. Blackhurst said the list of departments prioritized for reductions is not final.
It’s apparent that Moorhead is in more financial trouble than St. Cloud State. Still, it isn’t a stretch to think that St. Cloud State could be in as dire of straits as Moorhead within 2 years.
There’s no disputing whether Moorhead is in difficult financial and academic straits. It’s definitely in dire straits. Likewise, there’s no question that St. Cloud State is heading in that direction.
Technorati: University of Minnesota-Moorhead, Retrenchment, Budget Cuts, History Department, Political Science Department, St. Cloud State, Declining Enrollment, Tuition Revenue, Financial Mismanagement
Elizabeth Wydra’s article exposes some flawed constitutional law thinking:
From the nation’s founding until today, the Constitution’s protection of religious liberty has been seen as a personal right, inextricably linked to the human capacity to express devotion to a God and act on the basis of reason and conscience.
Here’s the text of the First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Where in the First Amendment does it say that “the free exercise” of religion is limited to individuals? Further, aren’t corporations groups of people? Corporations aren’t buildings. Corporations are groups of people.
Does the Fourth Amendment only protect individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures? God help us if it does.
Business corporations, quite properly, have never shared in this fundamental constitutional tradition for the obvious reason that a business corporation lacks the basic human capacities — reason, dignity and conscience — at the core of the right to free exercise of religion. Obviously not “persons” in the usual sense of the word, these corporations are also not religious organizations, which have historically received some constitutional protection and are, in fact, given exemptions from the contraception mandate.
That’s wrongheaded thinking, too. Because corporations are collections of people, those people have “the basic human capacities” of “reason, dignity and conscience.” Further, what says that only churches and religious institutions have “constitutional protections”? Finally, do people lose their First Amendment protections when they join corporations?
Politicians that underestimate the size of what might be called ‘Common Core mom’ vote do so at their peril. There’s a large and growing demographic that will have an impact on congressional and legislative races next year. People who dismiss this growing demographic will be making a major mistake. Joy Pullmann’s article highlights the growing opposition to Common Core and politicians disdain for activists who are pushing back against Common Core elitists.
Common Core lists what several committees convened within two DC-based nonprofits decided K-12 children need to learn in math and English. Although federal influence over testing and curriculum is illegal, the Obama administration has funded two other nonprofits it oversees to make national tests that will measure whether children have learned what these committees wanted. These currently unfinished tests will replace state tests in more than 40 states in 2014-15. In most states, test results influence teacher pay, personnel hiring and firing, school funding, state control over school districts, curriculum, whether students pass their grade or graduate, college acceptance, and more. Basically, Common Core touches everything in U.S. education except bus routes.
The pushback against Common Core has already started:
Common Core opponents include, as entire institutions or representatives from them, the American Principles Project, Americans for Prosperity, the Badass Teachers Association, the Brookings Institution, the Cato Institute, Class Size Matters, Eagle Forum, FreedomWorks, the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, the Goldwater Institute, the Heartland Institute (where I work), the Heritage Foundation, Hillsdale College, the Hoover Institution, Notre Dame University, the National Association of Scholars, the Pioneer Institute, Stanford University, United Opt-Out, and leaders from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to a coalition of Catholic university scholars and teachers union darling Diane Ravitch. These organizations’ flavors range from constitutionalist to libertarian to liberal. The people making the noise are regular moms, dads, and grandparents, but they’re backed up by organizations with intellectual chops.
The pushback against the pushback has also started:
As a sampling of the disregard politicians have bestowed on thousands of ordinary people agitating against Common Core as it rolls out into schools in advance of the tests, consider the following.
Before one of these hearings in October, Ohio House Education Chairman Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster) told reporters Common Core critics “don’t make sense.” He also called opposition a “conspiracy theory.” In Wisconsin the same month, state Sen. John Lehman (D-Racine) told a packed audience their hearings were “crazy” and “a show,” and asked, “What are we doing here?” When Michigan’s legislature reinstated Common Core funding after several hearings, State Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw County) said, “[W]e’ve marginalized, quite frankly, the anti-crowd into a very minute number.” Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) has called opponents a “distract[ing]” “fringe movement.”
Those statements drip with elitist I-know-what’s-best’ contempt for “regular moms, dads and grandparents.” That type of elitist attitude almost automatically leads to a revolt:
Thousands of New York parents and teachers have attended public forums to protest Common Core this fall. At the first of 16 state-sponsored townhalls on the topic, state education Commissioner John King was booed after talking over parents repeatedly and giving the large, angry audience 20 minutes to ask questions after a two-hour presentation. After the meeting, King declared the forum was “co-opted by special interests whose stated goal is to ‘dominate’ the questions and manipulate the forum.” So he canceled the rest. After calls for his resignation, King announced new, invite-only forums.
If you think the health care town halls in August, 2009 were spirited, you ain’t seen nothing yet. The people in these audiences are from a much wider political spectrum, meaning they’re drawing from a significantly bigger pool of activists than the TEA Party ever did.
Further, though elitists like Jeb Bush and Arne Duncan think poorly of Common Core opposition activists, that doesn’t mean these Common Core moms votes don’t count just as much as these elitists’ votes count for. It’s worth noting that these activists will show up on Election Night 2014. Every elitist comment from Commissioner King, Gov. Bush or Secretary Duncan just activates these voters more.
In presidential election years, elitists can get away with their snobbishness to a certain extent. In mid-term elections, elitists can’t get away with their snobbishness because blue collar workers make up a bigger percentage of the voters showing up.
Follow this link to find out why Common Core needs to be abolished from schools nationwide.
World famous explorer Will Steger has joined forces with the Sierra Club and local environmental extremists in their attempt to shut down the Becker power plant, aka Sherco 1-2:
Regulators want to hear what citizens think about Xcel Energy’s giant coal-fired power plant in Becker, Minn.
As long as they keep it to three minutes.
As a courtesy to prominent climate activists, the state Public Utilities Commission has set aside time at its Dec. 5 meeting to hear their views on a procedural matter with implications for the future of coal-based electricity in Minnesota.
Polar explorer Will Steger and St. Paul attorney Barbara Freese, author of “Coal: A Human History,” are among the activists who want regulators to consider shutting down the two oldest coal units at Xcel’s Sherco power plant by the end of the decade.
What these militant environmentalists want, though they won’t admit it, are high-priced electricity. They’re also pushing for Minnesota to rely on unreliable energy sources:
Minnesota is on the road to a clean energy future. Our state is on track to get 25 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2025, and this year Minnesota established solar policies that will mean 34 times more solar in 2020 than today.
That’s just part of the Sierra Club’s agenda. They also want to eliminate natural gas:
Natural gas drillers exploit government loopholes, ignore decades-old environmental protections, and disregard the health of entire communities. “Fracking,” a violent process that dislodges gas deposits from shale rock formations, is known to contaminate drinking water, pollute the air, and cause earthquakes. If drillers can’t extract natural gas without destroying landscapes and endangering the health of families, then we should not drill for natural gas.
That’s an important part of the Sierra Club’s agenda but there’s more to it:
Beyond Nuclear aims to educate and activate the public about the connections between nuclear power and nuclear weapons and the need to abandon both to safeguard our future. Beyond Nuclear advocates for an energy future that is sustainable, benign and democratic. The Beyond Nuclear team works with diverse partners and allies to provide the public, government officials, and the media with the critical information necessary to move humanity toward a world beyond nuclear.
That’s right. The Sierra Club, which is the driving force behind shutting down Sherco, essentially wants to eliminate the most reliable forms of energy. Their goal is to replace these reliable energy sources with unreliable energy sources.
There’s nothing centrist about these activists. Solar and other forms of renewable energy aren’t just unreliable. They’re expensive, too. That’s what President Obama meant when he said that, under his cap & trade plan, electricity prices would “necessarily skyrocket.” If cap & trade were implemented, the only types of electricity-producing energy would be solar and wind, which are extremely expensive and unreliable.
Simply put, the Next Generation Energy Act should be repealed and Beyond Coal’s petition be ignored. The Sierra Club isn’t a centrist organization. It’s a militant environmentalist organization that’s skilled at putting on a centrist show to promote their extremist agenda.
Technorati: Will Steger, Sierra Club, Next Generation Energy Act, Beyond Coal, Beyond Natural Gas, Beyond Nuclear, Solar Energy, Wind, Cap And Trade, President Obama, Environmental Extremists, Becker Power Plant, Public Utilities Commission
This CNN/ORC polling contains some disturbing news for the Obama administration, starting with this:
November 18-20, 2013 44% applies, 56% doesn’t apply
According to the report, that’s a huge drop. In 2010 and 2011, 57-58% of people said that President Obama inspired confidence. That’s a 25% drop. The bad news doesn’t stop there:
Thinking about the following characteristics and qualities, please say whether you think it applies or doesn’t apply to Barack Obama.
Is honest and trustworthy
November 18-20, 2013 46% applies, 53% doesn’t apply
As recently as May, 2013, 58% said that President Obama was honest and trustworthy. That’s a 20% drop in 6 months. As a result, people aren’t giving President Obama the benefit of the doubt anymore. That’s why President Obama’s worst days still haven’t arrived. Another ‘casualty’ of President Obama’s drop on the trust issue is that it’ll hurt Democrats in the generic ballot polling.
Michael Barone notes that President Obama defeated Mitt Romney in 209 districts across America. There’s no way of knowing how many of those districts would still vote for President Obama if they got a do-over. In a recent poll, Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama by a 49-45% margin. It’s reasonable to think that some of those 209 congressional districts would flip in a do-over race.
The effects of this polling is spilling over into other things:
Democratic leaders claim the bungled launch of Obamacare is just the latest news sensation, a media-stirred tempest that looks in the heat of the moment like it could upend the midterm election, but ends up fizzling well before voters head to the polls.
Some party strategists say they’re in denial.
And that perceived gap between party spin and facts on the ground is fueling worries that the White House and Democratic higher-ups aren’t taking the possible electoral blowback seriously enough or doing enough to shield their candidates. Democratic contenders in the toughest races are distinctly less convinced that Obamacare will fade as an election-year issue and they can’t afford to just cross their fingers that things get ironed out or that Republicans revert to political hara-kiri.
Democratic strategists don’t need to worry about the party doing more to help Democrats. They’re inextricably tied to the Affordable Care Act. The American people won’t distinguish between Democrats who didn’t defend the Affordable Care Act and Democrats who stuck to the party line. They won’t make that fine of a distinction.
It’s too early to predict a wave election. It isn’t too early to notice that the electorate is mad as hell. That isn’t good news for President Obama.
God bless George Will for his insightfulness and brevity. Mr. Will nailed it again yesterday with this summarization:
Here’s what Mr. Will accurately stated:
MR. WILL: Tip O’Neill once famously stated that “all politics are local.” In 2014, no politics will be local. This has already nationalized the 2014 elections, which will be about the chaos Nina described.
While Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz insist that they’ll “run on Obamacare and win”, the rank-and-file Democrats are running away from the Affordable Care Act faster than their feet will take them.
That wasn’t Mr. Will’s only witticism. This video is an instant classic, too:
Democrats will undoubtedly attempt to avoid talking about the Affordable Care Act during the campaign. Without a doubt, they’ll attempt to change subjects. They’ll attempt to say that things are fantastic at a time when new cancellations and higher insurance premiums will be getting people’s attention.
It’s premature to talk about a possible wave election but discontent with Democrats is building. That doesn’t guarantee a landslide victory for Republicans but it’s predicting that Democrats won’t retake the House. It’s indicating that it’s quite possible for Democrats to lose their Senate majority, too.
It isn’t far-fetched to think that Democrats will attempt to talk about everything other than the Affordable Care Act disaster. This election won’t be determined by what Democrats want to talk about or what they want to avoid discussing. The 2014 elections will be determined by people insisting on talking about the Affordable Care Act.
People want to vent about this disaster. There’s an old axiom that says “When the people want something badly enough and scream loudly enough for a long time, the leaders will follow.” The Democrat leadership insists that everything’s fine, that Democrats will win by talking about the Affordable Care Act.
The Democrat leadership team is either stupid beyond belief or they’re lying through their teeth. Though it’s difficult to tell at times, I don’t think they’re stupid.
Confusion and a Lack of Budget Transparency
by Silence Dogood
With the departure of Steve Ludwig as Vice President of Administrative Affairs in June 2012, there have been five SCSU Chief Financial Officers in nearly 17 months (Interim Len Sippel; Doug Vinzant, Interim Rick Duffet and Tammy McGee who took over on November 18, 2013). This is hardly a recipe for effective financial planning and coordination.
A rumor has circulated on campus that somehow the money for the severance packages for faculty and staff who retired last spring is not included in the budget. If the rumor is true, about $1,200,000 in unplanned expense will have to come out of this year’s budget and the needed budget cuts increase by more than 40% and that’s something you probably can’t find in the petty cash. With no financial information available for an independent verification of the status of revenue and expenditure experience for the current fiscal and no contemporary information regarding SCSU’s FY 2014 budget, it is impossible to determine the true financial health of the university.
On September 5, 2013, at Meet and Confer, the President presented a document showing that the budget for FY14 included a decrease of $3,140,326 due to a 5% decline in enrollment. The administration admitted that in April they were planning on a 4% decline in enrollment but adjusted their projection to a 5% decline. A portion of the budget document showing the Tuition/Enrollment Adjustment for the 5% decline in enrollment is shown in the following Figure.
In an email to the faculty on September 19, 2013, Provost Malhotra stated: “When we completed our budget planning for FY14 in April, we planned for an FYE reduction of approximately 4.0%. We are taking the necessary steps to adjust our current FY14 budget for the additional 1.0% enrollment shift, which equals about $620,000. With a total operating budget of more than $210 million, this represents a reduction of about 0.3%.”
So what Provost Malhotra’s email illustrates is that really there shouldn’t have had to be a budget reduction of $2,861,117, since in April the plan included consideration of a 4% reduction, there would only be a need to cut the FY14 budget by an additional $620,000. Unfortunately, even as of October 30, 2013, no specifics regarding reductions to the FY14 budget had been made. With no contemporary comprehensive budget and financial information available it is hard to know what has happen to SCSU’s FY 2014 budget and financial status since April of 2013.
So what is to be believed about SCSU’s current financial status? The most recent information, the SCTimes article and a document (shown at the end of this paragraph) detailing the major units where the cuts will be made that was presented at the Budget Advisory Committee Meeting on October 30, 2013 return to the $2.8 to $2.9 million figure.
With nearly five months of the fiscal year past, no details of the specific cuts to be made, conflicting information regarding the size of the needed budget cuts, no known timeline for implementation of any reductions, the required opportunity for consultation apparently not planned for and no contemporary comprehensive financial information available it is clear that there is a great deal of confusion regarding budgetary issues. Even the size of the SCSU budget given in Provost Malhotra’s email as “more than 210 million” and a recent SCTimes article, which states: “The university has a budget of about $150 million gives rise to confusion. Is St. Cloud State’s budget $150 million or $210 million? That’s a $60 million dollar question.
Hopefully, Tammy McGee can provide some needed stability to the Office of Finance and Administration and perhaps the webpage for the her office can be updated to reflect the new leadership because, at least as of Sunday evening (November 24, 2013), nearly a week after her arrival, the website still lists Rick Duffet as the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
With serious financial challenges facing SCSU, the two biggest of which are the $1,000,000 annual operating loss for Coborn’s Plaza Apartments and the significant decline in tuition revenue resulting from a 22% drop in enrollment since the peak in FY10 [FY11 -0.80%; FY12 -6.93%; FY13 -6.35%; FY14 -5% (administration estimate); and FY15 -5% (administration estimate)], amounting to approximately a $14,000,000 loss from on the enrollment peak (FY09), Vice President for Finance and Administration Tammy McGee will certainly have her hands full. One can only hope that there really is a budget and that VP McGee will be as transparent with budget information as her predecessor Doug Vinzant. Otherwise, SCSU may be doomed to a fate similar to City College of San Francisco where a trustee was appointed with czar-like powers to right SFCC’s financial ship using draconian measures (One Man’s Mission to Save City College of San Francisco Special Trustee Is Charged With Rescuing One of U.S.’s Largest Community College Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2013).
Another Fortune 500 company announced it’s leaving Minnesota. It’s explanation is starting to sound familiar:
“SpartanNash chose Western Michigan as its headquarters due to it being centrally located to the merged entities operations, the positive business climate taking hold in Michigan, including a more favorable tax environment, and the quality of life Michigan provides for its associates,” the company said in a statement.
That sounds familiar. Here’s what Cargill said when it moved:
Dan Dye, Horizon’s president and Ardent’s CEO-to-be, said in a statement that the decision “will allow us to offer great quality of life for employees, provide excellent service to our customers and position the business for long-term growth.”
If Gov. Dayton and the DFL are given 4 more years to implement their leftist vision for the state, Minnesota will be in worse shape than California and Illinois are in right now. Cargill cited their desire to “position the business for long-term growth.” Nash Finch, aka SpartanNash, talkd about “a more favorable tax environment.”
Implicit in both statements is their belief that the Dayton administration’s and the DFL’s anti-prosperity policies would hurt their companies’ ability to make profits and continue employing people. The leftists’ belief that profits are despicable is utterly wrong-headed.
I cited a single-payer health activist’s quote in this post:
There would be a removal of profit-motive in health care. The driving force behind the health industry would be patient care and not profit maximization.
This isn’t just a glimpse into the mind of hardline leftists. It’s who they are. That statement explicitly says that they think things would improve if profit-motives were removed from health care. The opposite is actually true.
Companies pursuing their own self interests are what make the economy stronger. The great inventions of the last 150 years came when there was an incentive, aka profit, to create and innovate. Milton Friedman once told Phil Donahue that the only economic system where “the masses escaped the grinding poverty you talked about” were in societies that appreciated capitalism and “largely free trade.”
SpartanNash and Cargill are exercising their right to enhance their profits by moving their operations. They’re moving their operations because Gov. Dayton and the DFL drove up the cost of doing business in Minnesota this last session. If Minnesota doesn’t reverse Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s policies, Minnesota will soon look like a ghost town.
Cargill and SpartanNash just implicitly said that Minnesota is that special that they wouldn’t leave. Will it be that much longer before other companies leave?
President Obama is a political captive of his own political identity. That’s the emphasis of Salena Zito’s column:
The crowd expected the president to deliver a speech filled with reassurances about the problems associated with ObamaCare. Instead, he offered biting partisan rhetoric that tried to blame Republicans for the failures of his signature health-care bill.
In politics there is always an exit door. But policy is a much different room: Exits are hard to find because you can’t escape law, especially a law on which you have based your entire legacy.
Obama’s staff also appears in need of a fire escape.
That same day was the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, which the president chose not to honor by attending a ceremony marking it. White House senior aide Dan Pfeiffer gave a prickly response to National Journal columnist Ron Fournier’s Twitter question about what on the president’s schedule was more important than the Gettysburg anniversary.
“Oh, I don’t know, there’s this whole website thing that someone suggested might destroy the Dem Party,” Pfeiffer tweeted from his official White House account.
Pfeiffer unwittingly revealed what everything is about with this administration: salvaging Obama’s political legacy and his relationship to Democrats. In short, politics.
When Candidate Obama delivered the keynote speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in 2004, he talked about bipartisanship:
The pundits, the pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.
That’s the type of soaring rhetoric that fueled President Obama’s meteoric rise. As we’ve seen over the past 5 years, it’s rhetoric that isn’t matched by reality.
Obama cannot move (nor can his advisers successfully advise) because, so far, he has never convincingly projected himself as a president for everyone, because he is at odds with half of the country’s values and traditions.
For all his talk about the need for red states and blue states to unite into the United States, President Obama’s actions have portrayed a man isn’t interested in the red states. If he had his way, he’d rather just have blue states.
When President Obama was inaugurated, the nation wished him nothing but success. Had he chosen to be a statesman, he could’ve been the man that ignited the next great Democratic era. Instead, during one of his first opportunities to be a statesman, he famously told Eric Cantor that “We won.” As a result, the Democratic Party wrote a totally partisan stimulus bill. Because Democrats didn’t choose statesmanship, all but 3 Republicans voted against the stimulus bill.
Rather than doing what’s best for the nation, President Obama’s administration chose to ram through a highly ideologically divisive agenda. In 2010, America rejected the Obama administration’s divisive agenda and swept Republicans into the majority in the House, with Republicans gaining 63 seats.
Telling Americans that you cannot honor Lincoln’s words 150 years later because you have to fix a website that you botched and a Democratic Party that you unraveled — but you can honor the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech — is disturbing.
First, without the former, you would not have had the latter. And, second, what you are telling Americans with such a decision is that politics is everything to your presidency.
President Obama’s sense of history is limited. While he sees himself as an historic figure, he hasn’t understood that it isn’t about him. Great, transformative presidents understand that it’s about something bigger than themselves. Thanks to President Obama’s arrogance, Democrats will experience 2 major thrashings in the midterm elections.
Technorati: President Obama, Affordable Care Act, I Have A Dream, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, Red States, Blue States, Keynote Speech, Democratic National Convention, Democrats, Midterm Elections