The Truth Behind the Rhetoric

By Jedediah Bila

Jedediah Bila

The question that hit my email inbox repeatedly after outstanding GOP wins on the state and federal levels last Tuesday was, “Will President Obama be receptive to GOP proposals now that the voters have spoken?”

One might assume that someone whose agenda was just rejected in bold print across the country would take a step back, absorb reality, and face the obvious distinction between his policies and the will of the American majority.

But that’s not how fierce ideologues work.

According to The New York Times, Obama’s November 4 “60 Minutes” interview revealed “ … that he views last week’s mid-term Congressional elections as ‘a referendum on the economy’ rather than a referendum on him, his policies or the Democratic Party. While he said he should be held accountable for the economy as the nation’s leader, he did not accept the suggestion that he pursued the wrong agenda over the last two years, and he focused blame on his failure to build public support for what he was doing or to change the way Washington works.”

Below are some quotes from the President’s sit-down with Steve Kroft. My commentary follows each quoted segment in italics.

– “But I think most Democrats and Republicans, they want a government that works, but they want one that’s lean. One that’s not wasting money. One that is looking after their interests, but isn’t engaged in a whole bunch of giveaways.” Correction, Mr. President: that’s what conservatives want. And we have been consistently battling your Democrat and Murkowski-style allies who have been pro-bailout, pro-“stimulus”, pro-tax and spend, and pro-government-mandated health insurance.

– “I think, people want to see Washington work. And what they mean by Washington working: It’s transparent. It’s accountable. That people aren’t just playing political games all the time.” I agree, although I find that to be an interesting assessment from someone who signed off on the “Cornhusker Kickback” and “Louisiana Purchase.”

– “It’s not just a matter of how many bills I’m passing, no matter how worthy they are. Part of it’s also setting a tone in Washington and for the rest of the country that says, ‘We’re responsible. We’re transparent. We’re open. We’re talking to each other. We’re civil.’ You know?” Yes, which is why I cringed when you dismissed John McCain during the February healthcare summit with, “Let me just make this point, John, because we’re not campaigning anymore. The election’s over.” Or when you rebuked the Supreme Court in your State of the Union address. Or when you condescendingly suggested that TEA Party patriots should “be saying thank you.”

 – “One thing that I’m absolutely convinced of is the message the American people were not sending in this election was, ‘We want to continue two years of bickering. We want to re-litigate the past two years.’” Indeed. Let’s stop bickering. Now on to repealing and replacing.

– “You know, the thing I enjoy most about the presidency is when I’ve got a chance to interact with folks in a backyard town hall, in you know, buyin’ some donuts in a store. You know, that’s when things aren’t scripted, that’s when you’re not, you know, spending all your time just goin’ through a bunch of talkin’ points.” We love those moments too, Mr. President. Who could forget your spontaneous comment to Joe the Plumber in 2008 that “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody”? Cheers to more spontaneity on your part as we approach 2012.

 – “And what I’m gonna constantly be looking for are areas that draw from the Democratic ideas, Republican ideas to find that commonsense center, where we can move the country forward. Even though we’ll still have some, you know, big disagreements and big debates on other issues.” Reminder: When a tidal wave of voter dismay sweeps across the country demanding an end to a President’s agenda, it is the President who is responsible for the compromise.

 Whether or not Barack Obama will be receptive to GOP proposals in coming months remains to be seen.

Regardless, it will be the job of newly-elected conservatives to do everything they can to right the big-spending wrongs and to revive a concept that’s been absent in politics for some time: listening to the voices of the American people.

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Terry S.
12 years ago

I fear that President Obama’s actions over the last 2 years have defined his meaning of “compromise” as “My way or the highway”. I fear even more that despite the clear message against his policies sent by the last election, he will continue to misinterpret the election results and won’t change his agenda or actions. We can only hope the people we elected DID get the message and will conduct themselves accordingly.

12 years ago

First time Ive seen thes website.It is now on my favorites list.Keep up the good words.

Buck Crosby Hubert , NC
12 years ago

No compromise on anything is acceptable , just like the muslim world the democrats see compromise as being weak , furthermore , every thing given to them in a compromise is another stone in the building of their anti-American agenda . Show no weakness and give them nothing . Gridlock is far better than betraying our principles in hopes of achieving something less than our goal of rescueing America from the socialist progressive scum who want to destroy her .

Walt Ely
12 years ago

What I have always called the rhetoric politicians like Obama use is ‘Weasel Words’. They say what people what to hear but people don’t understand it is just cover up words for what they are about to do (to you). You can depend on the fact that their words are almost exactly the opposite of the effects they are going after! Obama will fiercely pursue his agenda regardless of this election outcome. He will use executive decrees, the Supreme Court and AGENCY regulations from the EPA and HHS to go forward with his socialist intent. Beyond our election success this time around we HAVE TO figure out how to get this man out of office ASAP. I don’t care if it’s impeachment, the 25th amendment or resignation. He has got to go! His dogmatic communist policies of redistribution of wealth (mostly to his cronies), government control of private enterprise, government intrusion into the lives of individuals and economic destruction will not stop. He must be stopped for the country to begin a recovery from this socialist effort to ‘fundamentally change’ America. I want the greatness that made America restored, not some change to a 2nd class socialist nanny state! I think this is what the majority of Americans want also. A socialist element has been nurtured in this country for many decades through the school system, labor unions, welfare entitlements and the expansion of high paying government jobs themselves which contribute virtually nothing to our economy. To restore this country we must tear down this socialist infrastructure and get back to unfettered private enterprise and peoples right to control their private property and earnings! And I mean destroy all socialist mechanisms that have been put in place, and replace them with solutions developed by citizens in our public society (not solutions from big government bureaucrats).

Lyle R. Rolfe
12 years ago

Excellent column and I agree with all you said. This should be broadcast so it can reach even more people. When one listens to the annoited one (as Sean Hannity calls him), speak, it’s much different than when he reads into the teleprompter. A public speaker he is not–a public reader maybe. I know this is being picky but I tire of hearing people say what a great speaker he is. He should be better considering all the practice he gets appearing on so many TV shows.

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