They say that politics stops at the water’s edge, but apparently, that doesn’t apply to President Obama, as so many things apparently don’t.
The president, jaunting around the world as America’s economy crumbles and Congress lumbers along, leaderless, dropped into a high school in Australia. Talking to the Aussie kids, he said America’s public school students have “fallen behind” them in math and science. And he said in the U.S., many children don’t get the “support they need when they’re very young” so they’re “already behind” when they enter elementary school.
Of course, that doesn’t apply to the president’s and first lady’s daughters. There was no chance the One Percent Couple were going to send their own children to a public school in the District of Columbia; they’re off at a private school that costs $30,000 per child per year.
But that is what Mr. Obama - the president of the United States - thinks about the state of education in America. And we Americans should just get used to it. Our president now travels around the world to pronounce the end of the American era, kowtow to foreign leaders by saying the U.S. is no longer the singular force in the world, and essentially disrespect everything that has made this great country so great.
While the Nobel Prize winner courts the world, looking for lost love, he holds a special disdain for the working American. Now, mind you, this from a guy who has never held down a real job: from community organizer to Illinois state senator to U.S. senator to president, taxpayers have been paying his salary since the mid-1990s.
In the past three months, his real feelings about the state of the U.S. economy have come out and, more important, just who’s to blame for it. You won’t be surprised: It’s YOU.
But before that, this. In 1979, with the energy market exploding, interest rates soaring and gas lines growing, President Carter took to the airwaves to deliver what came to be his most famous speech.
“I want to talk to you right now about a fundamental threat to American democracy. … I do not refer to the outward strength of America, a nation that is at peace tonight everywhere in the world, with unmatched economic power and military might. The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our nation,” the one-term president said.
Although Mr. Carter never said “malaise,” the word has forever since defined the speech. With Americans looking for leadership, begging for it, the president came on television and blamed - Them.
Fast-forward 32 years to the New Jimmy Carter. Mr. Obama has decided to travel the country on his taxpayer-funded 747 to tell the taxpayers that they’re doing a terrible job, that they just have to do more - and do it better. Sure, he blames Congress for the continuing gridlock over the economy (for him, there is no such thing as the bully pulpit), but he wants it to be known far and wide that it is the American worker who has so heinously let down his nation.
Sometimes, he even disses Americans while campaigning for their votes, as he did in September during a TV interview. “The way I think about it is, you know, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and, you know, we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades. We need to get back on track,” he said in Florida.
In October, the president, collecting gobs of cash from loaded supporters, once again targeted the working man (not, of course, the white-collar throng gathered in, where else, San Francisco, but the blue-collar worker who actually built America). “We have lost our ambition, our imagination, and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge,” he said as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi no doubt nodded, sipping her chardonnay.
Then, this month, Mr. Obama did it again overseas (well, it was Hawaii, but the president apparently thought he was abroad because he said, “Here in Asia …”).
“We’ve been a little bit lazy, I think, over the past couple of decades. We’ve kind of taken for granted. ‘Well, people will want to come here’ and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new business into America,” he said at the Asian economic summit.
So, there you have it: The American worker has lost his “ambition [and] imagination,” is “lazy” and has gone “a bit soft.”
Spoken like a true one-term president.
c Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.