To paraphrase The Who, the self-proclaimed new, “fired up” boss looks a lot like the old boss.
It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. President Obama keeps giving us the same thing — the same policies, rhetoric and tone — over and over again.
I’m not sure he expects a different result, though. And that’s the point: he’s neither insane nor stupid. He’s a pure leftist ideologue who will not — indeed, cannot — change.
In this week’s State of the Union address, he gave us more of the same warmed-over, failed stuff: more taxes, more spending, more “free” stuff, more class warfare, more wealth redistribution, more “social justice,” more divisions, more demonizing his opponents and more self-aggrandizement.
He actually used some of the same exact words — “fair shot” and “fair deal” — from previous speeches. His speechwriters must be at a Club Med these days. No need to change his words when he hasn’t changed policies or intentions.
If anyone is still wondering who this man is, what he believes and what he intends to do, this latest speech should have cleared that up. In fact, since he announced his candidacy in 2007, every speech, every policy, every action he has taken should have cleared it up.
Still, many people refuse to see it. A pity, since it’s all right there in front of us. This week’s Saul Alinsky hoedown had him once again doubling down on his radical agenda. No one should be surprised.
He is a totally committed leftist. In many ways, it would be more comforting if he were insane.
Missing from his latest fandango of hard-left progressivism? America. Or at least the vision of America laid out by the Founders that has been the source of America’s greatness: limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty and economic freedom.
In fact, Mr. Obama’s speech was chock-full of the exact opposite of those things. He spoke, as he has so often in the past, of collective action and the virtues of an ever-expanding government while giving away “free” child care, sick leave and community college. No wonder he didn’t speak of the crushing debt at all.
If anyone were still under the illusion that this man is some sort of secret moderate yearning to work with Republicans, this speech should have disabused them of that notion once and for all.
Consider the speech’s centerpiece: a dramatic $320 billion tax hike over the next 10 years on the wealthiest individuals, biggest financial institutions, and small- and medium-sized businesses. The hikes would include increases in the capital gains and inheritance taxes. He said it was to “pay for” tax relief for the middle class, but no one believes that money will actually make it to the middle class.
Of course, this has no chance of being passed in the new Republican-controlled Congress, but passage was never the point.
Some have suggested that he’s trying to placate his base or solidify the Democrats’ image as the party of Santa Claus. Nonsense. His base isn’t going anywhere and everyone already knows the Democrats spend, tax and give away the store on your dime.
No, he’s doing this now for two reasons: First, when the GOP inevitably kills his proposals, he can continue to paint them as a bunch of Grinches; and second, radical redistributionism is at his very core. Remember his 2011 State of the Union address, in which he proposed a five-year spending freeze on non-defense discretionary spending? His commitment to that lasted the length of the speech. This week, he argued for a 7 percent increase in discretionary spending.
Sure, he blew a few kisses in the direction of so-called centrism, but when it counted — on the size, scope and spending of government — he showed us that he has not changed one iota.
His circumstances have changed; he’s got to deal with a Republican House and Senate. But he has not had a change of ideological heart, nor has he ever felt compelled to cooperate. He is a pure left-wing community organizer who has had to pretend he liked Republicans and was willing to embrace some of their ideas.
Not anymore. Without re-election looming, he’s liberated to be as extreme as he wants to be. Who’s going to stop him in any meaningful way?
Note to Republicans: Mr. Obama loathes you, your beliefs and your policies. Stop acting insane by expecting this president to think, speak or behave differently. This is who he is, and who he always was. Start dealing with reality when dealing with him. It’s a little late in the game for that, but you’ve got two years to redeem yourselves. Stop hoping, and start changing.
Monica Crowley is online opinion editor at The Washington Times.