Barack Obama: King of Strawmen

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on December 6, 2011

The president tried to play Teddy Roosevelt today. But Teddy Roosevelt was never this disingenuous:

Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that’s happened, after the worst economic crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for way too many years. And their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.

Needless to say, no serious person says that they want a country “when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.” Moreover, we have never had a country “when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.” We certainly do have a country in which the president plays by his own rules, when it comes to telling the truth about what his political opponents think about the issues of the day, but that is another matter altogether.

I suppose that I could go through the rest of Barack Obama’s speech to tell you what I disagree with, but given that it starts from a patently false premise, why bother with the rest of it? This is not a serious policy speech. Rather, it is a–say it with me, now–class warfare speech, designed to get Barack Obama elected to a second term. The only substance to it is the substance of political calculation; the down-and-out will find no comfort in what the president says, just as they have found no comfort in what he has done over the past three years to alleviate the economic crisis that faces them.

  • Stephen Guy Hardin

    Excellent piece…

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