President Barack Obama is offering himself as the miracle cure for his own failed policies, even though his polls remain at dangerously low levels, the economy has stalled, and the public’s 2008 hopes have changed into near-80 percent pessimism.
“Average wages have barely budged. Inequality has deepened. Upward mobility has stalled,” he declared.
“The cold, hard fact is that even in the midst of recovery, too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by — let alone get ahead. And too many still aren’t working at all. Our job is to reverse these trends,” he declared.
“Let’s make this a year of action. That’s what most Americans want — for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations,” he declared.
Obama’s political chutzpah is both rational and a good bet.
It’s rational because it is the only way he can motivate his liberal coalition to rally in November to preserve his endangered Democratic majority in the Senate.
And it’s a good bet because the established media and chattering class won’t notice the ridiculousness of Obama’s pitch.
But the public has noticed, according to many recent polls that show Obama’s approval in the mid-40s and the public’s pessimism up near 80 percent.
His speech included a few new proposals — more payments to poor working people, reduced tax benefits for wealthy savers, a raised minimum wage and increased legal immigration so that cost-conscious companies can hire minimum-wage foreigners instead of aspiring Americans.
These big goals were accompanies by the progressives’ version of more cowbell — more K-12 spending, more college degrees, universal preschool so that unionized teachers can supplant parents, more promises of beneficial regulation of the oil-and-gas sector, and cheaper mortgages for poor people.
The speech listed items intended to spur turnout by the Democrats’ constituency groups — teachers, women, Latinos, environmentalists, gays and opponents of the Guantanamo prison for jihadis.
The speech was filled out with a series of additional mini-proposals designed to boost the number of opportunities for Democrats to applaud the leader on TV.
The speech also included Obama’s familiar condescension toward Republicans’ opposition to Obamacare.
“There are millions of Americans outside Washington who are tired of stale political arguments,” he said. “The first forty [votes against Obamacare] were plenty. We got it,” he said.