The process we use for electing Presidents in this country is very heavily skewed toward picking the best campaigners, not the men who would make the best Presidents. For example, we place a tremendous emphasis on the performances in the debates, settings in which the candidates stand up, with no notes and no help, and answer questions immediately, while actual presidential decisions are taken over the course of days or weeks or months, with aides providing the chief executive with all of the information he wants, and advisers presenting all of the options to him.
Thus we have the spectacle of Barack Hussein Obama, an absolutely tremendous campaigner — as a less than one term senator, he beat the “inevitable” Hillary Clinton for the nomination as well as the Republican nominee — who has turned in the worst performance as President in my lifetime,1 yet still got re-elected.
And now we have President Obama playing to his strength, campaigning, rather than his weakness, his actual job, in presenting his FY2015 federal budget proposal. From The Wall Street Journal:
Obama Budget Plan Reflects Partisan Lines
GOP-Friendly Inflation Proposal Not in Spending Blueprint; Focus on Democratic Priorities
By Carol E. Lee and Damian Paletta | Updated Feb. 20, 2014 10:05 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget will abandon overtures to Republicans and call for a large expansion in spending on education and job training, in a push certain to ratchet up tensions in the already-fractured capital ahead of November’s elections.
The proposal—which will serve more as a political treatise than a fiscal blueprint—won’t include a call to slow the growth of Social Security spending by changing how the program accounts for inflation, White House officials said Thursday. Such a change is favored by the GOP and had been included in Mr. Obama’s budget plan last year.
Instead, Mr. Obama’s budget, which will be released in full early next month, will propose $56 billion in new government spending on programs such as education, manufacturing and job training, which would be offset by spending cuts and tax increases on high-income earners.
Mr. Obama’s budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 is the latest in a number of steps he has taken to reassert presidential authority, largely through executive actions, and push his ideal policy positions as opposed to compromises. Senior White House officials said the shift is a result of Republicans’ refusals to compromise in Congress with Mr. Obama despite his repeated attempts to win them over with social events and GOP-favored policy positions.
More in the original.
Naturally, the Republicans said that it would be, in effect, dead on arrival, noting that all the President offers is more tax increases on the most productive Americans. Unlike the last tax increase, the President and the Democrats don’t have the advantage of an automatic tax hike on everyone to use as a hammer, but would have to get the Republicans who control the House of Representatives to agree on raising taxes, and that just isn’t going to happen.
This is nothing but a campaign plan, going in and trying to get the Democrats an advantage by allowing them to campaign on raising taxes on the wealthy, because it is certainly not going to be anything like a reasonable budget proposal which could actually pass in Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “President Obama’s budget will be a powerful statement of Democratic principles.” Yup, that’s right: even the Democrats are admitting that it’s nothing but a campaign platform, and it should be thrown in the trash can as soon as it is sent to the Congress.
- And my lifetime includes Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. ↩