President Barack Obama was forced to confront the people about his failed presidency yesterday, rather than his own inflated self-image. He faced some very disillusioned folks, including from the ranks of his own supporters during a televised CNBC town-hall-style meeting yesterday. Here is a sample:
“I’m exhausted of defending you, defending your administration, defending the mantle of change that I voted for,” said the first questioner, an African-American woman who identified herself as a chief financial officer, a mother and a military veteran. “I’ve been told that I voted for a man who was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class and I’m waiting sir, I’m waiting. I still don’t feel it yet.
Another disillusioned Obama supporter told the president:
I was really inspired by you and your campaign and the message you brought, and that inspiration is dying away. And I really want to know, is the American dream dead for me?
In the face of such anxiety from every day Americans who believed in his campaign of hope and change, Obama continued to trumpet his own failed policies, including Obamacare. And he attacked the Tea Party movement for not offering specific solutions of their own:
there are a whole host of things we’ve put in place to make your life better…The challenge for the Tea Party movement is to identify specifically: What would you do? It’s not enough to say get control of spending. I think it’s important for you to say, ‘I’m willing to cut veterans benefits, or I’m willing to cut Medicare or Social Security, or I’m willing to see taxes go up.’
The president still does not get it. First of all, as Bill O’Reilly correctly pointed out during his Talking Points segment on The Factor last night, the Tea Party movement is a broad philosophical movement that espouses the core principles of smaller government, lower taxes and individual freedoms. It is not a political party.
Secondly, many in the Tea Party movement have joined millions of other Americans in telling the Obama administration and Congress since last year that they were opposed to new gargantuan spending programs such as the nearly trillion dollar failed stimulus package and, of course, Obamacare.
The Tea Party movement is simply the most manifest expression of the American people’s frustration with the direction of our country. But the frustration and opposition to the Obama administration’s big goverment, run-away spending policies that have only made our economy worse are far broader amongst the American people than the Tea Party movement.
A recent New York Times poll, for example, found that 57 percent of respondents believed the president did not have a clear plan for fixing the nation’s broken economy.
But the president still sees things differently:
My goal here is not to convince you that everything is where it needs to be but what I am saying is that we are moving in the right direction
No, Mr. President – stop looking in the mirror and pretending that your problems are the fault of the Tea Party movement, John Boehner, or George W. Bush. You are in charge. We are moving in the wrong direction. And even many of your own past supporters realize it.
Joseph A. Klein is the author of a new book entitled Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations and Radical Islam.