Archive for Friday, December 16, 2011

Obama falls short on promises

December 16, 2011


President Obama doesn’t suffer from amnesia, but apparently he hopes the public does.

In his latest in a series of interviews on “60 Minutes” last Sunday night, the president took positions that are the polar opposite of what he was saying as recently as last spring.

One wishes all of those “fact-checkers” who point out supposed mistakes by the Republican candidates were as committed to noting even worse flaws in the president’s promises.

In his interview with Steve Kroft, the president said he always believed that reversing the culture in Washington “was gonna take more than one term.” It’s a “long-term project,” he said, “not a short-term project.” And then he claimed that during the 2008 campaign, he “didn’t overpromise.”


Speaking in Richmond, Va., on Oct. 22, 2008, Obama promised to put millions of Americans back to work; he pledged “real change.” Instead, the unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. Or is it? Ed Luce of the Financial Times writes, “According to government statistics, if the same number of people were seeking work today as in 2007, the jobless rate would be 11 percent.” Washington remains unchanged, as dysfunctional and gridlocked as ever.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since President Obama took office, the nation has lost 1.9 million jobs, prompting Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler to write that if the economy does not turn around, “Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any president in the modern era.”

In 2009, the president said on the “Today” show, “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” A few days later in Florida, there was this, “I’m not going to make any excuses,” said Obama. “If stuff hasn’t worked and people don’t feel like I’ve led the country in the right direction, then you’ll have a new president.”

The latest right-track, wrong-track poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports found that only 17 percent of Americans believe the country is headed in the right direction, while a whopping 75 percent think it’s headed the wrong way.

On CBS, the president said the 2012 election is about his vision, but as CBS News’ Stephanie Condon reported last week, “Sixty-six percent of Americans say they do not have a clear idea of what he wants to accomplish in a second term. ... Fewer than half of Democrats say they have a clear idea of what the president wants to accomplish if re-elected.” Don’t we know? It’s taxing “millionaires and billionaires” so the government has more of our money to waste.

Is none of this Obama’s fault? Can it all be blamed on Bush? Apparently, the president has decided that playing the blame game is good campaign strategy.

The president blames Republicans for not allowing him to accomplish anything but says nothing about his own failure to get things done (other than the health care bill, whose constitutionality the Supreme Court ultimately will decide) when Democrats controlled Congress for the first two years of his administration. And what about Senate Democrats who have rejected every House bill seeking cuts in wasteful spending to bring the budget closer into balance? Not a word.

Imagine what Democrats and their acolytes in the media would say if a Republican president had a similar track record. One doesn’t have to imagine. With a lower unemployment rate and less debt in the Bush administration, Democrats were relentless in their attacks, promising improvements. Barack Obama assured us he would make things better.

Democrats didn’t improve anything, and nothing has been made better. According to President Obama’s own standard, and contrary to what he said on “60 Minutes,” he does not deserve a second term.

That he thinks he has earned re-election brings to mind the World English Dictionary definition of “hubris”: “Pride or arrogance; (in Greek tragedy) an excess of ambition ... ultimately causing the transgressor’s ruin.”

Cal Thomas is a columnist for Tribune Media Services. His email address is


Maddy Griffin 6 years ago

Apparently Cal has "social amnesia" himself.This is what makes the GOP so dangerous.Funny he should bring up "hubris".

cato_the_elder 6 years ago

Because your candidate, Ron Paul, is not only unelectable, but is obviously deranged. If anyone still had any doubt, last night's performance sealed it.

cato_the_elder 6 years ago

He's an isolationist of the first order. He dodged all questions about Iran's nuclear capabilities and refused to answer what the questioners were asking him, simply denying that Iran would ever have the capability to build a nuclear weapon when considerable evidence exists to the contrary.

When questioned on his isolationist views he became overtly emotional and appeared, as I said, somewhat deranged. In other words, beyond passionately idealistic to obsessed.

Bachmann made him look bad, and that says something.

kochmoney 6 years ago

I seem to remember Clinton being the frontrunner at the time of the Ayers non-stort, and Palin was the unambiguous veep nominee at the time she was vetted. Don't let the facts confuse you. That's why you have Fox News to tell you how to decide.

kochmoney 6 years ago

Sorry, that would be a "non-story" and not a non-stort.

bad_dog 6 years ago

To my limited understanding of the topic, periscopes are generally considered much more effective than microscopes for the usage you suggest. I'll defer to your judgment, however given you are considered something of an Oracle and renowned for groundbreaking and non-divisive resolutions to all problems.

By all means, carry on!

Flap Doodle 6 years ago

The tale of the numbers. (from a SOURCE) (I think this is the second time I've posted this graphic)

mloburgio 6 years ago

Guess which presidents killed manufacturing jobs in the last 20 years? Their names are Bush Barack Obama: Increase of 157,368 manufacturing jobs per year in office George W. Bush: Decrease of 434,143 manufacturing jobs per year in office

Bill Clinton: Increase of 37,143 manufacturing jobs per year in office George H.W. Bush: Decrease of 336,000 manufacturing jobs per year in office

Ronald Reagan: Increase of 1,429 manufacturing jobs per year in office Jimmy Carter: Increase of 15,333 manufacturing jobs per year in office Yes, since 1988, every time we've had a Republican in office we've lost manufacturing jobs, and every time we've had a Democrat we've gained them. Heck, even Jimmy Carter beat Reagan and all the rest of the Republicans. And Reagan was still far worse than any of the Democratic presidents.

jaywalker 6 years ago

Wait for it..... wait for it........

Getaroom 6 years ago

Anyone of us can search all the fact checkers about the 60 minutes interview or last nights debates and read them first hand - anyone who cares to so do so that is.
Nothing new from Cal, he is an Obama hater and that offers a spring board for other haters.

As always, the Presidential elections are opportunities for sides to trot out their best liars/deceivers and then it is only a matter of claiming who did a better job of showcasing the tradition of corruption in Government and then picking the one that will uphold that tradition and continue to sustain the top tier holding the power. It is really quite simple, chose your poison and drink it. Not to worry about Ron Paul, although he is a sweet poison, he is not available for consumption because his packaging is not marketable. Now Rand Paul for a future cult following - sure why not - he is a doctor and we always trust our doctors right? Consult the Oracle - Paul the Octopus - if you want to know who will win the top corruptors seat.

kochmoney 6 years ago

I especially trust doctors who make up their own licensing boards.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Promises are made to get elected. Both parties find governing is more difficult than campaigning. As I recall GW promised we wouldn't get into 'nation-building,' which worked really well in Iraq.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

GW forgot to promise voters he would be not part of another mammoth financial fraud such that he and his family were involved while Reagan was president. This Bush family has some dangerous patterns that I promise are still alive and well....... ever heard of a dude named Jeb?

Some of Obama's promises have been made difficult by the party of NO NO NO NO &NO.

Such as: NO to new industry NO to investment in jobs NO to any real change in medical insurance NO to a smart budget NO to the american people across the board.

jafs 6 years ago

I hope you understand that almost all of those require Congress, not simply the president, to act accordingly.

And, many of those have been opposed by Congress, thus making them impossible to achieve.

He did fall short on his promise to close Gitmo, which I believe he could have done without Congress - I'll give you that one.

jafs 6 years ago

"Democratic" majority.

And, the point is still the same - presidents can't act unilaterally to produce the results you list, and Democrats in Congress don't always do what the president wants.

The real problem is that candidates feel the necessity to make such sweeping promises, many of which can't be followed through on without Congress.

I warned many voters that he was making promises he couldn't keep while he was campaigning, based on the complexity of our government.

But, I'd bet that all candidates for president do the same thing - it seems to be what a lot of voters want and expect of them.

jafs 6 years ago

Also, of course, in order to prevail against opposition from the other party, it's necessary to have not only a majority, but a filibuster proof majority.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

+1 LOL, Agno. It is interesting, regardless of the party, we forget the president has a veto pen, the bully pulpit and little else. Unless there are 60 of one party in the Senate, it is possible that nothing will ever get done.

Kirk Larson 6 years ago

More like...

A republican says, "god helps those who help themselves." A democrat says, "god helps those who help each other."

Which would Jesus say?

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

No, but interesting. The R's don't want to mess with people, unless they are gay, broke, sick or seeking medical attention. As for the D's, they do like to mess about, don't they? Get breaks at work, employer benefits, work about 8-9 hours a day, don't have to put your kids in the fields and factories when they are 10, guess you can thank the D's, but both parties had help when it counted from the other side, at least back when there were some statesmen/women in the Congress instead of ideologues.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

"GW forgot to promise voters he would be not part of another mammoth financial fraud such that he and his family were involved while Reagan was president. This Bush family has some dangerous patterns that I promise are still alive and well....... ever heard of a dude named Jeb?

Some of Obama's promises have been made difficult by the party of no no no no &no.

Such as: NO to new industry NO to investment in jobs NO to any real change in medical insurance NO to a smart budget NO to the american people across the board. "

All of the above demonstrate repubs have become anti american as I see it. Anything that will improve the quality of life such jobs,money in the bank,families that which are self sustaining repubs get in the way.

The repubs apparently believe without jobs and money are easier to control. And some may join the military out of financial distress.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

+1, but settle down, Merrill. BUSHCO goes all the way back to the Nazi regime and they know how to handle politics and money. I remain impressed how they cooked the books to get NCLB up and running, and how they manipulated the school improvement regulations and the markets to enrich their family and friends. Just type "Bush family history" into the Google bar and you can read for weeks. Hey now; that's the American way, right? Deep breaths, Bubba. We'll get through this. What 'ya got against rich people? Next think you know, you'll be ranting about those Koch boys and their commie money.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

"they manipulated the school improvement regulations and the markets to enrich their family and friends." Amen. The K-12 virtual school program is making plenty of tax dollar profits for the Bush family of politicians as they whine and whine about taxes. Brother Bill Bennett loves every second of this or can we say "every tax dollar".

Ole Jeb he has cooked up some kind of software for the school systems as well again in spite of his disdain for taxes.

Armstrong 6 years ago

Hey this is kinda fun to watch the last of Obama's die hard base support his dismal record. More , more! Popcorn anyone ?

Obama 74% unfavorable rating, that has to be some kind of record.

Armstrong 6 years ago

Look at Rasmussen today. Sorry I can't constatntly troll the blogs all day like some. I work so responses take time.

Armstrong 6 years ago

Way to much time on your hands ?

Armstrong 6 years ago

Google-Fu, like that one. Can't compete with 65 wpm either

jafs 6 years ago

Last time I looked, his ratings were higher than his Republican opponents, and much higher than Congress.

And, I saw no such number - that seems greatly exaggerated.

motercyclejim 5 years, 12 months ago

What are u talking about?!? What glass says 74 percent?!!! R u stupid?!

The problam with obamma is that he makes peeple pay taxxes witch is wrong!!!!! Vote for RON PAUL!!!

motercyclejim 5 years, 12 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

camper 6 years ago

It is disingenuous for Cal to say that Obama has fallen short on his promises. The president has been virtually unable to do much at all because of the Republicans attempts to sabatoge his presidency. There are many documented examples of Republicans who previously supported positions, but have sinced flipped now that President Obama is in office. They held the country hostage during the debt ceiling crisis and risked financial catastrophe for political reasons (to to mention a slight downgrade in US securities...something that did happen). They will not compromise on raising taxes, and they are not supporting a jobs bill. How can one keep promises under these conditions?

In fact it is somewhat remarkable that we have not yet slid into a deeper recession considering Washington is handcuffed.

But Obama did keep his promise of getting out of Iraq. Health reform (something that did not go far enough), and getting that terrorist in Afghan.

beatrice 6 years ago

Okay jay, I give up. Exactly what is it we are supposed to be waiting for? Did it arrive and I missed it? Was it the more than predictable "sky is falling" nonsense that usually shows up on any article even remotely connected to our President?

I mean, I knew the zombies would be out in number spewing their party-over-country silliness before practically anyone had a chance to even advise anyone to keep an eye out for them. Same old hate coming from them, different day. Since that wasn't it, what was it?

Armstrong 5 years, 12 months ago

Bingo ! Extra points for playing the race card. Need a few hatemongers, party of haters and neocons and the left quota for tired worn out lines will be filled.

beatrice 5 years, 12 months ago

Um ... the sky did fall under Bush. Obama was handed this mess. You can argue whether or not he has done the right thing to right the ship, but he isn't the one who crashed the economy in the first place.

As I said many times back then ... as I am sure you remember ... I didn't and don't hate President Bush. I hated many of his policies, but not the man himself. You and Obama, on the other hand, from before he was elected you have hated him.

Zombies are sad.

jaywalker 5 years, 12 months ago

Wow! So much passion for something so inconsequential, bea? Sorry, gone for most of the day, but I was waiting for a particular post that never came.

beatrice 5 years, 12 months ago

I know. I'm just joking with ya. Care to share what post you were waiting for?

motercyclejim 5 years, 12 months ago

Obamma is making citezens pay taxxes and thats not in the constatution so its against the law and noone makes him stop!!!!! pleese every body vote for Ron Paul he will make it so we can stop taxxes and so we can keep the monney we ern!!!!!!!!!

Armstrong 5 years, 12 months ago

Sounds like the sky is falling - again. It's hysterical when libs make up scenarios and try to stick words in peoples mouths then pass it off as some version of the truth, because only liberals know the real truth and are truley enlightened.

beatrice 5 years, 12 months ago

Jealous that we can't jump to the start of your posting histories?

Don't worry, if you stick around as long as I have you are on pace to reach more than 18,000 posts. I'll bet none will be on the music posts, listing hundreds of songs of various types, as well.

Aiko 5 years, 12 months ago

Exactly- just for math! I think the fact that Ol' Bea has over 10k in postings speaks for itself. .... Especially with her "little clever quips" and insults that are not only highly o·pin·ion·at·ed but contradicting as well.... That being said, I too feel Obama has not been what he said he would be.

beatrice 5 years, 12 months ago

It says I know how to voice my opinions without being removed, as has happened to so many others around here. This averages a little more than 4 whole posts a day - oh my! I'm not sorry if people with opinions bothers you. People who lack opinions and just go with the flow bother me.

And for what it is worth and to add to your opinion of me being contradictory, I'm not completely happy with Obama either. I'm actually upset that the Republicans have such horrible candidates running for the top office. Not a real moderate or centrist in the bunch. As jaywalker said recently, (paraphrasing) Obama is going to be the weakest incumbent to ever win by a landslide. I have to agree.

Armstrong 5 years, 12 months ago

when on the ropes, change the subject. Winning idea

beatrice 5 years, 12 months ago

Pious? No. Accurate. Yes.

Truth hurts, doesn't it?

I love you, of all people, calling me a "troll." That is just too funny to actually be funny.

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