Obama offers too much material for critics

Pete Seat's column
2009-03-19T00:00:00Z Obama offers too much material for criticsPete Seat
Times Columnist
nwitimes.com
March 19, 2009 12:00 am  • 

I have been very critical of the still infant Obama administration. But with all the precious material Obama and his team provide us, how can I be expected to resist the temptation? The past 4.8 million seconds and counting would be the perfect NBC mini-series, if only those still existed.

Just this week, we heard the president feign populist outrage at long-planned AIG bonuses that he was aware of for days and his team for weeks, if not longer. Of course, who can forget great gaffes like cabinet nominees claiming mulligans on paying taxes and Obama offering the British prime minister a stack of classic Hollywood films on DVD as a gift during the latter's recent visit to Washington. Perhaps the German Chancellor will land passes to Walt Disney World one day.

Those all pale in comparison to Rahm Emanuel. If the Olympics had a competition for Freudian slips, the White House chief of staff would take the gold. Back in November, Emanuel already had it all mapped out when he said, "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste."

Translation: Your depleted 401(k), lost job and sure-to-come tax increases are merely collateral damage on the path to a utopian society envisioned by Obama, Pelosi and the gang. In their minds, your crisis serves their greater political purpose.

Even in these dire economic times, with the people of Elkhart waiting in line for 25-pound boxes of food to feed their families, the White House has taken every opportunity to exploit the financial mess to promote and advance their policy priorities. It's hard to fault folks for wanting destructive agenda items to fail when the consequences of so-called success as measured by the Obamans are very grave. Believe it or not, you can still support the president while opposing misguided plans.

Faster than previous occupants, the current tenants of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. have proven there is a fine line between ambition and recklessness. Often, the blind quest to be remembered for greatness in the chapters of history ultimately leads to disaster (see "Johnson, Lyndon B.")

Obama has made clear he wants to enact strong reforms in the energy sector, including a cap-and-trade program to combat climate change. Critics have spoken out against this move, saying consumer energy bills will skyrocket.

Among those voices is former Sen. Barack Obama. Wait a second. What?

During the campaign, Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle bills would "skyrocket" if he got his way and cap-and-trade became a reality. Call it whatever you will, Mr. President, it's a tax increase disguised as a cure-all that will double or triple bills. How exactly does this make our country better?

There I go again, being critical. Man, I have got to stop that.

In closing this week, Obama recently installed a swing set on the south grounds of the White House for his daughters. That's a policy I can support 110 percent! Now that's better.

Pete Seat, a Schererville native, is former deputy assistant press secretary to President George W. Bush. He can be reached at peteseat@gmail.com. His column appears in this spot every other Thursday. The opinion expressed in this column is the writer's and not necessarily that of The Times.

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