American Way: Barack Obama, cult figure of 2008, left behind by new anti-spending zeitgeist

Toby Harden
The Telegraph [UK]
20 February 2011

Something momentous is happening in the United States right now and Barack Obama doesn’t get it. In Madison, Wisconsin last week, up to 40,000 public employees, organised by their unions, the Democratic party and the grassroots Organizing for America group that elected the president in 2008, gathered at the state capitol. Teachers left their classrooms, forcing schools to close.

Their objective? To rail against an attempt to balance the budget and curtail union power by newly-elected Governor Scott Walker, a Republican. The Democratic party’s response? Its state senators have fled Wisconsin to Illinois, dodging state troopers as they went, in order to prevent the budget being voted on. Obama branded Walker’s actions as an “assault on unions”.

It was Obama who crowed just after he entered the White House that “elections have consequences”. In Wisconsin last November, the consequences included the governorship, a Senate seat and the state senate and assembly all being lost by the Democrats.

Although you may have read about the Tea Party being a collection of fringe racists and lunatics, their activists in places like Wisconsin were mainly ordinary Americans sick to the back teeth with out-of-control spending…

…Depressingly, Obama’s calculation seems to be that he can talk a good game on the deficit and spout vacuous slogans like “winning the future”. He’ll leave it to Republicans to propose swingeing cuts in entitlement programmes and then suffer a backlash from frightened voters at the polls in 2012. At least, that’s what happened in 1996. But Obama does not seem to have noticed that 2012 is not 1996.

The fact that a president would use his own campaign foot soldiers to back public employees against their elected state government shows how distorted his priorities have become. Instead of confronting unions, as President Ronald Reagan did with the air traffic controllers in 1981 when he fired more than 11,000 of them, Obama is facilitating them…

Read the entire article at The Telegraph.

H/T @SissyWillis

Related: Obama Acted Stupidly In Picking Sides Against The Taxpayers

The drama unfolding in Wisconsin has the potential to be a defining moment in the 2012 presidential campaign because Obama openly has picked sides against the taxpayers in favor of public sector unions:

President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin’s broiling budget battle, mobilizing opposition Thursday to a Republican bill that would curb public-worker benefits and planning similar protests in other state capitals.

Obama accused Scott Walker, the state’s new Republican governor, of unleashing an “assault” on unions in pushing emergency legislation that would change future collective-bargaining agreements that affect most public employees, including teachers.

The president’s political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.

Obama has cast his lot with unions which seek to perpetuate a system of benefits which is destroying state budgets.  The Governor of Wisconsin only wants to move these benefits more in line with the private sector and other states…

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