Like many Americans and nearly every pol in Washington, I watched President Obama's
news conference yesterday afternoon and came away with a few observations. I believe
him (for now) when he says he wants to work with Republicans to move legislation.
I, however, feel that comity will dissipate quickly the first chance the White House
gets to wage class warfare against the GOP. Someone has convinced him attacking
this unknown constituency called "the wealthy" is a surefire winner for
Obama. It also tells me this president is an ideologue more than anything else.
In that regard, he looks NOTHING like his predecessors. Not even failed President
Carter, and certainly nothing like Bill Clinton, who himself would have handled
the day after those devastating losses far differently.
Just ask Clinton's top political adviser, James Carville, who when asked on CNN what pages Obama has left in the political playbook, amusingly said, "It's called the Constitution." The inference was clear — Obama must face the reality that he can't jam unpopular policies through and expect a large Democratic majority to rubber-stamp them. We now have a true balance of power again in Washington, and everyone is waiting to see how Obama responds.
Judging by his words yesterday, Americans should settle in for more gridlock during these next two years. Yes, at times the president seemed conciliatory. His "shellacking" comment was as accurate as it was self-deprecating. But that's where the humility ended.
Phrases such as "I didn't communicate my message better" and "We should have started earlier in convincing the American people" are not admissions of mistakes or even acknowledgements that, if he'd had a chance to do it all over again, things would be done differently. No, those are remarks from a person who to this day believes in his heart he was right all along. A supermajority of the voters didn't see it that way, but doggone it, Obama sure did, and that's all that matters.
Folks, that thought process achieves new levels of arrogance, and leaves me with little hope for the next two years. "Communicating our message better" is what losers say when they're too proud to admit they lost. That's not presidential, that's pathetic. As smart as the president is, he knew exactly what he was doing when he chose those words, and that alone makes his sincerity yesterday all the more suspect.
Armstrong Williams is on Sirius/XM Power 169, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m., Monday through Friday. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside.