WASHINGTON: The left is scrambling to help President Obama in a suddenly close race with Mitt Romney, but not all of its efforts are particularly clever or even effective.
Consider that the left has had to create a vocabulary to accommodate liberal tax-and-spend policies and the ballot-box defeat that could accompany them. This new lingo was on display during the recent Group of Eight and Nato meetings — the phony debate about “growth” vs. “austerity.” To liberals, “growth” doesn’t mean robust traditional growth policies including low taxes, rational spending and a balanced regulatory touch. No, to them “growth” means more government spending and “austerity” means nothing more than some budget constraints and tax increases. Greece, ground zero of this debate, is the best example. Greek spending has gone down relatively little, while taxes on individuals and businesses have ballooned. So far, job losses have occurred only in the private sector, which is being strangled by new taxes. The only thing that grows under the new “growth” policies is what used to be called debt.
Then there are “journeys” that used to be known as flip-flops: The New York Times credited the president with having engaged in a “journey” to reach his latest enlightened policy on Afghanistan; the decision isn’t characterized as the flip-flop it was or even, more reasonably, as an on-the-job-training debacle. Any reasonable person would have to contract amnesia to forget what Obama said when he took his formerly muscular, hawkish position. In much the same way, his forced reversal on gay marriage was saluted as an “evolution,” not an acknowledgment of the expedient position he took in 2008 to appear more moderate.
There is the matter of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. If anyone gets near Wright, liberals scream racism! It is a bad idea for Republicans to shift away from the critical issue of the economy. Nonetheless, a wacky plan to refresh the old Wright controversy was drafted by some GOP operatives but never made it to the launch pad. Some Obama defenders then began shouting: “Look at what the Republicans almost showed you but didn’t. It sure would have been awful if you would have seen this, but we kept you from seeing it.”
By arrangement with the Washington Post/Bloomberg News Service