“Mr. Obama said Republicans hold a ‘sincere and fundamental belief” that government ‘has little or no role to play in helping this nation meet our collective challenges.’”-Wall Street Journal, June 3, 2010
So much is wrong (and just plain scary) about that statement, delivered yesterday at Carnegie Mellon University. The president, under increasing criticism for his lackluster response to the oil spill, sought to take a tough stance by … blaming someone else. I agree with him that Republicans, and a majority of the population, feel government has little role to play, or more specifically, as little role as necessary to get a particular job done. Outside of that, it depends on which government. Yes, there is a fundamental distrust of a centralized, federal bureaucracy. But as we mentioned last week, most are very receptive to small, decentralized state and local governments, for the simple fact that they (local governments) have skin in the game. And note his use of the term “collective challenges,” a curious choice from this supposedly non-collectivist president.
His perception/achievement gap is widening–fast. Which is all the more distressing given he had no policy achievements to speak of even before getting elected. After a brief surge in the run-up to Britain’s election, voters thought the better of Obama-like Nick Clegg and went with Conservative Leader David Cameron. Japan’s Prime Minister, Yukio Hatoyama, referred to as an Obama-like politician complete with a similar hope/change message and almost impossible expectations from the electorate, just resigned. His gap was too large to overcome. I predict Obama’s will grow too large as well, and he’ll be a one-term president.