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Friday, June 08, 2012

From hope and change to fear and smear

One can only wonder what President Obama will do as an encore for his 2008 appearance at the Democratic National Convention between two Greek columns. From Victor Davis Hanson.
What accounts for the radical change in mood from four years ago?

The blue-state model of large government, increased entitlements, and high taxes may be good rhetoric, but it is unsound reality. Redistribution does not serve static, aging populations in a competitive global world — as we are seeing from California to southern Europe. “Hope and change” was a slogan in 2008; it has since been supplanted by the reality of 40 straight months of 8 percent–plus unemployment and record deficits — despite $5 billion in borrowed priming, near-zero interest rates, and vast increases in entitlement spending.

Obama’s bragging that the United States is drilling more oil despite, rather than because of, his efforts is supposed to be a clever appeal to both greens and business. Private-equity firms are good for campaign donations but bad when a Republican rival runs them. “Romney would do worse,” rather than “I have done well,” is the implicit Obama campaign theme of 2012.

To be reelected, a now-polarizing Obama believes that he must stoke the fears of some of us rather than appeal to all of our hopes by defending a successful record, and that he must smear with the old politics rather than inspiring with the new. That cynical calculation and the constant hedging and flip-flopping may be normal for politicians, but eventually they prove disastrous for the ones who posed as messianic prophets.
Read the whole thing.

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