There will be no new beginning for Barack Obama. Snake oil is snake oil, no matter what his speechwriters have concocted as he hits the campaign trail long before the 2014 midterms. With 28 states showing rising unemployment in June,¹ we already have a pretty good idea of what’s going on with jobs and the economy and who is responsible for the mess.
Talking about needing to do more doesn’t erase failure any more than calling old ideas big and bold will make them shiny and new. Year five of Obama’s quest to conquer the economy for the middle class is a little late in the game for the president’s legacy because midterm election campaigning will put an end to any risky lawmaking until 2015. Does it matter? The real goal of the Obama vision for a divided America is the return of Democratic rule in Congress.
Organizing America for anger.
Every defining issue for the Obama presidency has been presented to Americans to incite anger, division, dissent, and even hate. The state of the economy has been reduced to an us vs. them, rich vs. poor argument that beats us over the head with warnings about a “make or break moment” for those scrabbling to make it into Middle America.
If we are to believe the propaganda spewing from the White House, America is seething with racial, social, and economic injustice and inequality (see: Obama Swaps Americanism for Income Inequality). Even the least deserving of all, illegal immigrants, are said to have gotten a raw deal despite government handouts from education to health care provided at taxpayer expense.
Obama creates a divided America for Democrats.
There was nothing new in today’s overhyped speech in Illinois:
Even though our businesses are creating new jobs and have broken record profits, nearly all the income gains of the past 10 years have continued to flow to the top 1 percent.²
Sound familiar? Even the Occupy Wall Street crowd got tired of rallies about the 1%. The president talked about playing by the same set of rules, about those at the top, about giving every American a chance to be part of the middle class. When opportunity knocked and the president and Democrats had a chance to do something real for the middle class, did they jump to the challenge?
NEVER FORGET: Obama helped raise taxes on the middle class.
By now the 2013 payroll tax hike is all but forgotten (see: Great Reasons to Hit Middle Income America With Tax Increases). This bit of collusion between Congress and the White House did precisely what both parties and the president said they wouldn’t do. Not only were taxes raised on the middle class, the increase was on a tax that higher earners stop paying as their incomes rise. Nevertheless, the president takes credit for protecting the middle class even though the tax increase impacted the wealthy the least:
A central promise of my campaign for President was to change the tax code that was too skewed towards the wealthy at the expense of working middle-class Americans.³
Does a divided America help Democrats?
We keep hearing about Obama’s vision for America, but what we are being handed is a vision of unfairness and inequality that keeps America divided. A “rising, thriving, active, growing middle class.”4 is the last thing Democrats need as Congress prepares to go campaigning. The underprivileged play a lot better in stump speeches. The more Americans who can be roused to anger and persuaded to adopt Obama’s divisive vision, the better chance Democrats have to conquer Congress next year and show us what a divided America really looks like.