The Right Politics

President Barack Obama gave a campaign speech at Cuyahoga Community College in Ohio on June 14, 2012, and it was extremely difficult to hear the same old message of blame rather than a new message of solutions.  Once again, the president spent his time blaming the Republican Congress for the nation’s woes and his own inability to accomplish what he knows he hasn’t accomplished. 

No one should have to remind President Obama or the American public as to why the nation has a Republican House of Representatives.  The House became Republican in 2010 after the midterm election – half-way through Obama’s four-year term because America wasn’t satisfied with the job the president and the Democrats were doing.  Incidentally, Obama isn’t the first president who had to work with a divided Congress, and odds are he won’t be the last. 

Given that there are going to obviously be differences between a divided U.S. Congress, it is the president’s task to come up with proposals and ideas that will appease his fellow-lawmakers.  It’s been done before, and it should be happening now.  However, it isn’t happening at all.  The save-face solution, so thinks President Obama, is to blame Congress repeatedly – as he did in his Ohio speech. 

When the president spoke about unemployment, he leveled his first blame of the day on the Republicans:  “What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views of which direction America should take…  Nothing is more important than an honest debate about where these two paths would lead us.  Now, that debate has an understanding of where we are and how we got here.” 

No, it’s how Obama understands it, not the nation-at-large. 

He went on to retread his old message:  “For more than a decade, it had become harder to find a job than paid the bills, harder to save, harder to retire, harder to keep up with rising costs of gas and health care and college tuitions.  You know that.  You lived it.”  If this sounds like it was cut-and-paste from a 2008 Obama campaign speech, it probably was. 

Focus on the president’s words, “You lived it.”  Yes, Americans have lived it, and that’s why they know things are getting worse, not stabilizing – and definitely not improving. 

Obama’s speech spent a great deal of time on the economy – the downfall of his presidency.  He restated that he wants to tax the rich more but avoids the other side of the equation – giving more to the poor.  This week, efforts to cut food stamp costs to the nation nearly in-half failed.  The idea was to put more of the burden on individual states.  Though Obama believes that a tax cut for the wealthy has hurt the national economy, he ignores the fact that constantly giving so much to people who don’t contribute to the American economy by working is just as much, if not a bigger part of the problem. 

Also, in Obama’s speech, he continually ignores the obvious.  That taking more away from the wealthy kills motivation for many to strive for all they can financially gain in this country.  By giving more and more to those who don’t work kills the need and motivation for those people to work.  It’s common sense.   

It’s also frustrating to hear Obama continually compare the Clinton defense finances of the 1990s to Bush’s in the 2000s.  Obama undoubtedly remembers the 9-11 attacks on America.  

Obama attacked the Republicans and Mitt Romney for wanting to cut spending – including spending on health and education.  While he admits that he doesn’t know exactly where the cuts would be – or, “where the knife will fall,” as he said – he used scare tactics to say that research to cancer and other diseases will be cut.  Hold it – he said he didn’t know where they were going to make the cuts.  It could be they will spend more on research of deadly diseases than Obama’s administration did. 

Again, President Obama’s big speech in Cuyahoga County, Ohio was difficult to listen to without getting extremely frustrated, but it is something of which all Americans should be listening. 

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.