Writing in the Washington Examiner Byron York comments on strategist Frank Luntz’ recently released memo Health Reform Language Highlights. You may be familar with Luntz as the pollster who gives a group of people hand-held controllers and monitors their real time reaction to statements, showing a live graph typically broken up by party affiliation.
Luntz begins by pointing out, presumably for the under-40 crowd, the repeat of history that we are seeing.
I was there in 1994. I saw what happened when a once-popular president tried to push healthcare legislation that Americans didn’t want or appreciate. I witnessed the electoral implications when his administration tried to expand the role of government against the wishes of, well, almost everyone. And it’s happening once again.
At face value it seems really stupid for President Obama to repeat this a mere 15 years later but after observing his first nine months in office it is clear that this is just par for the course for Barack Obama. Like Luntz, I was there for the 1993/1994 Clinton overreach and was a vocal part of the crowd that pushed back in the 1994 (and subsequent) elections but I came away from it being impressed by the realistic response by Clinton, who was pushed to the center and made the best of it. Based upon that still recent political history I expected a more thoughtful approach from the allegedly-brilliant new President. I was disappointed.
There is a certain flavor of individual who will always act like history started the moment that he stepped up to the scene.
It is clear that Barack Obama possesses a sincerely held belief in his own magnificence and truly does act like history started the moment that he stepped up, implicitly rejecting the attempts and results of those who have come before. We see this demonstrated with the bulk of his foreign policy decisions and foreign speeches as well as his “government is the only answer” response to every domestic issue. Perhaps this attitude is related to the general attitude that many of Mr Obama’s socialist fellow travelers have about world implementations of their nice little theoretical systems. Sure, they have all sucked so far, dude, but we haven’t had our crack at it yet!
Beyond a lot of good points by Luntz in terms of how to best debate the issue, including his announcement that it is okay to criticize the president now, I liked the look of this graph and you will too:
Read the Frank Luntz memo here.