In one accord as if they were all reading from the very same script, the mainstream media’s new template touts the lame duck session of Congress and Barack Obama as a resounding ‘success.’
The mantra began when conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer referred to Obama as ‘the comeback kid’ due to the fact that the President got a couple of his policy initiatives approved by Congress in December.
In complete unison the talking heads of the mainstream media mouthed the very same words as ‘proof’ that Obama had turned the corner on a dismal year and now had his groove back. After all, they said, ‘even a conservative columnist said so.’
Time for a serious fact-check.
First, Obama did not get all he wanted in the lame duck session. He did not want the Bush era tax rates to remain in place but had insisted time and time again that he wished to allow them to expire, thus giving Americans the largest tax increase in U.S. history. But Republicans would not budge on the measure, and insisted that if Obama and the Democrats wanted to extend unemployment benefits, although the nation does not have the money to pay for it, then they would have to go along with extending the Bush era tax rates.
This represents no victory for Obama but a major win for Republicans in the House and Senate.
Second, Obama did not get the DREAM Act. The legislation was designed to grant amnesty to over 2 million children of illegal aliens, and allow them to attend college subsidized by the taxpayers at in-state tuition levels. Again, Congress could not reach an agreement on the measure, and it was declared dead.
Third, Obama did not get the 1.1 trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill. This pork-laden initiative ran into difficulty from the start as Republicans, feeling their oats from the shellacking the Democrats took at the hands of the voters on November 2, vowed to block the measure. It worked. Congress was forced to pass a stop-gap spending bill to keep the government running until March of 2011, which will give the new Congress the time and the opportunity to pass a budget.
So far Obama is 0 for 3. Hardly a resounding ‘comeback’ or ‘success.’
The President did, however, get 3 items he wanted–the START Treaty with Russia, which will severely weaken U.S. nuclear defensive capabilities, the Food Bill which mandates government controls over what Americans eat and sell, including Girl Scout Cookies and doughnuts that school kids sell at yard-stands, and the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
How, exactly, do these measures amount to a success? To be sure, Obama got what he wanted, but the country is much worse off for it.
Thus, out of 6 major initiatives Obama pushed in the lame duck session, he only got half of what he wanted, which means the results were mixed at best and hardly the resounding success of a ‘comeback kid’ that the talking heads would like Americans to believe.
The mainstream media, once again, shows that it is highly suspect when it comes to dealing with this President in an objective fashion.
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