.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Charles Krauthammer’s take on Obama’s budget address: ‘I thought it was a disgrace’

(By Jeff Poor, The Daily Caller) - It’s been just a few hours since President Barack Obama has finished his budget address at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and there already been significant pushback from the right.

First, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan lashed out at Obama and shared his disappointment in a press conference earlier today. However, Fox News contributor and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer took it to the next step on Wednesday’s broadcast of “Special Report” and criticized the speech as being focused on politics and not policy.

“I thought it was a disgrace,” he said. “I rarely heard a speech by a president so shallow, so hyper-partisan and so intellectually dishonest, outside the last couple of weeks of a presidential election where you are allowed to call your opponent anything short of a traitor. But, we’re a year-and-a-half away from Election Day and it was supposed to be a speech about policy. He didn’t even get to his own alternative until more than halfway through the speech. And when he did, he threw out numbers suspended in mid-air with nothing under them with all kinds of goals and guidelines and triggers that mean nothing. The speech was really about and entirely an attack on the [Rep. Paul] Ryan plan.”

Related Material...


Anonymous Andrew C. McCarthy said...

(The Corner) - I have misgivings about the Ryan plan. As Obama’s speech yesterday shows, small government conservatives are going to be viciously demagogued no matter how earnestly they struggle to preserve entitlement programs while bringing them into line with economic reality. So I really don’t understand the point: Why not dismantle them, with the caveats that there will be a period of transition (i.e., current seniors would not be affected) and, ultimately, a straight-up, undisguised welfare program for those who truly cannot fend for themselves — for which we will pay a commensurate tax but otherwise keep our own money to fend for ourselves? It’s not like the political attacks could be any worse than the insane things the Left is saying now.

But that aside, my sense is that Rep. Ryan is a very serious guy with a very serious brain making a real adult effort to deal with an existential crisis. I’m glad he’s there, and I hope leadership is taking notes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011 10:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Victor Davis Hanson said...

(The Corner) - The president gave the sort of scare speech he not long ago warned against, and blasted the income-tax rates he not long ago agreed were necessary — in a context in which he has just presented a budget with a $1.6 trillion deficit of the sort he now says is unsustainable, and has warned about recklessly voting against raising the debt ceiling in a fashion that he himself had once done, in a larger landscape in which he had once damned attacking Middle East countries in optional wars, Guantanamo, renditions, tribunals, preventative detention, intercepts, wiretaps, Predators, and leaving troops in Iraq, and then embraced or expanded all that and more (this list is infinite and includes everything from drilling to campaign financing to earmarks).

These weird about-faces raise interesting questions that transcend the current politics of the deficit:

a) Has Obama in his past careers never been called to account and so reached a point where simply being Obama means that we are not supposed to apply standards of accuracy, memory, and consistency to him in the way we do to all others?

b) Or does an absent-minded Obama carelessly make up things up ad hoc as he goes along, forgetting what he said earlier, but secure that his hope-and-change delivery of the moment will so mesmerize the audience that no one will remember or care if at times he ends up saying exactly the opposite of what he had said earlier?

c) Or is he so blatantly partisan a politician that he has no principles at all and knowingly says things that are aimed at appealing to 51 percent of the public at any given moment, and therefore will always change with public opinion?

d) Or is he so cynical that he understands campaign rhetoric has nothing to do with actual governance, and so he is allowed to say something that he knows in advance that he is not bound to follow?

e) Or is he so bored with the trying job that he feels no responsibility to offer reliable, consistent governance, and so rashly throws things out and then hastens back to the more enjoyable PR aspects of the office?

Thursday, April 14, 2011 10:57:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home