Looks like President Obama has come up with a novel way to be re-elected: pretend not to be Barack Obama until the election is over. The Wall Street Journal explains:
The White House is more or less conceding that it doesn’t have a chance of winning a second term unless [President Obama’s] major policies go on hiatus.
The “holiday from committing liberal history” began, the Journal notes, with the extension of the Bush tax cuts and can further be seen in the call for the scrub of “excessive” regulation. The oped notes that for a short while the EPA will “stop treating dairy farm milk spills as if they were Gulf oil leaks. That should help next year in Wisconsin.”
Among the other re-election gambits: delay of the derivatives swap rule that are part of the Dodd-Frank regulations and the granting of more than a thousand temporary waivers on the administration’s enormously unpopular health care system.
This is less political favoritism than a panicked, ad hoc bid to minimize pre-election insurance disruptions that can be attributed to a law that is still widely reviled. If the law isn’t enforced, maybe voters will forget it passed. In its New Hampshire reprieve, HHS admitted that ObamaCare would “destabilize the individual market,” though it neglected to mention that this is what ObamaCare is meant to do. Just not yet. …
Why aren’t liberals deploring this betrayal of their programs? Perhaps because even they can’t ignore reality forever. Mr. Obama’s epic fiscal binge, waves of new industrial policy and the political allocation of credit haven’t created the boom they promised. If business can now be persuaded that the government assault is over and start to invest again so the economy improves enough for Mr. Obama to win a second term, then a two-year delay in fulfilling their dreams is well worth it.
Liberals figure that as long as Mr. Obama can be re-elected next year on another hope-and-change platform, it will be too late to hope to change anything and he can then return to his legacy project of building a tax and entitlement state on the European model. The economy may benefit from Mr. Obama’s temporary amnesty, but the real lesson of this hiatus from liberalism is that it should be shut down permanently.
President Obama posed as a moderate in 2008. Can he do it again? As George Bush once observed in that mangled syntax that I recall more fondly every day: Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, same on me.