You have to hand it to President Obama and his cabal of re-election strategists; they are masters of illusion. Their newly released Web video and its accompanying campaign slogan, "Forward," are science fiction-level fantastical.
We're all familiar with Obama's penchant for deflecting responsibility and blaming his policy failures on George W. Bush, but after more than three years in office for Obama, it has gone from childish mischief to juvenile delinquency. This is a question for Guinness: Has any other president run for re-election against the record of his retired predecessor?
Indeed, Obama is still feeding us this dodge years beyond its spoil date, apparently hoping we won't realize we have salmonella until he's safely voted in to his second term.
Watch the video. In the words of The Hill's John Easley, "it blames GOP policies for the still-sluggish economy."
It attempts to draw a clear dichotomy between the dark days of the last year of Bush's term and the glorious remedial reign of President Obama, which began in January 2009.
The first period is depicted as one of excessive job losses, the housing and foreclosure crisis, the stock market free fall, and the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, with ominous images of President Bush and Vice President Cheney, the sinister masterminds of these disasters, strategically placed throughout, for maximum effect.
The second period begins with the inauguration of President Obama, underscoring his heroic agenda -- the one Obama has cited in placing himself among the greatest American presidents -- the stimulus, the GM and Chrysler bailouts, financial reform, the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," bringing the Iraq War to a close and, of course, the killing of Osama bin Laden. Before the video ends, the video dutifully boasts about Obama's signature "accomplishment," Obamacare, going so far as to include the controversial birth control mandate in his plus column. Likewise with his green energy policies.
According to the video, the most polarizing chief executive in the history of the American presidency is not the cause of our current dreadful economic conditions, about which, in any event, the White House is mostly in denial, as we'll see. Nor is Obama to blame for our nearly unprecedented partisan acrimony. No, the root of our problems is obstructionist GOP Republicans, who -- along with their evil media mouthpieces Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck -- "instead of working together to lift America up ... (have waged) a campaign to tear the president down."
But despite the pernicious efforts of the GOP and its loudmouth conservative co-conspirators to thwart President Obama's salutary agenda, Obama has persevered and triumphed. That's right; his record is not one of failure but one of extraordinary achievement against this right-wing hydra and the multifaceted adversity it has hurled at him.
In fact, the White House would have us believe the economy is doing pretty well. "The president's stimulus plan saved up to 4.2 million jobs" and has given us steady economic growth, and the manufacturing sector is going gangbusters.
What this little clip doesn't tell you -- apart from the meaningless and immeasurable metric of "saved jobs," which has now been further diluted to the ludicrous rendering "saved up to" -- is how much these possibly or possibly not saved jobs cost the American taxpayer. It doesn't reveal Obama's miserable record in creating new private-sector jobs or that overall, he has delivered us a net loss of millions of jobs and unemployment at levels consistently 60 percent higher than what economists consider normal.
It doesn't report that taxpayers lost billions on his vaunted auto bailouts or that through his abuses of power, secured creditors were literally cheated out of their money.
The video conveniently fails to mention that Obama has rightfully earned his nickname "The Food Stamp President" with the objectively measurable skyrocketing increases in government dependency payouts during his term, a great portion of which cannot be blamed on the recession, which his policies grossly worsened anyway. It doesn't disclose that Obamacare will cost nearly twice what Obama promised or that Dodd-Frank is likely to exacerbate the very problems it is ostensibly designed to prevent.
The video casually glosses over Obama's real record on green jobs, the wasted billions and the shameless corporatist corruption. It doesn't showcase his gutting of the military or his plans for radical nuclear disarmament.
But the most gaping hole in this propaganda piece is its glaring omission of the debt crisis Obama has engineered, his abdication of leadership in failing to pressure his party's Senate majority to produce a budget -- even a phony, superficial one -- in more than 1,000 days, and his egregious refusal to work on entitlement reform and balancing the budget.
Team Obama is gifted in community organizing, but not even these wizards can re-create reality to make Obama's record appear anywhere north of calamitous failure. This "progressive" president is headed anywhere but forward.