Kathleen Parker: The double-down president

BY KATHLEEN PARKER Published: December 11, 2012
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While many on the right became apoplectic at those words, others found it easy to imagine that Obama didn't mean redistribution through confiscation, but rather through a more equitable arrangement of opportunities and rewards in a world where very clearly too much money was concentrated among too few.

Billionaires and tycoons who have gotten so very rich by gaming a system that favors insiders are loved by few. Why shouldn't they share more to minimize others' suffering? How many yachts, jets and homes does one need?

He really did mean it

Turns out: Obama really did mean confiscation and redistribution, and this promise is the “gift” that got him elected and got Mitt Romney pilloried. Of course Obama was re-elected at least in part because so much of America now is a constituency of the needy. This is not an indictment of people who have suffered through a terrible economy and job losses. It is simply a fact that many people need a helping hand right now and Obama's is extended.

By contrast, Republicans — and especially Romney — seemed merely to be part of the ongoing problem. Viewed as withholders, they were pathetically inarticulate about how conservative fiscal policies could make all boats rise. Now into holiday season, Obama is lighting trees and wishing everyone Merry Christmas, while the GOP grinches keep saying no.

The problems Obama inherited can't be denied. Nor can it be denied that once he felt Republicans were going to block his agenda, he doubled down.

If we go over the cliff, Republicans will be blamed. And Obama, appearing virtuous while figuring he has four more years to patch things up, will get the middle-class revenues he needs while effectively neutralizing the enemy.

Ho-ho-ho.

WASHINGTON POST WRITERS GROUP



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