Friday, November 05, 2010

Denial or Delusion?

For whatever reason, Obama won't admit that the country rejected his agenda on Tuesday. In his post-election press conference, he danced around the question at least five times.

Ben Feller at AP: Are you willing to concede at all that what happened last night was not just an expression of frustration about the economy, but a fundamental rejection of your agenda?

President Obama: I think that there is no doubt that people’s number-one concern is the economy...

Savannah Guthrie:Just following up on what Ben just talked about, you don’t seem to be reflecting or second-guessing any of the policy decisions you’ve made...

President Obama: ... I think that over the last two years, we have made a series of very tough decisions, but decisions that were right in terms of moving the country forward...

Savannah Guthrie: Would you still resist the notion that voters rejected the policy choices you made?

President Obama: ... I think that what I think is absolutely true is voters are not satisfied with the outcomes... The fact is, is that for most folks, proof of whether they work or not is has the economy gotten back to where it needs to be. And it hasn’t.

Well, he almost got it there. Note, though, that while he says "most folks" don't think his economic policies have worked, he himself doesn't seem to believe that.

Mike Emanuel: ... I’m wondering, sir, if you believe that health care reform that you worked so hard on is in danger at this point, and whether there’s a threat, as a result of this election.

President Obama: ... I think we’d be misreading the election if we thought that the American people want to see us for the next two years relitigate arguments that we had over the last two years.

Ed Henry: You just reject that idea altogether that your policies could be going in reverse?

President Obama: Yes.

He repeatedly refused to admit that his policies have failed and the American people have rejected his agenda. Even this zinger from Peter Baker - who used Obama's own words against him - didn't seem to sink in.

Peter Baker: Thank you, Mr. President. After your election two years ago, when you met with Republicans you said that, in discussing what policies might go forward, that elections have consequences, and that you pointed out that you had won. I wonder what consequences you think this election should have then, in terms of your policies.

So, is he in denial? You may think so; but this interview with Al Sharpton before the election shows that he knew exactly what this election was about.

OBAMA: But the key is to make sure everybody understands this election is important. My name may not be on the ballot, but our agenda for moving forward is on the ballot, and I need everybody to turn out.

Well, the American people agree. Your agenda for moving forward was on the ballot and we voted strongly against it. But, like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, President Obama will continue to fight on, considering his missing arm "but a scratch." That's not denial, that's delusion... or worse.