The most exhausting aspect of watching the President in debate, whether he is on auto-pilot or in full attack-mode, is learning, yet again, that he is constitutionally unable to reveal his true beliefs and intentions on any topic – with one spectacular exception.
To hear Mr. Obama tell it, he is a big fan of virtually the entire Republican platform: limited regulatory interference with the private sector; limited interference with Wall Street; love of small business; lower taxes on nearly everyone; reduced federal spending; elimination of annual deficits and reduction of overall national-debt; reform of entitlements; free trade; monetary restraint; reduction in healthcare costs without diminution of standards of care and without death panels; strong national defense; no coddling of Russia; no coddling of China; no coddling of any Middle Eastern country; love and support of Israel and determination to protect it from Iran; peace through strength; no give-back of militarily-obtained gains in Iraq or Afghanistan; opposition to Marxist regimes in Latin America and support for capitalist countries there; secure borders and intelligent immigration-reform that protects illegal immigrants and their families without granting them citizenship; encouragement of fracking/offshore drilling/the XL pipeline/nuclear energy and indeed all currently available energy-resources and technologies even as we encourage “clean/green” alternative sources; education reform; second-amendment rights; freedom of the press; freedom of religion; etc., etc., etc. As he has throughout his career, going all the way back to his Chicago days, the President says all of this with a straight face, an appealing manner, and whatever dialect he chooses to employ based upon the race and demographics of the particular audience.
There is just one problem with all of this: If you check out his record, it is clear that he does not really believe a word of it.
But there is one major aspect of Mr. Obama’s presentation in which he allows himself to depart from his middle-of-the-road/I-could-pass-for-a-Republican script: he absolutely, positively believes in soaking the “rich” (defined very elastically) with every possible form of taxes – both because he totally discounts the Conservative notion that this would inhibit the growth of the economy, and because he views his policy as a moral imperative. In this one area, even though it clearly reveals the lineage of his intellectual roots going backwards from Jeremiah Wright, through Frank Marshall Davis, and all the way back to and through Marx, the President is very up-front. He surely believes that Christ was the first Communist. As for the insincerity of rest of his agenda, Mr. Obama appears to believe that he can fool most of the people most of the time.
Governor Romney, if one may judge from the debates, seems reluctant to challenge the President directly on the topic of going easy on the rich (as to taxes or otherwise), preferring a more indirect approach, which is to propose that people judge the President on the outcomes of his policies rather than the content of his speeches. In particular, the Governor seems loath to observe publicly that our tax policy must pamper the rich a bit, if we want them to continue to perform at a high-enough level to sustain a growing economy. Perhaps the Governor is wise: people may be willing to indulge the rich, but they do not like to be reminded of the need to do so.