CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

100 Days of What?

Apr 30, 2009

While the mainstream media both here and in America is waxing sycophantic over the first 100 days of the Obama administration, treating him as the long-awaited Messiah, more sober voices are much less sanguine. No one is questioning that Obama is not doing what he said he would do. But that’s the problem – he is doing just what he said he would do.

For example, while running for office, Obama made it clear that he would be the most pro-abortion president ever, and that certainly has been the case. I have documented his many pro-death steps since taking charge. But there are plenty of other concerns. Let me canvass some views from the US, and present their assessment.

Media analyst Brent Bozell agrees that this has been one long passionate love affair. The MSM is bewitched with their leftist hero: “There’s something very curious – even laughable – about watching the media assemble to offer President Obama a grade after the first 100 days. They weren’t exactly a team of dispassionate scientists in a lab. They continue to be what they’ve been all along – a rolling gaggle of Obama cheerleaders – only before it was a campaign, and now it’s an administration. So now they’re assessing whether their awe-inspiring historic candidate still glows with the luster of victory. Hmm … let’s see. They applied the luster, they boasted of the luster, and you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll continue doing both.”

Janice Shaw Crouse concurs, “Few of the political commentators are willing to take off the rose-colored glasses about this president. ‘The Ethicist’ columnist for the New York Times Magazine thinks it’s an ‘unbelievably great thing’ to have a President who is ‘competent and not insane’ (or you can choose your preference among the columnist’s previous dismissive and disdainful labels for former President Bush: a liar, corrupt, immoral or dishonorable). The left is bending over backwards to describe Obama’s policies as ‘moderate’ and to promote his ‘change’ as positive. Even the stimulus package/bailout that passed along party lines was portrayed positively — never mind that it exponentially increases the deficit and will create a multi-trillion-dollar inflationary effect.”

Speaking of the way Obama has run the economy, Burton Folsom, Jr. finds “parallels to FDR and his first hundred days as president 75 years ago during the Great Depression”. Here is one of them:

“President Obama, like FDR, has used the economic emergency to pass massive spending bills. For example, Obama warned of dire consequences if Congress failed to pass his 1,100 page emergency ‘stimulus bill’ of $787 billion. Congressmen had no time to reflect on the bill, or even read it. They passed a bill that would spend $25,000 per second every second of the year 2009–without serious debate. In doing that, President Obama was taking a page from FDR’s emergency banking bill, which the House passed, sight unseen, after only thirty-eight minutes of debate. As Congressman Robert Luce of Massachusetts responded, ‘judgment must be waived… argument must be silenced, we should take matters without criticism lest we may do harm by delay.’ The atmosphere in the House in 2009 was almost identical.”

It appears that we have an administration waging war on free enterprise. Larry Kudlow makes this observation, “The president is seeking to change the whole relationship between the government and the free-enterprise private sector. He is steering the country away from democratic capitalism and toward his big-government command-and-control vision. We are witnessing a triumph of government bureaucrats over entrepreneurs, investors, and small businesses.

“This looks very much like a war against investors, businesses, and entrepreneurs. Shareholder rights are being eviscerated. Political decisions are replacing the rule of law, the rule of bankruptcy courts, and free-market principles. We are witnessing more spending, deficits, and debt-creation than anyone ever imagined. Bailout Nation has run amok. This started under Bush, but Obama is raising the stakes exponentially.”

Janice Shaw Crouse says that we must get down to some realism here: “Enough, already. After a 100-day honeymoon, it is past time for everyone to take a cleansing breath of fresh air and taste a bit of reality. According to the Gallup Poll, this president is the second least popular president in 40 years. Even Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon had higher approval ratings at this point in their presidencies. Underneath all the media ‘visuals’ that make a compelling story, there is the sobering reality that this president is very divisive and extremely partisan. President Obama’s policies are ‘socialist,’ and it is not just the GOP’s ‘knuckle-dragging base’ that think so. George Will describes the President’s picayune policies as ‘supervisory liberalism of the most nagging, annoying sort’.”

Finally, the messianic pretensions of Obama have also been noted by many. As Charles Murray writes, “One of Lyndon Johnson’s press secretaries, George Christian, once said that no one should be allowed to work in the West Wing who has not suffered a major disappointment in life — the atmosphere is too intoxicating and the power too great for callow young things who do not know from personal experience how badly things can go wrong.

“Unlike George Christian, we don’t have to worry about just a few special assistants. We have a president who, from the time he entered Honolulu’s Punahou School as a teenager, has lived a magical life. Everything has gone right for decades now. Nor are any of his aides crouching beside him in the chariot whispering, ‘You too are mortal.’ On the contrary, if we are to judge by Larry Summers, even his most astute advisers suppress what they know to be true to accommodate Mr. Obama’s wishes.”

The first hundred days in office are traditionally viewed as the honeymoon period. The trouble is, a leftist media in love with a leftist president will ensure that the honeymoon period lasts a whole lot longer than three months. Bozell documents this media bias:

“A Media Research Center study of all 852 stories about the Obama administration on ABC’s ‘World News,’ ‘CBS Evening News’ and ‘NBC Nightly News’ from Jan. 20 through April 15 found most of the coverage tilted in favor of Obama’s liberal agenda, with conservative spokesmen and experts virtually shut out of the debate.

“None of the three broadcast networks aired a single story on whether the new president’s economic policies were driving America toward European-style socialism. Not a single network news reporter used the term ‘socialist’ to describe how his policies are shifting economic authority to the federal government. On only four occasions was the word ‘socialist’ used on camera at all – all by outside sources.

“Network reporters never called Obama or his agenda even ‘liberal.’ NBC and CBS never used the word, and ABC only aired the term twice, citing Republicans using the word ‘liberal’ to describe White House policies. On three of these major economic policies – his banking bailout, his auto bailout and his plans for socialized medicine – the networks never had a single soundbite from a conservative expert. After 100 days, the media still look more like the president’s advertising team than the people’s watchdog.”

Given such a leftist MSM white-washing, the task remains for the alternative media to keep an eye on this administration, and point out the whole picture, warts and all.

townhall.com/Columnists/BrentBozell/2009/04/29/a_hundred_days_of_media_love
townhall.com/Columnists/JaniceShawCrouse/2009/04/29/one_hundred_days_of_spring_time_in_america
townhall.com/columnists/LarryKudlow/2009/04/29/100-day_lurch_to_the_left
spectator.org/archives/2009/04/29/fdr-and-obama-their-first-hund
article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZTYyMWRiZTVkYjlmMmY3MjVmYzFmYmVmMDA2NDZkZDE=&w=Mg==

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16 Responses to 100 Days of What?

  • No one refers to Obama as a socialist in the mainstream media because the mainstream media largely lacks (apart from Fox News) the extreme religious right agenda worldview.
    Murray Bentham

  • Thanks Murray

    I am not sure what is “extreme” about the so-called religious right, but one might more accurately describe the MSM as extreme secular left.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill, with all due respect, recognising that the MSM does not comprise completely of the extreme secular left is a step towards being able to debate rationally about these matters. I know you have a theologically-based worldview, and you want to think and say what is right. That’s nice. However, when you air conspiracy theories that practically everyone in the media is against your worldview, you look more like the ‘extreme left’ you belligerently attack. For instance, If you visit thedailyshow.com, Jon Stewart, often described as a darling of the left, almost every show airs MSM attacks and criticism of Obama. He even makes fun of the guy himself.
    Murray Bentham

  • Murray is not quite correct. Newsweek, already well known for its rampant christophobia, claimed in its 16 February 2009 issue’s cover: “We Are All Socialists Now: The Perils and Promise of the New Era of Big Government.”
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Furthermore, on top of what Bill says, the influence of the “religious right” on the Republicans is far less than that of the militantly secular left on the Democrats. See:

    Are the Democrats Anti-Religion? How the media’s reporting on the Religious Right keeps it from seeing the story of the Secular Left by Rod Dreher, April 2003
    The Soul of the Democratic Party Is Still Secular by Mark Stricherz, author of Why the Democrats Are Blue: Secular Liberalism and the Decline of the People’s Party, April 2008
    Our Secularist Democratic Party, Jan 2003

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Thanks Murray

    But did I use the words “comprise completely”? No, you put them into my mouth. I have nowhere on this site claimed that the MSM is only always to the left. I have said repeatedly that it is mainly to the left, and I have offered plenty of documentation of this, including book-length studies that have provided the evidence for the leftward bias of the MSM. See for example: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/11/15/media-bias/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • 100 Days describes our so called PM as well.
    Doug Matthews

  • Well said Doug – I do not normally consider the current Archbishop of Canterbury as a Prophet, but when he said that Kevin was Australia’s Barak Obama about 2 months ago, I think he almost made the Prophet list!
    Stephen White

  • Stephen, I don’t think it was the Archbishop of Canterbury that said that – it was a lesser Bishop I think. Either Rudd is Australia’s version of Obama, or Obama is the USA’s version of Rudd. The parallels are many, they are just as bad as each other and will both leave their respective countries in worse shape at the end of their terms than when they started.

    Ewan McDonald.

  • The real problem is that Obamov has many similarities to FDR: economic incompetence and political genius. A >a href=””>review of Burton Folsom’s “New Deal or Raw Deal? How FDR’s Economic Legacy Has Damaged America ” states:

    … The most uncanny feature of “New Deal or Raw Deal?” is its timeliness. Although released before we knew that Barack Obama would be president, the book shows repeated parallels between the New Deal and the present administration, beginning with the personal similarities between FDR and Obama. Both were gifted with appealing voices, personal charisma, media savvy, and winsome oratory. The most significant parallel is their philosophy of governing. Indeed, Obama seems to be running plays taken straight from the FDR playbook. Examples abound:

    In 1936, FDR stated that he wanted “to give” Americans “a greater distribution … of wealth;” in 2008, Obama famously told Joe the Plumber that he intended to “spread the wealth around.”

    FDR created the Federal Communications Commission, which politicized the granting of radio-station licenses to muzzle political opponents; Obama’s allies have contemplated imposition of the “fairness doctrine” to accomplish the same objective.

    FDR, according to his son, Elliott, politicized the Internal Revenue Service, using it to persecute political enemies, but persuaded the IRS to ignore the tax shenanigans of valuable political allies, such as young congressman Lyndon Johnson, the future president; Obama has sanctioned punitive taxes on business executives, but has shielded political allies from accountability for their millions of ill-gotten gains at Fannie Mae, etc.

    FDR’s political allies engaged in voter fraud, as have—according to court decisions—Obama’s friends in ACORN.

    The New Deal’s economic burden fell most heavily on lower-income Americans due to its reliance on increased excise taxes on common consumer goods—a mistake that Obama may repeat if he follows through on his cap-and-trade scheme, which would amount to an excise tax on energy.

    Federal spending during FDR’s first five years was greater than total federal spending under the 31 presidents who preceded him; total new federal debt under Obama may exceed the total accumulated under all 43 of his predecessors.

    One of the most sobering lessons to be learned from “New Deal or Raw Deal?” is that government spending buys votes and sways elections. Folsom’s research on FDR’s reelection victory in 1936 shows that vote totals correlated highly with how much money various New Deal programs funneled into specific districts. Where no or little federal money was dispensed, FDR’s Republican opponent, Alf Landon, often received more votes. In those districts, voters were influenced primarily by the dismal economic conditions that prevailed. But the more federal money that poured into a district, the more voters overlooked the general economic malaise and rewarded FDR’s largesse with votes. Similarly today, the danger is that many Americans may continue to repay Obama’s handouts with votes, even if they cause the economy to continue to sink. …

    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • There’s a great audio interview here with David Limbaugh on the topic of Obama’s first 100 days and the just passed ‘hate speech’ bill.

    Ewan McDonald.

  • Excelent! God bless you for the effort to bring light to the darkness!
    Celita Polsgrove

  • Things Obama stands for:

    – Abortion = death to the innocent (over 30 million a year)
    – Apologizing for America’s past mistakes and avoiding any possible chance of discussing that any other regime may ever have got something wrong = lying about history
    – pandering to the gay lobby = perversion (Gene Robinson)
    – pandering to foreign terrorists (Guantanamo Bay)
    – pandering to Europe lefties
    – pandering to Islam (bowing to leaders)
    – Equivocating and showing gross ignorance about some of the clearest parts of Christianity
    – Embryonic stem cell research (which is unethical and has had no success) and pulling funding from adult stem cell research (which is ethical and has had great success so far, providing treatment for over 70 different conditions)
    – Policies that demonize the most upstanding and selfless US citizens as dangerous extremists
    – infanticide (killing of just-born children)
    – corruption (ACORN)
    – racism (Jeremiah Wright)
    – ties with terrorists (William Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn)
    – a regime that causes panic in New York by buzzing the locals with a low flying presidential 747.
    – the Global Warming cult
    – believes in censorship (Fairness Doctrine for media, or the same thing called something else)
    – being upset that the US Constitution limits power to the government
    – economic policies that punish successful and hardworking people, and reward the lazy and/or unwise.
    – Possibly the most stupid economic decision in the history of the USA (all 57 states!) that will make the poor even less well off and make this Financial crisis even worse – even bankrupting the nation

    etc. etc.

    But apart from that, he’s a really nice guy and just the kinda ‘moderate’ type you want running a superpower…

    What I want to know is, have any professing Christians who voted for this madman woken up yet? Yeah, right, it was only a ‘single issue’ that bothered many. You sure got ‘change’ didn’t you?

    Mark Rabich

  • Hello Bill,

    This recently appeared on my newsfeed, which was decidedly alarming. The latest in the US government’s troublesome acts–
    http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSTRE53S8IM20090430

    I’m formerly from Australia, now transplanted to the USA, and becoming more aware of the harsh realities that the Western civilization and Christianity are facing. It’s definitely time to step up in prayer and action and shine God’s light in the darkening age.

    Keep up the excellent work, Bill. Your good work is invaluable (1 Cor 15:58).

    Olivia Tan
    San Diego, USA

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