Obama has failed us; it's time for new leadership

Paul Jenkins

There, for just shy of a nanosecond, Democrats hunkered down at their convention in the Tar Heel State seemed weary of being Democrats and yearned to be Republicans.

They were born poor as church mice, they said, yanking themselves out of poverty by their bootstraps. They lived on student loans; found furniture in Dumpsters. They were just like us. Because of character forged in those tough early years at Columbia or Harvard, they now embrace self-reliance and anything Republican -- at least for the political season.

Convention delegates -- despite raucous booing and more hissing than a rattlesnake roundup -- even crowbarred God and Jerusalem back into their platform.

It all made me want to leap up and shout, "Ich bin ein pinko!" but, as the Washington Examiner points out, there was more: "The platform mentions abortion more times (four) than unemployment (three). It mentions "gay"/"LGBT" more times (six) than debt (five). It also mentions four times that President (Barack) Obama killed Osama bin Laden."

It calls for taxpayer-funded abortions -- anathema to most Americans -- supports gay marriage and combating climate change and, of course, more taxes on the "rich." It promises transparent government (I swear), bailouts, tax dodges for pals, job-killing taxes and full congressional rights for the District of Columbia.

Their platform gives them away. It reminds us that tax-and-spend Democrats are completely out of touch, focused on issues of scant consequence for the nation. They will say or do anything to avoid dealing with questions about the economy or jobs because they simply have no answers. The last four years have made that clear.

The proof is in the numbers. Most of us are not better off than we were four years ago. Not by a long shot. This nation has been running more than an 8 percent unemployment rate week after week. This year's budget deficit is $1.3 trillion -- a total of more than $5 trillion since Obama took office.

The national debt is $16 trillion. Foreign interests hold about 47 percent of that, with China and Japan at the front of the line. What will Democrats tell our Asian chums when they want their dough? "Hey, want to hear why we oppose voter ID laws?"

The truth is, our economy cannot get off the chocks -- Standard & Poor's downgraded our credit rating to AA+ from AAA last year -- and Europe's economy is circling the drain. A cheery recent headline in The New York Times: "Fears Rising, Spaniards Pull Out Their Cash and Get Out of Spain."

In the same week Democrats fretted about everything but jobs, there was this in a CNBC story about a World Economic Forum survey: "The world's largest economy, which was placed (fifth) last year, fell two positions to the (seventh) spot -- marking its fourth year of decline."

Democrats have focused on things that do not really matter. The average American has been focused on jobs, the economy and surviving. People are worried sick about their pensions, their Social Security, their Medicare and their future after a lifetime of work. All the rest takes a back seat. Without an income who can afford social niceties?

A lousy economy is a malaise unto itself, chafing at a society, draining it, drying it up. Not having a job and being unable to get one only makes everything worse. Together they are a grim nightmare too many already are living.

We need a leader, somebody who can see the path forward and work across the aisle and understand that the economy and jobs are all that really matter. That person is not Obama, despite what Bill Clinton told a mesmerized audience in Charlotte. It is not Obama, despite what Obama will tell anyone who will listen.

To be fair, Obama inherited a tough situation when he first walked into the White House, but he has had four years and has managed only to make it worse. Obama is, as Clinton is quoted as saying in a book last year, an amateur. Whether because of a lack of leadership or vision or an inability to communicate, Obama has failed.

Mitt Romney's devastating one-liner at the GOP convention in Tampa underscores the difference between him and Obama: "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family."

It's time for new blood.

Paul Jenkins is editor of the AnchorageDailyPlanet.com.