Obama – What midterm election?

President Obama still isn’t listening to the American people

Watching President Obama’s press conference today, one could be forgiven for thinking that last night’s elections had never happened, and that his party had not slumped to its biggest midterm defeat in the House of Representatives since 1948.

While he admitted that he had been “humbled” and talked about new cooperation with political foes, there was no acknowledgment whatsoever from the president that his policies had failed, or that they had been emphatically rejected by the American people. He demonstrated a striking defiance of public opinion, and a refusal to change the direction of his agenda.

The US electorate has spoken out with a megaphone against Big Government, seemingly endless spending, rising budget deficits, useless stimulus programmes, and deeply unpopular health care reforms. That message does not appear to have sunk in yet at the White House.

The United States is in serious economic trouble, and on a trajectory towards long-term decline unless it reverses course, and quickly. The midterm results were a massive repudiation of the president’s agenda, and a dramatic appeal for small government. As Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina wrote in The Wall Street Journal this morning in a plea to the new Congress, which now offers the best hope for rebuilding America’s strength:

Remember what the voters back home want—less government and more freedom. Millions of people are out of work, the government is going bankrupt and the country is trillions in debt. Americans have watched in disgust as billions of their tax dollars have been wasted on failed jobs plans, bailouts and takeovers. It’s up to us to stop the spending spree and make sure we have a government that benefits America instead of being a burden to it.

DeMint is absolutely right. As last night’s vote showed, the American people want to rein in the federal government, end Washington’s over-spending, halt over-regulation of the economy, and free businesses from red tape and over-taxation. They also demand a clear plan for dealing with the budget deficit, something the British government has already launched while facing a similar crisis.

Unfortunately there were no real answers at today’s presidential press conference, though there was a great deal of waffle and spin. The United States needs real leadership to maintain its position as the world’s superpower. There was little evidence of that on display today on Pennsylvania Avenue, but hopefully it will now emerge across town on Capitol Hill.

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