The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Old and Busted: Sippin’ Slurpees
New and Hot: Corporate Jets

Posted on | July 1, 2011 | 23 Comments

When President Obama accused Republicans of wanting to “compromise your kids’ safety so some corporate-jet owner can get a tax break,” Lachlan Markay of the Heritage Foundation pointed out that Obama’s massive 2009 stimulus included tax breaks for — wait for it — corporate jet owners. So the president was condemning Republicans for supporting his own policy.

This caused the White House and Media Matters to shriek that Heritage was just makin’ up stuff, but the facts are right there in a February 2009 Associated Press story.

So then the White House and Media Matters changed their claim: The Very Bad Tax Breaks the president was condemning were actually not the ones he’d signed into law, but some other tax breaks for which they could blame Republicans. All in all, it was a carnival of errors for the Left, and Mike Gonzalez at the Heritage Foundation was in the Gloat Zone last night:

We appreciate that folks at the White House are not having a good day. It started when a liberal commentator on their favorite network called the President a vulgarity, and it has not gotten better. The debt ceiling speech that liberal pundit Chris Matthews fantasized would turn the president into “Give ‘Em Hell, Barry” (Matthews’ words, not ours) has not exactly set the world on fire. Unemployment is still 9.1%, we are no closer to a deal to cut spending and pollster Rasmussen announced that only 21% of Americans strongly approve of the president’s performance, against 39% who strongly disapprove.
So what do you do if you’re a White House communicator? Well, you go after The Heritage Foundation, of course! Hopefully America will be distracted from economic incompetence.

What’s interesting to me in the whole fracas is this: Obama’s line about tax breaks for corporate jets wasn’t just something he improvised on the spur of the moment. He mentioned it six times during his press conference, so it was obviously a pre-planned talking point that his handlers had scripted. And as Rush Limbaugh said yesterday, “That’s all Obama’s got. All he has is class warfare.”

Evidently, the White House was planning to use this tax-breaks-for-corporate-jets line as their Secret Weapon to win the debate over the debt ceiling, and when it backfired on them, they had no Plan B, so they spent an entire day trying to salvage it.

It’s like that stupid car-in-the-ditch-and-Republicans-sipping-Slurpees line that Obama kept using during the mid-term election campaign. He kept saying it over and over again, like some kind of magic incantation, and what was the result? Republican landslide.


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