Essay: Facebook and Obama Lovefest no Different than Campaign Commercial
Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 01:26 PM
"Mr. President, how do you stay so awesome?"
No, no one really asked that at the Obama Facebook Townhall but they may as well have. All the questions were in Obama's wheelhouse, played to his strengths and gave him the opportunity to give long, long answers that often were only marginally connected to the question.
Right off the bat, the president and Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire CEO and founder of Facebook, agree they should be paying more in taxes. I guess no one had told them they can do just that! No one is stopping them from writing a check for double or triple the amount of tax they owe. It's disingenuous for two extremely rich people to agree amongst themselves that people who make a fraction of what they make should also pay more in taxes. If there really exists this wide swatch of rich people who just can't wait to pay more in taxes, why doesn't the president appeal to them to do just that while he works on reversing the Bush tax cuts? Wouldn't that make sense?
Obama then said that going back to Clinton-level tax rates would make the economy boom again and "would go a long way to reducing our spending." If Bush said this we'd have a slew of journalists pointing out that raising taxes actually has nothing to do with reducing spending - they each exist in their own separate universes.
Because it's Barack Obama, though, if anyone even mentions this line we'll be told he misspoke and actually meant "a long way to reducing our debt," which would also be false. We'll also have to overlook the idea that a tax hike could ever make the economy boom.
In giving his answer about the DREAM act, Obama says that sometimes immigration is done by quotas (bad) but then says that we should keep the PhDs, MDs and other highly skilled workers here (good). He admits that illegal immigrants broke the law and should take responsibility by paying a fine, learning English and getting a pathway to getting citizenship. That'll show 'em! He said we should make the border secure "so folks aren't wandering through the desert to get here."
Again, a non-sequitur. People will always want to get into America and there is no way to make the border completely secure. The only way to discourage illegal immigration is to stop rewarding people who break the law to be here.
Someone asked a question about whether Paul Ryan's bill was more "bold" than Obama's. This is where Obama got truly nasty and accused Ryan's plan on solving problems on "the backs of people who are poor, don't have lobbyists."
No questions on Libya, the Middle East or foreign policy in general.
Gas prices were touched on at the very end when Obama joked about the president having lots of cars (Obama and joking is always bad news) and admitted that maybe not everyone could just go out and buy a fuel efficient car like he had suggested at a previous Townhall.
Overall, no different than a campaign commercial.
Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.