Once again, Barack Obama is a happy pitch man. He's on stage with a microphone, jacket off, sleeves rolled up, his voice rising and falling as he tries to whip the big crowds into revival-tent fervor.
He's still peddling Hope & Change, although now he calls it health care reform. He swears his miracle elixir will save your life, your money and your country.
It will do anything you could possibly want -- unless you want the truth.
Then you're squat out of luck. See, truth is a pre-existing condition not covered by ObamaCare.
We used to arrest people for selling snake oil. Now we elect them.
"No false claim left behind" is the perfect summation of President Obama's last-gasp push for a bill that hasn't even been written. No matter details or cost, it'll cure whatever ails you and America.
He's for it, whatever it ends up saying. Just as he was for the House bill and the Senate bill, both before and after they were written, although they contradicted each other in key ways.
And we have to do it now -- now, for history, before it's too late.
For Obama, it's already too late. The public took a leap of faith on him once, and his expensive potions are making the country sicker. The sell-by date on his promise machine has expired.
He and Nancy Pelosi might browbeat, scare and bribe enough weak-kneed House Democrats to get a party-line majority, but he's already lost something far more important than whether the health takeover squeaks by.
He's lost the ability to inspire trust. Without that, he's a president in name only.
To watch his selling job the last two days, first in Pennsylvania and yesterday near St. Louis, you have to wonder if he fully grasps that the country outside Washington isn't listening anymore. Or maybe he understands, and doesn't care.
Independent voters, especially, have tuned him out, and there is nothing he is saying to make them pay attention again. Quite the opposite.
The more he attacks dissenters and corporations and the more he makes promises too good to be true, the less appealing he is. We like passion in our president, but desperation is unbecoming.
In his second memoir, Obama wrote about his special skill. "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views," he confessed.
He was too modest, leaving out the part about his excellent talent for playing on people's desires. The combination is key to every good con, and it was key to his election -- he said what much of the country wanted to hear about optimism and restoring a national unity of purpose.
We know now that's not who he is. The country is as divided and demoralized as ever, and the big economic and national security problems are getting the shaft while he plays Ahab, chasing his white whale.
At home and abroad, the administration has veered so far off course that Washington is abuzz over which White House honcho will get the heave-ho. Mutual back-stabbing has begun in earnest.
Fine, let's amuse ourselves with the spectacle of a sacrifice or two. But let's not kid ourselves. The president is the problem.
Michael Goodwin is a New York Post columnist and Fox News contributor. To continue reading his column, click here.
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Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.