Less than 18 months before a general election a sitting president arrives in Iowa and we’re supposed to believe he’s on an economic mission? Pardon me, but I’ve seen more believable posturing. President Obama’s trip to the Hawkeye State had nothing do with economics and everything to do with receiving mail at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue until January 2017. However, Obama’s Iowa appearance should have an opposite effect. He provided America several reasons to grant him a change of address. 

Obama chided Washington for its partisanship, calling on Congress to seek common solutions. But was he sincere? Only the most naïve would accept Obama’s olive branch without first considering his motive. There’s no genuine compromise in a liberal’s conciliatory tone. By Obama’s definition, bipartisan cooperation occurs when conservatives concede their positions, abandon their ideals, and relent to his agenda. Any hint of liberal compromise is a ruse, a means toward an end. 

Obama was quick to rub Republican noses in his 2008 victory. Why should conservatives, who won in 2010, compromise with a president who exemplifies hostility toward their basic beliefs? Obama’s idea of stimulating the economy is to enlarge the federal government, a concept Republicans claim to oppose. Conservative Republicans, especially, have no reason to cooperate with his administration. 

Obama waxed eloquent on the “Made in America” theme during his speech at an Iowa manufacturing facility. “I want the cars and planes and wind turbines of the future to bear the proud stamp that says ‘Made in America,’” the President chirped. But Obama’s actions betray his rhetoric. 

Obama may want industry to thrive in supportive, organized labor states like Washington. But in conservative, right-to-work states like South Carolina, not so much. Obama’s National Labor Relations Board is suing Boeing for building a new aircraft manufacturing plant in Charleston, SC. The President can utter grandiose words about protecting American jobs until the cows come home. But as long as the NLRB suit against Boeing proceeds, Obama’s words are cheap. 

The President appeared to recognize the components of economic dynamism that exist in America: workers, companies, industries. But coming from Obama, the praise is banal, populist rhetoric. He finds no value in America’s producers unless their achievement results from government nurturing. Toward that goal Obama supports a half-billion dollar partnership between industry, academia and the federal government, allegedly to spur domestic manufacturing. But what opportunity exists for manufacturing to advance when allied with entities — academia and government — that hold free markets in utter contempt? 

Obama’s motives are apparent. The President visited Iowa to counter a field of Republicans who seek his job. Obama presides over an administration that must rely on credit to conceal its profligate legacy. His hostility toward private enterprise is rivaled only by his cultivation of the public sector. 

Maybe we can understand Obama’s posturing to some degree. Posing is a President’s only option when honesty means defeat.