Barack Obama made sure to express many conservative views during his campaign. If he had not, he would not have been elected. He expressed the following ideas in big public forums at least once: That he favored offshore oil drilling, nuclear power, clean-coal technology, the 2nd amendment, FISA anti-terror legislation, keeping troops in Iraq until the job is done, keeping the military strong, tax cuts for the middle class, and that he was a practicing Christian.
This sounds like George Bush.
Yet in other interviews he said he was going to “bankrupt” utilities that built coal-fired power plants, that he supported the Washington DC gun ban, that he was going to pull troops out of Iraq in 16 months no matter what, and that he was going to substantially cut back the military.
Meanwhile, in order to cover for Obama, his party insistently has voted against, and will continue to vote against nuclear power, offshore oil drilling, onshore oil drilling, the military buildup and most forms of terrorist detention and surveillance.
So his victory is suspect. If you say anything to get elected, you’ll get elected.
Precisely how Obama will govern is open to question. The suspicion that he will govern from the far left is well founded.
Meanwhile praise is coming from every quarter for his smashing victory even though it was only a modest 6.5 points in the national popular vote.
A ‘landslide’ is 15 or 20 points. Obama received no big mandate. And remember that Obama’s modest victory came only after relentless media attacks on Bush and all Republicans over the last 8 years; relentless all-out media cheerleading for Obama; zillions of expected new voters (they didn't show up, as usual); the explosion in the Obama-net (formerly known as the internet); the Iraq war; the economic meltdown and a mediocre McCain challenge. Obama should have won by 30 points if there is so much confidence in him.
There is not.
Now a few media commentators are comparing Obama to the transformative figures of Reagan and FDR. Those media might take a breath before launching into this sycophancy. His chances of even approaching anything in Ronald Reagan’s ballpark are slim to none unless he does things that he has to date shown no propensity to do.
His comparison to FDR, however, may prove prophetic. In 1938, after 5 years with FDR in the White House, the economy was in much worse shape than on the day of FDR’s inauguration because FDR took a left-wing approach to the economy, spending huge government monies on make-work jobs that did nothing to improve the situation. Obama apparently may try the same in a new stimulus package.
Obviously Obama is facing major economic challenges, and it will be up to him whether he wants to govern as a partisan in order to push a leftist agenda, or if he wishes to accommodate the common good and to seek to have a place in history – and a second term. Because the economic woes he faces are immense and the public has unrealistically high expectations.
While America has faced great economic trials before - particularly bad economies in the 1930s and less so in the 1970s - those economic troubles existed as the American economy was expanding throughout the 20th century. Today we live in a globalized economy, and competition is fierce. The last 8 years in particular have seen huge shifts toward India and China and other less-developed nations where labor is cheap. So unless Democrats make dramatic moves toward pro-growth, capitalist tax and spending policies here at home, international competition is going to continue to sap our economy and Obama will be out in 2012. Think Jimmy Carter.
Already there are many signs that the American economy is in irreversible decline in some areas. The Northeastern United States and the Upper Midwest, once our economic heart, have been gutted. The Northeast is now very liberal with anti-business policies in many states.
One caller from Vermont told a national talk-radio program recently that her state representative actually told her that Vermont liberals are intentionally discouraging economic growth, and thus the template is clear: For those who want to leave Vermont, liberals are saying “go ahead. That will leave a more pristine state behind for us who remain.”
Meanwhile, Michigan, an economic giant for decades, is in economic free-fall. The unions savaged the auto industry with outrageous wage demands that have proven themselves to be unsustainable. General Motors today is America’s largest single purchaser of Viagra meaning that, under union contracts, GM’s health insurance not only covers every worker’s and every retiree’s direct needs, but indirect ones too. And that is just one corner of one part of the unions’ ultimatum.
This is happening as the South has risen economically by dint of two facts: Air conditioning has made Southern summers livable for the masses, while historically low taxes and regulations have made the economic climate more hospitable for companies fleeing unions, taxation and regulations in the liberal North.
The state with the strongest economy in America today, by the way, is Evil George Bush’s Texas.
Obama has a poor record on economic matters. His home state of Illinois is 45th of the United States in job creation. He has an F rating from the National Taxpayers Union. And two members of his economic transition team, Democrats David Bonior and Jennifer Granholm, both are influential political figures from Michigan, the state with the worst economy in the country.
So we must watch closely how Obama deals with the economy. Bill Clinton in January 1993 entered office with a very strong economy inherited from George HW Bush. We are all supposed to remember the Bush Recession and how Clinton turned it all around. But that is false. Statistically the Bush Recession ended in March 1991, and Clinton took office almost two full years later when the economy was in the early stage of a huge and unstoppable upswing.
Since Clinton did not have the economy to worry about, he used his time in office to try and push the nation to the left, which was his real agenda. The very first issued he tackled was to try to legitimize homosexuals in the military, which the country didn’t much care for. That is one of the reasons that the Congress turned Republican in 1994 for the first time in 40 years.
Despite the loss of Congress, Clinton used the strong economy as a backdrop to focus on remaking the country in a liberal/left mold in every way, to appoint people like Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court, to loose the environmental movement and the trial lawyers on America (the ‘hot coffee’ lawsuit against McDonald’s was 1995, and a sign of the rise of the asinine Democrat trial lawyer), to cut back military spending to the point that fighter jets and helicopters did not have spare parts, and to sleep at the guard post while China stole our nuclear secrets.
That was the real Clinton memo – to undermine the social constructs and the vigilance and the military might of America. And 9/11 was the result.
Thus what Obama does on economic policies is only the crust of the pie. He may be forced to go to the right, perhaps to postpone a capital gains tax increase if the stock market continues tanking, which it did immediately after Obama was elected. Or he could cut corporate income taxes to try and generate some jobs if things get really grim. But that would be a last resort.
He very well might stay left and pray that, like FDR, nobody will notice that his own policies are killing us, and then try and talk us through the next election.
He certainly will go left on bailing out the car companies with $50 billion rather than asking the unions to give back some of the loot that they have sucked out of the industry. And his $300 billion 'economic stimulus' is another payoff to voters that we don’t need with more than $1.2 trillion in deficit spending already this year.
We really need to keep our eye on how Obama deals with the social, legal and moral issues. Coming from the hard left, expect him to move to advocate embryonic stem cell research (which is a legitimization of abortion); to loosen all abortion laws; to strengthen the homosexual movement and unions; to sign ‘hate crimes’ legislation so as to threaten anyone criticizing gays; to move against the 2nd amendment in any way he can; to seek to shut down conservative talk radio with the Fairness Doctrine; to seek government mandates on ‘equal pay’ issues; to push radical environmentalism and its purely harassing lawsuits over guaranteed energy sources like nuclear power and oil; and to heavily subsidize windmills and the people invested in them like Al Gore (i.e., shift $150 billion in tax dollars to Gore & Co. over the next 10 years, as he said he would).
He also will strengthen the rights of criminals in courts; close down the Guantanamo detention facility and release its prisoners; make nice with various terrorist organizations; fold his tent if Russia threatens Poland or Ukraine; and block oil drilling everywhere in the United States.
They say that Obama has his hands tied by the economy. But he may end up using the economy in the opposite way that Clinton did - as a decoy to distract attention from the real ways that he intends to reshape the country. How he balances out the various competing pressures in his Democrat party to go left on every issue will determine if he get’s re-elected, and if the Democrats remain in power in the Congress.
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