Elkhorn Creek Lodge

Obama the Conflicted

Posted in economics, obama, politics by Eugene Podrazik on November 8, 2008

Obama’s new conference of yesterday was an interesting amalgam of blown opportunities and a realization of a reality that no longer fits his campaign narrative.

It was heartening to see Obama flanked by individuals such as Paul Vockler. It represents a realization that there’s a real economic problem and that problem is not going to be solved by the likes of Senator Reid or Speaker Pelosi. And, perhaps he realizes that his presidential legacy is not Reid’s or Pelosi’s problem. In fact, I suspect that by giving their most loyal constituency the presidency, that Reid and Pelosi have delivered all they intend to give.

But, what Obama said speaks volumes of a reality he needs to better grasp. That his only way out of this economic mess and his only key to an enduring legacy, of the positive sort, is economic growth. Nothing else but economic growth. And, in fact, he slipped those word, “economic growth” into his economic pronouncements. Yet, he watered it down with all of the usual New Deal, liberal bromides of “middle class” tax cuts. 

And, here in lies the problem. His instincts are that of a redistributionist, a socialist. Yet, his legacy hinges on the degree to which he will return economic policy to that of Reagan. He grew up in the world of ACORN and Saul Alinsky; a paradigm of extorting money from “the rich.” But, the paradigm falls apart if it is not operating in a society that cleaves to a rule of law and actually has something worth extorting. There are any of a number of third world countries where, if such tactics were tried, would result in the powers that be ruthlessly gunning down the Alinsky/ACORN acolytes. And, now that Obama fully owns the economic mess his liberal fellow travelers created, he’s discovering that there isn’t a whole lot to extort. The wealth and concomitant slack that Reagan’s economic policies engendered are all now wrung out of the economy.

Most of his economic bromides will only deepen the recession. Perhaps turn it into a depression. He’s still some 70 days out from the presidency but the country has already tied him to these economic straits. I think there’s a dawning realization that he can little to make things better than to promote policies that allow individuals to create wealth. Ironically, he is linked at the hip to all the Joe-the-Plumbers that he so trashed during the campaign. Yet, it flies in the face of his socialist need to control.

Oh, what to do! What to do!

What to do was to have used that news conference to more forcefully articulate fundamental economic principles for economic growth. That should have been his only theme; repeated over and over. And, had he done so, he would have bought himself room to maneuver by virtue of a rebounding stock-market, a honeymoon and public opinion to use as a cudgel against the power barons of Congress. Oh yes, the market rose yesterday; largely by virtue of who was on stage behind him. (Also, we probably had a lot of bargain hunting.) But, the message was muddled and the markets without clear direction will continue dither and dwindle.

One of the virtues of the electoral college is it’s ability to force a president to govern from either a center-left or center-right coalition. Obama himself and his Democratic power broker friends in both houses of congress come from political environments that are left-far left coalitions. For the first time in his life, he had to run an campaign that had to pull in the middle. His legacy and his political future will depend on keeping that middle. Reid and Pelosi are not his friends.


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3 Responses

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  1. tommy49646 said, on November 8, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Lets Give Our New President Elect a Chance.

    Most people who voted for Obama had no idea who he was or what he was. I guess the media did a good job selling him. McCain, although he is a good man, wasn’t picked by republicans to run. He was picked by Democrat crossover voters in states who allow non party members to vote under any ticket they want. After they did that they went back to their Democrat home. McCain is no conservative. He doesn’t seem to realize that when a republican walks across the aisle to work with Democrats they break your leg. If you reach across the aisle they break your arm. Their idea of bi-partisanship is simple. You give up your principals and do what we want. Coming together to them means that you compromise your ideas and accept theirs.

    The biggest danger, even if Republicans regain control of congress in two years, will be all the judicial appointments that will be made in that time. I only hope that they will be unable to stack the supreme court with liberal appointments. FDR had 20 years to stack the court and it took a lifetime to turn it around.

    Of course we must not be too cruel to our new president. We should not call him a liar.

    We should not call him a liar when he said he wanted to bankrupt the coal industry.

    We should not call him a liar when he said utility bills would skyrocket because of the coal industry being regulated and taxed to death.

    We should not call him a liar when he said he wanted to redistribute the wealth.

    We should not call him a liar when he said he wanted to replace the military with a civillian force.

    We should not call him a liar when he said he wanted to meet with Iran without preconditions.

    We should not call him a liar when he said he wanted to invade Pakistan.

    We should not call Biden a liar when he said that supreme court appointments should be made based more on the nominees philosophical views than on their judicial temperment. Can you say litmus test?

    Hold onto your money belt we are in for a five ticket ride.

    I could go on and on but I think you get the point.

  2. […] It represents a realization that there’s a real economic problem and that problem is not going to be solved by the likes of Senator Reid or Speaker Pelosi . And, perhaps he realizes that his presidential legacy is not Reid’s or Pelosi ’s …[Continue Reading] […]

  3. Pages tagged "concomitant" said, on November 10, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    […] bookmarks tagged concomitant Obama the Conflicted saved by 4 others     kanookle bookmarked on 11/10/08 | […]

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