The entry of Donald Trump onto the political scene; was, initially, easy to miss; or dismiss. He, his positions and style of delivery were roundly criticized by conservative pundits. Criticized to the point of pundit, George Will, hoping that he loses all 50 states to Hillary Clinton–presumably for lack of purity of messaging.
Yet, what everyone regarded as a flash in the pan, the ultimate ego trip for a rich blowhard, wasn’t. It didn’t stop and Trump kept coming and coming. Racking win after win and now with the delegates needed to be the Republican nominee this summer. I don’t think that it is a great exercise in clairvoyance, to say as of this January, it will be President Trump.
For, in the midst of the naysayers were other voices; voices like Alabama Senator Sessions. For years Sessions fought a lonely battle against uncontrolled immigration and for secure boarders. He fought this battle in the name of Americans losing jobs to uncontrolled immigration. And, finally, someone cut through the DC fog and obfuscation and staked out a clear message of support for what Sessions was fighting for; and, to the gasping of the Washington punditocracy, Sessions endorsed Trump. But, how surprising is that, Trump was the only one that took Sessions’ message to heart.
The threads were there, scattered all about, waiting of someone to weave a tapestry. Here are some:
Ronald Reagan. The eight years of the Reagan presidency were the last time in memory that we had clear leadership, clear goals and achievement of those goals. Reagan wasn’t conservative to score debating points. Early in life he was a New Deal Democrat. No, he was there for American security, prosperity and freedom. Conservatism after a lifetime of experiences was the path to those goals.
When Reagan inherited the mantle of President, he was given a dismal job of reversing high inflation, high unemployment and ascendant Soviet Union. It was common at the time to speak of the United States of having passed its peak and to be in permanent decline. Yet, Reagan reversed all of these and left a legacy of a strong, ascendant United States. Militarily and economically. His legacy was end of the threat of nuclear war with the USSR and an robust economy that has essentially thrived until the crash of 2008.
It speaks to the power of Reagan’s legacy that, for the last 30 years since Reagan, every president has ridden on the robustness of that legacy. But, that legacy has been ridden down into the ground. We’ve been a in a downward spiral (Its Trump. Get Over It. Thomas Lifson, American Thinker). A spiral of corruption and rent seeking that has ridden Reagan’s legacy into the ground.
The US still matters because of the strength of the economic and military legacy rebuilt during the Reagan years. The US has been the engine of peace and prosperity since 1945. There is simply no other country on this planet that can create such a legacy. But, now we are trying to fight an existential worldwide war against the totalitarian ideology of Islam with a military that is a shadow of what we once had in the days of Reagan. Our economic power is in tatters because of debt and the eight years of debasing our currency by virtue of the FED’s quantitative easing–fancy words for printing more money. And, despite cooking the books on inflation at the Department of Labor, inflation is real and abundantly clear as you shop the aisles at Sam’s club.
Further, the economic power and prosperity has been raided incessantly to fund all manner of programs that have little to do with the real purpose of the Federal Government—security (national defense and border integrity), internal order (roads, bridges and contracts) and an honest buck.
The real damage, though, of the last 30 years is the development of a self-serving governing class of legislators, bureaucrats, lobbyists, political punditry, media and all manner of syncophyants and hangers-on that now dominate what passes for our leadership in the Bo-wash (Accelera?) corridor on the East Coast. Revolving doors of jobs and favors between government and the rent seeking crony capitalists that turn with the speed of a jet turbine. A symbiosis between the regulators and those regulated that can afford to buy off the regulators.
Politically Correct (PC). If there’s going to be one legacy coming out of Trump’s presidential campaign, it is making PC a central campaign issue. PC is really a device to silence dissent to the current “received wisdom” of our ruling elite. It also has the virtue of stopping meaningful change by eliminating the very words to allow a productive conversation about the problems that vex our nation–Newspeak ascendant. Add to this the further barriers to communication such as “trigger” warnings, safe spaces and social and MSM shaming that attempts to utterly destroy opponents with the wrong opinion.
But, in particular, the conservative elite had it coming since topics that the “respectable, main stream” actors refuse to address will be addressed. By “disreputable” individuals out on the fringes. By ignoring ‘them that brung them to the dance,’ namely the voters, Trump caught our elite totally off guard by having the audacity to juxtapose such words ‘illegal’ and ‘immigrant.’
Forthright and free speech is essentially crowd-sourcing of self-correcting criticism and debate. A effective manner of throughly vetting a politician or program. Supressing free speech will only push a problem down for a while where it will fester and eventually burst back on the scene as bad, if not worse, than ever.
What’s really coming back is forthright speech, plain talk. Calling a spade a spade. One wonders, by the way, if Truman’s plain speaking would have had a home in today’s Democratic Party.
Toilets and Cakes. Our elite wasn’t just willing to wallow in their corruption. They had to take it a step further. Live and let live wouldn’t cut it. They had to declare war on the unwashed masses in fly-over country. War was officially declared when Obama in the famous unguarded moment discussed us poor rubes as clinging to Guns and Religion.
So, in what simply amounts as gratuitous attacks on Middle America, we have ‘human rights’ commissions bankrupting small businesses with excessive fines over refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding because of moral objections. Forcing the Little Sisters of the Poor to hand out contraceptives. Trying to pass any sort of gun control legislation to create barriers to the exercise of rights secured by the Second Amendment. To make a felon out of an otherwise law-abiding citizen with fly-paper regulations.
Yet, where is the IRS in auditing the Clinton Foundation? And, at the same time, why is a weaponized IRS auditing Obama’s Tea-party opponents? How come these solar and wind projects, wiping out eagles, hawks and owls get a pass on the endangered species act and a small landowner (welder, Andy Johnson) is getting reamed by the EPA for putting a pond on his land? And, where exactly did those half-billion dollars for Solyndra go? Is DC one big ‘get of jail free’ card? Does it seem that laws are just for little people?
Then the toilets and ‘transgender’ identities. This is only clap-trap that could come out of a bloated higher education establishment also wallowing in the trough of tax payer dollars. For most people, gender identity is looking down your pants realizing that if your an outie, your a boy, an innie, a girl. Rather, you’re hopelessly bigoted if you object to a 40 year-old man in a dress going into the same bathroom as your ten year-old daughter or granddaughter. Here, being part of Peggy Noonan’s “protected” class, wanna bet that that’s not going to happen on Obama’s daughters on their annual Martha Vineyard summer vacation? Its only a matter of time before some pervert in a dress is going to get blow away by a pistol packing mother. What then? Female empowerment versus gender identity versus rape culture versus safe spaces versus a really big micro-aggression?
Wyoming Girls’ Hockey: This is another was of discussing the divide between the elite and the little guy. Between Peggy Noonan’s “protected” and “unprotected” class. Out in Wyoming there’s no such thing as Charles Murray’s bubble from his book Coming Apart. No gated communities. You rub shoulder daily with cops and firemen. You mixed it up with drillers, frackers and coal miners. With teachers, accountants and lawyers. You shop at the same Wal-marts, Safeway’s and Sam’s Clubs. You take your family to eat the same Outbacks and Texas Roadhouses. You drive a truck. Your Charles Murray bubble score is comfortably above 50. I doubt the Georgetown crowd could hit a score of 20.
Then you go to your daughter’s hockey practices and games. You sit at team dinners. You sit with these same people from all walks of life and discuss the world around you. Keeping your business going in spite of Federal regulation. Impending layoffs. Hiring freezes. Good jobs, once had, that just dried up to outsourcing or some environmental jihad.
You discuss the devastation of 500 coal mine layoffs in Gillette and how those 500 breadwinners, 500 families deprived of that paycheck will utterly devastate a town of only 30,000. You reflect on how the 100 or so frackers, through their own hard work were earning six-figure incomes in Fremont County (population ~35,000). And, how Fremont County’s economy has taken such a toll, economically, when Obama’s co-religionists in Saudi Arabia dropped the price of oil specifically to wipe them out.
You reflect on the callousness of President “I’ve-got-a-phone-and-a-pen” carries out his “war on coal” and turns his back on 20,000 jobs blocking the Keystone pipeline. Then, there’s Hillary Clinton’s plan to “put a lot of coal miners…out of business.” You read articles in the Wall Street Journal about finding “new economic opportunities” for coal mining communities that have lost all their mining jobs. These “new economic opportunities” might sound so hip as your swilling wine and brie in a DC cocktail party. But, those people, those communities torn asunder by these glib assertions were perfectly happy to ply their trade as coal miners and oil drillers. And, happy to bring a solid paycheck home to secure decent food, clothing and shelter for their families.
Maybe the real reason behind the new regulations in Austin, Texas essentially driving out Uber is the fact that there comes a time when people have had enough of the billionaire silicone valley solons’ “creative disruptions.” Macroeconomics may be all the rage when your pulling down a six-figure income at some think tank or foundation. But, to the little guy who world has been destroyed by outsourcing to some factory in China, the microeconomics is what really matters.
Immigration and Trade. Really the opposite sides of the same coin. The free trade purism being flogged at the Georgetown cocktail parties are devastating Middle America since most of our trading partners are really practicing merchantilism. And, if you can’t displace American workers by manufacturing over there, you have uncontrolled immigration to displace them over here. And, if free trade is such unalloyed good, why is one of the few domestic industries that is truly creating good jobs for a comfortable middle class lifestyle are in the gun industry?
The gun industry is anything but free trade. You can’t export unless you have special export licenses. Nor, can you import unless you have a significant manufacturing presence for that firearm product in the US. Yet, somehow, we have a robust, competitive domestic industry making high quality, innovative products. Essentially surrounded by a wall of tariffs 50 miles high. We scoff when socialist theory falls apart in real world situations. Is free trade, after some point, too much of a good thing? Where does free trade fall apart when theory collides with the real world–in the real world of rent seeking on an international level.
Or, I would gladly spent fifty cents per gallon for diesel to know that all our oil guys were back at work fracking.
Then there the other half; immigration. There are plenty of immigrants that have been coming to our shores since Jamestown. You can look up my immigrant grandparents on the Ellis Island website. But, that’s the point. They came here legally, within the law, above board, on the books. With the intention of becoming Americans—including one uncle, a son of those immigrant grandparents of mine, who earned a bronze star for valor in France in WW II. They just didn’t waltz in over an unguarded border with ISIS trying to run in its sleeper terrorist operatives under the cover of the hoard. Also, how did a bunch of 12 year-olds from Central America make it to the border over 1200 miles of Mexican desert?
Donald Trump is bringing the forgotten Americans to the table. And, even are elite conservatives should be thankful because he’s bringing them to a new home in the GOP because they will be the margin that gives the GOP victory. The GOP and America needs them at the table. The Americans who work with their hands and make things. The America that goes to war to bleed and die to keep America safe as mankind’s last and greatest hope.
I understand Donald Trump.
Reconciliation won’t happen. It is a fraud; the ultimate bait and switch to allow Nancy Pelosi to whip up enough votes to get the Senate version of health care “reform” through the House and on to the President’s desk. It is an inducement to get the Blue Dog Democrats to vote yes. After which, they will be abandoned having served their role as cannon fodder in Obama, Reid and Pelosi’s great cause to recast America as a socialist paradise.
Before any reconciliation bill can even be crafted, the Senate version of health care “reform” must pass the House completely unchanged. Nancy has no leverage in modifying even the most obscure preposition in that bill. All she can do is promise is a whole slew of fixes on a companion bill.
But, if she succeeds in scaring up enough votes to pass the the Senate version, a bill will have passed both houses of congress and can proceed to the Oval Office to be signed into law. At that moment, health care “reform” will be the law of the land. And, with that presidential signature, all incentive to compromise will evaporate. Because, for all its “imperfections,” that bill, that law will go a long way to expropriating, banana republic style, one sixth of the economy. What isn’t directly in the hands of the federal government, will now be tightly controlled by a vast, newly-created federal bureaucracy. What’s left will be taxed to death by this same said bill.
For the hard left partisans of Obama, Reid and Pelosi, what’s not to love. More taxes, more government, more regulation. Even a back door to publicly fund abortions. Public option? Who cares.
And, what deficiencies will be corrected? If anything, sans the limitation of a sixty vote super-majority, a companion reconciliation bill will be used to pile-on. It certainly won’t be used to “reach across the aisle” in the name of bipartisanship; that was written all over Obama’s face at the health care summit of last week. Reconciliation won’t be used to reward the Blue Dog Democrats foolish enough to go along and take yet another bullet for Nancy and vote yes. With back door abortion funding in the Senate bill, what’s the incentive to make Bart Stupak happy? In fact, Nancy can take huge electoral losses next November. All she need is to re-elect 218 Democratic representatives and she and her hard-left allies who control the key chairmanships will remain with their power intact.
But, why even bother with reconciliation and give health care “reform” another thought? Obama, Reid and Pelosi have so much else to do to gin up all sorts of pork laden spending bills to buy votes for the coming November elections. The Blue Dogs are expendable.
The tired hobby horse of health care reform gets another lap on the race track as Reid schedules a vote in the Senate today. This is one horse that needs to be retired to the glue factory. But, as you take this bill in context of Pelosi’s and in the context of the ‘stimulus’ legislation and the Cap-and-trade bill one get a very clear sense of where this is all going.
One needs to understand, in Chicago, that all the named purpose of any public institution is always the secondary purpose. The primary purpose for all Chicago public functions and agencies is that of graft, corruption and vote buying. Chicago, with its machine is the most obvious example of machine politics that plague governance of much of the northeast and, of course, California.
Indeed, over the years, as the cost of such vote buying has grown so has the cost of government. And, corruption is expensive. I remember, as a kid, the big debate over the establishment of a state income tax in Illinois. It was to ‘more equitably’ gather tax dollars to replace such things as property tax revenues. Well, some 30 year later, Illinois is saddled with an income tax, property taxes that are literally a whole order of magnitude greater than mine in Wyoming and sales taxes just shy of ten percent.
Indeed, the function of governance is an annual exercise in scraping enough revenue to pay-off all co-opted interest groups necessary for that fifty percent plus one to keep the Chicago machine in power. Moreover, governance to actually benefit its citizen–such as economic growth and jobs–are mere distractions. Governance becomes an exercise in constant intrusions into the business and the private lives of people, otherwise competent adults.
Once upon a time, Northeast Illinois, the Chicago area, used to be a powerhouse of economic growth. Steel, the Stockyards, railroads. Now, what economic activity still remains stems from the fact it can extort rent by virtue of its physical location. New York state was the same way, truly the Empire State. Kodak, Westinghouse, IBM, Corning, Xerox and so on. Most of those industries have moved on. Factories shuttered, waiting to be turned into tres elegant loft apartment instead of factories generating wealth, jobs, opportunity and wealth. But, the power class doesn’t care. So long as there is something to tax and so long as there are enough votes to get to fifty percent plus one, the downward spiral of once great regions continues unabated.
Aside from coming up with new ways to gin up more revenue to tamp down another ‘crisis’ to close yet another multi-billion budgetary gap are a bunch of generally rich, out-of-touch legislators who pursue agendas that saddle the average taxpayer with even more burdens. While they, by virtue of personal wealth, shielded by trust funds, vote on legislation with intended and unintended consequences that will never touch their priveledged lives. Pelosi married well, she has access to personal wealth to buy her way out of any medical rationing; the lush congressional health plan helps as well.
Governance becomes the personal hobby horse of these same said elites to pursue personal conceits with the power and revenue of government to supercharge their agenda far beyond their wildest dreams when they concocted them in their respective college midnight dorm-room bull sessions. California, with its imploding fiscal crisis, wants to regulate large screen TV’s. Never mind that this will be just another business and job killing venture that will have Californians buying those TV’s out of state instead of locally. Chicago seems to have debates over whether it will allow a Walmart to build within the city limits. (Jobs? New tax revenue? Less on the welfare rolls? What’s not to like? Oh! Pissed off Unions.) New York City, amid its fiscal floundering, sees the need to regulate trans-fats at restaurants. Remember the great foie gras ban in Chicago; got anything better to do? Functions and decisions that otherwise competent adults used to do for themselves are political.
So where do we stand with Chicago-style governance? The track record since January of this year is tax and spend. In matters not what the bill’s title said; beneath the title on bills that go on for over a thousand pages on average, have nothing but monies spent for every liberal wish since the last time the Democrats controlled all three branches of government with the majorities they have now in the first two years of Carter’s presidency.
First was the ‘stimulus.’ The point was to bolus a large infusion of money into the economy immediately. And, had Rahm Emmanuel’s need to “never let a crisis go to waste,” that stimulus might have worked. But, it merely put most of the money into 2010 to buy votes. And, to set the stage for ‘health care reform.’
Then came ‘tax and cap.’ It was originally intended to be a cash cow of taxes to fund Obama’s socialist remake of America; and at the same time create a never ending source of money to fuel machine style elections for a Democratic machine in Washington D.C. As if it weren’t already apparent that climate change was a fraud, it is a fraud. But, that never mattered, it was the ultimate tax since it was geared to tax carbon dioxide and methane (alleged ‘greenhouse gases’). Carbon dioxide and methane, fancy terms for what you breathe out and what you fart, respectively. A tax on basic bodily functions.
But, tax and trade, as the bottomless cookie jar, fell short of its promise when the Democrats could figure out how not to tax Democrats. So, the tax angle, which was the real purpose of this bill became a means to create bureaucracy to distribute largess and government jobs.
And, now the latest, we have two bills, one in the House and one about to be debated in the Senate, that are notable for taxes. Taxes on Cadillac health plans, surtaxes on the ‘rich,’ elevated Medicare payroll taxes, again on the ‘rich.’ Mandates to buy insurance or pay a fine (or go to jail). If the coercion isn’t on your wallet, it’s literally on your person. There is the creation of all sorts of new regulatory agencies (more government jobs) to ‘reform’ health care.
My job as a physician is, ultimately, to sit down with my patient and try to find the best course of action to preserve my patients health and well being. It’s that simple. Yet, in this mass of thousand-page bills were is the simple concept of getting a patient and doctor to sit down and decide what is really best for that patient’s well being? Obviously of no political value.
The headlong, damn-the-torpedoes approach to health care “reform” is a function of democratic congressional leadership in the hands of a bunch of aging Woodstock era hippies. Much of the top leadership hails from the early 1970’s, especially from the class of 1974; Democrats elected at the height of the Watergate scandal. Many of these were the hippies or fellow travelers who were going to carry the revolution to the establishment by working “in the system” and thereby undermine the “system.”
But, their 30 year journey was greatly frustrated by a misalignment of stars. The last time the Democrats held the balance of power as they do now was in Jimmy Carter’s first two years (1977-78). At that time these hippies were much too junior to exert much influence in the House and Senate. And, so the dream to radicalize America fizzled.
But, now comes the next opportunity. But, for the leadership, their last opportunity since many of them are in their 70’s and will literally be pushing up daisies when the next opportunity comes around. So, we see the most heavy handed legislative pushes on record to move health care “reform,” cap and trade and card check to remake America as some socialist utopia.
True to their boomer roots this leadership will push this agenda forward with out the slightest care about the consequences and damages their children and grandchildren will have to bear. They care not a whit for unintended consequences since they will live their remaining years on a lush congressional pension and then be dead shortly thereafter. They have exempted themselves from the maw of rationing that will be unloaded on the rest of America thanks to their socialized medical monstrosity. And, they will be able to avail themselves of what was once the finest medical system on earth before their “reforms” grind American medicine into the socialized mediocrity that now graces England and Canada.
Reid plans to jam health care reform through on reconciliation or some other obscure parliamentary trick to side it through on 51 votes. This will in effect kill the filibuster and turn the Senate into a more grandiose version of the House. Frankly, Reid has the votes; it only takes 51 votes to kill the filibuster right now. But, once that rule is gone, it’ll never come back. But, what does Reid care that he’ll turn the deliberative functions of the Senate into an over-glorified student senate. He’ll be departed from the scene; hopefully as soon as November 2010.
And, this same leadership is fighting to jam this bill through before anyone has a chance to read it. This may give Reid, Pelosi and company some cheap thrills. But, it’ll be murder for their party. Because the Republicans, going into 2010 and 2012 will have over a thousand pages of selective quotes from that unvetted bill to bludgeon the Democrats. Remember, the actual reform doesn’t take place until 2013. So, the actual vote buying potential of this entitlement will not be around until after the 2010 mid-term elections. Nor the 2012 presidential election.
To hell with all of you left on the Titanic, suckers, I’ve already got my place on the lifeboat.
There was a reason our founding fathers posited a requirement in the US Constitution that the President of the United States be a natural born citizen. And, Obama proves the point. Only by luck of his American citizen unwed mother getting knocked up in Hawaii did Obama make the grade. But, while technically a natural born US citizen, Obama has displayed all of the characteristics of a third-world cabinet minister (and I mean that comparison is a very negative sense); an EU or UN grandee. Moreover, this is not an affectation, but an ingrained, reflexive characteristic of a man who simply knows nothing else.
And, like the “bitter” comments, Obama’s bow to the king of Saudi Arabia probably wasn’t planned. Or, planned in a manner to specifically offend American audiences. Rather, it was an act that came to Obama naturally; an act of a third world cabinet minister showing the obeisance due to such a potentiate such as the king of Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it was beyond the incompetence of his staff that failed to brief Obama; probably not even imagining that Obama would be so unschooled in such etiquette that Americans do not bow to anyone.
Tens of thousands of Americans lie dead, having taken up arms to defend that very point. Starting with the dead that lay upon the Lexington Green in April 1775, we fought for a concept of liberty and equality that recognized that no one before God and before the institutions of our Republic stands above another. To hold an office of public trust only, temporarily, as the first among peers. But, never your superior. For, in reality, the electorate is ultimately your boss.
But, Obama never grew up in that environment. From the ages of six to ten, those first formative years as an elementary school student, were spent in Indonesia. A Muslim country, with a Muslim father where the young Obama was listed on governmental records as a Muslim. This was not the usual issue where the children of, say, military personnel, are schooled in American schools with a sense of America even in that foreign land. An island of America thousands of miles from home. Obama even attended a madrass during this period. I doubt that the young Obama, though technically a natural born US citizen, in those first ten years of life had any sense of being American.
And, so, this foreigner comes of age in America. He is attracted to socialism which is a truly foreign concept to America and American exceptionalism. Socialism arose in Europe in an environment of rigid social stratifications of royalty. Socialism was the disaffected’s answer, the rabble rouser’s answer to overturn that rigid social stratification. But, to overturn that rigid stratification with a new one with the once rabble rouser securely now occupying those upper tiers of that new system. Merely a coup to displace the old power structure with a new equally authoritarian power structure. One, in an egalitarian veneer, dispenses with such labels as king, duke or count and now replaces is with “minister of” or “president.”
So, our young, impressionable Obama seeks the company of vogue Marxist professors and aging radicals such as Ayers. He seeks a political system, the Chicago machine, that functions like a third-world banana republic. He seek religious solace from the like of Reverend Wright; who’s anti-semitism and anti-Americanism is the closest “Christian” theology to Islam.
But, along the way, Obama missed out on why those thousands of American now lie dead on countless battlefields; Lexington, Concord, Antietim, Gettysburg, Shiloh, Cantigny, Chateau-Thierry, Belleau Wood, Normandy, Bastogne. Obama missed out on the concept of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness as being gifts of God (not Allah). He missed out on the fundamental concept, reinforced by the conceit of an Ivy League education, that government is a servant of the people to create a framework of order and law to allow each individual to achieve his best. That it is the efforts of millions of individuals that define the state and not the state that defines the individual.
But, for all of his life, Obama lived outside that experience. And, instead of an American, an equal, with the authority of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights behind him, prime minister Obama subordinated the greatness that is America. Subordinated the blood of thousands of Americans who made our founding documents more than just parchment and prostrated himself to a king.
To those who cared to look beyond the MSM smokescreen of the last election, this comes as no surprise. But, the evidence is all in that Barry’s nothing but a tax and spend liberal. We’ve got a budget outline that approached four trillion dollars. And, after congress gets through it will be four trillion since Barry on set a floor on his budget proposal and has a tacit understanding with Reid and Pelosi, to run the tab up even more since he’s going to sign anything.
Then, we have proposals for more than a trillion dollars in tax increases. The combined wet dreams of FDR, LBJ, Carter and Clinton, combined could not imagine such a number. Well, maybe Clinton.
And, then we have the other boiler plate to the standard liberal. The slow pre-emptive surrender to Islamic imperialism. In Iraq, all our enemies have to do is run the clock until August 2010. How’s that for telegraphing your attentions.
And gun control. It seems that his lacky at justice, Holder, is making noises about re-instating the so-called “assault-weapons” ban in part because assault weapons are flowing from the north into Mexico, supplying the drug lords in their civil war against the government. Never mind that Mexico is just this side of being a failed state. Of course, this stuff never came out of Obama himself. But, he like Pelosi, Reid and Schumer are just waiting…
Bait and switch. The true intentions covered up by a compliant press.
But, it is worse. If only we could have the day’s of Jimmy Carter. What we really have is not a president but the UN secretary general occupying the Oval Office. This man is a natural born citizen by virtue of the technicality of being born over US soil. But, he spent his first ten years of life abroad. Not at a military brat, who lived with a sense that he was a part of America. But, as a Muslim in Indonesia, including attendance to a madrass. So, not only did he live physically away from America, his upbringing was in a Muslim world-view; an antithesis of individual liberty which is the root of Western Civilization.
And, though he didn’t wind up practicing Islam. His choice of “Christianity” was the virulent anti-American, anti-semitic variant of the “Reverend” Wright.
So, to add to the cheap vote-buying ethics of a Chicago ward-heeler. So, to add to the fact that this man’s enitre adult life was living off other peoples’ money, extorting other people’s money. So, to add to the fact that this man never ran a business, hired employees or met a payroll. This man is now engaging in a third-world mentality of reducing his fellow citizens to the status of serf and subject.
Obama’s spending and tax proposals make a mockery of the notion of private property. These are whole sale expropriations of property that place him squarely in the company of Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez. No, the comparison isn’t meant as a compliment.
Obama discussed a 700 billion dollar economic stimulus package. But, intimated that he would be okay with even more. Congress obliged by rolling Obama with a 850 billion spending spree. Here’s some of the details from Power Line. If such a package were going to build infrastructure, we’d at least have something to show for this spending blow-out. But, this money will line the pockets of favored groups and friends. And, will leave precious little to show in terms of actual accomplishments.
Or, should I say that 850 billion dollars will be pissed away and we will have only the inflation that will rack our economy, in about a year, as the only residual for this spending.
But, Obama has lots of experience in spending other people’s money and making sure that there is nothing to show. Or, at least nothing to show in upsetting the status quo. That experience was his co-chairing the Annenberg Challenge with his buddy Bill Ayers. He managed to oversee the disbursement of 100 million dollars without affecting the quality of public education in Chicago one whit. What he really did, the good Chicago machine foot soldier he was, was to spread 100 million dollars of graft to the friends of the Chicago machine.
So, what we have is a replay of the same graft distribution; just several orders of magnitude greater. There will be no leadership on Obama’s part. Just the distribution of graft and largess. Obama’s well practiced in that art.
Blagojevich and Chu. An unlikely pair, but the bookends that will define the Obama presidency. For a while, I was impressed with some of Obama’s appointments. Though unwilling, I was actually impressed that Obama may actually rule from the standpoint of a center-left coalition; that governing stance being forced by circumstances. I very much believe, had the Democrats managed to rack up 60 senators, that Obama would have gone wild with his fondest left-left wet dreams.
But, Obama’s real affiliations, proclivities and associations keep coming back; like Banquo’s ghost. And, so we have the two sides of the true Obama represented in Blagojevich and Chu. In the former, we have Obama, the loyal Chicago machine hack. And, in the latter, we have the utterly disconnected academic; governance by midnight dorm room bull session.
Blagojevich will define the seamy and corrupt side of Obama. Obama isn’t clean; just cleaner than the average Chicago politician. He has been a faithful foot soldier; and has been rewarded for that faithfulness. He started as a ward heeler; er, community organizer. His big test was the distribution of tens of millions of graft as a co-chair (the other was Bill Ayers) of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. And, spread graft he did with not an iota of academic improvement. Perfect for Chicago. Get money to your friends but don’t solve a problem that might risk having dependent constituencies actually having the means to improve themselves.
He then moved to the Illinois State House. And, courtesy king making from the president of the Illinois State Senate, Emil Jones, Obama was elevated to the US Senate. All along, Obama has toed the line. Toed the line in supporting Blagojevich for election in 2002, then again in 2006. And, when corruption shook the Cook County Board, a word from Obama might have been instrumental in electing a reform candidate to Cook County President. But, Obama held firm in supporting machine candidate, Todd Stroger.
And, so, like Paul Henreid, Obama is shocked, shocked to discover his Senate seat up for sale to the highest bidder. But, don’t be shocked, scocked to see scandal after scandal rising up from his past in the fevered swamps of Chicago politics.
Now we get to the other bookend. Dr. Chu just appointed as the Secretary of Energy. (And, by the way, just why do we have a department of pumping gas? Can’t the Department of the Interior handle that? All you have to do is hand out drilling leases. There, problem solved and it didn’t even require me to fly to Stockholm to get a gold medal.) He’s got accomplishments, smart, a real multi-cultural Camelot best-and-brightest.
But. But, what does he know about our aging nuclear arsenal. What’s he willing to do to maintain it, upgrade it and test it to see if it remains functional? What’s he going to do to maintain our disappearing nuclear weapon infrastructure? Freedom in the world rests on the America’s military and the cornerstone of our military is our nuclear arsenal. This is a guy who’s going to lecture us on preferring to spend $1000 on a granite kitchen counter top than on improving our home’s energy efficiency. This is a guy who protested global warming by climbing up a tree at the University of California at Berkeley for Vanity Fair Magazine . Iran can give up it’s nuclear program because ours is going to rust away into complete non-functionality.
While this guy is brilliant in the laboratory, what experience does he have in taking these lab findings off the lab bench and out into the world. Because, if he’s so set on freeing us from burning hydrocarbons, he going to have to do more than pose in a tree for a magazine.
Because, making policy and issuing “environmentally friendly” diktats from Washington are going to run head long into the real world of economics and thermodynamics. Realities that solar panels and wind power will not begin to address energy needs that hydrocarbons and nuclear power now handle so well. Realities like $4 gasoline really matters to a lot of people who don’t have a six-figure sinecure in the California University system. Realities that global warming is simply a humbug.
Realities that we’ve had steam cars and electric cars from the day the horseless carriage came forth. Railroad locomotives, for the last half century are powered by a diesel engine powering an electrical generator that then powers motors that make the locomotive move–a diesel Prius without batteries that runs on tracks. There’s nothing new under the sun; it just a lot of engineers just as smart as Chu have already worked through all of these ideas. Burning a cheap, plentiful commodity, oil, is the best way to get around.
Back in the cold snows of Iowa, Obama commiserated over the cost of arugula at Whole Foods. Now, we have a whole cabinet socked full the arugula-at-Whole-Foods crowd. And, some of them, especially from Chicago, fund their arugula cravings by selling Senate seats.
Mr. Katz of Urgent Agenda notes that Obama’s picks for his incoming administration are causes of worry, but also relief. There is, at least, a certain seriousness to these picks that reflects that Obama is playing in an entirely new league. Perhaps the biggest criticism beyond some of the personal baggage, Holder comes to mind, that we have an administration that is being stacked with that slice America that got double 800’s on their SAT’s. Or, the inverse of the late Buckley, with rule by the Harvard faculty rather than the first hundred names out of the Cambridge phone directory.
One can only hope, for all of the stellar academic credentials, that these advisers will have the humility to realize that they can never craft policy that will anticipate the needs of 300 million Americans. Or, that this isn’t the purpose or business of government. One hopes that they will remember enough of Econ 101 to realize that economic growth is the only solution to this economic melt down. Meaning that the Joe-the-plumbers will need to be protected and supported from crushing taxes and regulation. That creating, not spreading, wealth is what lies between a brief recession and a depression.
As McCain’s father said, history is made by poker players and not analysts. We’ll see what these people will do in time of crisis where you will have to take a lifetime of experience and react; and hope that reaction is a reflection of carefully thought out positions that you will not, in that moment of crisis, have the time to think through in a linear fashion. A crisis moment that will force you to act from the gut because you will not have to time to analyze.
More interestingly, Obama almost seems like the young prince Hal who now casts off Falstaff as he assumes the mantle of power as Henry V. Did Obama, in his 20 or so years in the Chicago machine, “know you all” and for a while “upheld the unyoked humor of their idleness.” Of Ayers, Wright, Rezko. Is he, therefore, a radical or truly a centrist? Are his centrist tendencies, of late, of choice or circumstance? A thin resume and now we know even less.
All very cynical, of course. But, there’s that adage that fulfilling your friendship needs in Washington can only be done reliably with a dog.
I also suspect that Obama realizes that his legacy is not getting elected but getting elected and performing as president to his getting re-elected. To be the first black president means he can’t go out as a failure like Hoover or Carter; to go out as the first black president who screwed up. No longer does he have the comfort of spouting out pronouncement that have little impact in a safe district controlled by the Chicago political machine. I rather suspect, particularly in handoff briefings on security, that he came into contact with intelligence that would instantly age anyone ten years in ten minutes.
And, that Falstaff comes with multiple faces; principally Reid and Pelosi. But, the biggest hurdle to succeeding as president will be his putative allies in Congress. Already, they are lining up an agenda that will drive the country over the cliff. He needs, above all, an economy that can pull it self out of a recession.
The meltdown and recession that got Obama elected, is a mixed blessing because it is like a wounded animal that can turn on you in a minute. This is already Obama’s economy and his recession. This is no longer the crisis that can be used to push other agendas. This is a stand-alone crisis that will ultimately drag Obama down; and must be addressed regardless of the rest of his campaign wish list.
But, the solons of Congress, who control its committees have a very different idea. They, from safe seats and with very parochial agendas will use this crisis to pursue other agendas. The biggest warning sign is the ouster of Dingell by Waxman. Waxman, too marinated in the money and celebrity of Beverly Hills, is about to wave a magic wand and decree that we will all live a life of perfection by junking the burning of fossil fuels and embrace our inner windmill. In the insular world of Beverly Hills, far removed the concerns of Americans that actually live paycheck to paycheck, is a world that doesn’t think about how food, energy, transportation all come to their doorsteps. These are things brought in by the “help.” In a world of Rodeo-Drive-chinchilla-bedspreads it matters not that the “help” actually shops at Wal-mart to squeeze value out of every last penny of their paychecks.
Yet, here is Waxman, ready to push cap and trade. The costs and economic distortions of this program alone is sufficient to tank this economy into a depression.
And, we have Frank who can’t wait to get started on cutting our defense budget by 25 percent. And, we all breathe a sigh of relief that, on the Senate side, Bingaman has just announced that a new gas tax will be deferred.
I’m beginning to think, through his choices of advisors, that Obama realizes that he’s on his own. Ayers might be good company for an all-night dorm room bull session. But, he’s got his legacy on the line and that’s already being seriously threatened.
As a conservative, I’m sure that a lot of what Obama does is going to give me a lot of heartburn. But, he’s our President. And, for the sake of our country, he needs to succeed by making the right choices. It is good, therefore, that he’s bringing in serious people. Leftist in orientation, but, hopefully, with a degree of education to bring objectivity that such an education should engender.
The Democratic overreaching begins. It looks like Waxman is going to oust Dingell as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. What we have is the hard left of the Democratic party driving policy; in this case energy policy with complete obeisance to the environmentalists. Translation, global warming with cap and trade.
So, just when the economy is tanking, we’re going to be faced with artificially high energy prices to “encourage” us to switch to “alternate, green” energy. This encouragement will be in the form of the return of four-dollar plus gasoline. If this represents a pattern we’ll see more killer tax and spending policies coming out of other parts of Pelosi’s Congressional Empire.
Obama’s, like pirate Jack Sparrow, has just been tossed up on a desert isle with a pistol and one bullet. He’s all alone. What Obama will have to realize is that his getting into subsidized housing on 1600 Pennsylvania is all and the entire bone that the Democratic leadership is willing to give to its black constituency. As far as they’re concerned, the legacy of Obama is getting elected. Whether he’s successful in his own right is not their problem.
From Pelosi’s and Reid’s point-of-view, picking off enough Republican Senate and Congressional seats and putting Obama in the White House was to give them the running room to pass their agenda. And, in particular, before any backlash in the 2010 mid-term elections, jam as much stuff through this two-year window of opportunity. For Pelosi in particular, and her power barons in the House leadership, being almost immune to any voter backlash, they will have their agenda and to hell with the other rats, Democratic and Republican, on the sinking ship. Obama’s going to have to realize he’s one of those rats that Pelosi could give a rat’s ass about.
Obama’s no longer from a safe seat. His legacy, if he wants a positive one, will require more that being a first in the form of high melanin content. He will need a track record of accomplishment to secure a real place in the history books. A record of accomplishment that will secure him a second term. A record of accomplishment that will allow him to retain running room with regards to working with congress. A record of accomplishment that will allow him to pull a country out of a recession and not degenerate into a depression; and not have his one-term presidency tarred as Hoover II (or Carter II).
In short, Obama will need to realize that he no longer lives in the bubble of pre-ordained elections of the Chicago Democratic machine. He needs to truly in the center and start playing football between the 40 yard lines. Frankly, he need Senator McConnell, his GOP caucus and enough blue-dog Democrats to form a governing coalition. Reid, Pelosi, Dodd, Schumer, Frank, Rangell are not his friends.
It’s been remarked elsewhere that the winning coalition of Obama’s presidential victory was a bottom/top coalition. That is, a coalition of the top and bottom of the economic ladder.
The interesting thing about this coalitions is that both are relatively immune to the economic vissicitudes that affect everyone else in the middle.
For, the bottom, we have people on various welfare and governmental aid programs. They are net consumers of other people’s taxes. Not much more to be said except that Bush’s “compassionate conservatism” did little to reduce the number of these individuals. These folks represent a permanent constituency of the party of big government. Maybe, the next time, the GOP really needs to give the taxpayer a real break by seriously culling out the government-handout class.
The high end is more interesting. The super rich, and even the moderately rich, derive income streams from other than wages. So, things like Social Security and Medicare taxes don’t matter. If a trust or other compensation agreement is so arranged, a lot of expenses can be had on pre-tax dollars. So, raising income taxes has the perverse effect of enhancing those benefits. I be willing to bet that Al Gore’s giant carbon-footprint private jet isn’t coming out of post-tax dollars.
What is interesting is how country club Republicans became country club Democrats. The first reason is tribute. The need to own the candidate to protect their fortunes and station. Short of a reign of terror mass beheading, these folks don’t really have to worry about much of Obama’s tax plans since the cost will be a small price to pay for the security of their position and station in society. It also helps, that Obama is now, with his house and book deals, very much part of the ancien reigime. Robespierre?
The second issue is the conceit of 30 years of prosperity thanks to Reagan. Many of these individuals did very well in a variety of business endeavors thanks to Reagan’s policies of economic growth. Now, financially secure, they can dally in the idiocies of global warming and whatever other vogue causes that strike their fancies; the idle mind is indeed the devil’s workshop.
Then, there’s the issue of slamming the door behind to keep others from horning in on their positions of power and influence. Most of these well-to-do Obama supporters are very well aware of the radicalness of capitalism; since their successes (or those of their immediate ancestors) came from business successes that in some way overturned the established order. Bill Gates, for example, is very wealthy because of his upsetting the cozy world of IBM. So, these people turn to the ideology of societal ossification; socialism.
In many ways, Obama’s hometown of Chicago, represents the very top/bottom economic structure that gave him the presidency. On the bottom are the governmental dependents; patronage workers and welfare. And, ward heelers, er, community organizers, to make sure they vote the right way for the Chicago political machine.
On the top are the wealthy. Nominally Republican, except when doing business in Chicago. They contribute and they pose with the machine politicians; as pillars of the community. But, there are understandings. Understanding like Obama’s sweetheart mortgage deal from the Northern Trust. Of course, you’ll never see ACORN raising a ruckus in Northern Trust’s lobby; that reserved for some mom-and-pop Savings and Loan back in the neighborhood struggling to survive without any hope for bailout bucks. Of course, the elite will never be seen in the Chicago public schools; they have their own private schools or, just over the Chicago border, their elite public schools. As you move up in the machine, you’re rewarded richly but expected to “understand” there are just some things you just don’t touch. Obama’s been a good and loyal foot soldier and has been richly rewarded for this service; nice house in Hyde Park and a nicer one now on the East Coast.
Here’s how thick it gets. Obama’s pal Bill Ayers was no radical who worked his way up from the mean streets, he’s the son of Thomas Ayers, former CEO of Commonwealth Edison, now Exelon.
The whole notion of campaign finance reform is utterly laughable. The reason being that the captain-of-the-ship doctrine does not apply. Oh sure, various and sundry small fry get arrested; some actually get convicted and go to jail. But, where has there ever been an election where the candidate himself was denied the office strictly on the basis of violating election laws.
For instance, how much did Obama raise illegally. We have good reason to believe that many of the fraud screening provisions for his credit card operations were turned off. What did that cash buy? What was its role in swaying voters? Did it provide the margin for victory?
But, Obama will get away with it. What really counts is he, regardless of any wrong doing found, will occupy the Oval Office on January 20. What does it matter that some low level campaign operative may be found guilty of violating campaign law? The real prize and goal of this chicanery is winning the presidency. If that goes to Obama, then the law-breaking was worth it.
The only lesson to be taken from Obama’s campaign practices is that they work. Future campaigns will forever shun public financing. Future campaigns will amplify on Obama’s fund raising tactics. The real lesson, that crime doesn’t pay, would only come if the election was denied to Obama on the basis of campaign law violations.
Now, we have the Senatorial race in Minnesota. (here and here) On election night, Coleman was up by a narrow 700 or so votes. But, mysteriously that total, before the recount, has been cut by some 500 votes with ballots mysteriously showing up from all over the place. I’ll pass over Minnesota’s secretary of state being a ACORN flunkie.
Then, we have a situation in Hennepin County (Minneapolis and suburbs) were, because of a electronic breakdown, votes were not electronically from the precincts on election night. Rather, the results were transported by car to City Hall. In other words, we have a break in the chain of custody. And, every vote, thus handled, become suspect and tainted.
Now, if we really wanted to uphold up election laws to maintain ballot integrity, I would submit that these votes need to be thrown out. If thrown out, you would finally put teeth into election laws because you would actually have the ability to deny the likely beneficiary of elective office. You would finally have a real deterrent to campaign and vote violations. You may even have legislative incentive to actually create a clear and transparent system of vote accountability.
The background starts with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev spoiled Obama’s little Grant Park party hours after his historic election by announcing the stationing short-range missile systems in Kaliningrad between Poland and Lithuania. This in response to stationing an anti-missile shield in Poland.
We have the Polish President Kaczynski asking Obama for an assurance that such a shield will be deployed. On the other hand, we have Obama waffling. The difference between Obama’s waffling and unequivocal statement of need hasn’t gone unnoticed. By Russia. By Iran.
This brings back some bad memories about Carter’s handling of the Neutron Bomb controversy from the 1978 time frame. (Time, 1978) This was a weapon that emitted lethal radiation will little, relatively, collateral blast damage. It’s deployment rationale was to blunt the then Warsaw Pact’s 3-to-1 advantage in armor in central Europe. There was, at the time, a great deal of opposition on both sides of the Atlantic, lubricated by Pravda. However, with a great deal of intense negotiation, and with the support of of many of his chief defense and diplomacy, Carter backed off at the last minute. Carter tried to put lipstick on that pig (couldn’t resist) by saying he wanted to use the Neutron Bomb as a bargaining chip over the coming deployment of the Soviet intermediate range missiles, the SS20.
Then, we had the whole intermediate range missile controversy of the 1980’s when Reagan decided to deploy Pershing and cruise missiles to counter the Soviet SS20 missile deployment. Again, in the teeth of all sorts of controversy.
And, so here we have new situation with a little bit of both controversies mixed in. And, we have the same old line up; NATO versus Russia.
Yet, it is different. This controversy revolves around a clearly defensive weapon, designed to knock out offensive nuclear missiles. It addresses the serious moral shortfall of Mutually Assured Destruction; that of holding civilians hostage in war. Yet, we have the worst of the Neutron Bomb controversy and the SS20 deployments of, respectively, 1978 and the 1980’s. Here we have the seeds of undercutting an ally, Poland and its President, Kaczynski just the way Carter undercut then West German Chancellor Schmidt. Then, unlike Reagan, who actually created useful “bargaining chips” by deploying Pershing and cruise missiles, we have Obama waffling and sending a message that we may not deploy a clearly defensive anti-missile system. And, the Russians get what they want for free.
The GOP, because of 30 years of economic growth and prosperity had little to campaign on because most of the electorate forgot economic life under Carter. A very successful military bottled up Islamic imperialism at its source thousands of miles from our shore. Say what you will about the state of Iraq, pre and post surge, those American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have been key in preventing another 9/11. Unfortunately, because the GOP so damaged their brand with profligate spending, they no longer had the credibility, in this election, to effectively warn Americans that abandonment of Reagan’s policies of a strong military and a pro-growth economic policy of less taxes and government will spell disaster.
Will Obama’s emulate Kennedy? He of the Kennedy tax cuts and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Or, does that Kennedy suit hide the hard-core appeaser, the inner Carter, that seems to animate Obama’s basic instincts.
One of the brilliant features of the electoral college is a built-in check against voter fraud. Or, to make fraud truly effective, one would need to do so in 51 different geographical locations. Even with ACORN going national, that’s still a daunting task. The simple fact is that stealing votes in Chicago will only net the electors of Illinois, no matter how many votes cast in Chicago. Whereas if presidential elections were done by popular vote, every fraudulent vote would count.
But, were ACORN and their allies can truly cause damage is in the three remaining and undecided elections for the Senate; Alaska, Georgia and Minnesota. Here we have elections close enough that fraudulent activities of even a few thousand votes, or a few hundred in Minnesota, can make a difference. A difference, indeed, since these three elections will determine whether the GOP can mount meaningful opposition to the legislative testosterone of the Democratic majorities of the House and Senate with a compliant Oval Office.
The last time the Democrats had a filibuster proof Senate was the 95th congress of 1977-79. The one that, with Carter at the helm, gave us the Community Development Act, the origin of the current subprime mortgage mess.
Already, there are signs of a stolen election in Minnesota. Given a vote differential of only 500 votes, this one is an easy one to steal especially since the Minnesota Secretary of State is a creature of ACORN. And, indeed, one hundred votes here and one hundred vote there start to pop up for Frankin. How convenient since the entire process is counted electronically by an optical scanner.
If this was such a transformational election, then Senate and House majorities would have reflected such. But, using Obama’s vote tallies, he got on 52% in another 50-50 nation election. He’s the first Democratic candidate to even break 50% since Carter in 1976–32 years ago. And, frankly, the three remaining Senate contests would have swept Democratic. But, it didn’t. It didn’t because there may have been a temper tantrum to throw punish the party that currently holds the White House, but there isn’t a socialist mandate.
As tight as they may be, those elections and the check of filibuster must stand. To overturn these elections by fraud will slowly create a lawless that stems a society wide disrespect for the rule of law. You only need to travel to Chicago, were a century or more of corrupt Democratic machine politics creates such a causal disregard for the law. Due process is reduced to cutting deals, lubricated by cash. Elections are pre-ordained; the real outcome being determined in the Democratic primary. It is not a place that attracts new economic growth. It is a very expensive place to live. It coasts on the momentum of being, for the present, the 3rd largest city in the country. For a bright young federal prosecutor, a treasure trove of corruption convictions to burnish any career.
What with a beyond biased MSM, shady fund raising, questionable past associations never truly vetted, this election was rigged enough to call into question, even Obama’s victory. It needs to end on at least the positive note, that in these three remaining elections, of some modicum of integrity of an honest ballot.
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.
If only McCain had campaigned by …, then we would have won. If only. If only. If only he could see and follow my vital advice, then he’d be president. All the nit-picking doesn’t detract from the fact that McCain managed to keep the election close right up to the end. His doggedness may not have won him the election, but it prevented a far worse debacle in the House and Senate. With some luck, the GOP may return to Washington with 43 senators.
To restate the obvious, this was supposedly a Democratic year supercharged with a mid-September financial meltdown. There was a MSM, unabashedly in the tank for Obama, providing millions of dollars of in-kind contributions by functioning as the Obama campaign ad agency; hiding Obama’s very serious shortcomings and simultaneously smearing McCain and Palin. Yet, the Democrats didn’t run away with this election. The electoral college results don’t hide that this is yet another 50/50 nation election. The GOP’s performance in the face of this brutal MSM assault speaks well of the durability of the GOP and its standbearer, McCain. Frankly, it speaks ill of the Democratic message that it gains were contained as well as they were last night.
The real truth is that this election wasn’t lost last night. Rather, McCain’s defeat was the results of the accretion of events over the last twenty years that took the GOP, step by step, farther from the basics of Reagan’s philosophies of lower taxes and less government. Each step took the GOP back to the RINO or me-too Republican. The electorate just figured why vote for Democrat-lite when you can vote for the real thing. McCain’s mistake in this campaign was his contribution, over the years, to this Democrat-lite state of mind.
Economics are conservative facts of life. Unless both parties feel that an exchange of goods or services is mutually beneficial, it will not occur. Government intervention will cause money and economic activity to go elsewhere. The boring mantra of less taxes and less government is the key to Reagan’s success. And, the establishment of a political critical mass, in Washington, that finally replaced disagreements of degree between the me-too Republicans and the Democrats with fundamental disagreements of kind as to government’s role.
But, starting with Bush I, we started to dilute Reagan’s message with a “kinder and gentler” America. What I couldn’t figure out was why Reagan’s policies weren’t just that. He reversed the high inflation and high unemployment of the Carter years with prosperity. Pretty kind and gentle to me. He turned back the advance of the USSR; a country and governing philosophy that was responsible for the murder of tens of millions of it’s own people. But, Reagan, that militarist reactionary, was far more unkind than the Soviet GULAG. Of course, removing the threat of nuclear incineration, courtesy the USSR, was very unkind.
So, amid the rubble of last night are the seeds for future success:
The first, is Joe-the-Plumber. He’s going to haunt any and all deliberations for any new governmental expansion. By taking up Joe’s banner, McCain finally hit his stride and started to clearly articulate a philosophy of less taxes and less government. Moreover, he managed to make socialism a dirty word. Also, in a larger sense, the bill for the financial meltdown can only be paid back by economic growth. That growth will only come from small business; the likes of Joe. What we do to the Joe’s of America will reflect on the economic performance of our country in the coming years. For this election, thanks to the MSM, there wasn’t enough time to have these themes truly resonate with the electorate.
As the long term reality of the September financial meltdown really starts to register, there will be some grim satisfaction to see the Democrats having to fully address the fruits of their corruption. And, it will be the GOP’s responsibility to hammer that point home. To point out that every dollar of pork barrel is another ACORN/Community Reinvestment Act in the making. By foreswearing pork, the GOP, with McCain’s bona fides, has the opportunity to make pork synonymous with the Democratic Party. Pork is poison; every dollar is yet another opportunity for corruption and a dagger aimed at individual rights.
With the articulation of Joe’s cause, we can now press the point that corruption was the flaw that rocked our financial system last September. More, importantly, our free market system is sound. And, again, economic growth is the only path our–even though low taxes and less government will make you a real bore on the Georgetown cocktail party circuit.
Another, foundation for the future is that of Sarah Palin. She, I think, remains untarnished despite this defeat. We, in fact, may have a politician of the caliber of Reagan. I can well imagine her collecting tons of IOU’s on the rubber chicken circuit by stumping for congressional, senatorial and gubernatorial candidates over the next two years. And, I can see her cashing in on those IOU’s by becoming the first woman president.
Then, too is Bobby Jindal, from Louisiana. Ultimately, because of executive experience as governors, these two, Palin and Jindal, are going to be far more effective presidents than candidates hailing from the Senate.
The facts of life are conservative. So, are the laws of nature.
Foreign policy will rear its ugly head. Regardless of domestic bread and butter issues, there are forces that now have reach to wreak mayhem within our borders. By intervening early in our war on Islamic imperialism, we are able to accomplish the task with a peace-time military. And, this in blood and treasure, will be far cheaper than to back away only to inevitably return to fight that war; but now on a war-time footing. If Obama fails, it will fall to the GOP, particularly McCain, to make sure that we stay in the fight and we take the fight to the source. This will not be an issue of partisan advantage, since lives, military and civilian, will directly be at stake. Ultimately, for all of Obama’s youthful flirting with radicalism, he’s going to have to face that we are at war with a world-view, Islam, that is completely opposed to our concept of individual rights. A world-view lead by very evil men. And, he can’t hide because if he refuses to fight it at the source, it will come to our shores.
Like the Cold War, our current war(s) will be long term engagements lasting decades. And, in time, the public will again begin to see that fighting to win, not “containment” is ultimately the only solution to the problem of Islamic imperialism. And, here again, we come to a basic Reagan tenant of a muscular foreign policy. Reagan pursued a variety of approaches in defeating the USSR. But, the success of all of his foreign policy engagements were always buttressed by a strong military and the maintenance of a perception, in the eyes of our adversaries, of a willingness to use that force.
Yes, the world loves Obama for the same reason they love the UN secretary general. You can ignore him or walk all over him; your choice. If Obama chooses to govern as secretary general, the world will continue to love him. If he chooses to be president of the US it will be a sign he’s awakened to reality; and the reality that his international popularity is going to plummet.
Energy will plague any president who ignores the laws of supply and demand. Husbanding our resources in one matter. But, forcing conversation to the point of economic contraction is another. Further, hydrocarbons and nuclear is the only way to bring sufficient energy to our economy. Period.
Solar won’t do it. The simple fact of life is there are only so many watts per square foot from solar power. And, the sun doesn’t shine at night. If the NIMBY’s object to refineries, drilling and nuclear power plants, do you think they’re going to stand by and cover, literally, square miles of land for solar power to replace any meaningful percentage of energy from hydrocarbon and nuclear?
Ditto, for all of the above, wind power.
But, the biggest issue of energy is that any policy will run headlong into the immutable laws of thermodynamics. And, engineering mechanics.
To move a give weight of material about requires work and that must be derived by burning something to generate heat and then to convert that heat to mechanical work. More weight, then more mechanical work and more heat. If you cut back on weight you will have smaller and lighter vehicles that are inherently less safe. (Air bags help, but for any give air bag if you add 100 pounds of structural weight you have a safer vehicle.) Smaller cars also mean you can’t carry as much. Like a hockey mom, two kids and two large duffels of hockey equipment.
We aren’t Europe where population densities approach 1000 people per square mile. Mass transit only works in dense population center where there are a lot of people who are going to the same places all at about the same time. Mortgage crisis or not, we also like our own homes and back yards just like the swells in Getty’s neighborhood. The net effect is we need personal transportation–a car. A car that can move a lot of stuff over longer distances. Nor, have we gotten into the transportation needs of Joe-the-Plumber. He’s going to need a full size pick-up truck for his tools and supplies. Your designer Toto toilet and gourmet granite kitchen counter top aren’t going to fit in a Prius.
Which brings us to the subject of putting America into hybrids like the Prius. All a Prius is is a 70’s style econobox with pie-pan wheels. Just updated at bit with some whiz bang technology to match your iPod. Notice how nobody misses the Gremlin, the Maverick, the Le Car or the Pinto? For all the hype about the batteries, it still a small car powered by a small gasoline engine; and all the laws of engineering mechanics and thermodynamics will govern this vehicle’s efficiency. It’s efficient because it’s small and light and therefore requires a very small engine. But, in the end, a gasoline engine is what really makes this car go. And, it’s gasoline because, weight for weight and volume for volume, gasoline is still the most efficient was to store the energy you need to move your vehicle.
And, while the Obama acolytes at the DOT are trying to figure out the ultimate no-carbon-foot car for the unwashed, Obama is going to ride around in his presidential limo. Anyway, the free market already figured all this out anyway.
No, Obama’s success with energy policy will be gauged by a very simple metric; is gas less than $2.00 per gallon at the pump. Is the blue state Northeast going to blow its collective tops when the oil truck fills up the tank for your furnace in the basement?
In the end, the basics of less taxes and less government must be continually articulated. There will always be people, holding to philosophies, that makes them think that they have a right to other people’s life. And, regardless of the last 30 years of prosperity, we will have to re-articulate the truths just as much as we did in 1980. This re-articulation is more urgent now since Obama won, in part, because most of his electorate simply forgot the world that existed before 1980 in the Carter years.
The example of former NJ Senator, now governor, Corzine is the instructive example. So, is the wealthy, self-financed opposition to Senator McConnell from Kentucky. This is a pattern of the Democrats finding wealthy individuals to run for national office on their own dime. Where, such self-financing is unavailable, the Democrats have managed to exploit every fund-raising loophole in the book and cheat as well. And, it is not the twenty or fifty bucks from the little guy. But, it is large dollar contributions from very wealthy individuals.
These are individuals that will still gas up their SUV’s and private jets with ten dollar per gallon gas. They don’t worry about mortgages since real estate is now a commodity to them. Taxes longer matter since they have their wealth imbedded with so many protections such as trust funds. Or, money quietly salted away overseas; Rangle isn’t an exception just stupid for letting his Bahamas cookie jar come to light. Many expenses that would come out of after tax dollars for lesser mortals are in-kind income in the form of “business expenses.” And, in any event, these are people who are in such demand that they can easily command compensation that factors out any tax increase their Democratic party fellow travelers may unleash on the rest of the country.
What gives? It seems as if the country club Republicans are now the country club Democrats.
But, this behavior makes sense. It is the attraction to socialism that now makes the Democratic party the party of the rich and powerful. Because, socialism is ossification of social mobility. It is a system to allow those who have made it to slam the door on those who want to make it. It is a system that allows those in power to maintain that power against all challengers and to pick and choose who will be allowed to join them. Kind of like king-making in Chicago Machine politics.
It is in fact an ossification of social mobility that very much resembles royalty. Instead of honorifics as count, earl or duke we have new honorifics as CEO and CFO. Socialism is merely royalty dressed up in 20 or 21st century clothing.
The attraction to socialism, or royalism, is obvious. These individuals know they how they made their money. Or, how it made one or two generations prior. It came from two factors; see and exploiting a need in the current status quo and thereby upending it. And, it always involved bringing, to the common man, some good or service heretofore reserved for the rich and powerful.
Standard Oil was about the rationalization of the oil industry to bring kerosene cheaply to the public. Kerosene represented cheap, clean and safe indoor lighting.
Henry Ford wasn’t about the Model T; but about bringing personal transportation to the masses. Prior to that personal transportation was carriages, horses and livery; all very expensive and reserved to the rich. Were the environmentalists’ jihad against the internal combustion engine to succeed, it would leave the common man at the mercy of government for transportation, Amtrak and inter-city busses.
William Levitt wasn’t about Levittown but about bringing the equity of home ownership again to the masses. That is, in the pre-ACORN era when equity was built out of 20 percent down, 30 year fixed rate mortgage.
All of this economic activity now needs to be controlled so as to prevent any more upstarts from horning in on the field of privilege that these Democrats want to keep for themselves. So, now Joe-the-Plumbers need to be slapped down with high taxes. Little business needs to be carefully regulated, lest another bright idea pours forth from someone garage to take the world by storm.
And, if you can’t tax new ideas into oblivion, you’ve got the cap-and-trade of carbon credits. This is just a modern National Recovery Act wet dream. (And, if you coordinate that with any obeisance to the UN, you’ve just elevated the UN to the status of the League of Nations.) For the well connected, those with lots of campaign cash, bribing the cap and trade commissars will just be just another business expense. Joe-the-plumber is just going suck in up as a wage slave.
The attraction of the Democrats to the rich is the ability to create an exclusive circle of power and privilege and have the government patrol the perimeter to keep it secure. Secure from the unwashed masses, the lumpenproletariat.
Socialized medicine? You can bet that the elite will never face the prospect of lowest common denominator medical care. Lowest common denominator being the state of all things socialist. But, such a system will have the ability to emasculate one of societies most objective meritocracies. Further, the degree of MD has been one of the most efficient ways to propel individuals from the lowest to the highest socio-economic strata in a single generation.
The last thing we need is independent doctors refusing to participate in abortions or euthanasia. Frankly, I don’t think the elite care about abortion, per se. What they care about is the arbitrary power of life and death without due process, and, as an added bonus, an ability to stick it to Judeo-Christian morality. Further, with socialized medicine will come rationing. The most expensive hospitalization is your last one and the most expensive year, medically, is your last year of life. One-third of all Medicare expenditures cover those expenses. What wonders a $40 vial of penothal will do for rationing medical care; especially since it’s a multi-use vial.
But, Greenspan, will be allowed to live since he made his confession to congress, al la Cultural Revolution style, that lack of regulation was the reason for our latest financial meltdown. He’ll also be allowed to remain on the Georgetown cocktail party A-list.
In many respects, the Democrats and Republicans are reverting to form; circa 1860. Here we had the Democrats fighting for the status quo with the Republicans fighting to abolish slavery and polygamy. Polygamy was the “gay marriage” issue of that day. Lost in the carnage of the Civil War was the Abraham Lincoln of individual economic opportunity. It was Lincoln who fought for policies that would give the average man a crack at an independent means of support; modern translation, small business.
It was the Land-grant University, the Morrill Act of 1862, that expanded educational opportunity. A system of higher education to teach agriculture (food to feed people not distill into ethanol), military tactics (ROTC, not peace studies), mechanic arts (we have a country to build and not deconstruct) and classical studies (not queer studies and anger management).
Lincoln push through the transcontinental railroad. With such, utterly inaccessible land on the plains and in the inter-mountain West now became available for economic opportunity. Especially land, the one commodity, that more than any in Europe, that distinguished royalty from the serf.
Now, we can make sense of what is really happening in the volitility and variability of the polling data for the 2008 election cycle; as remarked upon by Jay Cost at RCP. Variability that doesn’t show the data lining up in any sort of bell curve. Standard deviations that are double those of the 2004 election cycle.
The key passage is “concerted voter suppression effort by the MSM.” Without getting into any conspiracy theory, the beyond blatant MSM bias more than makes the case for an almost monolithic support for Obama. Moreover, despite the resources and time, it has made little to dig into Obama’s past. A past that, given a different ideological paradigm, would have been more than apparent. Bloggers for small publications have managed to dig up Obama’s socialist past. And these same said individuals have tied Ayers around Obama’s neck. Large organizations would, if they really wanted to, could have, with their in-house resources and expertise, could have done all of that in about twelve hours; back in January 2008. And, the two local Chicago MSM giants the Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune, with their local contacts and experience, could have done it in two hours. And, if the late Mike Royko, perhaps the dean of the anti-Chicago Machine muckrakers, were still alive, Obama would have been laid bare in about two minutes.
But, none of this was ever done. It was far more important to smear Palin’s 17 year old daughter than to question “the One.”
Which brings us back to the polls. We have to realize that many of these polling firms have as clients, the MSM and other fellow-traveller organizations. So, we have to ask what are these clients really buying? I’m sure it’s accurate information for internal use. But, are they also issuing doctored information for public consumption? Would these polling firms be getting the business they have if they were reporting, say, McCain kicking Obama’s butt? Or, is what is being reported a lie?
If, indeed, someone is cooking the books, then we have a very logical explanation for this poll variability. The liars aren’t getting their story straight.
The Market slide continues. The MSM has successfully hidden a lot of the truth of Obama and his socialist, that is, Democratic Party fellow travelers. But, the markets don’t lie and the truth is slowly leaking out. Unfortunately, while a lie will travel half way around the world while the truth is just saddling up. And, one week till the election is just too short a time for the truth to truly resonate.
What is being discounted? Foremost is the slow accretion of policies that have diverged from the simple message of Reagan of low taxes and low regulation.
First, the markets are discounting the fundamental deceit of socialism. The whole premise of socialism is using the coercive power of government to take from what are deemed less deserving groups and giving what is taken to what are deemed more deserving groups. What is deemed more or less deserving is entirely left to the whim of the self-made philosopher kings of Obama and his party stalwarts.
But, in making those distinctions, some how a lot of cash manages to remain in the pockets of those philosopher kings. Like Franklin Raines recent multi-million dollar condo purchase. Like Obama’s 1.5 million dollar mansion with some discounting courtesy Rezko and a sweet heart mortgage. Like Michele’s job promotion and a doubling her salary to $300,000 per annum. Like the hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign cash to each of the Democrat congressional leaders from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Or, the special loans to Dodd, Senator from the great state of Countrywide. This is no different than the Communist Party leaders of the old USSR being whisked to work in their Zil limousines or spending their weekends in their country dachas.
This is crony capitalism. Or, for a party hacks like Obama, this is Chicago Machine party graft and favors. Obama mastered that system and is being richly rewarded.
Restraint in taxing and spending is dictated by maintaining a delicate symbiosis between the host that is the private sector and the parasite that is the government. It about fleecing your sheep to within an inch of their lives; yet keep your sheep alive to so as to have something to continue to fleece.
There was a very successful economic paradigm established by Reagan that the Democrats managed to destroy by their corruption. Now they are on the verge of seizing power trying to sell the proposition that the current economic crisis is a failure of free market economics. Only, the markets are not buying that the what has worked so well for the last thirty years is now suddenly decrepit and will be replace by a socialist economic paradigm that will, in spite of its abysmal record over the last century, all of a sudden perform in a manner that will completely belie its past performance.
The next issue is energy. This is tightly tied to the conceit of environmentalism and it current bandwagon of global warming. And, this will be one of the principal vehicles to burden our economy with regulations that will allow economic micro-management right down to the carbon footprint of the weed whacker in your garage. It will also create vast opportunities for graft and favors as business, large and small, will need to pay tribute to the cap-and-trade commissars that will stand astride all business and economic aspirations of all of our Joe-the-Plumbers.
Attempt after attempt has been made to come up with a rational energy policy that have been stymied by the very forces that now threaten to control the White House and both houses of Congress. In fact, if it weren’t political suicide, you’d have European style gas taxes and five, six, seven dollar per gallon gas years ago. In fact, for many of these same Democrats, the four-dollar per gallon gas of last summer was a dream come true.
All of this mess concerning energy comes down to down the line opposition to domestic offshore drilling; we couldn’t have oil derricks spoiling the view from all of the multi-million Malibu mansions of Barack’s Hollywood donors. No ANWR, oil shale or nuclear power. Detroit’s big three auto manufacturers were actually in the process of recovery until this latest energy crunch and four-dollar gas totally upended those plans. And, even before the mortgage crisis really hit, high priced energy, due to this purposeful inaction, was already starting to drag down our economy.
Third factor that the market is discounting is that the Democratic leadership about to take control is economically ignorant. As in rank ignorance. Both Obama and Biden never worked out side of a career that involved spending other people’s money. Obama’s career has been organizing vote fraud through his connections at ACORN. Or, working with his pal Ayers on the Chicago Annenberg Challenge to distribute $100 million in graft.
Biden graduated from law school in 1969 and was elected to the Senate in 1972; a man who has spent his entire adult life as a Senator. For the last 36 years, for essentially all his life, Biden has drawn a paycheck from the Senate; his only job. A community organizer with the honorific of “Senator.”
McCain has been in government employ for all of his life–Naval officer, congressman, senator. But, he has the decency to at least not presume to tell others how to live their lives or earn their livings. He has the decency, in private economic affairs, to keep his mouth shut and his hands to himself.
And, Palin; probably one of the few politicians on the Washington scene who isn’t a millionaire. Probably one of the few politicians who’s net worth is comfortably this side of $500,000. A politician, who with her husband, actually ran a business.
We have a whole Democratic hierarchy who simply has no clue as to what Joe-the-plumbers go through on a day to day basis to juggle business demands, payrolls, rent, taxes, and the like. Obama’s proposal to grant a $3000 tax credit two years running for every new job created amply demonstrates this vast void of economic understanding.
From my point of view, as a small businessman, a new employee will cost my business $50,000 to $70,000 per year. For my practice to hire a nurse will cost about $25 per hour. That works out to $1000 per week; or $50,000 per year. Then you add in medical benefits, Social Security, safe-harbor 401K contributions and you’re easily adding another $20,000. Barack’s proposed $3000 chickens–t check is not going to sway a single business to add a single job.
Or, again the ridicule heaped on Joe-the-Plumber, by Biden, for the temerity to have aspirations in excess of $250,000 again reflects a complete ignorance as to what it takes to run a business. Even in “small” business, $250,000 is not a lot of money. Between trucks, tools, inventory, shop facilities, employee wages and warehousing $250,000 gets eaten up very rapidly. Remember, business expenses have to be paid up front; you don’t maintain inventory on consignment.
Economic knowledge for the likes of Obama and Biden was having supply and demand concepts learned in Econ 101 deconstructed by some Marxist professor. For much of the claque that seems poised to run the White House and both Houses of Congress, intellectual discourse is the college dorm room bull sessions now continued in the Hamptons over white wine and brie. Indeed, what passes for profound intellectual insight, is really abject fear over getting knocked off the social A-list for uttering the truth that Adam Smith economics still matters. That, what Joe-the-Plumber says actually reflects the real truth about basic economic concepts so derided by many an ivory-towered intellectoid professor.
Then, we get into the intrusion of the outside world. After Russia’s invasion of Georgia this summer, we have two rogue powers–Russia and Iran–that have control of significant portions of known oil production from the Artic Circle to the Straits of Hormuz. One of those powers is already nuclear. The other, in the grips of an Islamic death cult, is perhaps only a year away.
What if Iran detonates a nuclear weapon over an American carrier task force in the Persian Gulf? What will Obama’s reaction be? Will he be prepared to mitigate the sudden rise in energy prices? Will he be willing to acknowledge an act of war as such? Will he be willing to then act in a manner appropriate to an act of war? The markets know, just as does the MSM, what the real response will be; except the market are not hiding the answer.
William F. Buckley, Jr. once remarked, to the effect, that he rather be ruled by the first one hundred names out of the Cambridge phone directory that by the Harvard faculty. In that vein, the markets are saying the same; that they rather be ruled by the likes of Sarah Palin and Joe-the-Plumber than by the Georgetown cocktail circuit.
In the end, the only way out of this crisis is the promotion of economic growth. You know, the boring mantra a low taxes, low regulation and free trade. It just hasn’t the sparkle to get you into the Getty digs like Barack last spring. This is one of those situation where the more you do, the worse it gets. In some respect, you get a perverse pleasure in the prospect that the guilty parties will have the full responsibility of this economic mess thrust upon them. And, Obama will have the unique opportunity to create a legacy that will double up on Carter and Hoover.