Obama: Too Liberal for the Country; not Liberal enough for his Base

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 10th, 2010

Obama the Bridge Burner

In business, and in life in general, it is wise not to burn your bridges.  It pays to hold your tongue.  Unleashing a verbal tirade may feel good at the moment but it doesn’t make you look good.  It makes it difficult to salvage anything good out of a bad situation.  And more times than not burning a bridge will come back to haunt you.  For today’s enemy may be tomorrow’s ally.

President Obama is a smart man.  He may be pompous and arrogant, but he understands politics.  And when it comes to bridges, one would expect that he’d be prudent.  During the recent debate over extending the Bush tax cuts, however, he hasn’t.  Instead, his approach has been to basically say ‘flame on’ to friend and foe alike (see From Audacity to Animosity by Peggy Noonan posted 12/9/2010 on The Wall Street Journal).

President Obama was supposed to be announcing an important compromise, as he put it, on tax policy. Normally a president, having agreed with the opposition on something big, would go through certain expected motions. He would laud the specific virtues of the plan, show graciousness toward the negotiators on the other side—graciousness implies that you won—and refer respectfully to potential critics as people who’ll surely come around once they are fully exposed to the deep merits of the plan.

Instead Mr. Obama said, essentially, that he hates the deal he just agreed to, hates the people he made the deal with, and hates even more the people who’ll criticize it. His statement was startling in the breadth of its animosity. Republicans are “hostage takers” who worship a “holy grail” of “tax cuts for the wealthy.” “That seems to be their central economic doctrine.”

As for the left, they ignore his accomplishments and are always looking for “weakness and compromise.” They are “sanctimonious,” “purist,” and just want to “feel good about” themselves. In a difficult world, they cling to their “ideal positions” and constant charges of “betrayals.”

Waaa!  Waaa!  Waaa!  I hate you.  I hate you all.  I’m taking my legislation and going home.

The leader of the free world has spoken.

Dropping the ‘F’ Bomb on the President

And just how angry are those in his base?  Pretty darn angry (see Profanity, Anger Spill Over in House Democratic Caucus Meeting by Anna Palmer posted 12/9/2010 on Roll Call).

The frustration with President Barack Obama over his tax cut compromise was palpable and even profane at Thursday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting.

One unidentified lawmaker went so far as to mutter “f— the president” while Rep. Shelley Berkley was defending the package the president negotiated with Republicans. Berkley confirmed the incident, although she declined to name the specific lawmaker.

Not quite the ‘You lie‘ uttered by South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson during Obama’s 2009 health care speech to the House.  Actually, “f— the president” seems a bit worse.  That’s some pretty strong language.  In fact, it would probably be harder to find stronger language. 

Dropping the ‘f’ bomb on the president.  I doubt a Republican ever said that about Ronald Reagan.  Then again, members of Reagan’s party respected him.

Closing Gitmo was a Slam Dunk

This is the problem when you try to govern to the wishes of 20% of the population.  Pleasing this 20% just pisses off the other 80%.  And then the 80% votes against you at the midterm election.

Poor 20%.  And things don’t look like they’re going to get better any time soon (see House acts to block closing of Gitmo by Stephen Dinan posted 12/8/2010 on The Washington Times).

Congress on Wednesday signaled it won’t close the prison at Guantanamo Bay or allow any of its suspected terrorist detainees to be transferred to the U.S., dealing what is likely the final blow to President Obama’s campaign pledge to shutter the facility in Cuba.

Closing Gitmo was a slam dunk.  So what happened? 

Well, no nations wanted to take the prisoners.  The American people weren’t all that keen on trying them in the U.S. legal system.  And releasing them wasn’t a good idea because many just became terrorists again (see Gitmo Recidivism Rate Soars by Thomas Joscelyn posted 12/7/2010 on The Weekly Standard).  It turns out that Gitmo was a pretty darn good place to leave these bad guys after all.  Obama no doubt rues that campaign promise.

Obama Fails to Deliver Amnesty for Illegal Aliens, Too.

But that ain’t his only failed campaign promise.  There was going to be immigration reform.  Or, rather, amnesty for illegal aliens to increase Democrat voter turnout.  But this appears to be stalling, too.  And this in a lame duck congress that his party still controls (see Democrats delay action on young immigrants bill by Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Associated Press, posted 12/9/2010 on Yahoo! News).

The Senate moved Thursday to delay a politically charged showdown vote on legislation carving out a path to legal status for foreign-born youngsters brought to this country illegally, putting off but probably not preventing the measure’s demise.

Facing GOP objections, Democrats put aside the so-called Dream Act and said they’d try again to advance it before year’s end. They’re short of the 60 votes needed to do so, however, and critics in both parties quickly said they won’t change their minds in the waning days of the Democratic-controlled Congress.

Some days it’s just not good to be a liberal Democrat trying to govern against the will of the American people.

Damned if he Does; Damned if he Doesn’t

And some days it’s just not good to be stuck with a Barack Obama (from Noonan above).

The Democrats’ problem is that most of them know that the person who would emerge, who would challenge Mr. Obama from the left, would never, could never, win the 2012 general election. He’d lose badly and take the party with him. Democratic professionals know the mood of the country. Challenging Mr. Obama from the left would mean definitely losing the presidency, as opposed to probably losing the presidency.

That’s the problem with lying to win elections.  The truth eventually comes out.  And it has.  The moderates and independents have long since learned that Obama is no moderate.  But if he wants to remain president, he’ll have to learn how to become one pretty darn fast.  And lose what’s left of his liberal base in the process.

Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place.

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2010 Midterm Election: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 3rd, 2010

Big Cities, Big Union and Big Government

If you look at a map of the House election results (provided by The Washington Post), you can see the two Americas.  What you see is a red map with small dabs of blue.  And where are those blue areas?  The Big Cities, the big colleges, the big unions and the big urban concentrations of poor and minorities.  And, of course, the liberal elite in and around the Big Cities.  In other words, where you find Big Union (manufacturing, trade unions, school teachers and government employees) and Big Government.  And it’s the dynamic between Big Union and Big Government that empower the liberal elite.   Big Union provides campaign money and foot soldiers for Big Government.  And Big Government rewards Big Union by favoring their small minority over the majority of Americans.  It’s a throwback to before our Founding when kings and nobles ruled nations.  Political power is devolving into fewer and fewer hands. Into those little dabs of blue.

To get a perspective of how bad and how oppressive this ruling minority elite has gotten, consider two races.  Two people nationally despised won their reelections.  Barney Frank, who is largely responsible for giving us the subprime mortgage crisis, won in liberal Massachusetts.  And Nancy Pelosi, who forced her liberal agenda on the American people against their wishes, won by a whopping 80% in San Francisco.  This is what the Founding Fathers meant when they spoke of the tyranny of the minority.  These two have caused great harm to the American people.  Yet they represent such a sliver of minority thought in this nation.  They could not win a national vote.  Yet they can destroy a nation by winning their local vote.

But it’s not all bad.  If you look at the map, you see a lot of red in once dominate blue areas.  New England is not completely blue anymore.  New York State isn’t as blue as New York City.  Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan are red outside of the Big Cities.  Chicago, in fact, is a small pocket of blue adrift in a sea of red.  And in Washington, Oregon and California, if you move in from the Big Money coast, you see mostly red.  More importantly, if you click on the governors tab in the map, you see change, too.  New York and California are blue, yes, but there’s more red than blue overall on that map.  Which gives one hope that the republic the Founding Fathers gave us is not yet dead.  It will be hard to gerrymander those congressional districts around the Big Cities to give such little, elitist, local voices a large national voice anymore.

It’s the Economy, Stupid.  Was, and still is.

So, outside of the blue Big Cities, what do we know?  Well, the exit polling told us what we already knew.  It’s the economy, stupid.  We’ve lost too many jobs.  And that’s what we want.  Jobs (see Exit poll: Economy the big dog for worried voters by Connie Cass, Associated Press, posted on Yahoo!

About a third of voters said their household suffered a job loss in the past two years.

And as we lost our jobs, we lost our homes (see Homeownership at lowest level in a decade by Alan Zibel, AP Real Estate Writer, posted on Yahoo! News). 

The nation’s homeownership rate is at the lowest level in more than a decade, hampered by a rise in foreclosures and weak demand for housing.

And while we lose our jobs and our homes, what is the president doing?  Going on vacation to an exclusive 5-star resort.  And it’s going to cost the American taxpayer a pretty penny (see US to spend $200 mn a day on Obama’s Mumbai visit posted by Press Trust of India. 

The US would be spending a whopping $200 million (Rs. 900 crore approx) per day on President Barack Obama’s visit to the city.

Does the royal family feel our pain?

Not only do they govern against our will, but they flaunt it in our faces.  We struggle because of the likes of Barack Obama, Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi.  We lose our jobs and our homes (which is ironic considering we’re in this mess to begin with because of Washington’s policy to provide affordable housing to those who could not afford to buy a house).  And what does the ‘royal’ family do?  Go on vacation that will cost the taxpayers millions of dollars per day.  I guess they can’t feel our pain.  Or that they just don’t care.  So think back to last summer when you spent your family vacation in your backyard because money was tight.  And that team Obama will probably raise your taxes come January 1 to be ‘responsible’ to pay for their irresponsible spending.  Take solace in the fact that at least he could live large on your dime.  Even if you had to spend summer ‘staycation’ in your backyard.

As we proceed from the 2010 midterm elections, do not forget the dynamic between Big Government and Big Union.  It won’t be easy, but they’ll continue to try to help fund those under-funded union pension plans.  And they will point to the Republicans as obstructionists.  That they need to compromise.  Put partisanship behind us.  Especially now.  Since they lost the House of Representatives, the Left can’t be partisan anymore.  Like they have been the last two years.

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Obama’s Powerful Laser: His Laser-Like Focus on Job Creation Incinerates Jobs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - October 10th, 2010

Jobs are Job 1

Job one was to create jobs.  President Obama was going to use a laser-like focus on this issue.  To put Americans back to work.  Well, anyone who knows a thing or two about lasers is that they are highly concentrated sources of energy.  Someone should probably have warned the president about this.  Because the jobs he focused his job-creation laser on have simply disappeared.  Poof.  Into dust.  Now that’s one powerful, metaphorical laser.

The same thing happened with FDR.  Though back then the word ‘laser’ hadn’t made it into the American lexicon yet.  Of course, not knowing about something never stopped Roosevelt from trying to manage it.  He didn’t know anything about economics or job creation and look at what he did.  He expanded government control into the private economy like there was no tomorrow.  Talk about devastating consequences.  The New Deal policies extended a bad recession into the Great Depression.  A lost decade.  Thanks, FDR.  We can never thank you enough for all your efforts in destroying what our Founding Fathers bequeathed us.  And giving us the Cold War to boot.  But I digress.

Now Obama is pretty much picking up where FDR left off.  And taking it up a notch.  A man who never had a private sector job.  Never ran anything.  Never met a payroll.  Never produced a good or service anyone was willing to pay for.  Completely ignorant about how to create a job.  But schooled in Keynesian Big Government theory.  Just like FDR.  And he, too, is a destroyer.  Obama is smashing the economic engine of the United States.

Ten Years Gone

FDR gave us a lost decade.  Obama, too.  Or he will have in 10 years time.  Come to think of it, the 1970s were a lost decade, too.  Economically speaking.  LBJ’s explosive Great Society spending, NASA and the Vietnam War pushed government spending into the stratosphere.  That lost decade culminated in Carter’s stagflation and malaise.  To be fair, there were a couple of big-spending Republicans between these two bookends.  But it was LBJ who made it all possible.  And he was a Democrat.

Democrats seem to have one thing in common.  They all seem to be hell-bent to be the next FDR and spend this nation into another lost decade.  And where will Obama’s decade end?

Ed Carson writing in Investor’s Business Daily’s Politics and Markets Blog Capital Hill says Obama’s decade will end in 2020 (see U.S. Won’t Recover Lost Jobs Until March 2020 At Current Pace).  That’s when the number of U.S. jobs will equal what they did before Obama aimed his job-creation laser at them.  Or will it?  In a footnote, Carson notes:

The Labor Department said employers may have cut 366,000 jobs more than previously reported in the year through March 2010. A final estimate will be issued in February. That suggests job losses were deeper than expected in 2009 and/or early 2010 hiring was weaker than previously expected. Both would suggest an even-longer return to full employment.

In other words, the Obama administration has been cooking the books.  To flaunt their ‘Summer of Recovery’.  And to help beleaguered Democrats limping into the midterm election.  So, yes, the numbers are bad.  But they’re going to be worse. 

The bottom line: It’s quite possible that the next recession will hit before the U.S. returns to old employment highs.

2020?  If only.

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Delaware – Small State; Big Stakes

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 18th, 2010

If Charles Krauthammer told me I was spelling my name wrong, I’d change the way I was spelling it.  The guy’s smart.  Put him in a room full of people and he’ll always be the smartest one in there.  Karl Rove got George W. Bush elected twice.  Of course, you could argue he did that against two weak candidates.  Dick Morris did the impossible.  He got Bill Clinton reelected after a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the prior midterm election.

Delaware.  The Republican primary.  Tea Party (Christine O’Donnell) versus the Republican establishment (Mike Castle).  Ideology versus pragmatism.  Conservative versus moderate/liberal.  The prize?  Joe Biden’s senate seat. 

The conservative O’Donnell defeated the liberal Castle.  Now she will face off with the very liberal Chris Coons in the general election.  In liberal Delaware.  So, yes, there’s cause for concern.  If you’re a Republican.  The Obama administration is perhaps the most liberal ever.  And the nation is suffering.  Record unemployment.  And an abysmal economic outlook.  A liberal Republican versus a liberal Democrat would have been a slam-dunk.  A sure senate win for the Republicans.  Perhaps giving them that coveted 51st seat.  A majority.  To stop Obama.  And the far Left.  From further destroying our economy.  So what if we have to give a little on some social issues?  At least so goes the argument put forth by Krauthammer and Rove (and many others).  They see the O’Donnell win as a gift to the Democrats.  Because liberal Delaware will not vote conservative.

Dick Morris sees it differently (as do others).  If the economy was good, the social issues would take center stage.  But it’s not.  So the economy takes center stage.  And what fixes the economy?  Jobs.  And who creates jobs?  Businesses.  And which is the party of business?  That’s right.  Republicans.

Of course, general elections are not primary elections.  Turnout is a lot bigger.  Which means there are a lot more people to vote against you.  But they can also vote for you.  Ronald Reagan won over the Reagan Democrats.  Dick Morris got Clinton reelected by moving him to the center.  We elected Obama because he said he was going to govern from the center.  (Which he hasn’t.)  History has shown that running as a true liberal does not do well at the ballot box.  At the national level, at least.  And how will they chose in Delaware this fall?  Well, I guess that depends on the economy.  And their patience.  If the economy has recovered they’ll probably vote liberal.  If not, and they’ve tired of waiting for Obamanomics to kick in, they may opt for the tried and true.  And vote conservative.  They may not like it.  They may not have liked Reagan or Bush.  But they had jobs.  And, sometimes, having jobs is enough.

The Washington establishment needs to be disestablished.  But is this the time?  Guess we’ll find out in November.  And let us hope that – I never thought I would utter these words – Charles Krauthammer is wrong.

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