Mar 28 2009
Update: Even WaPo determines Obama’s decision to win Afghanistan is a gutsy continuation of the Bush policies. - end update
President Obama has demonstrated two things in his first few months. First (and worst), he has demonstrated how truly inexperienced and unprepared he and his team truly were. But second (and most unexpected), President Obama has not been a complete far left liberal as predicted by the cries of the far right conservatives (still in exile).Â
It is Team Obama’s inexperience and which have been providing the truly ugly side of his first two months in office. The Giechner debacle, the loss of control on the stimulus package to the liberal congress who turned it into a pork stuffed spendulus bill. A bill which will haunt team Obama to the next round of congressional elections since it cannot and will not fix the job situation (most of the jobs will not show up until after Christmas 2009).Â Interestingly, this inexperience has been getting more and more notice by the leftists – which could really cripple this young President.
His worst trait: Obama’s tendency to naively believe in the liberal mythology that government can be a viable solution is another of his weaknesses that produce ugly results. is there anything uglier than decades of uncontrolled deficit spending ending with a national debt equal to 80% of our national GDP (assuming our GDP doesn’t crash in the process)?
Yes, Obama is having his ugly moments, which is the source of his rapidly (historically speaking) dropping poll numbers. His endless spending plans are becoming an albatross around all democrats.
The ‘bad’ Obama is the lesser evil of the ugly ‘inexperienced Obama’.Â His ineptitude on the world stage with our allies and enemies alike has been especially painful to watch. I am sure the far left liberals in Europe are surely cringing as their savior stumbles like a country bumpkin at a state dinner. These stumbles are hard to endure, but they are not killing him and have little to no impact on the nation – so far. Obama needs to be very careful with Iran and others, so that this quaint bumbling is not transformed into a dangerous underestimation of our national will to take out our enemies.
The ‘bad’ category is the grey area which has confused the far left and far right. My view of the call for national service is it is the same lame BS we saw in the call for school uniforms by the Clinton administration (why was this not the next Hitler Youth?). The far right is trying to pat itself on the back for getting Obama right when he has drifted left, but he has not been a far left ideologue, but the fact is Obama is not the boogie man they claim, and in the end their ideological over reach is just the flip side of the extremist coin.
I place the decision to close GITMO into this ‘bad’ category because it is only has potential to backfire at this moment. Once something explodes on Obama (like the deficit spending) then it can move from this grey area into the ugly. The extremists keep predicting the end of the world before the verdict is in – which is why they are being tuned out by the nation right now.
Both left and right refuse to deal with science: the left with global climate, the right with evolution/creationism. The far left wants to dictate how we live as does the far right. They each demand obedience to their religious dogma when all they have a right to require is tolerance of their distinctive views. When either side demands their myths be taught as mainstream they cross the line and middle America sends them to the fringe to think things over.
President Obama’s ‘good’ has been an interesting list of decisions (not always reached elegantly or willingly). This side of Obama first surfaced when he walked away from the liberal Holy Grail of the the NSA-FISA conspiracy lunacy. President Obama has not attempted to undo the 8 years of fixes the Bush administration imposed on the FIS Court which allowed 9-11 to happen to a great extent. He has also refused to go on any witch hunts related to this liberal myth.
The second surprise came with Iraq, where Obama has decided to preserve the successes hard won by the Bush administration and follow a measured and success oriented draw down of fighting forces. It did not take a lot of arm twisting by the military and state department to jettison the liberal plans for defeat at any price. They can slap PR lipstick on their silly plans to surrender Iraq to al Qaeda all they want, everyone knows those emperors of defeatism have no clothes.
The plan to apply the effort to win in Afghanistan has been another blow to the far left Surrendercrats and the Doom & Gloom far right conservatives. Obama knows we have al Qaeda on the ropes and we have the potential to deal a death blow to them in the coming years. He has continued the predator raids on the al Qaeda havens in the tribal areas of Pakistan (see here for news on recent successful attacks and those of the Bush administration). He has kept pressure on Pakistan to clean out the rat holes in the tribal region and his decision to send more forces to Afghanistan to try and break the back of the Islamo Fascists as was done in Iraq. This is a very centrist decision which is driving Obama’s liberal supporters nuts.
And then there was this interesting turn around on lobbyist influence in the bail out efforts:
At issue is an unprecedented directive that Obama â€” who has long railed against lobbyists as the personification of a corrupt Washington culture â€” issued last week barring officials charged with doling out stimulus funds from talking to registered lobbyists about specific projects or applicants for stimulus cash.
Under the directive, which began going into effect this week, agency officials are required to begin meetings about stimulus funding for projects by asking whether any party to the conversation is a lobbyist.
â€œIf so, the lobbyist may not attend or participate in the telephonic or in-person contact, but may submit a communication in writing,â€ reads Obamaâ€™s memo, which requires the agencies to post lobbyistsâ€™ written communications online.
If only the congressional GOP had been so disciplined – they might not be in the position they are right now.
To me this all boils down to the fact that President Obama is not easy to label, and extremists left and right need to understand that crying ‘wolf!’ without any legitimate or proven basis is not going to get them any credibility. The fact that someone like Rush claims to be vindicated when Obama steps too far left on occasion is a joke – proving the old adage that a stopped watch is right twice a day. The far right have been predicting a lot of things, only some have come to pass. Many have not.
America would prefer President Obama not fall prey to the far left or right. We would prefer he succeed in the sense he reflects the common sense, common ground of the middle of America. The far right cannot claim their wishes for Obama to fail are proven when he goes on a liberal spending binge which will destroy this country. I do not need to be proven right about liberal drunken spending sprees by President Obama proving how bad it is on a country of as great as America.
Anyone who needs Obama to fail by proving far left policies are as bad as the far right (yes, there still are people who want all illegal aliens hunted down and deported) is missing the point. We need Obama to see the possibilities of staying away from the fringes and succeed to limit the damage to America – who cares whose ego is assuaged by implementing disasters!
Bottom line: As the economist noted today in lamenting Obama the trend seems to sum up with more bad and ugly than good – which are having an important effect on the electorate:
But at home Mr Obama has had a difficult start. His performance has been weaker than those who endorsed his candidacy, including this newspaper, had hoped. Many of his strongest supportersâ€”liberal columnists, prominent donors, Democratic Party stalwartsâ€”have started to question him. As for those not so beholden, polls show that independent voters again prefer Republicans to Democrats, a startling reversal of fortune in just a few weeks.
In the end it is the independents who select the winners. Right now they are not leaning towards anymore democrat foolishness. If this holds into next fall then the Democrats will be in a serious world of hurt coming into the first midterm elections (which are never good for the party in power). Ed Morrissey has some good comments on the Economist article as well.