Sunday, July 25, 2010

"Reason for Hope?"

Greetings Comrades. I was reading the "National Review" one of the semi-rational rightist 'zines. Yeah I take a peak now'n then. They, and the Liberal "Nation" 'zine should form a bowling league they've so much in common.

Well in the sense that they're matter to the other's anti-matter.

Anyway they were going on as to how most just don't have the big picture regards Obama. Especially his own supporters. Ahem guys like me that are exasperated to tears with him. That, and the radical right already dancing on his grave.

Seems this incompetent weasel is in fact a seriously smart'n crafty mammal with a considerable win rate for so short a time.

Don't count this guy out yet these smart fascist say. His base, and the fringe right think he's history, but there's more chapters coming, and they look to be more than interesting.

Ironic that a rightwing 'zine gets me to reconsider this weasel, and even have a gram of hope.

Obama’s Second Act

In the political marketplace, there’s now a run on Obama shares. The Left is disappointed with the president. Independents are abandoning him in droves. And the Right is already dancing on his political grave, salivating about November, when, his own press secretary admitted Sunday, Democrats might lose the House.

I have a warning for Republicans: Don’t underestimate Barack Obama.

Consider what he has already achieved. Obamacare alone makes his presidency historic. It has irrevocably changed one-sixth of the economy, put the country inexorably on the road to national health care, and, as acknowledged by Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus but few others, begun one of the most massive wealth redistribution's in U.S. history.

Second, there is major financial reform, which passed Congress on Thursday. Economists argue whether it will prevent meltdowns and bailouts as promised. But there is no argument that it will give the government unprecedented power in the financial marketplace.

Its 2,300 pages will create at least 243 new regulations that will affect not only, as many assume, the big banks, but just about everyone — including, as noted in one summary (the Wall Street Journal), “storefront check cashiers, city governments, small manufacturers, home-buyers and credit bureaus.”

Third is the near $1 trillion stimulus, the largest spending bill in U.S. history. And that’s not even counting nationalizing the student-loan program, regulating carbon emissions by EPA fiat, and still-fitful attempts to pass cap-and-trade through Congress.

But Obama’s most far-reaching accomplishment is his structural alteration of the U.S. budget. The stimulus, the vast expansion of domestic spending, and the creation of ruinous deficits as far as the eye can see are not easily reversed.

These are not mere temporary counter-cyclical measures. They are structural deficits because, as everyone from Obama on down admits, the real money is in entitlements, most specifically Medicare and Medicaid. But Obamacare freezes these out as a source of debt reduction.

Obamacare’s $500 billion in Medicare cuts and $600 billion in tax increases are siphoned away for a new entitlement — and no longer available for deficit reduction.

The result? There just isn’t enough to cut elsewhere to prevent national insolvency. That will require massive tax increases — most likely a European-style value-added tax.

Just as President Reagan cut taxes to starve the federal government and prevent massive growth in spending, Obama’s wild spending — and quarantining health-care costs from providing possible relief — will necessitate huge tax increases.

The net effect of 18 months of Obamaism will be to undo much of Reaganism. Both presidencies were highly ideological, grandly ambitious, and often under-appreciated by their own side.

In his early years as president, Reagan was bitterly attacked from his right. (Typical Washington Post headline: “For Reagan and the New Right, the Honeymoon Is Over” — and that was six months into his presidency!)

Obama is attacked from his left for insufficient zeal on gay rights, immigration reform, closing Guantanamo — the list is long. The critics don’t understand the big picture.

Obama’s transformational agenda is a play in two acts.

Act One is over. The stimulus, Obamacare, and financial reform have exhausted his first-term mandate. It will bear no more heavy lifting. And the Democrats will pay the price for ideological overreaching by losing one or both houses, whether de facto or de jure.

The rest of the first term will be spent consolidating these gains (writing the regulations, for example) and preparing for Act Two.

The next burst of ideological energy — massive regulation of the energy economy, federalizing higher education, and “comprehensive” immigration reform (i.e., amnesty) — will require a second mandate, meaning re-election in 2012.

That’s why there’s so much tension between Obama and the congressional Democrats. For Obama, 2010 matters little. If the Democrats lose control of one or both houses, Obama will likely have an easier time in 2012, just as Bill Clinton used Newt Gingrich and the Republicans as his foil for his 1996 reelection campaign.

Obama is down, but it’s very early in the play. Like Reagan, he came here to do things. And he’s done much in his first 500 days. What he has left to do, he knows, must await his next 500 days — those that come after reelection.

So 2012 is the real prize. Obama sees far, farther than even his own partisans. Republicans underestimate him at their peril.

Charles Krauthammer

(Stolen from "National Review".)


LIno said...

Krauthammer-National Review-Fox "News" et-al.

Let's try some facts as antidote.

First off, things are not as bad for "O" as the media portray and the gop hopes:

Then a stumble over to that ol' fraud Reagan:

...And finally, a little piece I researched two years ago:

Job growth under Carter (1977-1980) was 3.1% annually. It DROPPED to 2.1% in the Reagan years, dropped to .6% in Bush I, increased back to 2.4% during Clinton's eight years and during the first three years of Bush II, it fell to -.7% (and I'm sure is much worse now.)

From Harding in 1921 to Bush II in 2003 (I only have figures until then), average job growth was .51% with Republicans in the White House and 3.6% with Democrats in the White House.

So looking at the numbers, I think it's obvious that supply-side economics does NOT work, at least insofar as job growth is concerned. Roosevelt averaged 5.3% annual job growth over 13 years. I know all the conservatives out there are frightened to death of a so-called "socialist" society, but at least it put people to work.

If the last few years has proved anything, it's that the rich have made much more while the middle-class and lower-classes suffered with not only no job growth, but no increase in wages and losses in buying power.

Since corporations no longer seem to have any moral imperative to actually employ people at living wages, we're quickly becoming a third-world country. I don't know who they think are actually going to buy the products and services they produce if no one has a decent job, but since corporations are only concerned with the next quarter, they don't give a damn.

In summing, the Republicans have always fronted with a "churchy" appeal to morality, but never let it interfere with serving their real masters.

Reagan: RIP. Legacy:DOA

Uncle 2012 said...

My fear is the truth in the numbers won't really matter. It certainly doesn't to the right-fringe, and these chuckle heads may take the House.

'But as the Nat'l Review sez that may not matter.

The worse they are the better for Obama's chances for a second term.

I'm confused.

Like I said it took a rightist 'zine to clear up the big pix for me. Why didn't Obama's machine do that.

They may be secretly fox's with sharp teeth, but they give off the aura of helpless weasels.

Maybe it's just me. I went into the "Obama betrayed us" mode early so maybe my vision is distorted, and we actually have reason to be hopeful.

If the smart, and rational right is worried then I'm optimistic.

Lino said...

"The worse they are the better for Obama's chances for a second term.

I'm confused.'

Well, Uncle, we have recent history as tutor here;
Clinton lost both houses in Nov 1994, but the GingReich era proved so venal and obnoxious that two years later, after being written-off by some pundits, Clinton beat Dole handily (much larger margin then Reagan beat Carter).

Second, poll after poll has shown that the tea party types inc. Palin etc are perceived as not competent and/or too extreme for all the nice Mr Smith and Mr Jones folks in heartland, so you will either get what is left of the moderate republicans or a mix of status-quo with a fringe of wacko conservatives..but too few to cause any real damage.

There are fundamental differences between 2010 and the mid-nineties that hamper Obama's goals.

1) Collapse of the Soviets and the so-called Peace Dividend.

2) No wars except of Kosovo and ongoing policing of Saddam (cruise missiles and fly overs).

3) Big item: the rise of the mainstream internet. This was a huge factor in both optimism and actual benefit.. True, it resulted in a bubble in the 1998-2000 era but the sale of hardware and added optimism at all the free content of the 'net gave a big boost to public morale.

We are not likely to see anything comparable in our remaining lives.

Yes it's true that many Americans are a bit stupid and prone to vote their fears and prejudices, but polls have also shown they know republicans are the party of "the boss" and resent them.

Obama is finally entering "campaign mode" and calling up these gop shits for the results of their past actions...Finally.

Anonymous said...

If you just paid attention, this would not be such a surprise to you. You give up too easily on things ... him anyway. Besides, a president has only so much control over what congress does, so he hasn't done badly at all.