By Alan Caruba
Just how close is the United States to being ruled by executive order? It’s a question worth asking given the flurry of executive orders issuing forth from the Oval Office.
It is perhaps a cliché, but it has long seemed to me that Republicans and, in particular, conservative Republicans, were the grownups while Democrats, liberal by definition, were the children; the ones that insist on instant gratification and for whom no lie is big enough to cover up their long history of failures.
Just over half of those who voted in the last election were so enthralled with the oratory of Barack H. Obama and the thrill of electing the first African-American President to office that they heard whatever they wanted to hear. I grant that the Republican candidate, John McCain, was no match for Obama. His voting record and general political views were so out-of-step with most Republicans that vast numbers of them stayed home rather than cast a vote for him.
The media played its role by elevating Obama to such heights he gained the mocking moniker of “the Messiah”. Time magazine put his face on the cover some thirteen times during 2008. An inauguration preview made it fourteen as 2009 began.
It helped, too, that the aptly named “Bush derangement syndrome” was in full throat to position George W. Bush (who could not run for a third time) as the cause of the economic bubble that burst toward the end of his second term.
When Bush first took office in 2001, he warned against “strong repercussions in financial markets”, but no one was listening. After 9/11 the nation’s entire attention was focused on the threat from al Qaeda and, thereafter, the war in Iraq. In 2003, when Bush's Secretary of the Treasury, John Snow, testified in Congress that something had to be done about the cascade of failed mortgage loans being purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Barney Frank (D-MA) who is now the chairman of House Financial Services Committee, dismissed his warnings saying there was no crisis.
Efforts by Republicans in 2005 and 2006 to staunch the bleeding at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government sponsored enterprises, were defeated and, on September 7, 2008, both were put into conservatorship, another word for bankruptcy.
Prior to and ever since the Crash of 1929, the Democrats have seen a recession or depression as an opportunity to build party power. The latest Obama executive order strengthens union power which has long been in decline and for very good reasons. One of those reasons explains why General Motors is soon to be in bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, we have a Democrat President and a Democrat controlled Congress. As much as I have urged anyone who will listen to email, call, and fax their Senator or Representative to tell them to vote against the so-called “Recovery Act”, it is likely just a waste of effort. They like their predecessors in the FDR years are hell-bent to repeat the same errors that prolonged and deepened the Great Depression.
The voters have elected dumb people who will do dumb things and there is no foreseeable end to the pain and misery that will follow in their wake.
The federal government, the cause of the present crisis, needs to recuse itself from further mindless borrowing and spending if there is any hope to avoid the train wreck, but, that said, we have the wrong people running the train.
The United States of America is in peril of becoming the biggest banana republic the world has ever seen.