Friday, January 30, 2009

Electing Dumb People to do Dumb Things is Dumb

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.


libertyforusa said...

When I saw the title to your piece, I had to laugh out loud at the truth.

When I linked to the story to read it- and saw the image, I really laughed at the depiction of truth!

When I read the story, I was sobered by the sad truth.

"We are discreet sheep; we wait to see how the drove is going, and then go with the
drove."-Samuel Clemens(A.K.A Mark Twain)

Alan Caruba said...

It helps to be able to laugh at the insanity of it all.

Anonymous said...

In Davos we have these dumb people gesticulating and filled with speeches of wisdom and caution. The world's MSM hangs on every word; high powered MSM anchors hang on every word.
The very people who are at the root cause of our financial demise are being fettered, fattened and pampered and treated as the white knights of our salvation.
What hypocrites!
I think it is absolutely iniquitous that these 'banksters' should still be paying themselves billions from bailout money and all they get is a verbal reprimand from Obama. What about getting it all back?
Are these people dumb or are we all dumb for laying over the barrel as they squander billions?
No, we are not dumb - we are just trapped and helpless

Alan Caruba said...

Amen, Clive, Amen!

Rich Kozlovich said...

Everyone might find this commentary, “Welcome to Flyover Country” by Patrice Lewis worth reading. I think it fits nicely with your commentary Alan.

Alan Caruba said...

I enjoyed this columnist's opinion about "flyover country" comprising that part of America that is not on the coasts in big cities or their suburbs.

I disagreed, however, their views and votes are regarded as not worth consideration. For example, it was Obama's win in the IOWA caucuses that really put him in contention for the presidency.

That's anecdotal to be sure, but a lot of fly-over folks surely must have voted for him. Enough at least to put him in the Oval Office.

Jack Vermillion said...

Let's see. I live in California so faxing, e-mailing and writing my elected officials to stop the recovery acts and such things might be a tad non-productive.

Makes no difference if we want Obama or by how much he was elected by. None at all. He is elected.

Conservative/Libertarian positions and thought is spent and dead right now. New ideas, new thoughts, new policy is required now.

The economy, energy policy, foreign affairs needs conservative analysis and input based on new thinking right now.

It does no good to cry about Obama if there is no counterpoint to present - otherwise you sound like the Democrats have for the last 8 years blaming Bush for everything.

Alan Caruba said...

Well, Jack, permit me to disagree. The GOP just elected a fellow named Steele, an African-American, to lead the party. He is very sharp and has the talent to rebuild the party.

IF the GOP returns to its conservative principles, those that served Ronald Reagan so well, they will gain momentum with every passing day of the Obama years. He has already stumbled badly with his Al-Arabia message to the Middle East and the economy is headed south because he will not cut corporate taxes, et cetera! And he will borrow the U.S. into the equivalent of bankruptcy.

In short, he's clueless...just like Jimmy "One Term" Carter was.

So I am not ready to bury the GOP or throw in the towel, even thugh I do agree that trying to get this idiot Congress to do anything sensible is a fool's errand.

Jason Bourdon said...

I can't help but get frustrated when I read arguments that have nothing but rhetoric.

Alan, I appreciate your position. I must point out that in your jabs at the Democrats, which is very partisan btw, you do not site a single reference.
You make sweeping generalizations:

"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."
- it couldn't be the case that some people vote on issues?

"the Democrats have seen a recession or depression as an opportunity to build party power."
-I believe some proof is required to make this statement legitimate.

These generalizations seems to run rampant on your blog. The fact that you state "I have several books to my credit" but do not list them in your profile is a huge oversight. All too often, the conservative voice in this country is nothing more than shock theater.

I am an independent. I vote for the candidate that makes the most sense to me. I make it a daily mission to seek out all sides of the story in politics. Please do not lose me as a reader and put more thought and prep into your rants.

Btw – I laughed at the title and the picture. Maybe next time you’ll convince me that what you’re saying is something more than smoke.

Alan Caruba said...

Jason, you are not obliged to read this blog which is clearly one man's opinion on events of the day.

It is not an academic analysis bolstered by footnotes.

It is a rock'm, sock'm commentary based on my experience and knowledge.

If you want to know more about my credentials, go to and you will find them there.