Tuesday, August 3, 2010
900 More Days of Obama's Demolition Derby
By Alan Caruba
Since taking the oath of office in January 2009, President Barack Obama’s popularity and approval has steadily declined. As of August 4, he has 900 more days to go in his first and, likely, his last term in office.
When Robert Reich, Clinton’s former Secretary of Labor, writes as he did in the August 3 Wall Street Journal, “Whatever the outcome of the upcoming midterm elections, the activist stage of the Obama administration has likely come to a close”, the proverbial “fat lady” has sung. The opera is over, but not the time remaining for Obama to do more damage.
Rather than a laundry list of legislation that Americans want repealed, suffice it to say that his major legislative initiatives are widely regarded as weakening the economy while growing the government. In this he has been abetted by the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader, along with brain-dead Democrats in Congress who clearly did not bother to read the bills before voting on them.
The business and investor community, along with consumers, have reacted predictably. Trillions of dollars are sitting in corporate accounts as business leaders wait to determine the impact of Obamacare and other legislation. The banks, too, are hold off making loans for fear of inflation or deflation. Anyone paying attention knows that the Federal Reserve has been printing money day and night since the 2008 housing mortgage meltdown occurred.
A year and a half into Obama’s term, he “owns” the economy and with it the widespread view that his Stimulus Act did nothing to create any new jobs and only “saved” the jobs of teachers, police and firefighters in cash-strapped states.
Whether the government takeover of General Motors and Chrysler was a good thing or not remains to be answered. The Cash-for-Clunkers program did little to address the problems endemic to both companies. My guess is that Chrysler will likely go out of business in the none-too-distant future.
The auto union killed the goose that laid the golden egg. The government unions are sucking federal and state government budgets dry with excessive health and pension benefits.
Though it will surprise some, I think downsizing our military commitments in both Afghanistan and Iraq is a good thing. The former is strictly a counter-insurgency operation best handled by CIA operatives and Special Forces. In Iraq, about 50,000 forces will be maintained to deter overt Iranian aggression and to tamp down any internal militia movements.
Obama’s expressed intention of “transforming” America has so far manifested itself in ways that Americans are rejecting in ever-growing numbers. Thus, the fear understandably remains that he will use the power of the office to continue his goal of a socialist America. Already, Obamacare is being challenged in Virginia and likely to be found unconstitutional.
There is some fear regarding his possible use of executive orders, but he has used this device fairly sparingly at this point. Tradition requires that executive orders have some basis in existing legislation. Still the power can be substantial. President Truman integrated the armed forces with an executive order and President Eisenhower desegregated public schools with one. The courts have overturned only two executive orders.
Obama’s demolition derby will mostly likely to shift to environmental and energy regulation, specifically the imposition of “greenhouse gas” emission limits through EPA regulation. The impact this would have on energy costs would be catastrophic. Affordable energy and economic recovery are closely linked.
That leaves foreign affairs, always the domain of whoever is president. The world leaders have long since taken his measure and he has little real influence in this area as other nations, friendly or not, will largely ignore any of his initiatives.
After the midterm elections he will likely be the lamest of lame duck presidents. Blaming Bush or blaming the Republicans will fall on deaf ears as he has long since expended this option to the point of its having become a joke.
History teaches, however, that the damage a president can inflict often has long lasting effects, so the remaining 900 days require continued close attention and a constant effort to thwart this first and last Marxist president.
© Alan Caruba, 2010