We seem to be taking a lot of shots at Mr. Obama and his crew lately. With so many arguments on the table, we sometimes lose sight of the basic issues at stake. I think it’s useful to make a concise list of the most fundamental stuff.
ObamaCare: Debt and inevitable bureaucratic mismanagement and waste is a big part of the argument against Obama’s proposals. (No, I do not believe the non-profit loss-making government plan will deliver more bang for the buck than a private for-profit plan, any more than the loss-making US Post Office does a better job than the for-profit United Parcel Service or FedEx. Governments are dumb.)
However the cost and clumsiness factors are dwarfed by the fundamental wrongness of allowing the government to become the biggest (and, according to Obama’s stated ambition, the sole) customer for health care. When your government pays for your health care, then your government determines what you get and when you get it. And if you don’t like that, then go home and die. Is that the position Americans want to place themselves in? Even if you trust Obama to make these personal life-and-death decisions on your behalf, what makes you think you’ll trust the next president when responsibility passes to (ahem!) her? Did you trust the previous president? No, Obama’s plan must be stopped at all costs. Free people cannot allow the government to have that much power over their bodies. (Note that I’m echoing the basic pro-choice argument, which most Obama supporters endorsed.) (Proposed slogan: “ObamaCare? Not over my dead body!”) (By the way, please be a sport and report the foregoing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your president will thank you.)
Spending and Debt: The national debt, once created, must be serviced until/unless it is paid off. That’s a top government priority; national finances come to a halt when a government defaults on its debts. More and more of our debt is owed to foreign countries; lately we’re borrowing from China. We’re approaching a future in which the top priority of our government will be to suck money out of the pockets of American taxpayers and turn it over to foreigners. This will put a serious and ever-increasing drag on the economy.
I understand we’re facing a tough situation at the moment, and a balanced budget is not immediately realistic. But Mr. Obama, like Mr. Bush before him, has clearly made fiscal responsibility his very last priority (this in the teeth of campaign promises to the contrary).
It’s worth noting that the only government programs Mr. Obama has seen fit to cut have been in defense spending.
Control and Micromanagement: There is a consistency in Obama’s approach to dealing with problems. If something is wrong, the government should take over. Banks, health care, industry…whatever it is, either he wants to own it, or buy it, or micromanage it. This is consistent with the heavy-handed ways the administration orchestrates press conferences and other publicity events: Maintain absolute control at all costs.
As with debt, I understand that sometimes the government must take a “hands on” approach to problem solving. But this is Obama’s only approach. He is truly the one-trick pony.
Do not forget that the Constitution specifically enumerates the powers of a limited government. I guess it puts me in the category of kooks and dreamers to dwell on this point, but much of what the government does these days is completely extra-constitutional, and thus illegal. This overreach would be stopped in the courts if the watchdogs of liberty had not gone into a state of hibernation.
Foreign Affairs: We have learned that Obama’s “reset button” boils down to appeasement of bad guys and harassment of good guys. It starts with the apology tour. He goes easy on the thugs in Iran; Obama doesn’t want to be perceived as meddling. Then he gets tough on Israel and Honduras, where I guess meddling is okay. Is it any surprise that North Korea and Iran are pushing ahead with their nastiness at full throttle? The lesson here is, when the machine is on fire, sitting with your thumb on the reset button leaves you looking like a fool.
(On the positive side, Obama has given appropriate focus to Afghanistan and the lawless regions of Pakistan, and he does not seem inclined to forfeit the hard-won victory in Iraq.)
Race Relations: Has the “post-racial candidate” become a post-racial president? Witness the “wise Latina”, and note the way Obama blundered into the recent Harvard fiasco. I understand he dragged Biden to the White House beer bash so the photos would be racially balanced; two black guys and one white guy might have looked bad. Are we post-racial yet? I’d say we’re acting as stupidly as ever, if not more so.
Gaffes: I’m not sure it’s proper for me to list this point, because we’re only human, and occasional misstatements are unavoidable. Nevertheless, there are certain gaffes that are odd enough to raise questions. For example, the “58 states” gaffe…that’s a mistake I can’t see any American making even on his worst day. You might fumble the number for a foreign country…Quick, how many provinces does Canada have? But getting the number of states wrong is like getting your wife’s name wrong.
Then there’s the “my Muslim faith” gaffe…If your faith is important to you (which Obama says is the case), you simply do not make that particular gaffe. Add to that the video of Obama putting his hand on his crotch instead of his heart during the playing of the National Anthem…well, this all moves into territory that Tammy describes as “the compulsion to confess”. Our president, in his inner being, is ambivalent about his nationality and religion. Considering this man is our Commander in Chief, his inconsistency leaves me with a very queasy feeling.
Economic Illiteracy: Obama’s economic thinking is fundamentally wrong-headed. People of the left focus on distribution of wealth, and are seemingly unaware that an economy must produce wealth. That’s how we get bonehead programs like “Cash for Clunkers”, which destroys working cars in order to replace them with new working cars. Car makers (including foreign ones) gain an advantage, but their gain is our loss: The program is redistributive in favor of privileged special interests, but at the cost of destroying/consuming more wealth than it creates, and it also runs up the debt. We’re led by blind ideology and cronyism, in direct contradiction of solid facts and with harm to the national interest.
The entire notion of “stimulus” is flawed. It’s a cliché, but it’s apt: You cannot consume your way to prosperity. Obama is not doing us a favor by borrowing money and buying stuff. “What do you think a stimulus is? It’s spending — that’s the whole point! Seriously.” These are the words of a dangerous moron. Seriously.
Transparency: We’ve seen a rush to pass a series of monstrous bills that nobody really understands, not even the lawmakers themselves. In spite of the promise to make this the “most transparent administration in history”, I bet not one American in a hundred is aware that cap and trade is fuel rationing and a tax. Just like many people don’t realize that ObamaCare is health rationing and a tax. Or that deficit spending is a “transparent” tax and you’ll pay it one way or another, sooner or later. Every one of these programs is presented in such a way as to obfuscate their real-world effect. If people understood what was happening, they’d riot. That’s why the rhetorical heat is rising, as awareness begins to spread. (Remember, boys and girls, report this to email@example.com.)
Done. My apologies; I really didn’t realize how long this list would be! Did I miss anything significant? Never mind, I don’t want to know!
The foregoing is a pretty formidable list of major problems with the path Obama is putting us on; problems that threaten to bring catastrophe or worse upon the heads of the American people.