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A test of conservative and progressive presidencies: who is Michael Phelps?
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The Reagan-Obama Presidential Olympics are on.
The prizes? Just as with the athletic Olympics, the goal is to win as many gold medals as possible. To become the presidential version of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, posing for history’s photo book with multiples of gold medals draped around his neck. The events? They are appropriately presidential-sized.
Just for starters, one has to win two presidential elections — which is to say not just be elected but re-elected, a presidential gold medal basic. Once achieved, the medals — Gold, Silver and Bronze — are won for tangible and presidentially universal accomplishments. No accomplishment — no medal. Lesser accomplishment — lesser medal.
As with the athletic Olympics, which divide into a general area of expertise — swimming, gymnastics, track and field etc. in the Summer Olympics, and skiing, snowboarding, or skating etc. in the Winter Olympics — so too do the Presidential Olympics divide into two areas of general expertise: domestic and foreign policy.
Within those two areas, there are specific “events.” Just as a Michael Phelps had to master the butterfly, the breaststroke, the freestyle and the backstroke to win his medals, so too must a president master the specifics of domestic and foreign policy to win history’s presidential Gold. Not to be forgotten is another Olympics regular — style. In the case of presidents, did they leave the country feeling better about itself — or leave behind a country howling with angry division? In recent times both Democrat Lyndon Johnson and Republican Richard Nixon, as successful as they were in other areas, failed completely in this category.
These specifics include, in the domestic arena, such things as job creation, the poverty rate, the unemployment rate, the number of new businesses created (specifically including but not limited to Hispanic, black and Asian-owned businesses), reduction of the federal deficit as a percent of GNP (Gross National Product), federal spending, the growth of the GNP and, yes, the growth of revenues.
In foreign policy, the gold medal is simply understood. If, upon taking office, the President finds a nation at war — did he win that war? Or lose it? Did he bring about a sustainable peace — or not?
This Reagan-Obama contest, declared by President Obama and lustily cheered on by his liberal allies in the media and special interest groups, is already on. In full swing. It isn’t close to over — and it will not be over until Obama is escorted down those Capitol steps for that last helicopter ride on Marine One.
But some of the results are already in.
• Getting elected and re-elected: Reagan has already won the Gold, Obama getting no medal at all here. Why?
Here are the stats:
–1980 (Reagan) versus 2008 (Obama), the first election contest:
Reagan carries: 44 states:
Obama carries: 28 states plus the District of Columbia and 2 electoral votes from Nebraska.
Reagan electoral votes won: 489.
Obama electoral votes won: 365 (that would be 124 votes less than Reagan).
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?