BEST CASE SCENARIOS
Re: Philip Klein’s What’s the Worst That Could Happen?:
I have long held Mr. Philip Klein in high regard, and hope to read more of his reflections on political developments in the future.
In “What’s The Worst That Could Happen?” he makes a telling point: the “New Deal created the welfare state as we know it, and more significantly, changed the psychology of Americans so that they would look to government to solve their problems ever after, a legacy that Lyndon Johnson built on with his Great Society programs.”
This statement I agree with. And because I agree, I must take exception with — or at least wonder about — the statement from the closing paragraph: “America is still a right of center nation.”
Are we? I’m sure we’re to the right of France’s center, or Sweden’s. But if there was a truly objective way to plot a nation’s standing on a continuum of freedom to the right and statism to the left, could we truly be called a land of right-of center conservatives? We have surely shifted well to the left of where our own center was, just a generation ago.
John McCain is undeniably more conservative than Barack Obama, in the sense that Oakland is closer to the Atlantic than San Francisco. But if Goldwater is the exemplar of a conservative then — correct me if I’m wrong — there is no action in America taking place on the right side of an objective right-left line.
Our conservative party (conservative by the standard of the moment) is the one that gave us federally-funded pharmaceuticals, No Child Left Behind, IAIA (illegal amnesty for illegal aliens), and pointedly did not give us secure borders, nor a means to remove illegal foreigners from our midst.
Look again, please, at the first quotation above. Then look around you and see the effects of the new American psychology on American life. Formerly, American figured that having a government to fill in the potholes and deliver the mail was nice, as long as it didn’t get in the way of freedom. Now, as Mr. Klein points out, we trade away our freedoms to have the government solve whatever problem we are too ignorant or lazy to solve for ourselves. Statism came to us slowly and quietly, like a glacier, and like a glacier, statism is nearly impossible to turn back.
What’s the worst that could happen? Look around. It already has.
— Byron Keith
Contrary to the title of his article, Philip Klein actually articulates a best case scenario, not worst case.
If McCain were to win in November, logic suggests that McCain would provide some coattails, however modest, with the practical effect of the Republicans keeping the Democrats from the magic sixty vote majority in the Senate.
But if Obama were to win in November, remember, the question is what’s the worst that could happen, then Obama’s coat-tails would push the Democrats to the filibuster proof majority and render the Republicans in the Congress completely inert for the next two years. They might as well save the travel expenses and stay home for the duration. Mr. Klein does not mention this scenario. Strike one.
Mr. Klein does concede that the worst long-term damage that an Obama Administration and all Democrat Congress could inflict would be a federal socialized medical system. But Mr. Klein then drops to his knees in prayer that Obama would prove to be the conservative to the Congress’ rampaging liberal. Assuming your prayers will be answered is not worst case thinking! You can bet the mortgage, with or without a federal foreclosure bailout provision, that before the mid-term elections of 2010, private medicine in America would be dead, in the ground, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Strike two.
And Mr. Klein completely omits mention of “drilling,” “energy,” “oil,” or “nuclear,” except for connecting the latter to Iran’s weapon program. There should be no doubt that an Obama Administration, worst case, would cripple U.S. industry and consumers with an inevitably permanent carbon tax, and all the other items on the environmental extremist wish list. Strike three.
As Mr. Klein walks in sadness to the dugout, consider his final “Nobody knows how Obama would actually behave were he elected.” Well I don’t pretend to be psychic or clairvoyant, but I absolutely positively do know how Obama and his Democrats in the Congress would behave. As far as the America that we know and love, in the words of Peachy Carnehan to Daniel Dravot, “the jig is up.”
— Frank Natoli
Newton, New Jersey
I have a few more worst case scenarios. From the foreign policy side, Obama could send troops into Pakistan to chase bin Laden, destabilizing the country and causing failure of the Musharaff government with subsequent takeover by the Islamists. The Islamists then attack Afghanistan to put the Taliban back in power. Perhaps a nuclear weapon or two gets lobbed at our bases there. In Iraq, Obama fulfills his pledge and starts pulling out troops as fast as possible. Hopefully the Iraqi government could withstand this, but who knows? In Iran, Imanutjob proceeds full speed ahead with his nuclear program because he knows that Obama will do nothing about it and if Israel tries, Obama will throw them under the bus. Imanutjob then launches his nukes at Israel, as he has pledged to do, and Armageddon ensues. In the meantime, Obama refuses to enforce the very national intelligence bill he just voted for, citing new information that he just learned.
On the domestic policy side, taxes get raised within the first 100 days, sending the stock market into a tail spin. With all the turmoil in the Middle East and no increased production here at home, oil hits $300 a barrel. I predict it will hit $200 a barrel the day after Obama becomes President-elect. People, especially those with capital, will tighten their belts and the Depression will be a pleasant memory. People will then beg Lord President Obama to take over health care. On the plus side, this will lessen our Social Security liability as health care gets rationed for the elderly. Justices Kennedy and Thomas retire for whatever reason and now the court make-up goes from 4-4-1 to 6-3.
Note that every one of my scenarios are plausible and require no action on the part of Congress, even raising taxes since the tax cuts aren’t permanent. The Democrats in Congress will spend their time fighting among themselves to see who can over-reach the farthest, so their impact will be minimal. All of Obama’s pronouncements are subject to change. All of them including his supposed feints to the right.
Hillary would have been irritating and I don’t like McCain any more than the next guy, but Obama will be a disaster for this country. He’s the worst kind of politician: the kind who believes his own press.
— Andrew J. Macfadyen, M.D.
So let me see if I’ve got even a hint of what Philip Klein has said. Other than the tax disaster and government controlling our health via a national healthcare system Obama would create, other than weakening our country’s security, other than these things, things might not be so bad with Obama?
BTW: Klein may think it’s “another good sign” that “Obama has reversed his progressive stances on public financing, trade, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and gun control, among others…”
But, respectively, if Klein and others actually believe anything that issues from Obama’s mouth that’s anywhere right of his extremist leftist positions is anything but politically expedient hot air, then I suggest they’ve either got a serious blind spot in their discernment and/or they’re kidding themselves.
Given how Obama’s lunged right recently and how he’s changed positions so quickly and frequently that not even his advisers can agree on what’s what, how can anyone believe anything he says?
— C. Kenna Amos
Princeton, West Virginia
With the possibility of an Obama Administration becoming more likely, I think Philip Klein’s article is timely. And while it may an exercise in futility to attempt to predict what an Obama presidency would actually do, I think it is worthwhile to at least look at the economic ramifications. I know many Democrats and “moderates” will not be swayed by predictions of disaster, as they can point to 8 years of Bill Clinton (through rose colored glasses, of course) and the post 1995 growth and the subsequent internet revolution. However, the economic scene is totally different in 2008 than 1992, and demographics may finally pose the biggest challenge no matter who is president.
Philip Klein does point out the dangers that an Obama presidency may pose in terms of enacting Universal Coverage, and allowing the Bush Tax Cuts to expire. The obvious combination of a massive tax hike (which is what the expiration means) and the incremental addition of hundreds of billions in new government liabilities make such a scenario unlikely from a political point of view. As Klein pointed out, Obama is much more sensitive to the political middle than his detractors realize. Wall St, contrary to many people’s perceptions, is filled with Democrats. The memory of the 1993 Clinton increase (passed by the Senate by one vote) is still vivid, and in my opinion set the stage for the Gingrich Revolution more than did Hillary’s foray into Health Care. Back then as now the Democrats had working majorities in both Houses; the taxpayers punished the Democrats a year later. The Democrats on Wall St wish for an Obama presidency to succeed, not fail. The combination of large tax increases (one also cannot forget the creep of the AMT on the middle class) and additional spending at a time when the economy is on the cusp of a recession is not only foolish but political suicide.
The other thing also to consider is the shape of that the economy will likely be in 2009. The Fed policy on interest rates may still save our ailing financial banking sector, but it is having serious repercussions vis-Ã -vis inflation. The weak dollar has caused an every growing bubble in the commodities market. Energy and food price increases are sapping hundreds of billions out of consumer’s pockets. The attendant problems in automotive, airlines, and RV markets are just a glimpse of what could be waiting for the next president. Couple this with the continued melt-down in the real-estate and mortgage sectors, and one wonders why anyone would want to be the next President. The beginnings of a Wall St Bear market also do not bode well for 2009. The exasperate matters, the first of the baby-boomers are now retiring. The single biggest class of investor is in this age group. Their investments represent trillions in the equities market. With a weakening economy these people may decide to opt out of the work place early and begin cashing out their mutual funds and stocks.
These economic limitations and challenges I think will prevent any major new initiatives coming out of Capital Hill or the White House. The Far Left wish lists of massive new taxes on income and capital, massive new spending programs, and a plethora of new regulations may have to be shelved indefinitely. Even 64-year-old radical professors wish to retire with their nest eggs intact. The last thing these people want is to see their $800,000 in vested annuities get halved by a Wall St sell-off. Most boomer retirement plans include traveling the world, or vacationing in Palm Springs, not working as a Wal-Mart greeter. All of a sudden we just might hear words like tax and spending cuts coming from a Democratic majority — of course, don’t hold your breath.
The article on a potential Obama presidency was absurd. Mr. Obama is far to the left and will have a very left Congress. Foreign policy will be a disaster and domestic policy will move towards a more socialist America. Problem areas such as the War on Terrorism, the potential Iran-Israeli confrontation, tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, Chinese involvement in selling weapons, an emerging threat from Russia, threatened oil supply routes in the Strait of Hormuz and Malacca, confrontations with North Korea and uncontrolled borders, all under the watch of an inexperienced and naive president! I will not go into detail on domestic issues from abortion (including his views on Accidental Birth) to transport of Obama’s envisioned “new sources of energy” (infrastructure needed for distribution of as of yet un-developed sources), An Obama administration will accelerate a move to dependency on government. A government run by people and a party who “knows” what is best for the American people and will create a society that stifles creativity and innovation but “takes care of the people.” Socialism? You bet!
— John J. Pilato, Sr.
Buffalo, New York
Whether by accident or design, Philip Klein has illuminated the primary reason some conservatives prefer a Barack Obama presidency as payback to the Republican Party for deserting them: no one man can ruin the country in four years.
Really? Jimmy Carter’s a benchmark. What makes conservatives believe Barack Obama can’t “top” him — decisively?
— Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida
Philip Klein wrote, of Barack Obama:
“Obama, by contrast, was just two years into his Senate term when he announced he would for president. To date, he has been the lead sponsor of 123 bills…”
I believe that, if Mr. Klein digs a little deeper, he’ll discover that Sen. Obama’s colleagues in Springfield and Washington were obligingly placing his name on their own bills to deflect scrutiny of his lackluster performance (he often voted “present” in Springfield so as not to “commit” on controversial issues — in Washington, he “misses” votes he doesn’t want to commit to).
The junior senator from Illinois has been groomed for this presidential run even before his 2004 keynote speech. His Saul Alinsky-style Marxist leanings have been downplayed and his paper-thin resume has been artificially enhanced.
Mr. Klein asks “What’s The Worst That Could Happen?” I’m of the opinion that a “President Obama” has the potential to make Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (“Josef Stalin”) look like a choirboy.
— David Gonzalez
I have to vehemently disagree with Mr. Klein’s all-too rosy assessment of a potential Obama-Presidency.
Mr. Klein reminds me of the Kevin Bacon character in 1978’s Animal House, screaming in vain to “REMAIN CALM!!! ALL IS WELL!!!” as he is trampled flat by a stampeding mob.
“President” Obama would be far worse for this nation, and do far more damage to the fabric of our society than Roosevelt, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton combined. The character of the Left has drastically changed in the last 30 years. Gone are the days when the Democrats could be called a “loyal opposition.” The Left in this country has become an openly disloyal and malignant presence that seeks power for it’s own sake, and despises the very freedoms and principles that make this nation great to begin with. Their policies are the policies that a “President” Obama would pursue with utmost vigor.
From taxes, to immigration, to race relations, to the economy, to Wall Street, to the war on terror, and practically every other issue of national importance, “Senator” Obama has openly demonstrated that his vision is completely and utterly out-of-synch with American ideals. The only difference in a potential Obama administration is that [shudder] “President” Obama would have the power and authority to make the Left’s vision into a pernicious reality.
Sorry, Mr. Klein, but I’m not ready to drink the defeatist kool-aid. What’s the worst that could happen if Obama is elected? To paraphrase John Lennon, “Just imagine…It’s easy if you try.”
— Gavin Valle
Peapack, New Jersey
I must admit I was staggered by Philip Klein’s article. Despite the evidence that Obama is a doctrinaire leftist Klein seems disposed to believe there is positive news coming out of his camp for conservatives. Unless one is an Obamacon or paleocon (both seeking to destroy the Reagan/Bush coalition of neocons, traditional conservatives and evangelicals) there is nothing good coming out of the Obama camp for conservatives. Wishful thinking that a liberal won’t be as bad as feared has empowered the left for generations. The Obama candidacy, like the blue dogs of 2006, offers conservatives absolutely nothing. Based on his history with the election stealing ACORN, minuscule resume and policy positions Obama will be worse than we can imagine.
So what’s the worst that could happen with an Obama Presidency? Since he’s an amalgam of all that’s bad in liberals it would not be straining one’s intellect to see him morphing into a hybrid of a feminized LBJ and feckless Jimmy Carter — vitriolic rhetoric without gonads and a bigger, more intrusive and expensive Federal government. If that’s not bad enough for Klein and other conservatives then heaven help our movement and country, because God can only save us from our own stupidity.
— Chaplain Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Mr. Klein falls far short of conceiving the worst case scenario under an Obama administration. The worst case scenario of course is that America would cease to exist as America, e.g., our Constitutional Republic would dissolve, along with civilization as we know it. This would be a not unlikely possibility. An Obama administration would be perceived as an extraordinarily weak one internationally, leading to all sorts of mischief around the world, with the Zimbabwe model predominating. Further, an Obama administration would be perceived as arrogant, insular, and unilateral, far more so than the Bush administration has been. He has already discomfited our European allies by stating that he would act unilaterally to pursue diplomacy with Iran, cutting Europe out of the process. He indicates that he would under no circumstances use nuclear weapons, and it is almost certain that Iran, for one, and North Korea for another, not having been cowed by previous more aggressive administrations, such as the Clinton and Bush administrations, not to mention the GHW Bush, Reagan, or Carter administrations (after all, Hezbollah car-bombed the Marine Barracks in Lebanon under the Reagan administration with no retaliation — apparently Weinberger feared Soviet retaliation at the time for any assault on Iran), would certainly not be cowed by an Obama administration, and there is little reason to believe that the entire Middle East would not go up in smoke during an Obama administration, while he orated about the events. Undoubtedly he would not pursue missile defenses, further alienating Europe, particularly Eastern Europe.
His naivete would embolden Russia to support Iran, pursue adventurism in Eastern Europe, align with China against European interests, and hamstring Europe, perhaps even dominate Europe entirely, and Europe would be unprotected with any missile defense, completely vulnerable to a mad Iranian regime incensed at Israel and the West and bound on destruction of the West even if it means suicide for them. Russia would foolishly support Iran right up until Chechnyan terrorists detonated a nuclear device in Moscow. If Obama pulled US troops out of Iraq entirely, a likely possibility, Iran would dominate the region unchecked and war against Israel would be inevitable. The supply of oil would plummet, the price would sky-rocket, and global recession would ensue. Pakistan is already offended by his statements that he would invade that country, and would likely come under the control of the Taliban anyway, and probably attack India with Nuclear weapons, while India would retaliate.
Internationally, protectionism would run rampant and the globe would be plunged into a long depression; war and famine would prevail around the world; the US would do nothing, could do nothing, to stop any of the above. International institutions would be fully discredited and prove to be completely ineffectual, as they already have been shown to be in Oil for Food and numerous other events, yet would be the institutions through which problems would be addressed, with complete failure.
Then it would require but one domestic terror event of catastrophic proportions, to which Obama would react about the way the Bush administration reacted to Katrina (Obama confuses the response to terrorism with a response to a natural disaster), to plunge the nation into economic chaos. With no effective national response (Obama, with his political correctness, desire not to offend voters, inability to make effective decisions in crisis–he’s never had to do that, and would likely function far worse than Kennedy during the Cuban missile crisis–would completely botch a response to a major terrorist event), Wall Street would crumble, financial institutions would collapse, shortages of commodities would become staggering, and one would begin to see complete societal chaos in America. In this situation, states or regions would start to fill the vacuum of leadership and lack of response, and areas of the country actually interested in their own survival would severe national bonds with other regions of the country for simple survival purposes (the US would collapse like the Soviet Union did — something Ahmadinejad is anticipating).
California would likely continue to block access to its offshore energy resources, for example, and the northeast would likely continue to support liberal and ineffective approaches that other parts of the country would consider preposterous, and one would then see a split in the country. Texas and parts of the South and the Midwest would sever political ties with the West Coast and Northeast, retain its energy resources, including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, to itself, and go its own way, perhaps in concert with other Southern and some Western states. One could easily see the country come apart at the seams. The extreme liberal ideology of Obama would make it easy for many more conservative states to split from the more liberal states, perhaps along Red/Blue lines. States in the middle (Purple) may find themselves left to their own devices.
He may prove to be more like Abraham Lincoln than Mr. Klein would ever want to envision in terms of eventuating the dissolution of the Union. I doubt that he would have the where-with-all of a Lincoln to keep it together, however. The result would be the end of the American experiment in liberty, permanently. There would no longer exist a super-power that championed liberty. Consequently the world would enter a millennia or two of chaos and darkness, descending further from our current level of civilization than the Western World did after the fall of the Roman Empire, remaining there longer–if the species survived at all (if nuclear weapons proliferation became universal and groups such as those in Darfur possessed them, one could count on a Nuclear Winter). Global warming would be irrelevant. The fondest hopes of the extreme Environmental community, e.g., the elimination of the dangerous Homo sapiens species, would be a fait accompli. The only problem would be that the rest of the biosphere might follow it.
We have already seen the degradation of the U.S. dollar, the rise of complete incompetence in the Air Force to maintain and control our own nuclear weapons, an incompetence that would vastly worsen under Obama as he would likely allow our nuclear arsenal to lapse through neglect. We have already seen the complete collapse of efforts at negotiating global free trade. We have seen the collapse of the effectiveness of the UN, the World Bank, and all of the international institutions set up in the 20th century to stabilize the world in the aftermath of WWII. America has lost its ability to influence and direct the world toward freedom and prosperity, mostly through the efforts of the American Left, which has Cuba as the model for America. We are witnessing the meltdown of our financial and economic system due to federal incompetence and Wall Street stupidity and lack of adult supervision as we speak. Our judicial system is on the way to collapse. Our regulatory systems are on the way to obsolescence and collapse. Our energy sufficiency is in question. Our capacity to manage our own economy and society is slowly collapsing, in terms of healthcare provision, home ownership, affordability of basic necessities, etc. Unfunded entitlements threaten national bankruptcy, if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mack don’t do the job first. The natives are becoming restless.
Hollywood has already shown us multiple versions of these apocalyptic results, from Mad Max to Escape from New York.
Mr. Klein is an inveterate optimist.
— Kent J. Lyon
College Station, Texas
If his messiahship is elected, and if, as many predict, he gets a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and a larger majority for Speaker Pelosi in the House, let me suggest a few for you. I list these in descending order of their effect on sending the former United States of America down the tubes and into historical irrelevancy:
We re-impose the “Fairness” doctrine, thus eliminating from the public airways all dissenting opinions and effectively voiding the First Amendment.
Obamamessiah proposes and the Congress passes his “single payer” health plan, providing health coverage for all Americans and all illegal aliens who want it, thus accomplishing the largest government takeover of a private enterprise in the history of the world.
The Anointed One effects surrender in Iraq, thus snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, emboldening our enemies worldwide and turning Osama Bin Laden into a prophet when he declared, years ago that the United States was and is, in effect, the “weak horse.” This will allow the Jihadists, including Iran, to turn their attention from Iraq to attacking first Israel, then the United States directly.
In league with the greenies and Gore led AGW crowd, Obama and Congress attack the “big oil” companies, thus causing them to relocate their operations outside the U. S. Drilling for known reserves on the outercontinental shelf, in ANWR, in the Gulf and recovering the 800 billion to 2 trillion barrels of oil in our western oil shale will continue to be prohibited as “environmentally unsafe.” Ditto any new refineries, nuclear reactors, or coal fired utilities facilities. Gas goes from $6 per gallon to $8 per gallon, thus causing major disruption to the entire economy.
We enact “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” granting amnesty to 20 million illegal aliens and encouraging another 20 million to “come on in.” This creates 50 million brand new Democrat party activists and supporters, thus insuring the continuation in power of the Democrat party decades into the future. The balkanization of the United States continues and intensifies, thus destroying the last vestiges of what was once our society. (John McLame smiles at the wisdom of the new President).
Since the electorate has finally come to their senses and elected a “progressive,” three justices of the Supreme Court immediately retire and we get three brand new, young and vibrant versions of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In addition, Ginzburg clones are appointed to scores of lower federal bench posts and they are immediately confirmed by the Senate in a voice vote. This assures that the last few parts of the U.S. Constitution will be declared null and void.
The Messiah rediscovers his hatred of the Second Amendment, because armed insurrection is now a real possibility. In the interest of protecting the public from right wing extremists, Congress passes a firearm confiscation law.
You want worst case? There it is. And I don’t think it’s as far fetched as some might believe, because Obamamessiah is not a Liberal — he’s a Marxist. A hard left Marxist.
Or, we could elect McLame and only three of the six items above occur. Either way, we’re toast.
— Keith Kunzler
Sounds like Mr. Klein is accepting the liberals’ premises, lock, stock, and barrel.
After running through a litany of liberal legislative efforts that would probably pass during an Obama administration, the author states the following — “All of these developments would be bad, but none of them would do permanent, irreversible, harm in the same way that the New Deal and the Great Society did.”
He follows it up a couple paragraphs later by saying “THAT IS WHY, on the domestic front, the worst possible thing that could happen for conservatives during an Obama administration, would be for him to create a government-run health-care system.”
Now, how can the reader possibly reconcile those two statements? A government-run health-care system would be a direct expansion of the Great Society. Worse still, it would in fact be irreversible. Name a single government program, instituted since 1934 and affecting the entire American population that has not been closed down and thrown onto the ash heap of history.
That’s what I thought. Mr. Klein needs to take his thinly-veiled moral equivalence to another publication, maybe the Nation, and stop using TAS as a paid advertisement for his version of post-modern “can’t we all just get along” political thought.
— Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
Since Mr. Klein’s tongue didn’t seem to be planted deeply in his cheek, his question deserves an answer.
Economically — trade wars, heavy tariffs and taxation lead to global depression (similar to 1929).
Judicially — rampant judicial activism on all levels below SCOTUS; most laws are interpreted on said levels. Erosion destabilizes the base and eventually the entire structure is brought down.
Militarily — the armed forces become underfunded and demoralized, much as they were under President Jimmy Carter. Afghanistan was under his watch; while this led to the destabilization of the USSR, this was more due to the Laws of Untended Consequences than anything the Carter Administration did.
Add to this, lax enforcement of border regulations and we may suffer the first nuclear attack on American soil.
Mr. Klein may be unable to conceive of these consequences, but that does not make them any less devastating or unlikely.
None of these worst case scenarios is a foregone conclusion with an Obama presidency, but they fall under the penumbra of possibilities.
Mr. Klein, it is wise to plan for the worst case scenario, but it is imprudent to invite it.
— Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
Mr. Klein does well to reiterate the possible difficulties caused by an Obama presidency. I’m pretty sure that there isn’t a conservative in this nation that doesn’t realize just how bad things could get under the Obama administration. Especially if he has the expected majors in the Congress to help him.
Oh, ye of too much faith.
Yes, this country remains center-right. We probably will for a long time yet to come. But our politicians do not, and therein lies the true worry. Let us hope that if Obama is elected, he moves to a very Clintonian leadership style. Right now, a windsock presidency would be far better than a truly liberal one. And the reason for this is precisely because we remain a center-right country.
Here is the worst that could happen:
Obama’s presidency is as bad as we all fear. He pushes the liberal agenda, manages to get a few things passed, let’s the tax cuts expire, pulls us from Iraq, Iran gets the bomb, etc. etc. Come 2010 there’s another Republican (not to be confused with conservative) revolution in the House and Senate. A Republican is elected to the White House in 2012. Great, right?
Wrong. And the reason is that we will have the same set of problems all over again. We may be a center-right country, but the people largely do not think of themselves as aligned to a particular political philosophy. They vote for a party. Consider, if you will, the general election outlook widely reported. It’s a good year for the Democrats, right? Why is this? Because a large majority of the country thinks we’re moving in the ‘wrong’ direction. The blame doesn’t go to the leftward lurch of Congressional Republicans (except in the handful of conservative publications such as the Spectator). Instead, the blame goes to the Republican party as a whole. The blame is assigned to the party, not the ideology. And here in lies the major problem of modern politics.
It’s not about the ideology. It’s about the party. The real fear of an Obama presidency is that he will do so badly that Republicans will return to power. But not because they learned their lessons and returned to the conservative ideology, but because the country rejected the Democrats. Progressivism will march on, only with a new standard bearer.
Until such time as conservatively minded Libertarians take over the Republican Party, and the GOP begins to make solid, principled, and logical arguments for smaller government, even when smaller government means not advancing a social conservative message, will real change take place. And if we want to see our government coming down in size, power, and spending, we first must make sure our supposed standard bearers make the point again and again; smaller government is better government.
— Charles Campbell
I think it is always dangerous to predict the future regarding political events. Lots of uncontrolled and unknown variables in play where as men’s ambitions and weaknesses are concerned. I’m baffled why any thinking person would need more than Obama’s voting record and his close associations and friends to have a clear understanding of who and what he stands for or against. Those that hang on every speech, every flip-flop, every apology, every correction, every what have you are driven by emotion and wishful thinking at best. If you haven’t made up your mind about Obama at this point you haven’t been paying attention and that raises serious concerns about your competence to vote come November.
If Obama has a core religious belief consistent with any flavor of Christianity, his actions, his voting record stand at odds with most tenets of Christianity. Condoning mass murder of innocent unborn life for purely convenience sake and the political support that bring is a pretty tall Christian principle to cast aside. Christ never would have run for political office or pursued dominion over other men as Obama will. He never would have used the power of the sword to relieve one man of his wealth to enrich another while expecting political and financial support of the benefactor. The “sword” is a necessary tool at times but when elected leaders use it to show they “have a pair” for domestic consumption unintended consequences usually follow. The Clintons emboldened a lot of mischief from some in Law Enforcement while they were in office. Obama will do the same because he is fearful of free men who “cling to religion and guns” as he puts it.
Given Obama’s reckless foreign policy positions and statements I think he has the potential to make Jimmy Charter look like a successful Presidency. The moment one of his arrogant condescending statements rubs one of the world’s dictators the wrong way or leads them down a path of false “hope or change” he could find himself off the prepared teleprompter script and into uncharted territory pretty quickly. Clinton came very close to that with North Korea very early in his presidency trying to prove he had a “pair.” Obama doesn’t do impromptu very well. Life to him has always been a debate classroom exercise.
I think the worst that can happen is basically unpredictable. The damage done to this country over the last 60+ years is cumulative and the accumulation of damage continues regardless of who is President (thus far). I think using the word “Clintonian” to suggest “pragmatic” with regard to either Bill Clinton or Obama is foolish. The Clintons went for the throat once they got their hands on power. The damage they did is not over unless you think cutting our military forces in half is a non event or ignoring the rise of terrorism and attacks on the US trivial. I think the author is putting a lot of stock in “hope,” “change” and wishful thinking with regard to what the worst could be under Obama. What he is has never been in question. What it will cost us as a people is the only unknown.
— Thom Bateman
Newport News, Virginia
Ever since Obama emerged as the liberal candidate for the Presidency I have been telling almost everyone I meet that, just as we could not have had Reagan without first suffering Carter, we may very well be in the same position at this point in History. Though his Marxism literally turns my stomach, I find that I most probably will either vote FOR him, or not vote at all. My thinking is as follows: If we are condemned to have a big government liberal (if that isn’t a textbook redundancy), then let’s have an avowed one who will expand government with pride, surrender with humility, and pander to every whacko constituency with alacrity. McCain will do some of this, but he certainly will not throw himself into it as will Obama. An Obama presidency linked with a democratically controlled Congress will do to this country what the Politburo did to the Soviet Union — that is, drive it into receivership. I am not saying that McCain wouldn’t do the same thing, however, he would do it much more slowly. Essentially, this election offers us the choice between a quick death, and an agonizingly slow one.
It is pretty obvious to those of us who have been around for a while that Obama’s lurch toward the center is an election year gambit to pull in as many undecided votes as possible. While it is almost impossible to elect an avowed straight forward liberal to a national office, many voters will believe the blather that Obama spews. These are the same voters who believe that the check really is in the mail and those other two of the three most common lies told in America. Good taste prevents me from listing the other two, but you know what I mean.
In the final analysis casting a vote for Obama might just be the most logical and intelligent thing that a voter, especially a conservative voter, can do on election day. We have reached the point in this country at which our tax burden, if it rises much higher, will literally bankrupt the producers. Small businesses have nowhere left to hide as the congress proceeds to Michiganize (my own coinage) the rest of the country. If we do not start to drill for our own natural resources in the energy field, disembowel the green movement, build new refineries for crude oil, and expand our use of nuclear power, and do these things soonest rather than soon, as a country whose economy competes with the other giant world economies, we will fall so far behind the pack that catching up will become well nigh impossible.
Perhaps Obama is the wake up call that the country needs, rather than the death knell that conservatives fear.
— Joseph Baum
Thank you so much for writing this article.
I get a little tired of all the doom and gloom that the media (especially talk radio which I love) puts out about Obama. I know he is not right for America but you make me feel that is not going to be absolutely wrong either.
I think we all put too much attention on what we don’t want and not enough of what we do want.
I am pro McCain! I hope he picks up the pace a little in the next few months.
Again, thank you so much for this article.
— Joni Ramm
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