So now, in the midst of a financial disaster, presidential polls indicate we will elect Barack Obama, the man who practically cheered this mess on and now promotes ideas that would worsen it.

I know, I know, he’s a saint, and it doesn’t matter that he emerged out of a shady Chicago political machine. Or that his community organizer days accomplished nothing. Or that he hobnobbed with a racist preacher and a now-convicted influence peddler. Or that he evaded tough issues with "present" votes in the Illinois legislature.

No question, he is eloquent and smart. He is also inexperienced and a consistent leftist, but let’s focus first on how his solutions to a situation brought about by excess are more excess. He wants ultra-spending to pay employers for creating jobs, to further subsidize mismanaged auto corporations, to dish out dough to undisciplined cities and states, and to wrap an extreme welfare state around the citizenry.

His craving, in short, is for more of the extravagance now bringing us to our knees. But then, considering his other campaign enthusiasms, this instinct for simplistic, interventionist overreach should come as no surprise.

We have, after all, witnessed his regulatory gusto, his sense that anything goes to bring unions back to power, his anti-trade demagoguery, his desire to take from one portion of the population to give freebies to the rest, his implied stance that government is the one-and-only answer for everything and an apparent desire to spend us into oblivion.

Once upon a time, there was a Democrat named Franklin Delano Roosevelt who told a nation that the only thing we had to fear was fear itself, and now we have Obama, who has been preaching fear throughout his campaign, contending we were in a recession when we were not, vastly exaggerating real but controllable middleclass problems and making endless allusions to the Depression.

What better formula to encourage stocks to tumble and banks to shrink from extending credit while discouraging the confidence needed to rebuild?

Recently, the government has gone further to nationalize our economy than ever before in American history, even more, some calculate, than occurred in the New Deal. Bush says he’ll retreat from this extraordinary intrusion as soon as he can, that he will get the government out of bank ownership and asset purchases, but Bush, of course, won’t be president for much longer.

Someone else will decide whether to proceed with a future that robs people of much of their freedom and ultimately diminishes their standard of living in the name of something for nothing, equality of outcome, the illusion of security, and resentment of the rich.

Should Obama become president, watch for him to take the moment’s socialist adventure to a monster level, making this emergency seem only a hint of what was to come, a precursor to free-market devastation.

John McCain has hardly been Mr. Hero in all of this. There was his peculiar criticism of the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, his pointless drama of going to Washington to fix things and then his wacky $300 billion proposal for saving sour mortgages and stabilizing banks.

He nevertheless understood the dangerous bloat of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and does get it that federal spending is an enemy that must be defeated. He has done far more than Obama to preach faith in our ability to overcome, and nothing to prop up panic, to make it seem as Obama has that our economy is fundamentally unsound.

To deal with this peril, McCain is easily the more trustworthy of the two.

 

(Jay Ambrose, formerly Washington director of editorial policy for Scripps Howard newspapers and the editor of dailies in El Paso, Texas, and Denver, is a columnist living in Colorado. He can be reached at SpeaktoJay(at)aol.com.)

SHARE

20 COMMENTS

  1. I believe Obama will be elected.
    I also believe it will be interesting to see how hard and how fast he falls.
    For all his “experience”, no one seems to be able to discuss any legislative accomplishments.
    He did well with voter drives and did a good job of challenging his challengers off the ballot. Despite his efforts, the southside of Chicago is still the armpit of America, with crime rates 80% above the rest of Chicago.
    No landmark legislations. No filibusters. Nothing.

    But he is qualified to be POTUS and if you don’t think so, you must be a racist.

  2. Well griff, you have your opinion as does most everyone. To be honest, I do think there is validity to your point about both parties having an aversion to really addressing the problems.

    I disagree that the sheep are being lulled; in order to be lulled, one must be aroused from the stupor. Perhaps some are putting too much stock in him relative to what can be delivered; that may be a collective reaction to the abysmal record of the Bush junta.

    Regardless, to me (and evidently most others), Obama represents a stark contrast over what we’ve known for so long, and is a breath of fresh air. We should all hope that, if elected (as seems imminent), we will all be, if not better off, than at least less bad off than continuing essentially the same failed policies of the recent past.

  3. jgw raises some valid point here:

    “I would also remind those who are convinced that ‘their’ candidate, if elected, is going to carry through on whatever was promised is an example of wishful thinking at its finest. Given what the new administration is going to inherit, there is no way it can be business as usual as we are in DEEP doo doo. All we can realistically hope for is that the new administration will be considerably more competent than the current, actually has the country’s best interests at heart instead of the pocketbooks of his ‘friends’, and will work to reconstitute those parts of government currently wrecked and unable to do their job.”

    Since I can only comment for myself, I agree that no candidate, including Obama, can carry through on everything they’d like. I also agree that a more competent administration takes over, as I believe an Obama administration would be.
    On a more macro level, for me, Obama’s basic view is much more in line with my own than McCain’s, and that is sufficient for me to support him. Probably the primary reason I support him (well, one of the primary reasons) is his focus on marshaling the talent and creativity of the American populace towards the goal of a ‘green economy’. That’s something that I think is achievable, and is something I have supported philosophically for the past 25 years.

  4. Are these the same economists that have been telling us all these years that the economy is strong and there’s nothing to worry about? The thing about mainstream economists is that they are nothing more than paid mouthpieces. And frankly, better doesn’t necessarily mean good. I have heard other Nobel economists that would disagree.

    Yes it is a bad thing to emulate the Republican’s lockstep behavior. These petty arguments over the myriad minutae only serve to keep the two-party clusterf**k going full steam ahead, and the people in the dark as to what really goes on in Washington. There does happen to be more than two routes we can go, and neither party is willing or able to stop the nonsense.

    The third world awaits no matter who wins this election, because no one will address the real causes or offer real solutions. Punishing one party does no good when the fundamental foundations for all of our ills goes unaddressed by either.

    The sheep aren’t awakening, they’re being lulled into believing that the other side of the coin is worth more. Obama and the Democrat Establishment is bought and paid for by the same people that own McCain and the Republicans.

  5. I would simply remind those completely outraged that Mr. Ambrose is, obviously, a True Believer. Anyone who recognizes this should also remember that True Believers BELIEVE and NOTHING changes their mind. Facts are not an issue and have no control over their knees jerking. They are completely deluded and find comfort in THEIR reality. My thought, therefore, is that raging at a mind obviously, and seriously, stuck in a different reality is a complete and utter waste of time. I have no doubt that Mr. Ambrose completely believes what he has written – its part of the deal.

    I would also remind those who are convinced that ‘their’ candidate, if elected, is going to carry through on whatever was promised is an example of wishful thinking at its finest. Given what the new administration is going to inherit, there is no way it can be business as usual as we are in DEEP doo doo. All we can realistically hope for is that the new administration will be considerably more competent than the current, actually has the country’s best interests at heart instead of the pocketbooks of his ‘friends’, and will work to reconstitute those parts of government currently wrecked and unable to do their job.

    jgw
    Port Angeles, WA

  6. Griff argues

    “There is no empirical support for Obama’s policies being good for the country either.”

    True enough, but the majority of economists surveyed (do a quick search) believe Obama’s plan to be the ‘better’ economic plan. This group includes the recent Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman. It is hard to find economists on the McCain tax train.

    “While I would disagree with Mr. Ambrose concerning his confidence in McCain, the rampant hatred for anything Republican has trivialized valid arguments concerning Obama’s policies. Is this the Democrat vision of unity – unquestioned loyalty to bad policy?”

    You mean it would be a bad thing to emulate today’s Republicans, who offer blind loyalty to Party over everything else?

    To be more responsive to your questions, I am not able to speak for the “Democratic vision” as I am an unaffiliated voter who just happens to be foaming at the mouth over the opportunity to help oust the dishonest, incompetent extremists who have hijacked the Republican Party and have driven this country to nearly third-world status. A post in a local newspaper where I live, written by a self-described Independent, stated (paraphrasing) he “wants to punish the Republican Party for the last eight disasterous years; not just on the national level, but on every level. I want to see the Republican Party destroyed.”
    That’s not necessarily my personal view, but it is fairly widespread, and I sure understand it.

    “I happen to think that neither candidate has the best interest of the country or its citizens in mind.”

    That’s your opinion, and you are entitled to it. As far as “sheep” go, it seems to me that what is being witnessed today in the political arena is the awakening of the sheep from their collective stupor, realizing with horror how disasterous the right has been, and are casting them out.

    The one ironic thing about this is that during the Bush crime family years, those citizens who expressed their opinions have been demonized and insulted as “unpatriotic,” “soft on terrorism” and worse. Now that the Rethuglicans are having their posteriors handed back to them, the ‘thugs have become oh so sensitive little wimps, whining about ‘civility’ and ‘bipartisanship’.

    Personally, I’d like to see them in political exile for, oh, the next decade or so.

  7. There is no empirical support for Obama’s policies being good for the country either. Or do Democrats have the sole ability to predict the future? And the Democrats aren’t guilty of having their own ideological biases?

    While I would disagree with Mr. Ambrose concerning his confidence in McCain, the rampant hatred for anything Republican has trivialized valid arguments concerning Obama’s policies. Is this the Democrat vision of unity – unquestioned loyalty to bad policy?

    I happen to think that neither candidate has the best interest of the country or its citizens in mind. Policy positions on both sides bear this out, if one is willing to shed the false left-right paradigm long enough to objectively examine them. Sadly, an implausible expectation in this climate.

    As long as we continue to be sheep, the fleecing will continue.

  8. Let’s just look at one of McCain’s proposals, a $5,000 tax credit for families to buy health insurance.

    According to wikipedia, in FY 2006 the IRS processed 134 individual tax returns, with a gross collection of $1 trillion 236 billion dollars. I don’t know how many of those represented families, so let’s say it’s 100 million. If you give each of those 100 million a tax credit of $5,000, that is $500 billion dollars. Just about 40 percent of the total take for the IRS for 2006 on individual income taxes.

    And Sorry Palin and Plain McCain think this is going to be revenue neutral? What a load of horseshit. Pardon me for using scatalogical language, but that’s what it is, with emphasis on the last syllable.

    Mr. Ambrose, how can you even dream of saying that McCain is more trustworthy when he dismisses a half trillion dollar reduction in income taxes as revenue neutral? I would not trust this man to do anything other than to change his own diaper (a task which seems unrefreshingly overdue.)

    How can you trust a man that would pick a bimbo as a running mate? Without even vetting her. Are you aware that the Anchorage newspaper says that the first persons to come to them for information about Sorry Palin were Democratic lawyers who were sent to Alaska AFTER McCain announced her as his running mate?

    Would you trust a man who sits there on national television, tens of millions of viewers, knowing that it is his last chance to impress the voters nation-wide, and he pipes up with Joe the Plumber, neither knowing anything about him nor caring whether it was going to backfire on him?

    McCain is a loose nuclear weapon, not a loose cannon. And if you cannot see that then perhaps you need to consider a new career. May I suggest honey-dipping?

  9. Switters notes that

    “None of these arguments refute the point that Obama’s policies are bad for the country.”

    No one has demonstrated factually that Obama’s policies are “bad for the country.” Lots of opinions and speculations from those with their own ideological biases, but as far as can be found, there is no empirical support for the claim his policies will be bad for the country. Your sentence is constructed in a way that implies this is somehow a fact that no one has refuted. This is just slight-of-hand rhetoric.

Comments are closed.