Speak Out: Barack Obama seems unable to face up to America's problems

Posted by blogbudsman on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 5:21 AM:

The end of the road for Barack Obama?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/7396358/T...

It is a universal political truth that administrations do not begin to fragment when things are going well: it only happens when they go badly, and those who think they know better begin to attack those who manifestly do not. The descent of Barack Obama's regime, characterised now by factionalism in the Democratic Party and talk of his being set to emulate Jimmy Carter as a one-term president, has been swift and precipitate. It was just 16 months ago that weeping men and women celebrated his victory over John McCain in the American presidential election. If they weep now, a year and six weeks into his rule, it is for different reasons.

Mr Obama benefited in his campaign from an idiotic level of idolatry, in which most of the media participated with an astonishing suspension of cynicism. The sound of the squealing of brakes is now audible all over the American press;...

The root of the problem seems to be the management of expectations. The magnificent campaign created the notion that Mr Obama could walk on water. Oddly enough, he can't.

Replies (7)

  • In all fairness I don't think things would be much different if someone else was elected. People don't realize (politicians included) that Congress actually has very little power on influencing the economy. The expectations have just been too high, especially from Obama himself.

    You've got health care, a dreadful economy, a large national debt, wars left from the last administration, and so many other issues. As Dane Cook once said, President Obama may be the first President to assassinate himself. While some of you would probably joke that would be a good thing, I really don't see anyone being able to make a difference.

    -- Posted by almighty on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 6:30 AM
  • But, Almighty, I for one am most willing to give someone else the chance to make a difference...sooner than later.

    -- Posted by voyager on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 7:00 AM
  • ...actually almighty you are probably wrong on every count. Congress has interfered with our economy way too long, in way too many destructive ways. And it continues to fail to learn from it's mistakes. And Obama was supposed to be a historian of sorts - and promised us: AND PROMISED US he's make a difference. Hope and change. Well the uncertainty he has cast upon our economy and our nation is causing irrepairable harm. Suicide is for weaklings - not hardly the strong, courageous leadership we require. Lead, follow or step aside.

    -- Posted by blogbudsman on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 7:03 AM
  • Here's another good offering:

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Thomas-Sowell-Stimulus-More-li...

    Abraham Lincoln once asked an audience how many legs a dog has, if you called the tail a leg? When the audience said "five," Lincoln corrected them, saying that the answer was four. "The fact that you call a tail a leg does not make it a leg."

    What is going on, that nothing seems to work?

    None of this is new. What is going on is what went on during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Money circulated more slowly during the 1930s than during the 1920s. Banks lent out a smaller proportion of the money they had on hand during the 1930s than they did in the 1920s. Anti-business rhetoric and anti-business policies did not create business confidence then, any more than it does now. Economists have estimated that the New Deal prolonged the depression by several years.

    This is not another Great Depression, at least not yet, and the economy may recover on its own, if the government will let it. But Obama today, like FDR in the 1930s, cannot leave the economy alone. Both have felt a need to come up with one bright idea after another, to "do something."

    The theory is that, if one thing doesn't work, it is just a matter of trying another. But, in an atmosphere where nobody knows what the federal government is going to come up with next, people tend to hang on to their money until they have some idea of what the rules of the game are going to be.

    -- Posted by blogbudsman on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 7:39 AM
  • In fact, the bad economy may the thing that saves from a worse fate. People are balking at Mr. Obama's health care and other spending proposals because, to put it mildly, we can't afford them. Not that we could afford them when times were good but the perception was that we were the world's richest nation and that, if other nations could afford it, so could we. (It is a sad reflection on the state of the world that the 'World's richest nation' was ten trillion dollars in the hole when they were still calling it that, and was still digging.)

    The Health Care Bill is bad news. Even the Democrats know this, which is why they still can't get the thing passed despite their large majorities in both houses. I think many of them are hoping it will die, as long as they can blame the failure on the Republicans.

    Nor is health care the only bad idea coming out of this administration. He has big ideas, but the economy is keeping them on the back burner. Sometimes bad things are good in the long run. Perhaps we'll have a slightly better Congress and Senate come January. Then, as the economy improves, Mr. Obama won't have the votes to drag us to Hell.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 8:58 AM
  • almighty,

    The State does not understand money. It does not know how it is generated, what promotes it's growth, or how to use it. The State knows absolutely nothing about this tool; only they can manipulate it to their political advantage. Therfore, they do have an influence on the economy, and that influence is negative.

    Shapely,

    What constitutes a good or improved economy? Is it the "boom" period of the continuous cycle of economic bubble induced booms and busts. Have you noticed that the booms aren't lasting as long as they used to, and that the busts are happening at a greater frequency, that they are more severe, and that they last longer than busts in the past?

    Is a boom or a bust period simply a means to a political end?

    -- Posted by Lumpy on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 12:50 PM
  • A lot of things affect the boom and bust, but the cycles of today actually look a lot like they did in the 40s to the 60s, from what I understand. We actually had a long period without any 'bust' from the 80s through the 90s (The Pax Reagana), but we were slipping into recession before 9/11/01.

    They talk a lot about President Bush squandering the surplus, but the economy was starting to slide when he took office. There wasn't likely to be a surplus in the years that followed, 9/11 or not, regardless of who took office in 2001.

    Nationally, they measure economic activity by GDP. It's a quantifiable number, so it's as valid as anything else. There have been efforts to redefine GDP to include unquantifiables, which is absurd. They want it to include such things as 'happiness' and 'satisfaction'. Hopefully, that will never happen, since such things are entirely subjective.

    I measure it locally by the diner measure. If the restaurants and fast food establishments are full, the economy is thriving. If the fast food establishments are full, but the diners are not, the economy is weak. If the both the fast food establishments and the restaurants are suffering, its a recession. Its as good a measure as anything I've seen anywhere else.

    -- Posted by Shapley Hunter on Tue, Mar 9, 2010, at 1:41 PM

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